My daughter's first panic attack

Can you make out the words on this note written by my 10-year-old daughter?

It says, “I was absent on Tuesday, Feb. 26 because I had an anxiety attack.”

During the typical getting-ready-for-school chaos that morning, Brooklyn was feeling overwhelmed about a variety of things. The last straw was a missing shoe (isn’t it funny how the smallest things can be the biggest triggers?)

She cracked. The tears flowed. She began hyper-ventilating. She felt paralyzed by the idea of walking into school. So, we let her stay home. We de-briefed. We wrote down a list of coping skills that she now keeps a photo of on her phone. There was no shaming, no blaming, and no exasperation. I wanted to normalize this experience for her.

She is learning that we all get overwhelmed sometimes, we all feel paralyzed sometimes, and we all want to give up sometimes. She is learning that our emotions are communicators and when we try to smother and shroud our emotions without addressing the root of them, we can wind up broken. 💔

What’s stunning to me is that I did not coach her on the wording of this note at all. Brooklyn knew she would need an absence note and she wrote this herself, and brought it to her dad to sign. Questions like “should I be telling my teacher about this/what will she think of me/what if the other kids find out” did not enter her mind. Or I guess, if they did, she didn’t care 🙌🏻

I’m so dang proud of her 💙

This next generation of kids being raised up in our country - my hope and wish is that they will have NO hesitation in speaking up about their mental health symptoms and needs AND THEN GETTING HELP FOR THEM ✨ I hope we all come to understand that an anxiety-free life is not realistic. So, let’s talk about it more. Let’s be open and honest and vulnerable (with the right people) about our struggles and our hearts. Let’s be strong for each other. Especially our kids 💙

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Let's Grow Some New Brain Cells a/k/a/ Neurogenesis

Once upon a time, it used to be thought that you were born with a certain number of brain cells, and if they died, they died. You didn't get any new ones.

Nowadays, we are much more sophisticated and know that you can actually generate new neurons. And who doesn't want a fatter, stronger, more robust brain?

So, how can we increase the production of new brain cells?

It's diet and clean living all the way, you guys.

This stuff will DEFINITELY increase rate of neurogenesis (new baby brain cells): blueberries, omega 3 fatty acid, green tea, curcumin/turmeric, whole soy, ginseng, ginkgo, vitamin e, DHEA, 5-htp, melatonin, mulberry, wolfberry, rhodiola, lithium, and some other weird stuff that I’ve never heard of.

This stuff MAY increase rate of neurogenesis: vitamin D, alpha-lipoic acid, ashwaghanda root, resveratrol, milk thistle, cinnamon, phosphatidylersine, l-carnosine, and some other weird stuff that I’ve never heard of.

This stuff will DECREASE rate of neurogenesis: high sugar, carbs, unhealthy fat, overeating, inflammatory foods, ETOH, caffeine, b-vitamin deficiencies. So basically all the fun stuff.

Also, stress. The bad kind. The chronic, psychological kind. No es bueno for your brain.

AEROBIC EXERCISE increases neurogenesis by 4-5 times the normal rate. Stupid exercise.

INCREASED FASTING in between meals will also increase rate of neurogenesis (i.e. 12-14 hours in between dinner and breakfast). Why? By decreasing metabolic syndromes which lead to cognitive decline.

We touched on diet a bit here. It’s complicated, remember? Don't beat yourself up too much.

Also, physical touch, restorative sleep, music, nature, silence, creativity, meditation and new experiences spark new neurons. This is SCIENCE, you guys.

Happy brain building!

Source/Bibliotherapy:

The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle by Dr. Brant Cortright

DISCLAIMER: Thanks for reading the above, but whoever you are: unless you are living in my household (which I think I would have noticed), it’s very unlikely that I have any idea what sort of medical history, medication regimen, allergies, and any other health intricacies you carry. Therefore, you should NOT interpret the above as medical advice for yourself, and instead present this information to your personal clinician for consideration.

Another DISCLAIMER: Obviously, the best way to get the best nutrition is through FOOD, not supplements. But for those of us who are still getting the hang of this work-life balance thing, supplements are a way to stay sane when you don’t have time & dinero for meal-planning & organics. Again, don’t beat yourself up!

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