A false legend
Let’s just say I had a different picture of how the teens would go. I have a lot of friends from home school that I watched before I had my own teens – and they all seem to be together. (I know now that no one has everything together unless they are lucky.) I had visions of beautiful walks in the park, rampages in family fun and respectful conversations that danced in my head throughout my elementary years. After all, I did the hard work of early discipline so that by the time we reached adolescence we would all be close. right?
I mean, I knew that because of adoption parenting would cause bumps and runs because of trauma. I knew it. But overall I thought it would be manageable, and since we were consistent and set solid boundaries from a young age, our parenting would be pretty easy once they were teens.
Besides, parenting There was It gets easier with each passing year. All the children got along and improved every day not only in their work at school but also in character.
Teens should behave like adults
I know, some of you who are not in the home education world probably think this is crazy talk. However, in my world there is a large subgroup of people who believe, for whatever reason, that hormonal insanity, physical changes and violent mood swings caused by adolescence should not affect a teenager’s ability to regulate their reactions to school, relationships and authority. I must tell you, I was one of those people who completely expected my cheerful teenage child to continue his responsibilities, good grades and respectful approach to our authority until adulthood. sigh.
I started noticing that something was wrong in the middle of seventh grade. Suddenly he did not speak. He cried a lot. Everything overwhelmed him and he was convinced that no one loved him and would never have friends. (Isn’t that part of the reason we didn’t send him to a public school? To avoid those feelings?) It doesn’t matter that he was regularly surrounded by children his age who clearly liked him. It does not matter that he received high praise for a task – in his eyes it was still not good enough.
What was even worse in this situation is how it started to affect everyone. We all wondered how to get through the day without upsetting it. Tim and I started to feel insufficiently satisfying as parents and didn’t really know how to respond to a completely different person in front of us. The other children, who already had rejection issues, felt they were doing something to cause a sudden change in personality.
In short, it was awful.
Starting with medications
Finally, after trying supplements that did not work according to what we understood to be depression, we took the doctor’s advice and put him on antidepressants. I’m sorry to say I did not do my homework on what these drugs would do to him because I was so tired. By that time a year had passed and he had started talking about suicide. He had a few conversations with a pastor friend who did a lot of counseling, but other than that, when he was unemployed at the time, the most we could do was transfer him to medication. We felt trapped.
The drugs we were finally content with (after months of experimenting) at least made Ezra feel less like harming himself. That’s really all we could have hoped for. We continued to fill out the prescription and limped in our day together. It broke our hearts to see him so sad.
Forward three years. My sixteen-year-old son now feels he has had enough with medication. He has had chronic headaches and fatigue for months and we are pretty sure it is the medication. So I start doing research again. I find there is a lot more information out there about dealing with depression naturally than three years ago. In addition, middle-aged people have experienced sugar and dairy-free diets with great success in several other health issues. A side effect of this was a much happier child. As I study, I discover how important it is to buy organic food without GMOs and realize that Ezra has symptoms that indicate an allergic reaction to non-organic produce.
Another important discovery is how many foods rich in protein and folic acid play on certain deficiencies associated with depression and anxiety. Beef, organic salmon, wild caught and folic acid-rich foods like avocado can turn the corner into depression for some people.
These things, along with a discovery I made a long time ago about what is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome and how it can affect the brain, all contribute to a level of confidence in taking it off its antidepressants.
We are still early in the process. It has been about a month since our family began to change our difficult eating habits. It has been about three weeks since Ezra left the medication. He is still experiencing mild withdrawal symptoms, but for the most part the most difficult part is over. (The first week was awful – like getting out of heroin).
Everyone in our home feels much better. I must say that emotionally the change is dramatic. All three children (13, 14, 16) talk to me about twice as much as they used to. Ezra seems to have recovered his personality and is no longer suffering from headaches. He is also much more energetic. I can not tell you what a relief to bring him back. I did not understand how much life had been before until the last two weeks.
List of natural solutions
Here is the list of what we did to get to this point (to support medication) … It is important to note that the whole family does it together and that not every family will need the same things. However, one that cannot be memorized is to get rid of refined sugars and be organic.
- Refined sugars such as white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and non-germinated grains and white rice, which are turned into sugar during digestion, have been removed.
- Remove typical dairy products and switch to raw milk – which reduces overall milk consumption.
- We now buy all organic food without GMOs.
- Add vitamin B with folic acid instead of folic acid.
- Added pro-beauty to Ezra’s regime (Gabriel has already taken one as part of his regime).
- Made clay tuk to remove the harmful chemicals left over from the drugs Ezra was on.
- Drastically reduced gluten and now eat only sprouted grains, which contain much less gluten.
- Added a balance blend of essential oils to Ezra’s daily regimen.
The strategies we have used in recent weeks have worked in the most unexpected way. Ezra is happier than he has been for years and everyone is much calmer here. I hope that if you are experiencing what we went through in your home, that this little article will get you on the path to finding the answers you need for your adolescent. Each body responds uniquely to strategies to fight depression. For more information on these topics and other natural health questions, much of what I learned was from the following sites –