Reply To: Emotional Outbursts — Help!

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My 9 year old son also has temper outbursts over tasks that suddenly seem overwhelming – from tying shoelaces to writing for a school project. He also uses troubling words to describe himself, like ‘stupid’ and ‘idiot’. Recently, I’ve been researching neurotransmitters and a range of ‘disorders’ from PMS to ADHD, and decided to try some St John’s Wort for my son, as this herb encourages the brain to absorb serotonin, which makes us feel calm and pleased with ourselves.
A month in, and my son has begun to talk to me very calmly about his overwhelming feelings. It has been revelatory. He told me that when he calls himself names, it is because he feels as though nobody lives him. He has told me he asks for my help, not his dad’s help, because his dad is ‘too playful’ when he is feeling overwhelmed.He has begun saying ‘Thank you for all the things you do for me” instead of ‘I’m sorry.’ He has been talking about things his friends do or say to him that make him feel good, and has been looking for ways to make others feel good, too.
This sage advice from our son has helped us to adjust to the feelings beneath the outbursts, and things are improving through mutual understanding and deeper family connections.
I hope the description of the feelings behind these difficult behaviour patterns might help your understanding of your son, too.
If you are interested in trying alternative therapies, please seek professional advice from a respected practitioner, as the treatment for my son will not be suitable for all people.
Best wishes –