I am thrilled to reconnect with Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge today!
Dr. Roseann is a much-loved guest with our listeners who appeared previously in episodes 174 and 273. Known for her incredible expertise in pediatric mental health, she mixes traditional and non-traditional methods to care for her young patients.
In this episode, we focus on the needs of teens and young adults and the unique challenges they currently face. We review the latest research relevant to shaping the mental health of the younger generation, covering topics from building resilience to navigating nutritional choices with university-level students to avoiding and addressing disordered eating behavior patterns. We explore strategies for addressing various issues, including sleepovers, acne in kids with special needs, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and intrinsic motivation. Additionally, Dr. Roseann sheds light on suicide, suicidal ideations, and the lack of stress tolerance in young people today and shares valuable insights into supplementation that has proven effective within her patient population.
“We think if our kids are doing okay in school grade-wise, there really can’t be a hot mess on the inside- and that is not true.”
– Dr. Roseann
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How the pandemic impacted the mental health of teenagers
- How to help your kid become more comfortable socially
- How to go about finding mental health providers qualified to work with children, teens, and young adults
- What can universities do to support better nutrition on campuses?
- How to address food intolerances in teenagers
- Dr. Roseann describes the QEEG brain mapping process
- How to help kids overcome their anxiety about sleepovers
- Some helpful advice for overcoming acne
- How to manage behavioral issues in kids with special needs
- How to help your child become more regulated to allow them to achieve at a higher level
- How can families support young adults with suicidal ideations in a way that is helpful and not harmful?
- What can universities do to foster an emotionally healthy and supportive environment
Connect with Cynthia Thurlow
- Follow on Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn
- Check out Cynthia’s website
- Submit your questions to email@example.com
Connect with Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge
- On her website
Dr. Roseann compiled a free guide for you!
Article written by Elizabeth Powell, Program Officer of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Previous Episodes Featuring Dr. Roseann
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:00:02] Welcome to Everyday Wellness Podcast. I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Cynthia Thurlow. This podcast is designed to educate, empower, and inspire you to achieve your health and wellness goals. My goal and intent is to provide you with the best content and conversations from leaders in the health and wellness industry each week and impact over a million lives.
[00:00:29] Today, I had the honor of reconnecting with fan favorite Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. She’s previously joined me on Episodes 174 and 273. She is an incredible pediatric mental health expert who utilizes, both traditional and nontraditional modalities for her given patient population. Today, we reviewed relevant research specific to the net impact on mental health in teens and young adults. We spoke about resilience, how to navigate nutritional choices with university level students, avoiding disordered eating behavior patterns and how to address them, sleepovers, addressing acne, dysregulated kids with special needs, obsessive compulsive disorders, intrinsic motivation, suicide and suicidal ideations, and the lack of stress tolerance in many children and young adults today, as well as relevant supplementation that she has found to be very helpful in her patient population. I know you will love this conversation as much as I did recording it.
[00:01:38] Welcome back to the podcast, Dr. Ro. I’ve been really looking forward to reconnecting with you. You are a fan favorite, and I have tons and tons of questions from listeners that are interested in our teenage focused episode.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:01:51] Well, thanks for having me back. You know, I could talk to you all day long.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:01:54] I know.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:01:56] That’s the fun thing is that when you record with friends, it’s just an easy conversation. But there’s something that you brought to my attention earlier today that I wanted to share with listeners. And for many parents, obviously, I have a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old. You have a tween and a teen.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:02:13] No, they’re both teenagers now, Cynthia.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:02:15] They are both teenagers.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:02:16] 13 and 18.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:02:17] Ooh. So you understand you’ve got two teenagers yourself. For me, thinking about the impact of the pandemic on my children, and not just my children but everyone’s children, and the article that you shared with me was specific to what brain scans have revealed during the pandemic, the impact on teenagers’ mental health. I’m going to kind of synopsize this and I’ll let you address it because obviously you are in the thick of it. You see the net impact on your patients. It’s saying the adolescent brain is still developing and vulnerable to external and internal factors. This is Elizabeth Powell, who’s the program officer of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The abstracts in this group show that major stressors in teenage lives, including those associated with the pandemic and mood disorders, may have significant effects on the way their brains are structured and organized, with potential implications for their mental health.
[00:03:15] I want to just tie into the fact, and we’ll talk about what specifically they found. But it’s not just your children, my children, it’s every listener here that is part of the Everyday Wellness community probably has a very unique perspective on the net impact of what that time period of everything getting very quiet, and families being home together, and especially with what I would describe my kids were a teen and a tween. But for them, the net impact of not being able to socialize with their friends, not being able to be around their friends, I think, has had a significant and large impact on their emotional and mental growth. And so for you, as a mental health specialist, clinical psychologist, what have been some of the broad-based changes that you saw in your patient population during and after the pandemic?
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:04:09] Well, we’ll talk a little bit about this study too, but I think what I have seen in general and I think that I know this is going on across the globe is there has just been a real increase in mental health issues in general. But also, I feel like mental health issues have become increasingly complex that people have anxiety, depression and OCD, they have ADD and OCD. There feels like a lot. That is a definite. We know the numbers of mental health. The issues have increased. Suicidal ideation, planning, attempts have increased. And also, what I can tell you and you know you and I talk about this all the time is I feel a hum of just unbelievable anxiety in parents.
[00:04:59] We have this message that talk about this quite a bit that we think if our kids are doing okay in school grade wise that there really can’t just be a hot mess on the inside. And that’s not true. I know a lot of your questions, some of your listeners put in questions and thank you, were about what happens at college, what happens later, because they’re seeing the level of distress. In college, just so everybody knows, the number one reason why a student leaves college is mental health. And 40% of college kids leave freshman year, not all of that is mental health, sometimes it’s a transfer, not to freak you out. And I think sometimes, parents don’t really think about all those little signs. They don’t put it together until they’re on their own and until they’re facing, let’s face it, a huge college bill. They start thinking, “Wait a second, is this the right time? Should I do it?”
[00:05:57] A lot of parents ignore the signs, not that you’re doing anything wrong but nobody’s saying the young adult, this person at school like, “Hey, I’m really worried.” So they think, “Okay, well, you know what? Going to college was sorted out.” Well, I can tell you this. If you’re on your own and you don’t have good support systems and you’re at college, the outcomes are not good. That is why kids leave. There’s nothing wrong with a kid leaving if they’re getting help. What we also know is that people did try to seek help during the pandemic, you can’t always get help, but we also know that a lot of people are not getting help. So 70% of people diagnosed with depression teens are not getting consistent help, 70%. So right there, that’s going to take away income levels, that’s going to take away gender disparity. That means you’re just not getting help.
[00:06:49] Certainly, we know that in minority populations, certain populations in general don’t get as much help, but there’s a lot to unpack there. But ultimately, really to answer your question, there has been a big increase in mental health issues in general, psychiatric medications. We know through the Stress in America Survey by American Psychological Association, a massive increase in parent stress.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:07:14] Yeah. It’s not surprising to hear that. But I feel like during the pandemic, because there’s no one listening that has ever been through that before.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:07:25] That’s right.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:07:25] We were all as a nation, as a world in this massive shutdown. I always try to find the reframe of my kids and say that we had a whole year of togetherness. It was just the four of us. We had sold a house. We were living in a rental. We’re living in a different neighborhood.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:07:41] That was not a fun time, Cynthia, just so you know. remember, living in that rental?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:07:45] No, it was– I was writing a book, which I don’t recommend that you have all those things on your plate at the same time. But what’s interesting is when I think back to the pandemic overall, there was so much bonding like, “When’s the last time my kids took Legos out? When’s the last time my kids took puzzles out? When’s the last time we played board games as a family?” Because let’s be honest, there wasn’t a whole lot you could do other than go to school, go to work, and hang out together, walk the dogs, connect over Zoom, connect by cell phone and so, you just get to a point where you can only saturate yourself with so much binging of Hulu, Netflix,-
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:08:23] That’s right. [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:08:23] -Amazon Prime, whatever it is that you do. And exercise, for that matter. So I think on a lot of different levels that we were all doing our very best, but I think for so many people, and certainly my oldest was impacted by the pandemic. That was his 8th grade year. Missed 8th grade graduation, which, yes, in the part of the country I was in, 8th grade is a big deal. They do it up, they have a graduation ceremony, an 8th grade dance. He missed all of that and started high school from his bedroom.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:08:52] Oh.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:08:52] I know that there are thousands and thousands of people that they have similar stories, they had younger children, they had older kids, they had kids in college, people who missed all these milestones. And so on a lot of different levels, there’s a degree of grieving. I think we, as parents, feel badly for our kids because they had this arrested development, this period of time where they weren’t able to do the fun things they should be celebrating and enjoying. And so I’m so grateful that I have you here today to talk about many of these things. There’s a question that came in from Meg saying, “My teenage daughter and my adult son have suffered from social anxiety. Going to places that are crowded makes them uncomfortable. My daughter gets sweaty palms. My son rarely left the house other than school or work. What do you suggest to help them get more comfortable in uncomfortable situations?”
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:09:41] Yeah. Well, I’m going to start with the end of her question and then go back, because learning how to tolerate uncomfortableness is the definition of resilience. And when we talk about, there are questions here about what’s the magic in mental health. That is the magic. So we have become like a bubble wrap society where we want our kids to never experience anything uncomfortable. If you follow me on my podcast, I talk a lot about my kids. But my youngest, J.C, was a severe dyslexic. I mean, severe. He only had dyslexia reading instruction. We never put him in a public school. We did it ourselves. At a certain point, about two years in, where he was getting it between five and seven times a week, I thought, “Is this damn kid ever going to read?” But he did. And he’s a totally normal reader. He has the gift of a dyslexic brain. And the number one common characteristic of millionaires is dyslexia. 40% of US businesses owned by dyslexics. Very creative mind.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:10:47] Wow.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:10:47] So recently, we worked to try to skip a grade because he’s a science phenom in math. We were on the fence. I’m not so sure he was ready and we said, “Listen, you’re probably going to get a C when you use the summer to skip a grade.” And now he’s two years ahead in math. This is his choice. I’m not one of those mothers, okay? So I was like, “Look, you can struggle and probably get a C, or you could coast and get an A and you’re still a year ahead.” And he was like, “Yeah, let’s get a C.” [laughs] I was like, “It doesn’t mean you are.” But I said, “I’m predicting you’re going to get some Ds and F’s.” And he’s like, “What’s a D?” [Cynthia laughs] But he is uncomfortable. He’s uncomfortable and I can see it. And I’m like, “We’re pushing ahead. This is what we’re doing.” It’s a good lesson. And the poor kid’s been used to being uncomfortable, but it doesn’t mean you make everything hard. It means that we have to teach our kids. There’s going to be moments of uncomfortableness. Anxiety and anger can’t be the only two emotions you ever experience. There’s a range of emotions, and what are those tools and resources to get through them. That is what our job is as parents.
And so we have this beautiful opportunity with our children to coach them in those 18 years through this and also to model for them how we manage stress. Never hiding that there are stressful periods, but showing them how we do it. So that’s a little lesson from Dr. Ro. [laughs] We’re not hearing this as much. And please know your kids watch everything you do. Not saying they don’t listen to you, but they’re going to 10X pulling information from you. When just by observing how you’re doing things. It’s just the way. So to answer this question, let’s talk about social anxiety. So first of all, social anxiety is the fifth most common mental health issue in America. It is not shyness. And if anybody doesn’t know Cynthia, she’s an introvert. [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:12:54] Very much so. People are always shocked when they hear me say that. When you talk about resiliency and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, that’s one of the reasons why I did student government, and why I ran for office in college, and why I did all these things, because it forced me to get outside my comfort zone, and that’s where growth and potential happen.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:13:17] 100%, it does. Absolutely. I’m on the other end. I’m the extrovert. I’m like, “I have to learn how to be an introvert” and be quiet sometimes. It’s almost uncomfortable for me to be quiet. I’m like, “Okay, I’m used to– You know me. You like me.” You like when I come with you because I schmooze everybody and [Cynthia laughs] we have a good time.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:13:38] We balance each other out. Yes.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:13:40] We balance each other out. Absolutely. And so shyness and social anxiety are very different. Social anxiety truly is a clinical issue. So how do you help your kid be more comfortable socially? Really, they require therapy. My magic is calming the brain, calming in with therapeutic support in some way, shape or form. It’s just so much easier when we calm the brain. And no, I don’t mean meds. So what do I mean? So always the balance the base of all health is nutrition. So, you do what you can with nutrition. We can talk about that. You can use meditation, you can use yoga, you can do breath work, you can do neurofeedback, you can do PMF, of course, you can do supplements like Inositol and magnesium.
[00:14:28] There’s a lot of good things we can do, always evidence based, but you must do them consistently. I don’t want to hear— You don’t message me if you haven’t done it for a month. So, [laughs] it’s not one and done. Even though the number one quickest thing we can do to calm our nervous system, breath work. It’s the fastest way we can calm our nervous system. But that child, that young adult, I think it’s both her kids, we have to help them. It doesn’t mean that they are going to be the head of the student council. But you have to help them gain social skills in some way, shape or form that is right for them. So I literally could go anywhere and I’m going to be fine. I’m not asking you to do that. But what can you do? Because guess what? You’re going to have to go to college, you’re going to get a job, you need those skills. You don’t want it to bubble over. Untreated anxiety pretty much always leads to depression at a certain point, and then there becomes the layer. So calm that nervous system, get them the skills. That really sounds easy, but it’s not. But it’s worth that effort.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:15:35] Yeah. I would imagine that there are parents who are listening right now or listening later in our discussion, how do they go about finding qualified providers? Because it’s my understanding from talking to my traditional allopathic trained friends, there aren’t enough mental health professionals, and this is unfortunate. How do we go about finding qualified individuals to work with our children, our teens, our young adults? Because I would imagine that this in and of itself is its own specialty. There are people who do better with grown up adults, and then there are people who are really patient and very attuned to children, teens, and young adults. I would imagine in and of itself, that is very much a very specific focus.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:16:23] Yeah. So great point. So what you want to do is find somebody who has an expertise in that specific problem. So in social anxiety, you want to say, “Have you worked with people, young adults, teenagers?” Because an adult therapist, man, they don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know how to talk. I was driving in the soccer carpool the other day, and the kids were like, “Oh, you don’t know this rapper?” I said, “Yeah, let me hear his name. I’ll tell you who he is.” They were like, [Cynthia laughs] “Oh, she knows everything.” I was like, “I got to stay current, kids. I work with teenagers, [laughs] plus I love music,” but I was like, “I at least want to know who it is.” I joke, but I don’t because teenagers need to know that you’re relatable in some way, shape or form, and that just requires that you’re putting that effort in. So do they have a specialty? Where are you going to find them?
[00:17:14] So number one, start with somebody you trust. If you have a friend who’s had a kid with problems, ask them. And if they’ve had a great experience with a local provider, do that. If you can’t do that, ask a medical professional. And certainly, you can do a Google search. People come to me all the time from all over the world in a Google search. You want to make sure they’re licensed, credentialed. You don’t want to go to somebody who is a mental health coach. You want to make sure they are properly credentialed. Is a mental health coach great for things like parenting or mindset? Great, sure. But when it comes to a clinical issue, you really got to know what you’re doing. There is so much work that you have to do, not just to get that degree but to get that license, and making sure that’s where the results come from.
[00:18:02] I have a whole podcast on why expert care is important, because it’s just a very different experience when you go to an expert, non-comparable, really. So there are great providers in the world. You just have to look for them. Once you meet with them, “Are they the right fit?” That’s important too. If your child can’t relate to that person and it’s truly an issue of relating, not treatment refusal, then find another person. I think one of the questions has to do with, what do I do with a kid? How do I talk to them about it? How do I get them for help? So one, conversations are never one and done. You have open conversations about mental health. You never make it negative. You really just try to make it a positive thing. Never hide clinical diagnoses from kids. It’s often a relief when they’re like, “Yeah, I know I was depressed,” and then really talk to them and be part of that therapy if you can. Really, if you are the parent, you’re doing the heavy lifting because one therapy session a week isn’t going to move the dial, if you’re not implementing those things at home and you can. I want you to be empowered, not scared by that.
[00:19:18] It’s going to teach you to get in alignment and use the right words instead of being like, “What am I doing? Spaghetti on the wall.” That’s what a therapist is for. They’re there to guide you and your child.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:19:31] That’s such an important point, and certainly really helpful because I would imagine there are going to be parents that are going to listen to this and they’re going to say, “I know that my child needs help, but I don’t know where to start.” So thank you so much for that. Suzanne asked, “How do you think universities should best support nutrition on campus, and what do you feel is missing most to allow ALL STUDENTS, including those with food intolerances, to have a level academic playing field for best success.” Great Question.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:19:58] Yeah. Suzanne, I’ve helped so many kids [giggles] pick colleges. So many of the students that I work with have food intolerances, have celiac, have medical conditions that prevent them from– We have to get their inflammation down. It’s hard to find really good nutrition at schools. Do I see a trend in the last few years where things are improving that they have these apps now where students can order food? I think all schools have to– just like restaurants, have to acknowledge that you got to have a little gluten free symbol. You have to have options. We know that food quality is a big, big determining factor in health. And yet, there are many campuses. I had somebody this summer and they’re like, “The primary food method of cooking is frying” and I’m like, “Really? Like, everything is fried?”
[00:20:59] And then in the same breath, I have another student who goes to one of the top food schools, always in the top 10 here. They have a sushi bar, they have this, they have that, and I was like, “I couldn’t even imagine that.” It’s so great. So what do I think universities need to do is, I think they need to provide better food options for all students, and also, to bring taste to those foods. Like, you can’t just have grilled chicken. So a lot of my kids who have food intolerances, they literally have to have the same food choices every day. I can’t live like that. That gets boring. So in one sense, they’re providing safe options, but they have to do a better job with taste. I think just like when people come to my house, they’re surprised that everything’s gluten and dairy free because it’s just so darn good. It’s just a matter of proper spicing and having some variety.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:21:54] Yeah. And it’s interesting. My 18-year-old will be going to college in 2024, and you better believe, especially because I’m the mom of all boys. When we’re doing college tours, he’s very attuned to the food options. He has peanut and tree nut allergies. So that is a huge– He has real allergies. They’re not going to go away. Unfortunately, only 30% of kids that are diagnosed with a food allergy will actually “outgrow it.” And in talking to him, one university in particular is always in the top five for food options. It’s amazing how some universities just have an overwhelming amount of choices. Unfortunately, that’s not consistent. And so I completely understand what I hear what you’re saying, and I also understand what Suzanne is saying is that, “What do these kids do?” So obviously, for us, we have to make sure, wherever he ends up attending that they’re going to have safety parameters around contamination with nuts and peanuts.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:22:50] A lot of investigating. My friend Ellen was like– She guides me in all things. Her kids are older than me. They’re adults. And my kids, I should say. And she was like, “Ro, you got to check with the feeding the kids and how often they’re clean in the bathrooms.” I was like, “Ellen, I would never think of that.” But it’s true. I think that’s really the answer is what you have to do your investigating work before you get there. I would really even say, I would go to those dining halls and taste the food, because sometimes things have been promised, and again, that quality isn’t there. Certainly, another option is for kids to get– I’ve had kids get special rooms where they have access to cooking and they just cook themselves. That’s not as typical. You’ve got to be a really pretty self-sufficient kid who really knows how to cook.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:23:41] Yeah, it’s interesting. Both my boys were at a university this summer for a program, and one came home and said, “Oh, I’m going to definitely gain 15 pounds because I couldn’t believe how much food was available whenever we wanted it, as much as we wanted of it.” And the other one came home and said, “I miss our home cooking.” So they were at the same university, but their perceptions were completely different. Along this line, Jen asked, “How do you recommend talking to a 14-year-old girl about avoiding gluten and dairy as needed due to severe intolerances without creating disordered eating behaviors?” Now, I know you and I have had some conversations around this. Obviously, it’s a very sticky subject because you don’t want to then imprint your child with being overtly concerned and becoming orthorexic, anorexic, binge eating, food addiction, etc. How do you typically address those kinds of concerns?
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:24:36] Well, you’re right. You have to tread carefully, and especially, if this is new at 14. If this has always been going on, it’s different because there’s a foundation, there’s a trust, there’s an understanding. I’m not saying these are not tricky to navigate in either scenario, but let’s say that’s new. Number one is you’ve got to do this as a family. I think the greatest mistake people make is they make it for just the one kid and they’re already feeling so bad about it. You’re listening to this podcast, you know, this is the way for better health, brain health. When I do my brain scans and people are eating their intermittent fasters or paleo, their keto, you can’t believe the difference in their brains of any age. The inflammation is not there in the same way, if at all. The stress levels, even just the neuroplasticity, the flexibility of the brain is incomparable regardless of age. I can get a 7-year-old who’s eating super, super clean and a 14-year-old that’s eating chicken nuggets. And that 7-year-old brain is going to be way easier to train. I never tried I only get to tell that to my good eaters because everyone else feels bad.
[00:25:51] But you want to start with your whole family really getting rid of the stuff. You’re all going to feel better. It’s going to be easier. You’re not going to be locking horns as much and then you psycho educate, like, I slip in nutrient facts. I also really try to get my kids to connect to how they feel when they eat. So like, “Wow, how do you feel?” I made a baked berry compote thing with almond flour and butter in it last week, and my kids, “This is so good.” I was like, “It is.” There was nothing terrible in there. It’s just baked fruit. It was a dessert. And I was like, “Oh, do you like it better than” dah, dah, dah, and they’re like, “Oh, no, this is way better. I’d rather have this than the gluten free,” whatever it was. And so you just get them to connect. And obviously, you want to validate feelings. If your 14-year-old is angry, they can’t eat certain things, be like, “Yeah, me too. God, I’d love to have a cinnamon. Would it not affect me,” whatever it is. [giggles] But it does and things like that.
[00:26:54] My kids have been drinking the Kool-Aid long enough [Cynthia laughs] where they get it, [laughs] but it is hard. I’ve had some real– The other thing is sometimes having another person talk to them is huge. So you have to be very careful. If you find a traditional clinical nutritionist, a lot of times they’re not down with super healthy eating. They’re like, “Oh, you can have a little bit of everything.” Really?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:27:19] Real heart healthy grains. If you hear that, run, please [unintelligible [00:27:22] [laughs]
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:27:22] But you can find an integrative health coach, you can find somebody– I certainly have had many conversations with kids and families. And sometimes I even do like, “Hey, could you do me a favor? Could we do it for three months and we’ll do a pre and post brain map?” It really depends on where people are at. I met with a young man this week, and he had to give up stuff. We based it on his stomach hurting. A month later, he’s like, “My stomach start hurting.” And I was like, “Well, what do you think?” He’s like, “Well, I guess I have to stick on the gluten free.” And I was like, “Yeah.” I was like, “You look great too.” And he’s like, “I feel a lot better.” So he was 20-years-old, and he was not too happy with me when I told him we had to be gluten free. He said, he’s done it before, and it did nothing.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:28:05] It’s hard, especially at that age, because I feel like teenagers and young adults, they feel like they’re missing out. I’ll share with it with my community that my youngest, who’s 16, has been struggling with pimples and very mild acne. We’ve been bringing him to a local holistic person, and she’s been reinforcing, “You really should go gluten and dairy free.” He has just dug his heels in the ground. I said, “I can’t force him to do it.” And something over the summer, it was like a light bulb went off for him and he said, “I’m willing to go dairy free.” Do you know that that kid’s skin looks completely different? So he tried probably two weeks ago to have a little bit of– I think he had whey protein and he had a bunch of breakouts and he said, “I don’t tolerate dairy.”
[00:28:49] So he and I are dairy free buddies. I keep saying to him, “I will do everything I can to find healthy alternatives for you if you really feel like you’re missing something.” And in most instances, with the exception of ice cream, he doesn’t miss it at all. But his skin has gotten so much better. I never pushed him. I just said, “You’re going to come to this decision when you’re ready.” And now that he’s ready, the dermatologist, the aesthetician are like, “Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe the difference in his skin.” We were actually looking at photos that they had taken, and he’s so proud of himself now. And he just said, “It just reinforces, I want to have clear skin, and I’m not willing to go back to having a face full of pimples.” And so for him, dairy is very inflammatory, very insulinemic.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:29:30] That’s right
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:29:31] He’s in the midst of puberty, so spiking insulin for him is going to drive the acne issues. And so I just share that, so that our community knows. As a parent, I had to wait till he was really ready to do it, because if I pushed him to do it before he was ready, if any of you have a stubborn teenager, you understand, it’s like trying to push a mule. And so I love him to pieces, and I’m so proud of him because he came to this all on his own. He was really ready to just be done with these skin problems.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:30:01] Well, and you handled it beautifully. You’re like, “Okay, well, you can have the skin problems or you can get rid of dairy and not. So, it’s really up to you.” You let him decide. Skin is our largest organ, and so much toxins want to come out through that. And for him, it was created toxicity. Who knows? Maybe there’s Candida in there. It could have caused a lot of different components for it. Yeah.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:30:26] When you talk about a brain scan, can you explain the technology that you’re using in your practice? Because I’m sure people are probably curious. Probably they’re thinking like CAT scans, MRIs, but this is different.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:30:37] Yeah. So I do something called the QEEG brain map. And sometimes people come to me and just do diagnostics with me. They come in. It’s a lovely, non-evasive process. I can do it as somebody young as three and a half to whatever age, and I do it all the time. So you put a cap on, it measures surface electrical activity at 19 sites. What happens is we take this data– It’s no big deal. It’s this cap. The worst part of it is like you get this gel in your hair, and it’s gross, but that’s it. You’re there, it’s like 10 minutes, no nuclear medicine or anything. So the data, we take it, we analyze the data, we put it in a database, and you’re compared against males and females with and without clinical issues around your age. And so I am like a savant with these brain maps. I’m not shy, either. [Cynthia laughs] I look at a brain map, and literally, you can just see so much in a brain map. So you can see what areas are underworking and overworking, that will tell you, “Oh, this is overworking in brain communication. That’s associated with anxiety. Oh, look, there’s OCD.”
[00:31:50] I have done over 10,000 of these. I stopped counting at 10,000. I can see certain nutrient deficiencies, I can see what your gut health is like, I can see permeability in the gut, and that’s all based on patterns. So we know exactly what the brain can and can’t do. When you see certain patterns together, you’re like, “Wow, that’s a head injury. Oh, that’s a birth trauma.” I freaked people out at times just by doing this brain map. You’re really able to get, not just accurate diagnostic information but really, my specialty is to say, “This is what you should do.” And these are the treatments that will help you based on your brain profile. I have 100% accuracy if I see Lyme disease or tick-borne illness. How do I know it’s 100%? Because I send you to a physician, and you go and get tested. So that’s the kind of information you can get out of a brain map. It’s great. Half the time people come to me, they have the wrong diagnosis. I would say that’s conservative.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:32:50] Yeah. No, it’s really interesting. I know that being friends with you, you’ve talked about this a lot, but this is really the first time we’ve discussed it on the podcast. So I was like, “I’m going to let you describe it in more explicit detail than I could.” Next question is from Nicole. “I have a 15-year-old daughter who has no interest in sleepover at friends’ houses. She tells me it makes her anxious to be away overnight, and she wants to sleep in her own bed. She has scoliosis and wears a brace 23 hours a day, and this contributes to wanting to be in the comfort of her own bed. She has a desire to get past this, but it gives her so much anxiety. As a parent, I want her to grow beyond this anxiety, but wonder how imperative sleepovers actually are. I worry about whether this will make college a tougher transition. Any advice would be appreciated.” You’re seeing common themes that are weaving through these questions.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:33:38] Yeah. So let’s talk about girls and sleepovers, a big deal socially. So I understand that. This is not the first time. I’ve actually had people come to me to help their kids do sleepovers only when the kid wants to do it, not going to force anybody to do anything. So we have to honor your daughter. So we now know she has scoliosis. The brace is very uncomfortable. It really, really is. My friend, Ellen, she had scoliosis. My J.C had a touch of scoliosis. We were able to do the exercises. So I would say, is this really a priority for your daughter? Because if it is, then it’s something we should work towards. If it’s not, I think it’s okay for her to say, “I want to be in my own bed. I’m uncomfortable.” Maybe she doesn’t want people to see her in the brace. There could be a lot underneath it. I think the larger thing is, let’s look back. Let’s take an aerial view. And is this anxiety showing up anywhere else? If it’s just showing up here, that’s okay. We have to honor our kids when they don’t want to do certain things. But if it’s showing up in a lot of other ways, she might need some counseling support around this diagnosis and how it affects her, because we hear scoliosis and we push it to the side. It’s a big deal. She’s going to be wearing that brace until she stops growing.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:35:04] Yeah. I think it’s such a good question because I have one kid who loves spending the night out and the other one who really never has. He enjoyed having people at our house pre-pandemic. But I think it’s, to your point, honoring our kids– I have one kid who always wants to sleep at home. He prefers his bed. He doesn’t want to sleep on someone’s couch or floor in a sleeping bag, and the other one could care less. So I think so much of it’s just honoring our kids as individuals figuring out if she really has a desire to be doing sleepovers, that’s a separate issue from just saying-
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:35:34] Definitely
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:35:35] -“Hey, I just want to be at home and sleep in my own bed,” which I think all of us can respect. Next question is from Ashley, “Hi. I like your huge following. I’m a huge fan. Thank you for your work and bringing this to the teen community. I have two teens and one tween. Any advice on acne? I have one who weathered it, one on Accutane and the one coming up the pipeline.”
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:35:56] Well, I think we discussed that, but I think ultimately, what are big factors in acne, what you’re eating, your stress levels, and proper detoxification. They all can be related. [giggles] So getting a good, healthy diet, keeping your blood sugar stable, and also making sure– Most acne isn’t because kids are taking good care of their skin. It’s really about what they’re putting in their body and it’s showing up in their skin. So good detoxification processes and practices, I think a lot of times we don’t think about that for our kids, but they need to get a good sweat in every day. The point of sweat is about seven to eight minutes in. So aim for 20 minutes. Lots of water, water with lemon. Never put water with lemon in anything but a glass, ceramic, or metal cup. Never plastic. Use other things to help them detoxify. It tends to turn around.
[00:37:00] Now, you can also look for things like I mentioned, yeast. There could be other things lurking within the system. You’re only going to find help for that with a holistic, integrative practitioner. You’re wasting your time going to a regular doctor. They’re just not going to think that it’s in your organs. That’s really the way. And getting your kid to buy into the healthy eating and really just like what Cynthia said like, “Wow, take a look at your skin. What are you doing differently?” Because when they go off the wagon whether it’s gastrointestinal or whatever symptom they have, you want them to make that connection, so they make the choices for themselves.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:37:39] That’s such a good point. And it’s interesting because my 16-year-old, my stubbornly wonderful child that he is, when he was ready to make that elimination, he was. But to his credit, he found that for him, his way of dealing with stress, because he goes to a Magnet High School that’s like college. I’m not exaggerating. His workload is insane, but he loves it. He’s very happy. He’s thriving there. He goes to the gym five days a week. He’s very specific about what he eats, what he’s doing around the gym, gets his exercise on. He’s a much more pleasant person. So don’t discount that element of stress for our kids. I think a lot of them internalize it. And for me, it’s been interesting to watch this transition for him over the last year. But I love that you brought up the detox portion, because that’s equally important.
[00:38:27] The other thing that I would echo is there are so many functionally and integrative medicine individuals that you could work concurrently with your pediatrician to make sure that there’s not something else going on with your child. And then there are lots of very well-trained individuals who can do stool testing, that can do food sensitivity testing. Concurrently, when you’re working with an allopathic trained provider, they do exist, they are out there. I have several on my team, and they really do a great job looking at those nuances. You mentioned Candida, dysbiosis, latent infections, all the things that can really manifest in what’s going on in the skin.
[00:39:09] Next question. “What recommendations would you give to a mom of three children to an elementary school who have special needs when it comes to managing behaviors at school and at home? I feel like we’ve tried everything. My husband works a lot, and I work full time, so I feel like we end up using screen time too much, and that makes the school day far more challenging. I feel like I’m constantly being called or pulled into meetings. I also have a five-month-old.” So this mom is exhausted. Sound’s like she needs help.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:39:37] Yeah. I wish I had an easy thing for you, girl, other than sending you a lot of mom love But I think when kids are dysregulated, we have to understand why they’re dysregulated, because that’s what you’re talking about. If your kids having behavioral issues at school, behavioral issues at home, number one, put your own oxygen mask on. You got a five-year-old, give yourself some grace. But what can you do, even small amounts of the day to maybe improve your sleep or just tighten up what you’re eating just to give yourself a basis that’s easier to work from. Because if your stress, sleep, diet are off, you’re just not going to show up in the best way. And of course, your stress levels are going to be high, you have special needs kids and a baby. [giggles] So, do what you can right there. But then think about when you have kids with behavioral issues, what’s your structure, what’s your routine, what do you have in place to increase learning? Because structure and routine help kids who learn differently who need a minimum of 3X the amount of repetition. So it takes 34 times to do something where you learn it at an innate level without thinking about it. If you have any kind of issue interfering with learning, it’s three times that.
[00:40:58] So let’s just say it’s 100 plus. So that’s why special needs parents are tired, because we’re repeating ourselves. But when we put the scaffolding in, they’re better off. They’re able to learn quicker. And then really also I find as a special needs parent, 80% of the parents do get divorced. I’m going to say that and you’re not. We’re not saying that, but 80% of the parents who come to me are not viewing their child’s issue and how it’s treated the same. Most of my work is enjoining the parents. So whatever you can do to get dad to see the problem in the same way– A lot of parents have an aha moment one of my episodes or one of my blogs and they send it to the dad, going to a therapist doing something to align with it. If your kid’s really struggling in school and you need to have help, you need to get an advocate, somebody that can help. And ultimately, kids that are special needs, their brains can learn, they need more support in regulating their nervous system. That’s why the diet is even more important.
[00:42:01] And then tools like I use Neurofeedback and PEMF. They can just be game changers. But you don’t have to go down the medication road. I, in fact, find and I’m always very transparent, that’s the people that seek me out I find that it often doesn’t help and can worsen things. You got to go back to those basics in order to help your kids really learn.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:42:26] Yeah. Thank you so much for that. Because one thing that my admin, Jamie– For everyone that emails the podcast, Jamie is my amazing executive admin. She was saying there were so many common themes of parents needing and asking for support. And so obviously, it’s easy to have Dr. Ro come back, keep the questions coming. We actually have a few more questions that I want to try to tackle. This is another anonymous question. “My son has what appears to be OCD, but he’s only three. Is it possible for kids to show signs of something like this, but then “grow out of it,” or are there things I can do to help him manage these behaviors without having to see a professional? I think it’s related to social anxiety, but we try to get him out of the house, interact with other kids at least a couple of times a week.”
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:43:17] So yes, OCD can show up as young as three. And no, you don’t want to wait getting help. So it’s super ridiculously important. OCD is one of the most treatment resistant conditions, because it forms a habit in the brain. Oh, it just puts a lock on the brain, and the brain gets reinforced for, either avoiding certain things or the questions that ask, rituals, all that. It gets reinforced. So it’s just much more likely to occur. And at this young, you could squash it pretty easily with the support of a licensed mental health professional who does a type of therapy called ERP, which is exposure, response and prevention. It’s a combination of cognitive behavioral. Yeah, even a three-year-old, we got to challenge those cognitions and the behaviors with exposures. A good ERP therapist is going to show you how to manage those behaviors, how to avoid things, because most parents don’t realize when your kid has obsessions and compulsions, they’re actually involving you and you’re accidentally reinforcing it. So there’s a lot that can be done. I highly doubt with a three-year-old, you’re going to need to go to therapy for a million years, but you will not regret getting help.
[00:44:40] That’s the same statement I would make for anybody at any age with OCD. It is so powerful. All the evidence shows you that that’s the gold standard in treating OCD. And please know that OCD should be treated by an OCD expert, not anxiety expert. Anxiety and OCD are not the same. If you treat it like anxiety, you can accidentally reinforce it and make it worse.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:45:09] Yeah. I will just add something personally. I’m not given permission to disclose the individual within my family network that has OCD, but it is really important to make sure you work with someone that specifically works with OCD patients and their families. And more often than not, OCD kiddos, they reinforce the habits that they need to have reinforced to continue with the behavior. Like, parents don’t realize that their own behavioral patterns are reinforcing their child’s OCD. I say-
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:45:46] It is so sneaky, right?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:45:47] –that like in the most loving way possible. So part of addressing OCD in children, teens, tweens, young adults is reprogramming parents. It is amazing.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:46:00] A100%. When they start to make the connections of the sneaky OCD behaviors and how they’ve accidentally reinforced it, they’re like, “Gosh.” But in the same breath, I’m all about parent empowerment. Once you know, you know and you can do something different. You won’t spin your wheels in the same way, you can just squash that OCD.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:46:21] Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, Next question is from Jen. “How do you recommend encouraging a 16-year-old high school junior to get good grades, test scores, and extracurricular without obsessing or having them tune you out?”
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:46:35] Ah, it’s so hard. [Cynthia laughs] You know, I am such an alternative educator in my own– I have one child that’s home schooled, another we go to a Montessori school. He’s in the middle school part, and it’s only Montessori infused. Cynthia’s got one kid in high level charter, another in a public school. So we tick all the boxes on parenting. I think it’s about balance. I don’t have the exact right answer because I think every family is different. So one. the best way to do things in your family is to model how you manage stress well. Not perfectly, but even when you’re imperfect to be like, “Well, I could have handled that better,” and just to talk about it. Because we don’t want our kids to get the message that there’s only one route, perfection. That is the message kids are getting today.
[00:47:30] So I don’t know from this question if you’re somebody who wants your kid to do better or you want to know how to support them, and maybe you’re a little more chill. I think I’ve had all kinds of parents. Many years ago, my mother’s helper, my former intern, she’s a Yale doctor now. And her mom, Claire and I have been friends for over 20 something years. Claire and I are super chill parents, and we’re like, “Where did she come from? She’s so intense. She’s got to be in the top,” whatever. I think she was number three in her class, and she just struggled with getting everything right, internalizing it, and we used to be like, “Honey, you’re going to get anxious. You’re going to get anxious.” And that’s certainly what happened. We taught her how to use HeartMath[?], and she wind up turning around. So I think the message here is that, in order to power up the brain, you have to power down. So you have to help your child to regulate, so whether that’s things like you’re going to yoga three times a week together, you’re doing– The brain needs 10 or more minutes a day of some calm, relaxing activity in order to reset itself.
[00:48:38] Yes, sleep is very important, and a lot happens in sleep, but you need to be intentful about what you’re doing. So maybe you’re doing some HeartMath, maybe you’re doing meditation. I don’t know what it is, but I think that is how you help your child to be more regulated, so they can achieve at a higher level. Not even just achieving at a higher level, but doing it in a way where they can recognize where something feels off, because if you’re only in a rev state, that’s all you can feel. In terms of motivation, that is something people come to me a lot about. I think why kids struggle with motivation in general, it could be that there’s an underlying clinical issue. Maybe the task that they’re having them do isn’t something they really want to do, and they’re just going through the motions. Maybe they’re missing a passion in their life too.
[00:49:33] I feel like a lot of times kids are just driven to the academics, and so rarely do I have a kid who’s really certain about what they want to do in their future in a way that aligns with who they are. Whenever I tell people that J.C decided in fifth grade, he was getting his PhD in engineering, I had the robotics guy come to me and he was like, “Don’t you think that’s a lot of pressure? I go, “I have nothing to do with this. He just decided.” I was like, “Well, if you decide to do that or you decide to get a degree in art,” he’s like, “Mom, I love art, but I don’t want a degree in art.” [Cynthia laughs] I said, “Well, you might be a chef.” “I just like to cook for fun.” And I was like, “Well, what if we decide? But we kind of have to prepare for that, if that’s what you want to do.” He’s like, “Okay.”
[00:50:19] You have to work with who you have too. So I think sometimes our kids have lofty goals and we want to support them, like, in the case of mine, but I’m super realistic about it. I know how important grades are, and I also know that grades are much more likely to get you merit scholarships than sports. So that is what I consistently see. So I know how expensive college is, and I don’t want to say, “Well, let your kid be a B student.” Well, they might not get merit scholarships. So finding that balance, but making sure your child has good mental health is just so important, because those grades don’t matter, if they don’t got it together.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:50:58] Yeah. It’s interesting. We left a part of the state that had one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the entire state. And for me, I’ve always had a sense of my kids and where they fall. They’re both bright. let me be clear. One is an introvert and needs a lot of downtime. The other one is revved up and ready to go all the time. It’s been interesting to watch them navigate high school. As an example, number two kiddo, yesterday came with me to cryotherapy. And not only did he want to go to cryotherapy, we were actually in the same cryo-cell at the same time, which was cool. He goes in there with just a waist towel on, and I go in there in a robe and take it off if I decide I want to get really cold.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:51:45] Oh, my God. You’re crazy, girl. I’m not going in there.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:51:47] No, no. It’s actually really cool. But what was interesting, I said to Liam, “How do you manage being in a cryotherapy tank when it’s as cold as it is for the duration of time that we’re in there,” which is like three minutes. It’s all very safe, let me be clear.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:52:01] No, I know it’s safe. I can’t be cold.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:03] No, no, no but he said, “I meditate.” He’s like, “I just go to a different place-
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:52:07] So cool.
Cynthia Thurlow: –I’m very relaxed.” And so for him, he acknowledges that’s something that he needs to bring him down. So I think in many ways, I think our kids know what they need to do to manage their stress. We sometimes impose our own thoughts on them. And so I found that my kids have figured out what they need to do. It usually involves exercise, but the cryo-tank with him being in there, I forget how cold it was yesterday for three minutes. He was very [unintelligible [00:52:33]. He was just meditating, and I was the one that was moving my legs up and down [giggles]
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:52:37] Don’t you love when they use the things that we teach them on their own with no queuing?
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:42] Exactly.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:52:42] I think that’s the coolest part about having a teenager, where you’ve been fostering it the whole time.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:49] Yeah. They model the behavior. They do for sure.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:52:50] They are listening. They’re listening and watching.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:52:53] Yeah. Last two questions. This is from Meg. “Mental health. Oh, how I get upset about our health care system. My sister suffered from mental health problems. I lost her to suicide. How does our healthcare system treat these patients as adults? Meaning, that they can make their own decisions. They are not capable of doing that. How can I make a difference in a person’s life when I have no say saying?” So I think which she’s talking about is, and whether listeners know this or not, unless someone is actively suicidal, wanting to harm themselves, someone else, you can’t force them to do anything. I think that’s what Meg is speaking to. When you have patients that are young adults, teenagers, etc., and they’re at that point, either they’re expressing suicidal ideations or they have a history of attempted suicide, what are ways that families can support these loved ones in a way that’s helpful and not harmful?
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:53:47] Yeah. I think, number one is not getting band aided help, like, really doing deep work. I think a lot of times when I get somebody who’s at that level, which I have very complex cases. So it’s not terribly unusual. They’re getting to me, and it’s a lot of medication, medication, medication. It’s not really deeper therapy or even really looking at a functional level like, what’s their thyroid like? Is there infectious disease? So really getting to the bottom of it, so that we can then build up, I think, is a big fault in our mental health system. I’ve been asking every one of my patients now, I send them for full genetic variant profile because it’s gotten so easy now to do, and it will tell you like, what food you should eat, what nutrients you should have. Oh, yeah, I have a great one that I’ve been using. And so it helps. It just helps them along their journey like, “Why are you asking me to get rid of this food?” Well, now we have data, because I’m a lover of data. So what can you do–?
[00:54:53] I’m sorry that this woman lost her sister because she couldn’t get the proper help. I think educating people, you will never regret getting mental health help. The amount of people that are not getting help, kids, it’s unbelievable. So overall, 50% of kids who have a diagnosed mental health help are not getting help. So I think that’s pretty scary. Don’t think just because they are getting help at school that you’re off the hook. I recently had somebody and they were very angry with me because they were like, “You just keep insisting they get therapy, but they’re getting it at school.” And I was like, “You need parenting help.” The school is under no obligation to give you parenting help, and you’re struggling on how to raise this kid. There’s nothing wrong with that. We are literally not equipped to support kids who have behavioral issues or mental health issues.
[00:55:49] So educating people, volunteering in places where you can help get the message out, because again, people don’t know what the long-term implications are. And a lot of times, they say, well, I did this medication or I went to therapy every other week for six months,” or whatever it was. But did it really get to the root cause, did you really get to this place where this behavior or issue is manageable? Because sometimes they just don’t understand that there are other things in the world to support mental health.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:56:23] Yeah. Thank you for that. I think it’s really important. Many years ago, I worked at a hospital that was across the street from Sheppard Pratt. So one of the leading psychiatric institutions at that time– We did a lot of the intake and people would come through, and it was so clear to me even 25 years ago how poorly equipped allopathic medicine is. At that time, we still had psychiatrists that would come through and see patients in the ER. And from what I understand now, it’s really hard to get that support and mental health and physical health go hand in hand. It’s not one is superior to the other.
[00:56:59] Last question, I just want to wrap up with that. Article that you had sent me talking about the impact of the pandemic on teenagers’ young adults’ brains. There was a professor at University of Washington who noticed, looking at all of these changes on scans in adolescent brains during the pandemic that there was this abnormal and premature thinning of the brain’s cortical surface. The outer layer of the brain normally thins with aging. So that’s normal.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:57:25] That’s right.
Cynthia Thurlow: [00:57:26] But it’s abnormal to be so thin among teenagers. This is indicative of high levels of chronic stress and trauma, and it was more prominent in female adolescents than males. And so really interesting to me that maybe we don’t understand fully as parents. We assume that we’re three years out, things are better. I think it just really speaks to the fact that we still have to be aware that our kids’ brains are still developing. The prefrontal cortex is not fully developed until they’re 25, which means they sometimes make knucklehead decisions. My poor kids know this because I’ll say to them, “You’re making an amygdala decision. Your reptilian brain is overriding your prefrontal cortex.” But Suzanne’s last question is specific to this. “What do you think is creating the most stress for current university students post pandemic? What do you think universities need to do to improve and foster emotionally healthy and supportive environment?” Really great question, not an easy answer.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [00:58:25] Well, I do feel like there’s an easy answer. I feel that there’s no stress tolerance anymore. With kids and adults, we don’t understand– Again, that whole idea of bubble wrapping that we’re not letting our kids experience failure, then problem solve on their own. We’re a lot of rescuing of parents, of kids. When kids are getting to college, they don’t know how to do a lot without so much intervention. Kids are getting on airplanes and going across the United States.
[00:59:04] I recently had a friend of mine send her child with unresolved mental health issues, even though had a lot of support, and she was like, “What should I do, Roseann?” I was like, “You know, you have these two options, honey. You’re either going to say, he’s going to take a whole year and you’re going to do some of these things that you’ve been trying to do while he’s in school and give him a gap year, or you’re going to put all these beautiful interventions you have in place and let him go to school.” He is struggling. She couldn’t have done a better job with what she did in terms of putting interventions in school. But ultimately, in the end, he wasn’t okay to go away. When you’re thinking about your kid going to school, you’re thinking about the comforter, you’re thinking about their meal plan, you’re thinking about all those things. I’m not saying they’re not exciting and important, but you have to say to yourself, “Does my child know how to–?”
[01:00:00] When I went to college, my mother set me straight. She was like, “People are going to put drugs in your stuff.” Guys, my mother famously used to say, “Guys want to clean your pipes.” That’s what she would say. [Cynthia laughs]. But she taught me some street smarts and boy, did it serve me. Unbelievably served me. She didn’t sugarcoat things. It’s 1980s parenting, right? It’s not 2023 parenting. We always have to change with what we’re doing. So think about, does your child know how to cope with stress? I’m not just talking about academic stress. What about a friendship breakup or a betrayal? Like, do you have good communication with your child before they go to school? Are they going to ask for help from you? A lot of times, kids, I had somebody go through whole– Many times I’ve had somebody, but this year in particular, where I had somebody go through a whole year of school and just lie about going to class, the grades, everything because they had severe OCD and were too embarrassed to tell their parents about it.
[01:01:02] So the real answer is good coping skills, giving them plenty of practice opportunities before they go there. What’s colleges responsibilities for student mental health? I think colleges, they do a pretty decent job. They have student mental health centers. Can they do more events for speaking? Can they do more events for stress management? Absolutely. And you can call me because I do them, but [laughs] we could do more of that. They’re in a place where they’re learning, and so they’re more open to these ideas. So having speakers come do more interactive things, I think are important. And colleges want to retain students too. They want to see their kids be healthy and graduate well. There’s a lot of pressure.
[01:01:52] I think also to educate your students about drug usage, especially when marijuana and mushrooms and things like that are almost like no big deal. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had people have psychotic episodes from both of those. So I’m always like, “Kids, stick to clean liquor. Have a buddy when you’re drinking. Cover your cup.” You know what I mean, as my mother would say. So educate them, don’t assume, never shame your kids, try to really be there and relatable and let them fail a little bit before. It’s really important to let your kids fail. I can’t tell you how much it helps you develop grit.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:02:34] Yeah. No, I can’t agree more. We just published a podcast with Dr. Yi talking. He’s an Addiction and Holistic Psychiatrist, and he was talking about, this is not the pot from the 1970s.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:02:47] No, it’s not.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:02:47] There is so much more potent that it is a gateway drug, that it does developmentally impact young brains quite significantly. We talked a lot about fentanyl and how that’s working its way into so many different things. I really have to echo a lot of your concerns. Now, one thing we didn’t talk much about today, but we did get a couple of questions around are supplements. I know that you’re an advocate of lifestyle first. And so what supplements, as a clinical psychologist, do you feel like most of your patients benefit from in terms of supporting mental health? Because I know that you have a new product that’s out that I want to make sure we highlight because I think everyone needs more magnesium in their lives.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:03:28] Yeah. [laughs] Well, my company is called Neurotastic, and I developed a magnesium because I do believe it is the number one nutrient we need for children’s brains, but all brains. And I put in the most bioavailable forms of magnesium that really go in and start supporting the brain immediately. So magnesium is a non-negotiable for me, as well as vitamin D. The combination is pretty incredible. And then when I really look out, what are the top things kids are affected with? So almost 10% of the US population has ADHD, 9.5% have anxiety. I think that’s a low-ball estimate, by the way that’s the CDC and it’s before the pandemic. And then depression is, it says it’s only about 5%, but 15% of 13-year-olds to 17-year-olds have depression. And so when I think about what do people need, it’s a lot of focus, it’s a lot of anxiety. And there’s also behavioral issues in there too, about almost 10% have a behavioral issue.
[01:04:35] So what are other things that really help? So I am a big fan of an inositol in terms of calming the nervous system, really, really helping to regulate it. It’s easy to use. Cynthia’s got the powder. You can just pop it in. You can even mix it with magnesium to throw it in a smoothie. It’s just easy. It also really can help you. Both of those can help lower those stress levels for sleep, which I think most of our teens are just not getting good quality sleep and they’re shortchanging their sleep to do their homework. Don’t you agree?
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:05:06] Yeah, I totally agree. And in fact, my youngest, who has heavy school workload, he takes magnesium dutifully and inositol every night because he said it helps his brain shut off.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:05:19] Yeah, see?
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:05:20] In a good way.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:05:21] In a good way. I also think a lot of kids of all ages are poor eaters and low zinc is associated with restrictive eating and poor eating. So zinc is great. You always take it with food because if your kid doesn’t, they’re going to get nauseous and they’ll refuse to take it. So I think zinc is that– And a really good probiotic, a broad-spectrum probiotic. Sometimes, my autistics, I put them on a good probiotic, bam. They’ll call me, they’ll be like, “This probiotic is doing something.” Not even just pooping, but just helping them be more regulated and alert because stress lowers your good bacteria in your gut, and we need it for neurotransmitters.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:06:02] [unintelligible [01:06:01] that you use with your autistic patients.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:06:08] I like two brands. I like designs for health that ProbioMed. That’s like there’s a hundred billion. I think I said it wrong. And Klaire Labs with a K makes some really good ones that’s refrigerated. Those tend to be, what I feel like, are good broad spectrum, good in general. A lot of my people get poop tests, so we can see what is going on. I don’t think you need a poop test. Maybe just get yourself a good broad spectrum. I am working on a probiotic for the brain and to help mental health. But there are some good ones on the market for sure. Is there for you? Do you have certain brands that you like?
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:06:47] Yeah. I definitely like the ProbioMed, the 50 or the 100. I do like megaspore, so a spore based. So they’re soil based and spore based. Megaspore is great, unless you are prone to constipation and then it might make you more constipated, which is a whole separate issue. And then I do like Klaire Labs. It really depends, because for me, it’s always like, “What do you need?”
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:07:11] What do you need? Are you struggling with detox? Are you struggling with this, for sure? Yeah
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:07:17] Yeah. But I think even before I think about formal probiotics, which there’s absolutely a place for them. I’m always thinking about probiotic rich foods because those are equally important. So fermented veggies, I can usually get everyone to do those.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:07:30] Absolutely.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:07:31] Yogurt. Like a high-quality yogurt. Those are certainly helpful. If people tolerate dairy like kefir, things like that, I think can be very helpful because most of us need more beneficial bacteria.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:07:43] Totally.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:07:43] [unintelligible [01:07:43] microbiome. So I do think those are all really super helpful. Well, let my listeners know how to connect with you, to your blogs, to your amazing podcast to get your Megtastic, which is– Magnesium L-threonate?
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:07:57] Yeah. It has L-threonate, and it has glycinate, and it is really just designed to get right into the brain. And for people that don’t know L-threonate, which most people don’t because it’s not in a lot of magnesium because it’s really expensive.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:08:10] It is so expensive because it is proprietary
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:08:12] Its only form that goes right into the crosses the blood brain barrier. So you’re really getting a direct hit right in [laughs] your brain. I made it ridiculously tasty. It tastes like lemonade. It’s not called lemonade because nobody wanted it to be called lemonade. So we call it berry calm[?] because it’s a berry lemonade. And every one of our kids that have either bought it or tried it, all the feedback has been they like it. So that was really important to me. So it is for adults too. So we made it where it’s a powder. It has a scooper that’s designed for three different types of doses for kids four and up. So you can find me everywhere at drrozanne.com. So D-R-R-O-S-E-A-N-N dotcom.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:08:56] Awesome. Well, always a pleasure to connect with you, my friend. This is our third podcast together and probably our best yet.
Roseann Capanna-Hodge: [01:09:02] Yeah. Well, I always love this podcast. You’re on my listening roster, and I listen to podcasts every day. And today’s a Sunday, and I listen to podcasts even on Sunday. So thank you. Just to leave off to all the parents that are here, you’re doing a great job. You are doing the best you can. You don’t know until you know. So if something resonated today, please leave a review for Cynthia, go and get help, take action of some kind, because we always think one day, but as I always say, today is got be day one, and you can’t invest more in your child’s mental health. Sometimes it feels really scary, but when you get the right guidance, wow, it can really turn things around quick.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:09:46] Absolutely.
Cynthia Thurlow: [01:09:49] If you love this podcast episode, please leave a rating and review, subscribe and tell a friend.