Monday, August 23, 2010

Niacin trial, wish us luck! (And make suggestions if you'd like!)

We're not having major issues, but we're just banging our heads against the walls over the minor ones, that feel major when it's all day every day.
Em is a perfectionist and at the first sign of imperfection, she melts then can't think straight. She's so disappointed (that she won't earn our love, which we try in vain to freely give) in herself, that she can't make any logical decisions. It's not raging or lying or anything destructive (so I suppose I should be thankful) but it's sooooooo annoying and has to be hard on her. If I ask a question too sharply or quickly, her brain snaps and you can actually see it. She tries so hard to figure out what I want her to say/do/think when I just want her actual answer.
If I lovingly say psst, Em, what would you like for dinner tonight? She'd come up with something.
If I appear upset, am upset, or ask too quickly, Em! What do you want for dinner? She'll stumble, I um, don't know, what do you, I mean, what, um, what dinner, when, ah, whaaaaaaaa... tears tears and shaking.
I get it, and I try, but sometimes I just want to know her opinion for dinner without all the drama or super careful question planning!
She's also so hyper alert when it comes to me, you know, the mom who tries to love her. At church I was rubbing her neck/hair and could see that she'd visibly relax WHEN I STOPPED! Both boys would relax, lean into it, keep moving if I stopped, etc. But not Em, too scary. Get that love stuff outta here.
So I'm wondering if Niacin will help? I read about Niacin on Christine's blog and bought some tonight. I don't know, but just wonder if it will help with her feeling like she has to be perfect. I know that has to come from fear/shame/something, and I know if she doesn't quit doing it, I'll be tempted to quit caring about it! I'm not sure about the boys. Mr does similar melt downs with questions, but he doesn't have the perfection issues. He just can't handle pressure of any type! But he's about ODD and ADD mixed with coordination problems and low self esteem, so an accident happening (not waiting to happen)! Not sure if Niacin will help him or not. Thoughts?
I also want to try Theanine (recommended by our AT), especially for the boys too. From wikipedia: "Theanine has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress, and improves cognition and mood in a synergistic manner with caffeine."
The reducing mental stress and improving cognition sounds helpful here! Has anyone tried Theanine?? Would love your input!


BT said...

I read about niacin on Christine's blog too. We decided to try it on our RADling P, who was newly 10 at the time. He's 10.5 now. P did not have the extreme moodiness/drama you describe in Em, but he was somewhat erratic in his moods nonetheless. And of course supremely hypervigilant. He was about 4.5 years post-adoption at that point, and had done a ton of settling and work on healing and had made tremendous progress. But he could just get so grouchy or off kilter seemingly too easily, with reactions that were disproportionate to the provocation. We started with 500 mg of niacin, three times per day -- one tablet with each meal. After a few days (fewer than what Christine said it would be -- I blogged about it but can't remember now, but Dia commented that they'd seen changes in a timeframe similar to ours), we saw incredible changes. (Also, P described that the "flush" from the niacin became lessened as his system seemed to adjust to it.) After about a month, with many missed midday dosings, we backed off to two dosings a day: breakfast and dinner. That is what we have stuck with. This has been one of the single biggest developments I've observed in our boy. There has never been a big -- or really any -- reversal in the changes we observed after starting the niacin. Of course, it could be a placebo effect, it could be wishful thinking on my part, it could be that between then and now he achieved the milestone of being with us for half his life (as much time with us as not with us), it could be that he's just naturally mellowing out, it could be all the other attachment stuff we do on an ongoing basis. But the changes we saw after starting the niacin were dramatic -- I don't think anything else we've ever tried produced as dramatic results. Please keep us posted how it goes on your end. It's always helpful to collect "data" from others.

Chris P-M said...

Wow, thanks for posting. Our son started on an SSRI a couple of weeks ago and we're still waiting to see the results. He's got quite a trauma history, and we're willing to do whatever works!


Christine said...

It will not take away the deep seeded hurt, shame and beliefs - at all. Nope.

BUT, it may help their neurological system settle. Meaning, it can help their brain to not turn everything into an irrational extreme. They still feel those feelings, but they don't feel them "on crack," if you will.

What happened in our home was that the immediate freak out stopped to a GREAT degree. So, I could make a request without a massive blow up. But then, we actually had to really get to work, because we could finally move forward and start to have some actual therapeutic conversations.

Does that make sense? It's like you can't get to the heart of it all for the clouds in the way. The niacin can help lift the clouds, but you still have to deal with what is underneath.

I will say, while it's not a magic pill ... IT IS WONDERFUL when it is what a kid needs and actually brings benefits.


marythemom said...

A friend of mine recommended using a "Flush Free" brand of Niacin and we haven't seen the flush, but I also haven't noticed any effects, but I don't think we're using high enough doses. We're up to about 750mg (2 tabs in the morning and one in the evening). My son is 225lbs.

Mary in TX