By Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Loss of Motivation
I am regularly being contacted by parents of young teenage boys 13-14, about their son having suddenly lost all motivation for school work and even sports.
“All he wants to do is sleep in, lounge around and play video games,” is a common comment.
"He is skipping classes and his grades are going down.”
“I’m worried about him getting into alcohol and experimenting with drugs.”
Of course, the teenage years can be challenging for any family, but taking a closer look at a couple of the biological parameters underlying some of these issues may lead to some surprisingly helpful changes your teenage son.
He just may get off the couch and start attending classes again, be less grumpy and perhaps even be less tempted by alcohol and drugs.
Vitamin D deficiency is endemic in Canada, thanks for long winters, diets low in cod liver oil and people being indoors so much. One of the best tests for prevention of many diseases if a simple vitamin D test which you can ask your GP for or even order online.
It is very important for normal growth as the body can't absorb calcium without sufficient vitamin D. Vitamin K is also important, adults require about 250 mcg a day.
Homeopathically, there are tissue salts which may also help with the fast growth, especially Calc-phos 6D or 6X, which is a low-potency homeopathic preparation of Calcium phosphate. 2 tablets once or twice a day may help the body utilize calcium better and ease growing pains.
Kali-phos 6D or 6X may also help, especially from with the fatique and nervous exhaustion many teens experience.
The Dopamine Dragon
He was also playing a lot of video games, which can cause dopamine level depletion. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone released by experiencing pleasurable rewards such as eating, sex, the use of stimulant drugs as well as playing video games, all things popular with the teenage boy set. The male brain is especially wired to respond to domamine.
Overuse of such stimuli depletes dopamine which makes the person feel bad and drives them to seek more of the same stimuli, often creating a cycle of addiction, especially in males as their brains are more driven by dopamine than those of females.
Fortunately, some simple dietary and herbal interventions can help the teenage boy brain recover faster from dopamine slumps. I advised the pair to include lots of high-quality protein in his diet, especially for breakfast.
An undenatured-whey-protein smoothie can be a good start to the day or as a snack anytime. Adding some digestive enzymes to the smoothie and letting it sit for 10 minutes before consuming can help to start the protein break-down into free amino acids which can be readily absorbed by the body and quickly used by the brain.
Adding some good fats such as MCT oil, fish oil and ghee and provide much needed support for brain cell membranes.
There you have it, understanding teenage growth and dopamine levels can make your day after all! Of course sometimes other intervention is needed so if this does not improve your son’s disposition please consider coming in for an office visit.
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH, Classical and Modern Homeopathy.
Questions? I offer a free 15-20 minutes meet and greet consultation via phone or skype. You can book online
Anke Zimmermann, BSc, FCAH
Classical and Modern Homeopathy
Sooke, BC, Canada
Serving families in Sooke, Metchosin, Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Greater Vancouver Island, BC, as well as internationally via zoom/telehealth.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6 and alternating Saturdays from 10-4