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Help with meltdowns/mood lability


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Hi, I'm hoping someone can help. My son (7) just began antibiotics (Zithromax) and he is currently having increasingly difficult-to-manage mood swings, meltdowns, and crying. I guess, possible herx? Does anyone have any advice on how to manage this? Nothing seems to help. Thank you!

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My son was older when PANDAs struck him (12), but we still saw lots of meltdowns, mood swings and generally age-inappropriate behavior.  I don't know about these being the result of a herx.  I attribute my DS's behavior during that period to just feeling overwhelmingly anxious and out of control...his executive functioning was basically nil, so all of the things that had previously come naturally to him and he could do well and with joy, were no longer available to him.  That was incredibly distressing and frustrating, so his emotions were constantly taking over and he'd melt into a puddle of dysfunction.  I might suggest the following:

  1. Eliminate all but the essential activities for a while so that he's not over-stimulated and/or expected to "handle himself" in as many stressful situations, even if they all were fine before;
  2. Try using anti-inflammatory and/or calming meds and/or supplements to help his brain "settle down" a little while the abx do their thing (ibuprofen, valerian root, etc.);
  3. To the extent possible, build lots of "breaks" into his day to allow him to rest and regroup as managing oneself under this level of stress is very tiring, emotionally, mentally and physically, so he's probably in need of some quiet breaks during which he's not expected to play with others, engage with others, etc.;
  4. While you make the preceding accommodations, don't entirely forego your family routine, age-appropriate expectations, etc.  Decide what non-negotiables you'll continue to enforce so that he knows there is still structure, support and boundaries even while he heals.  It will help him feel safe, secure and less out-of-control in the end.

All the best to you, and good luck!

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Thank you so much for your help. It is so heart breaking watching him struggle- and we aren't even in a flare. I will try to eliminate what I can but unfortunately I can't do anything about school- which I think might just be too much for him. I will talk to them about giving him breaks, but it's so hard to get them to understand what he is going through because he is currently keeping it together there. It's at home he's a mess. I will try valerian! Thanks I hadn't thought of that. 

I really appreciate your help!

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Other detox things that have been helpful--take the edge off have been:

Charcoal pills (time dosing away from other meds)

Zen (glutamine & L-theanine)

Alkalizing drinks (xylitol lemonade or alkaseltzer gold (DS didnt like taste)

Ibuprofen around the clock

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