Mental health problems and stress affect everyone, before the pandemic hit, and certainly after. We all know the importance of developing healthy coping techniques and reducing our stress levels. But did you know it’s equally important to instill these values in children, too? Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge joins me to talk about her work focused on helping parents and children develop healthy stress management skills from a young age.
Listen to the Episode
How to Mitigate and Support Your Nervous System in Ten Minutes a Day
- Intentful Breathwork
About Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge
Dr. Roseann is a mental health trailblazer, founder of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health, and Dr. Roseann & Associates. She is, “Changing the way we view and treat children’s mental health”.
FORBES magazine called her, “A thought leader in children’s mental health”. Her work has helped thousands of people reverse the most challenging conditions, such as ADHD, anxiety, mood, autism, learning disability, Lyme, and PANS/PANDAS using PROVEN holistic therapies such as neurofeedback, biofeedback, and psychotherapy.
She is the author of the first-ever book on teletherapy activities for child and adolescent therapists, “Teletherapy Toolkit™️”, It’s Gonna be OK!™️ book, and The Get Unstuck Program™️, which are resources for parents to reverse their child’s symptoms.
She is often featured on dozens of media outlets including Fox, CBS, NBC, FORBES, PARENTS, and New York Times.
The Problem with Stress
Dr. Roseann talks about how stress affects every single person living on this planet. It attacks our autonomic nervous system and has a truly detrimental impact on our entire body and health. Roseann’s work focuses on children and how parents can help them learn how to cope with stress from a young age.
Roseann explains what happens to each part of our bodies when we’re under stress. While we know it’s practically impossible to eradicate stress in your life, it is possible to learn how to reduce your stress levels and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Long-term and chronic stress is devastating for your body, so it’s essential that you figure out ways to cope better.
She urges the importance of developing these methods as an adult. By modeling appropriate behaviors for managing stress, parents can help instill these values and habits in their children, helping set them up for a more resilient life.
Developing Healthy Coping Habits
Roseann shares some habits to do every single day, such as breathwork and meditation, that can help reduce your stress levels. She encourages getting your kids involved, too, so they start building on these habits themselves.
Another technique to model and help your children with is healthy problem-solving. Kids these days aren’t learning how to solve problems, so it’s our responsibility as parents to help them develop this skill. Moreso, we can encourage our children that it’s okay to feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, that those feelings are important.
Finally, we talk about how therapy is an essential practice for mental wellness. Roseann explains how teletherapy, phone-only therapy, is making talking therapy more accessible, which means that more and more people have access to mental health help.
No one ever regrets going to therapy – only if they don’t. If you think you or your children could benefit from talking therapy, please seek out a qualified therapist or teletherapist to help you. Or, call the Integrative Health and Hormone Clinic today and schedule your first appointment at 319-363-0033.
“We have to change the way we view mental health. We have to change the way we’re treating it. Everybody’s mental health is worsening prior to the pandemic and certainly during the pandemic. We need to do something different. The basis of my work is to use evidence-based approaches which we are not doing in mental health.” [6:36]
“Unless we intendedly practice ways to regulate our nervous system, that chronic stress has to have a physical outcome. You cannot live in a chronic stress state.” [9:04]
“Our kids are not understanding how to problem solve. We need to teach kids and accept for ourselves that it is okay to be uncomfortable. We are supposed to be uncomfortable at times. That is our alert system. Emotions are uncomfortable. Anxiety, worry, sadness, grief: these are normal emotions. We have to experience them, deal with them, and move on.” [33:06]
“Nobody ever regrets getting help. They only regret when they don’t. If you have a child with any kind of mental health symptom, they’re showing evidence of worry (stomach aches, headaches, cyclical night vomiters), go and get help. The longer these behaviors go on, the harder they are to unwind.” [40:05]
In This Episode
- How stress affects our nervous system [7:30]
- What happens to your body under stress [11:00]
- How parents can build a resilient mindset in their children [31:15]
- The importance of teaching your children to problem solve and manage stress [37:30]
- How teletherapy can support mental health [38:30]
Links & Resources
Additional Resources Mentioned
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 0:03
We have to change the way we view mental health and we have to change the way we're treating it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 0:12
Welcome to the your longevity blueprint podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Stephanie gray. My number one goal with the show is to help you discover your personalized plan to build your dream health and live a longer, happier, truly healthier life. You're about to hear from Dr. Roseanne Capanna Hodge, I know this is a longevity podcast. But longevity starts in the womb. It starts as children, we need to raise healthy children and when our children aren't healthy, that stress can affect our health and longevity as well. So today, we're going to talk about stress as the greatest barrier to healing and how parents can get their child unstuck and reverse their child's mental health. Today, we're going to dive deep specifically into children's mental health and boy have I brought in an expert for this. Let's get started.
Thanks for joining me for another episode of The your longevity blueprint podcast. Today I have on Dr. Rosanna Capanna Hodge, who I'm going to be calling Dr. Roseanne, she's a mental health Trailblazer, founder of the global institute of children's mental health and Dr. Rosen and associates who is changing the way we view and treat children's mental health. Forbes magazine calls her a thought leader in children's mental health. Her work has helped 1000s reverse the most challenging conditions such as ADHD anxiety, autism, learning disability, Lyme and pandas using proven holistic therapies, such as neurofeedback, biofeedback and psychotherapy. She's the author of the first ever book on teletherapy activities for Child and Adolescent therapists, that teletherapy toolkit, it's going to be okay book and the get unstuck program which are resources for parents to reverse their children's symptoms. He's often featured on dozens of media outlets, including Fox, CBS, NBC, Forbes, parents and New York Times. So welcome, Dr. Roseanne. Well, thanks for having me, Stephanie. I'm excited to have this conversation with you about mental health. Well, I want to hear your story. I want to hear how you became passionate about children's mental health. You are a trailblazer. But let's start at the beginning. So where does your story start?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 2:10
I do think there's two legs to my story. So I am the daughter of Italian immigrants. And you know, my whole life, there's been an emphasis on food and food is medicine and in taking care of yourself, and really a lot of connectedness, through family and that importance of that. And when I was growing up, I remember being five. And then my mom's friend, Angela asked me what I wanted to be. And I told her a psychiatrist. And I really believe it was a calling and a divine intervention. Because I knew nothing about mental health. I wasn't in a family with mental health. I'm the daughter of Italian immigrants who were entrepreneurs. And I just from that moment on just would tell people, I want to be a psychiatrist. I then realized that tourists are basically pill pushers, and I changed that to being a psychologist, but it truly was my calling. So I knew that I was going to work in mental health from a very early age. And that was really all that I wanted to ever do.
And then, when I started working in mental health, which was an undergraduate, I already was working in psycho psychiatric hospitals at the age of 20. And was doing a lot of different types of volunteer work in kids that highly distressed kids living in impoverished areas, I would go in and do tutoring and volunteer and work with their and was able to see the impact. So easily my impact could be and as I started working professionally with kids, I started to notice that, you know, kids weren't responding to even good psychotherapy and play therapy and that they were just too activated there too much going on. There was lots of layers, they had health issues, got issues, sleep problems. And you know, the complexity of the problems. were increasing lots of autism, lots of autism with OCD, and ADHD, and just layers and layers and layers and layers. And so when I had one case, that changed everything for me, and it was working with a boy named Alec. And he to this day had the most severe case of ADHD I've ever seen. He couldn't do anything for more than a few seconds. And he had an IQ that was in the 99th percentile, meaning that out of you know, 100 kids, he was smarter than 99 of them.
But he couldn't produce anything. Stephanie he was essentially like I like to say like a wild animal. I could turn my head and he would literally be climbing a wall. And, you know, his mom tried medications and he had a lot of terrible side effects. He had cardiac problems from the Add medications and worsening of symptoms. So a few months go by and his mom called me and said, Hey, you know, Roseanne, what do you About neurofeedback, we're considering doing this with Alec and I said, Hey, I wrote a paper on it in grad school. And it's amazing. There's a lot of research on it. So off she went, and she had a drive three times a week, an hour and 10 minutes each way. And I'm in the middle of town. And we have like this sort of bucolic adorable little town in the northeast here. And all of a sudden, I see this kid in front of me, and it's Alec and he puts his hands out, he looks me in the eye. And he says, How you doing Dr. Roseanne, and I turned to his mother. And I said, an expletive and I was like, what the medication you have this Get on.
And she said that's 40 sessions, a neurofeedback and my world completely changed after that, as much as I had learned about it, it wasn't something that was easy to get trained in, it's costly to get trained in, and I went and got trained. And since that point, I've treated 1000s. And 1000s of people have had many stories of my own, like Alec, who, by the way, is a complete adult, and is the most chill, young person I know. And he came back to me in high school and did an internship with me. So he graduated high school at 16. graduated high school at 16. So I got to learn so much and see what happened to him and what joy he brings to my life, to know that he literally has completely reversed his mental health issues. It's pretty incredible. So that's my that's how I got involved. And my overall mission, why I started the global institute of children's mental health is we have to change the way we view mental health and we have to change the way we're treating it. Kids are getting worse. Forget about just kids, all adults, everybody's mental health is worsening, prior to the pandemic.
And certainly during this pandemic, I have seen things out of people without a history of struggle and anxiety and whatnot have mental health distress, that's out of character, and maybe the first time they've ever experienced it. So we need to do something different. And my the basis of my work is to use evidence based approaches, which we are not doing in mental health, we are essentially guessing, and then doing whack a mole with treatment.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 7:15
That's so good, awesome story. So I'm sure the listeners are wondering, Well, what is neurofeedback and I want to get to that, but let me go back for a moment to you mentioning how this year has just this pandemic has increased stress among so many people. So let's talk about stress. I know that's one of your areas of expertise. So how does stress affect our nervous system? Stress
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 7:35
always affects our nervous system. And there's stress that we have every day that we have an experience our nervous system activates, goes into what we call if you know anything about an autonomic nervous system or an ans, our nervous system will get stressed will make it rise and go more towards a sympathetic or higher stress state. And then as you regulate and you the stressor goes away, it goes down into a parasympathetic state. Well, what's happening is just about everybody I see I don't see anybody without this has prolonged stress, right. So you know, what are sources of prolonged stress? First of all, our body knows no difference between good and bad stress, right? So you know, Stephanie, you and I are doing things we're super passionate about. We love helping so many people, but we work a lot.
And I just had, you know, a book launch, I'm getting ready for another book to come out actually three other books to come out. Wow. And because I chose to overstressed my nervous system and write four books during COVID because I got all excited. But I do things everyday to regulate my nervous system. So as our nervous system gets more and more activated, it becomes more difficult physiologically for our nervous system to get back to that what I call the hot tub, chill out, parasympathetic state, which it's supposed to idle lower to that state, unless we intentionally practice ways to regulate our nervous system, that chronic stress has to have a physical outcome there is you cannot live in a chronic stress state.
And that is often surprising to people because they'll say like, I mean, one of the most stressful experiences people have is planning a wedding. Right? one of the happiest things you'll ever experience this because there's a lot of details it's stressful, people get act weird. Around the wedding, like your Aunt Betty may get furious with you because she's seated next year to your uncle john, who she hasn't talked to in 10 years, it brings up a lot of stuff. So that isn't your stuff. It's theirs. So we have to take care of our nervous system because without that, we then get as you know Stephanie physical problems and everything from hair loss to weight gain to chronic Pain. I've never met anybody with chronic pain who didn't have chronic stress.
But we also can tip the scale to anxiety, and depression and OCD, and a lot of other clinical mental health and symptoms and disorders, which can be very surprising for people because they think, or they're led to believe, by pharma that all mental health problems have a biochemical genetic component is not the truth. You can be chronic stress, it could be inflammation, or way more common sources of mental health problems like anxiety, ADHD, and depression, then any genetic problem could be
Dr. Stephanie Gray 10:38
totally agree. So where does where does psycho immunology come in?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 10:42
psycho analogy is, you know, basically what's happened is, is everybody stressed out, and there's a whole field of study that looks at the impact of stress on our immune system. So another big surprise to people is that when you are stressed, your body thinks it's going to war. And it's going to take all of its resources and prepare for war. And when I mean, all of its resources, your neurotransmitters, your immune system, your hormones, everything is going to activate and try to figure out what this unknown stressor is. And in the case, when people have chronic disease states like Lyme disease, or asthma, or any chronic disease state, your body will ignore a known what we call antigen or an issue, right.
So if there's something in your system, like a tick borne illness, which is so common, it's going to ignore it, because it's like, I know what that is. Let me go try to figure out what the stressor is. And it's good to divert resources away from the healing of that issue, and go after the stressor. And that's where all of these issues, autoimmune diseases, physical diseases, they exacerbate, they linger, they are unable to heal without good care. So that stress activation of the nervous system is an absolute blocker to physical healing. And that's what psycho immunology is, we know this, we know the body cannot heal when it is in a stress activated state.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 12:22
But when you bring COVID to the situation, and everyone's stressed out about COVID, well, when you're stressed out, should you be exposed, then your immune system has more, we'll just say compromised or distracted or like you said, That's directing resources towards the stressor, not not necessarily towards the potential infection. 100% Stephanie, this is why we need this year more than ever, we need to not be in that stressed state that you're referring to.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 12:45
Yeah. And people can mitigate and support their nervous system and as little as 10 minutes a day. So you know, I'm always about psychoeducation, educating people about what is happening in their brain and body. But even more, so I'm about teaching people all the ways to change your mental health. And it starts with regulating that nervous system. And you can do intentful breathwork, you can do meditation, you can do biofeedback, there is a lot of things you can do. Yeah, just got to do it. And you got to do it every day. You can't say I'm going to do it tomorrow. It's the same thing like with working out one day a week ain't gonna cut it, you know, the muscle ain't gonna be built with 52 training sessions in a year. You know what I mean? So you got to put the effort in, and there's no better investment than ourselves.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 13:35
100% Yep. So how does stress also impact our brain or our cognitive functioning? pain? You mentioned mental health as well. But so how does stress impact those areas of health? Not just our immune system?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 13:48
Yeah. So there's a logic and a common sense here, right? And so when you are highly stressed, right, you can't think straight. And we know that feeling that the worry thoughts filter in pain signals activate, and that pulls from our thinking, so many people right now and COVID are coming into me saying I can't focus. I'm struggling with attention for the first time, right and thinking, well, maybe I was ADHD and I just didn't know I'm here to tell you. If those symptoms of ADHD didn't show up before age seven, you're not really ADHD is much more likely to be stress. You know, when we think about extreme situations, Stephanie, like my kid almost drowned in the pool and I was right there. And you right away as soon as I even say that to you, you a panicky feeling comes over right? you activate even just thinking about it for somebody else. When we are in this activated state. That is what happens to our brain.
Our brain is not sinking in and connecting to what is happening in that moment. And you are essentially destroyed. affected by those worrisome thoughts or physical activations in your body headaches, stomach aches, pain, because you are essentially stressed out. And you know, again, you can unwind that there's no pill for that. You have to do that work to regulate your nervous system and learn then learn news ways to not fall in those patterns, right? That's incredibly healthy, healthy for you to respond. And we all have different ways to cope, that and some are healthy, and some aren't. And we hopefully, we're not perfect beings. But most of the time, we want to make those healthy responses.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 15:38
I recently slammed my son's fingers in the front door. I I know and many parents say it's not the first time this is going to happen. These things happen. This is the first time that I felt such sense of guilt. He had his teeny little fingers of our group is getting fixed because we have this land hurricane hit us here. Everybody's rooting me. Thanks. I'm trying to talk to the roofer. Little did I know his little fingers were around the front door I shut literally shut the door on his fingers. And I'm talking to the roofer and I turn around and hear him screaming. I don't even like thinking about it, but just talking about it right. I'm getting in that fight or flight mode. Yeah. So long story short, I'm calling urgent care because I'm trying to figure out if I need to take him to the emergency room. And they asked me his date of birth. I had no idea. I don't even know No. First time I had I had experienced that sort of You're so stressed out. You're so worried that Eric is yelling his birthday from the other room while he's trying to calm him down is screaming now that I've experienced that I can totally see. Right, yes, that that that date of birth was not important to my body at that course.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 16:40
And you know, Stephanie, you're not the first person to do that. I could share some great mom stories with you and us moms were so hard on ourselves. Like, you've got to give yourself some self love and make sure you're hanging out with other moms who love you,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 16:54
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 16:54
They don't love you find new friends. And a tribe. Nobody is cruel to us, right? Because we didn't know we had kids, we were gonna worry so much. You know, nobody tells you that. But this is such a great example. Right? What happens in an extreme? Well, what I think most people don't realize is your body starts getting there on its own. And it starts reacting to benign things, like the light at night, or the sound of the highway in your office. Like it starts reacting to things it shouldn't because it's in a stress hyper activation. And so you cannot live there, right? You don't have to, you can walk it down. We have to stop thinking that again, there's a quick fix. This didn't happen overnight. You've got to do the work, right. And yes, I talk about things like biofeedback and neurofeedback and breath work, but it also means eating well. That's often the quickest way you can hack into your nutrition, like what you put in your mouth affects your brain people. People often say to me, like you're Italian and you're gluten free. And I'm like, absolutely 100% like, it's actually pretty easy. They're like, Don't you have pasta, I'm like, there's gluten free pasta. Like, it's good. It's really good because 45% of Italians have celiac. So they've gotten some good stuff over there in Italy. So you can go to Italy and go gluten free and they're like, Okay, so
Dr. Stephanie Gray 18:31
let's talk about some of these tools because some of the parents that are listening may not be aware of what neurofeedback or biofeedback are and I 100% agree I keep saying 100% of this podcast that we have to lay a foundation of healthy eating that is number one. That's why I'm one yes, that's why chapter one in my book is all about gut health. We have to lay that foundation Yeah, but but let's talk about some of these other tools and how you use those with your clients. Yeah, I
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 18:56
mean, so we all believe in the foundation You know, my other book it's gonna be okay is all about the foundation to and my first chapters food to write
Dr. Stephanie Gray 19:06
great minds think alike.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 19:08
I mean, it's it's common sense people, you know what I mean? It's like and nobody wants to change your diet it's easier to change your religion than your diet, but you can do it you can do it in small steps. And guess what? You're going to love it like anybody who comes to my house. Oh is some goodie and in my house you can do it and like having just unbelievable yummy diet filled with nutrients and whatnot people always say like, Well how do your kids eat so good doctor bro and I'm like, Dre no garbage in my house. And they also do things like you know, ask for you know, we do a lot of dinner for breakfast on those kind of things. So you got a power packet. But you know, what is biofeedback? What is neurofeedback you know, I do something for myself every day I'm very into pulse electromagnetic frequency training, which I'll talk about but yeah, biofeedback and neurofeedback are cousins and biofeedback Back is having conscious control of what we call a fancy word, your autonomic nervous system and functions in your body. So basically, you're learning how to control your heart rate, your breast, your skin temperature, your muscles.
And both are done through with devices. So nothing comes through the wires in these. But in biofeedback, for example, you could learn how to warm up your hand. And by warming up your hand, your body goes into an alpha state, which is a super awesome feel good state, a lot of pain meds, increase alpha marijuana increases alpha alcohol increases alpha, you can replicate that same darn thing by looking at your hand and concentrating on it and telling your hand that you're going to heat up. And by doing that, that's biofeedback. There's a next level to it, you can get temperature dots, where you can see where your actual hand is getting hotter. And that is a form of giving feedback to the body to regulate the nervous system. Another awesome one is something called heart mass, which teaches you to regulate you do you use this? Stephanie? I have. Yeah, yeah. You regulate your heart rate and your breath together and it's awesome. It's great for anxiety, depression, focus, and it's inexpensive, easy to use. It's a great great tool and neurofeedback is different. neurofeedback, still nothing comes through the wires, which are hooked up to a computer.
And typically after having something called the QE g brain map, which is what I do and is my magic Juju. QE g brain map tells you exactly what is going on in the brain, you don't have to say, does this person have anxiety? Does this person have depression? You look at that brain map, and you're like, wow, this person not only has anxiety, but they're ruminator. And I'm seeing some evidence of some OCD in here. And then you can direct your questions. So you can see what's happening over the structures of the brain, we know exactly what the brain does. And it really just makes it very clear about what a person can and can't do. Is this add, can they focus? Oh, look, they have a sequencing problem. It's not really ADHD, it's a learning disability. So QED brain map tells you what's going on in the brain, you're able to see what happens over the structure, so you know exactly what the brain does. So you can say, Oh, this person has a problem with focus, they might be anxious, it's very clear. And then it lets me see how the brain is talking to itself.
And when you see with how the brain is talking to itself, you really can see how somebody processes so it really is clear. And from that when you do neurofeedback, you train certain areas that are either overworking and under working. When I mean train, the computer gives feedback to the subconscious. So for example, somebody comes in, they're in front of a computer, they're typically watching a movie. And they'll get different types of feedback like points, dinging bars, moving in the subconscious in two to three seconds from the first time it's hooked up, will start producing the exact healthy combination that you want it to. And over a series of sessions, you change the brain, you teach it to get into a healthy rhythm. So you teach it to go from feeling anxious and disconnected from your body to being in a rhythm where it's healthy, and it can tolerate stress, you then can make different choices and learn to act healthy without reacting in the same way. So it's some good stuff. I mean, it's something I've been doing for so long and has been around for over 50 years and has 10s of 1000s of research studies.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 23:41
So back to Alec I believe his name was Alec so that use neurofeedback, so he went through it sounds like a pretty rigorous program initially, but then what's the maintenance for something like this? Is it something that someone would have to continue or not know,
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 23:54
the research as far as 10 years out, show that it's lasting? I'm going to tell you a couple of situations where it's not somebody I do a lot of work with Lyme disease and pan's pandas infectious disease and chronic ailments, you know, ailments like cancer, I do a lot of MS and things like that Parkinson's, so if you have a medical problem that's not resolved, you often need some level of maintenance. It's not the same level and typically we can do something else. So you could have done neurofeedback and then you come in and do biofeedback every day. Regardless of what you do. You want to take that five to 10 minutes every day in practice, breath, work or meditate, right? We're gonna have stress. The other part of this is sometimes I get some extreme cases, which actually pretty much every day I get screaming, I'm sure you do too. So and I mean extreme layered, like lots of layers, right?
So when somebody has you know, they have ADHD and then they have chronic pain and then they have anxiety and just layers and layers and layers. So often I make people feel physically better, but they're not making behavioral changes. They avoid therapy. So you have to make changes and do different things to avoid the stress from coming back up. It's not like you're forever inoculated against stress. It's just for many of my people that I work with, it's the first time they've actually felt regulated, felt good, cannot react to things in own, you know, be so uncomfortable, that they avoid things, you know, fight flight or freeze responses. And you just have to learn a different way. But once the changes Alec, his changes are sustained. He I wasn't his provider, he winds up coming back to me at a later point.
And you know, his name has been changed everybody coming back to me at a later point because he was getting Lyme disease. And so that destabilized his brain to some degree, and that and head injuries, so people will often come to me after having a head injury when they've completed neurofeedback. So I tell everybody, if you get a head injury, go get yourself checked out, and then come to me right away, because we can get you back online. So head injuries amongst every age, a lot of adults is just a common common thing that people don't think because they're like, I didn't have a concussion. I wasn't knocked out. But it is a major, major obstacle in health. People often don't connect with a later symptom. Could be mental health could be physical.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 26:25
Very interesting. I have to go back to this brain scan. So what is the secret sauce that you have? What is this brain scan?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 26:31
Yeah, it's called the QE G. So people come in, and they put a cap on it measures through eg. Okay, so I'm looking at the brainwaves. So those brainwaves are put into a database. And you're compared to a database of people with issues and without, and it gives me a visual representation of what's going on in the brain. Okay, when I meet somebody, so for example, is a great example, again, I'm going to mask it right? Somebody came to me very classic people come to me with thinking it's one thing and it's another. So somebody came to me had been a treatment failure, gone from therapist, to therapist to therapist tried meds, and everything worse than to even the talk therapy worse than dead child, young child, you know, and his parents were like, there's got to be something else. Right.
And so they came in and said, it's generalized anxiety. That's what he's been diagnosed with. Right? So I do a brain map. And I was like, let's say no generalized anxiety. This is OCD, right, which is very honest and misunderstood. So when I saw his brain map, the first thing is I said, Oh, my gosh, this kid's a ruminator. Like, he is stuck. I said, has the OCD started? And they looked at each other. And they were like, what, why do you know that? And I was like, Well, you could see it in his brain, you can see that he has repetitive patterns. So you could see the structures weren't working. But then over those structures that are associated with rumination and OCD. He had low activities to like, his brain was like, he just wasn't working. But then the communication areas were hyper locked. He had massive, you know, hyper communication, you can't ignore that part of the brain, you know exactly what that is the behavior you should see.
So the great news is, we're able to accurately identify it, there's a very different type of psychotherapy for OCD than there is anxiety. Very, very different talk therapy is like the worst thing you can do for OCD. And so many people spend decades going to talk therapist when they really have OCD. So it was just starting to come out, he was starting to reveal that he had obsessive thoughts. And so his parents were like, I can't believe you know, now we can do that. So I also said, it's very obvious with this pattern, his brain that he's disconnecting from his body, and they were like, he just said, it's like, I'm looking at myself, and I don't know who that is, you know, and I was like, Okay, so then it's a very, you then can then target his therapy, right? So he's got to learn how to get in his body. If we disassociate, right, we never can connect, you will be stuck, because you're trying to come in to the cognitive which is you've disconnected. So we're using taking a very evidence based approach.
So these brain maps I can see gut health in there Stephanie, I can see nutrient deficiencies in there. It's it's on the money is pretty accurate. Sometimes people fly into me for just a brain map, and then go on their merry way. And I do a lot of work with functional doctors. I mean, I believe in using functional labs, you know, lots of support through addressing genetic mutations through supplements, diet, and then regulating their nervous system. Great psychotherapy, but psychotherapy. RP is essentially a waste of time, if you don't have a regulated nervous system, and I'm not even saying perfectly regulated Stephanie, I'm saying sort of in a normal range.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 30:12
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Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 31:25
So let's talk about resiliency over these almost 30 years have been in mental health, I'd say the biggest thing I've seen is a trend towards anxiety with a lack of stress tolerance and resilience. for a lot of reasons, we are very much over focusing on academics, and not social emotional learning. And there are things parents can do today that can help change that and your kid could be 18, or your kid could be two, and it's never too late. They can be 27. And you can start doing this resiliency and developing a resiliency mindset. You know, having a resiliency mindset, there's three parts of resiliency, it's how you view things, stress, how you manage it, and how you recover. And for those people that have somebody in their life, adult, a child who is struggling with stress, you already know that there is a breakdown.
And one of those things, if not all three, are more extreme mental health, anxiety, depression, how you view manage and recover from stress is never going to be the same as somebody who has an emotionally healthy response. And it really starts with how you view things. And we can teach them coping skills in that's super, super important. So let's talk about what we can do today. So as a parent, number one, you can role model appropriate ways to deal with stress. Even more than that, you can actually have what we call a metacognitive. talk out loud discussion about how you're managing stress and problem solving. So our kids are not understanding how to problem solve. And we need to teach kids and we need to accept for ourselves that it is okay to be uncomfortable. We are supposed to be uncomfortable at times.
That is our alert system. Image emotions are uncomfortable, anxiety, worry, sadness, grief, these are normal emotions, we have to experience them, deal with them and move on. When you shove them down. When you avoid them. They will always creep back up. And taking a pill is not going to teach you how to manage them. That's so good. Yep. So we have to start with that. So when we talk out loud, you know, I use the example of so I got a speeding ticket. I was with my 10 year old who's like a 57 year old, he's like the coolest kid. And he, he I was like, Hey, I'm getting pulled over. You know, it's pretty okay. And afterwards, you know, he was there. And I said, Are you okay? And he's like, yeah, I mean, it's long overdue. My
picture was really funny. And I checked in and I was like, you know, some people could have freaked out and cried and got all mad, and I was like, he's like, but you're not gonna do that. Because, you know, you kind of deserve them. Like, I don't really deserve that, you know? And I was like, this is an opportunity for me to be like, Okay, and then I told them my ticket was $393. Wow. And I went through what the consequences were of that the really the key part of that was not to freak out. And guess what I had freaked out. And when I do freak out, I process it and say, I freaked out because of this. What could I have done differently? So I think emphasizing for yourself, but also one thing Have fun with your kids when they have a meltdown afterwards. Say, let's talk about some different ways we could have handled that. Right.
And you know, your teenager may growl at you because they're supposed to growl at you, but have a conversation, right? My teenager couldn't get something to work in the compost last night, and he got upset, right? And I was like, hold on, let's think of another problem. And he was like, Dad, could you come out with me? And he was like, Okay. And then he came back in, I was like, Look, I'm only worried about how you manage stress, we got to figure things out. He's like, okay, you know, he was good about it. But if I had grabbed him in the moment of getting upset, that was a bad opportunity. So I reinforced, so provide reinforcement for problem solving, even attempts for problem solving, and help your kids be good problem solvers.
We know we think academics are the road to success, I'm going to tell you, the most successful people in life has very high emotional IQs. They are connected to others, and they are connected to themselves. by teaching kids coping skills, ways to manage these uncomfortable feelings independently, we are helping our kids be stress inoculated, ultimately, how you I'm somebody just doesn't view stress in the same way. as other people, I see it every day, you can have two people in the same situation. And they're not for those of listening to have multiple kids. I got two kids with totally different mindsets about things. One kid is a warrior, and another kid is like, you know, okay, whatever. And they kind of come out that way.
And so you have to learn and constantly work with a kid that's like a glass half empty, right? Doesn't mean he can't be a glass half full. But it's gonna take some time. And we role model it. And even when I mess up, like you got your, you know, your kids aren't old enough to be like, I got your hand in the, in the door. But you can have these conversations, like I left my kid at work and locked him in at work. And we were like, it's like home alone. And, you know, we processed it, you know, we talked about it, but every once in a while, he's like, do you remember when you did that home alone thing on me, and I was like, I need it down the street, and I can't, okay. And I was like, I was getting on a Facebook Live. And I was like, somebody's gonna call Child Protective Services. He wasn't alone in the building everybody.
But you know, I validated I heard him, he was like, I can't believe you do that. I was like, I can't believe I did that. You know, but it was a long story. And we were rushing to go on vacation, and a storm was coming. But nobody's perfect. teach your kids that teach them ways to cope and deal with stress. Because that is the gift of not just today, but for tomorrow. And when your kids know how to problem solve, and deal with stress, it's going to be there, they're going to be so much more happy. And that's what we want for our kids. We, yes, we want kids to be employed. But we want our kids to be happy. That's it. You know what I mean? When you think about having a kid, you're like, my kid's gonna be so happy, he's gonna be so cool. She's gonna be so great. You're not thinking, you know, I need them to get straight A's in their algebra class. That's not what you're thinking about. You know, and I'm not saying that's not important. I don't think it's as important as most people think,
Dr. Stephanie Gray 38:25
such a good tip. So good. I want to go back to teletherapy. Because I know that's something you offer. And so how can tele therapy, support mental health
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 38:35
teletherapy has been around since the 60s telephone, that's what I call it. teletherapy. And, you know, it's as effective as in person therapy. And I think one of the great things that's happening for people all over the world is that some people are going to therapy for the first time, because so many therapists are now offering teletherapy. And, you know, I wrote this book teletherapy toolkit, which is the first book ever written on tele therapy activities. So nobody else has ever written that. And it's because my therapist, friends were like, What do I do? How do I work with people, and I have been doing it a long time. And I wanted to give people these great resources. But if somebody is stuck, and they are feeling like I've done meditation, Roseanne, I've changed my diet, I'm exercising, and they're not feeling that they're returning to normal.
Or maybe they're recognizing for the first time that they struggle with anxiety or depression, because what I want to say to people is most people with mental health conditions are functional, they're employed, they're married. We think of people having these conditions and being not functional, and sometimes they are, but the majority of people get through life not well. And teletherapy is a great place to start because it's so accessible, you should easily be able to find a provider in your state. You can go to Psychology Today, you can ask physician, you know, there's there's lots of places out there, but you have to start. And I say this all the time that nobody ever regrets getting help, they only regret when they don't.
And if you have a child with any kind of mental health symptom, they're showing evidence of worry, which could be, you know, stomach aches, or headaches, or I get a lot of cyclical vomit ORS at night, they don't vomit on the weekends, and they only vomit on school nights, or a Sunday night to go and get help. These behaviors become so ingrained, they start with feelings and sensations that are really uncomfortable, and then they get all these behaviors that are not helpful. And the longer the behaviors Go on, the harder it is to unwind not impossible, and never believe that mental health is not changeable. It always is. But teletherapy is just a way to do therapy, virtually. And it's a great, great alternative. And just make sure you find a therapist that you connect with, and that you feel comfortable with.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:03
So is this book for patients and providers this?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 41:05
Yeah, so this is this is a book that has been very heavily used by patients. And a lot of parents are buying this book, because it is like, I'm going to open it up. Like, here's my anger eisbach workshop, right? So parents and has, you know, it has my worksheet, I should say, it has the instructions that are super easy, then it's like, well, here's the worksheet and you could say like, Oh, you got all this stuff in the England, let's talk about some of these reasons down here that you're angry. And you can drop pictures, you can do things. So this is designed for therapists, but parents are like writing me from all over. I do have a parent book called, it's going to be okay. And that will come out in the winter, late winter of 2021.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 41:54
Now in that book, I'm getting ahead of here. And that book, are you listening for parents, some of the things like that you were just listening to us or listening, you're sharing with us, like how we view manage and recover from stress.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 42:04
Like, I do a lot with resiliency. And you know, even though it's about the foundation of reversing mental health, what is different is that we focus really on parenting and supporting the nervous system, because that's my that's why people come to me, you know, I mean, I work in conjunction, I am not a functional physician, even though I have certifications, as we all do. I like when people go to a functional physician, I partner with them. So I wish there was a one stop shop, I mean, the book in the program teach you how to do these things. But ultimately, when you have behaviors, you've got to see a therapist, right. But the best way to do it is to get that nervous system not so activated. We know this. So you're capable of rational thought. And it's the same thing with a kid. They are so activated and people say to me, like but I live in a nice house, and we're so loving and why is my kid so stressed out? This is just happening, as you know, we are being bombarded with stress. I mean, even in the world of COVID I mean, I've seen people uncharacteristically lose it, it's happening all the time. I mean, I'm seeing a resurgence at the holidays in this winter time as we go into winter people are feeling isolated and lonely and I get it
Dr. Stephanie Gray 43:19
also tells about or maybe you can about your other books is this it's gonna be okay book launching in the spring, our book in
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 43:26
the winter, we have a series of three books for it's going to be okay, so one is the it's going to be okay, it's going to be okay is about that foundational component for reversing mental health. And the program we have with that which is up is the get unstuck program where we walk you through. And I just believe that, you know, I'm all about teaching parents. That's why I do all this media, I really want to change the way we view and treat children's mental health, wanting to make things accessible, not everybody can come to me. And I'm going to say that 90% of things can be done on your own. I mean, they really can, from that we have a mom's gratitude and giggles journal, because I really into gratitude.
And we know that it's so neuroprotective, and it's a great thing to teach our kids and you can never do that. But also, as I talked about, we're so hard on ourselves, this moms and laughter is so I mean, everything I do is evidence based, but laughter is so good. So good. And it just is a great way and I love making mistakes and laughing with my kids. You know what I mean? and showing them that it just teaches them that humor is really important in our Hodge household. My kids are funny, my husband's super funny. And we just like to laugh. There are a lot of stressors in life. And it just brings a lot of levity and it teaches you to not be so serious to really view stressors differently, right? And so and then we have an anti inflammatory family cookbook to teach you some of those things because, and they're all it's all about hacks. It's all about hacks because we're busy. So I Do a lot people always are like you cook every day? How could you be cooking every day? I'm like, people don't know what real Italians eat like, not American Italians, like my parents are off the boat like they're from Italy, it is a lot of very simple, high nutrient dense food. I like to share that with other parents because you can have great food. That's so tasty. That's easy.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 45:22
I look forward to seeing those I today actually, the podcast that launched was my top longevity tips from my past guests over 2020. And I added my own I add one of which was laughter. Because there have been studies that have shown adults laflife 12 times a day and children laugh like 400 times a day. Yeah, big discrepancy there. So I 100% agree with you on, on the laughter thing. But I do want as we wrap up here to ask you what your top longevity tip would be.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 45:51
There's so many ways, I'm always looking at longevity, because I work with so many people with chronic illnesses. And many of the things that treat chronic illnesses are also for longevity. Many people in my family live very long, right? And what are some of the things that they do, but I'm a mental health provider. And I'm going to tell you that we know, there are two parts that I'd love to talk about. So one is having a positive mindset. So we know that a positive mindset is tied to living a much not only longer life, but with happiness. There's lots of research in that. And the other part of that is good mindset, you've lower stress levels. So and we know that lower stress is associated with greater health, that's a really key component. And regardless, sometimes people have lived incredible hardships. I mean, I work with adults, I have the privilege of helping adults who've had horrible trauma, you know, physical and sexual abuse, horrible things, and they work so hard on themselves. And really do you know, gratitude journaling, and you know, meditation, whatever works for them running yoga, super clean diets, and they're, they're making an investment in themselves. And everybody needs to take 10 minutes, and I and if you're a mom, and you have to hide in your car for 10 minutes, do it.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 47:20
I agree. I used to tell my patients if you're a nurse and you're busy work in the hospital, sit in the bathroom for five minutes, you have to have time. Yeah, you have to sit in the bathroom at home, though.
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 47:30
Because everybody will find you, including my cat. But you can find another place go to the laundry room. Nobody's in there. You
Dr. Stephanie Gray 47:37
know, speaking of finding, so where can listeners find you?
Dr. Roseann Capanna Hodge 47:41
So I have an awesome bonus for everybody. And it's a list of coping statements. This is great for you to say to yourself, this is something parents can share with their kids, therapists, doctors, because your physician and if somebody's listening to this or a medical practitioner, you're the number one reason people come to you is stress. 70% of all visits are stress. So teaching people to cope is a gift. don't offer them a pill. So you can go to teletherapy toolkit bonus calm and there's over 100 coping statements for free. It's, I want everybody use them. A lot of parents are telling me they're printing out one and putting it in their car, another one in their kitchen. So use them. They're very magical. And it forces your kids and yourself to start thinking about how can I cope? How can I deal with this? So I think that's really important. And then you can find me on children's mental health calm or Dr. Roseanne comm search Dr. Roseanne and pretty optimized.
Dr. Stephanie Gray 48:38
You've been everywhere you're out there. People can find out there. I'm on YouTube, too. So you just dr Rosanna will come right up. Well, Dr. Roseanne, this was a gift to have you on the show Neeraj delight you will be very entertaining to listen to. I'm sure everyone will agree when they hear this episode. But thank you for the mission that you have to change the future of children's mental health. So thank you for making that your mission. We need you. Thank you. This has been a pleasure and a lot of fun. So thank you. I hope you agree that that was awesome. I so look forward to reading all of her books. Dr. Roseanne gave us so many tips that reminded us how important it is to get back to what she called that hot tub chill state for our mental health and longevity. We need to be thinking how we view manage and recover from stress. I love how she said that teaching people how to cope is a gift and so I'll post a link to her free gift on coping in the show notes. I think I'll wrap this up by echoing something else she mentioned that no one regrets getting help only that they didn't.
So if you're struggling this year with mental health, please find a therapist who can help. Be sure to check out my book your longevity blueprint. And if you aren't much of a reader, you're in luck. You can now take my course online where I walk you through each chapter in the book plus for a limited time and of course is 50% off. Check this offer out at your longevity blueprint calm and click the course tab. One of the biggest things you can do to support the show and help us reach more listeners is to subscribe. drive to the show. Leave us a rating and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen. I do read all the reviews and would truly love to hear your suggestions for show topics guests and for how you're applying what you learn on the show to create your own longevity blueprint. The podcast is produced by the team at counterweight creative As always, thank you so much for listening and remember, wellness is waiting.
The information provided in this podcast is educational. No information provided should be considered to be or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your personal medical authority.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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