On our journey to help our oldest son strengthen his self-regulation and impulse control, we met with a psychiatrist so she could test him for a genetic mutation that makes it difficult for the body to process folic acid. The gene is called MTHFR. If there's a mutation, the body's production of key hormones (like serotonin and dopamine) can be affected and can lead to anxiety, depression, ADHD symptoms, etc.
She explained that Europe and Canada have been testing for this mutation for a lot longer than the U.S. (no surprise there), but that it was recently added to the list of genetic tests that get done at birth in the U.S. If there's a slight mutation, the treatment can be as simple as a prescription for extra folate.
I was shocked to hear that there's potentially a biological reason for anxiety/depression/ADHD that is so easily addressed. I feel like I want to shout this information from the rooftops! The issue is genetic, so it's especially important for people to get tested if their families have any of these kinds of issues. Our family tree includes depression and addiction, so this issue is very relevant for us.
The test was a simple finger prick, and the results will come back in a couple of weeks. I'll keep you updated about what we find out!