Thought I would share my experience in case others have the same problem since it helped in my case. TL DR: strange behavior and bad attitude / disagreeableness were 90% caused by low serotonin levels, and I was able to greatly improve them.

Short background: I had to step up as caregiver for my mom late last year since she could no longer be counted on to take care of herself (ate poorly - not enough good food - craved junk food but still underweight). In trying to help her I noticed some behaviors from her that she had never shown before.

Any time I tried to get her to do something there would be an argument. If I told her she needed to do something or I offered a new idea she would disagree before three words left my mouth. She started to horde things (in her bedroom, her chair in the living room, the kitchen table). She'd get easily distracted while eating - if she saw a plastic bag on the kitchen table she'd pick it up and start futzing with it. It was so bad I had to clear everything off the table and hide things just to get her to eat.

Then the bizarre behavior - weird bathroom habits / obsessions, walking around without pants / underwear. Insisting that our Senator was on the radio late at night giving recommendations on what to eat (it was a late night talk show host reading commercials). Couldn't be convinced of anything that went against what she thought was true.

She went on and on about old things that upset her - when I would address one she'd move on to another thing, then another, and then circle back to the first item in a never ending loop.

She has Alzheimer's but this was a rapid progression from where she was just months before. She mentioned not sleeping so I started researching natural substances to help her sleep. Along the way I saw someone mention low serotonin levels causing problems like she was having. I found a video that listed these symptoms: (don't know if I can post links, but the video is here:

- Frequent feeling of sadness
- Constant worrying
- Upset when things don't go your way (rigid/inflexible)
- Upset when things are out of place
- Tend to be oppositional or argumentative
- Repetitive negative thoughts
- You don't like change
- Tend to hold grudges
- Trouble shifting attention from subject to subject
- Trouble shifting behavior from task to task
- Difficulty seeing options
- Tendency to hold on their own opinion and not listening to others
- Tendency to be locked in a course of action
- Needing to have things done in a certain way
- Others complain that you worry too much
- Tend to say "no" without thinking
- Tend to predict fear

She had every one of them.

I found people suggesting Saint John's Wort to help with low serotonin levels. I found a bottle of liquid SJW drops without a bunch of chemicals and ordered it. Those two days waiting for amazon to deliver took forever. While waiting I cleared it with her doctor to make sure it wouldn't affect her regular medication.

I started with one drop in a glass of water. No side effects, so I went to 2. Soon It was up to 3 drops in the morning and 2 at night. Along the way all the bad behavior started to slowly improve. She stopped arguing about every little thing. She didn't mind when my sister or I cleaned up the clutter that she didn't want to get rid of just weeks ago. Her actions were more rational, her obsessions were greatly reduced. She could eat without without getting distracted by everything (but she still eats too slow - can't change 80 year old habits).

Her poor sleep habits still cause problems but as long as I keep the SJW flowing all the symptoms she had are greatly reduced.

If you have a LO with similar problems, check out serotonin levels. Diet changes can help, SJW worked for my mom but make sure to check with their doctor first - SJW can interfere with meds (like heart medications) so you definitely don't want to start it without getting approval.

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It helps but it's not a miracle in all situations. A couple of days ago my dad caused some emergencies at home. While I was trying to deal with them he kept calling on my mom to help him get clothes and other things he wanted (despite me repeatedly telling him not to). Since she has problems remembering things she couldn't follow through half the time then he'd get upset when he had no right to.

All that stress and everything else going on basically overloaded her - it got her so wound up that the benefits of SJW couldn't keep up. Now I'm trying to bring her back down to earth.

The next day (Actually early AM) she was acting obsessive about a financial matter that had been handled years ago. 3 people couldn't convince her it was handled, it took her calling my brother (while at work) who handles that end that she was in fact wrong. And today she was back to obsessing about eating the horrible junk food that makes her worse. It's not happening with every little thing like it was before, but she's latching on to some things like she did months ago.

Now I just have to work to get her to stay calm and relaxed and remind my dad repeatedly that I'm the one he should be calling when something needs to be done, not my mom.

As far as treating low Serotonin. SJW isn't the only option but it's one of the few I can use with her. Meditation can help but she's not one for that. I tried 10hz meditative music (alpha brainwave frequencies) which helps me relax - but she hates that. Improving diet helps but I struggle just to get her to eat enough to maintain weight. Light therapy can help too but getting her to do it and juggle her and my dad is getting more and more difficult.

Beyond that is heavy duty psych medications but I'd rather avoid the side effects, and she hates pills as it is so those are out. So SJW has become the easiest most reliable thing. I just wish it didn't give me a headache when I take it - because I could use it too with all the stress.

Anyway if anyone is out there experiencing the same I hope they find this and at least look into low serotonin levels as part of the cause of those problems.

SJW does help a lot with depression! The only thing to look out for is interactions with other medications b/c there are LOTS of them. I'm so glad your mom had SUCH great results by using it! How amazing that an over the counter herb could help so much with something like Alzheimers that nothing else seems to touch.

The other thing that a poster mentioned helping his mother with terrible agitation with dementia/ALZ is something called the BioMat by Richway or a BioMat Mini which is sort of a heating pad that's composed of amethyst crystals & emits negative ions. It lies on top of a mattress; in his case, he'd place it on her recliner. They are very expensive but can also be rented at various places if you search 'rent BioMat in my area' online. Worth a try, I suppose.

Thanks for sharing; this is how we learn what may work for terrible diseases like AD when nothing else seems to help.

Very interesting. A quick search on low serotonin shows links with many sleep, mood & behaviour problems, esp OCD. I hope much research is underway on this.

Understood. I've been using online forums since Bill Clinton was president and never filled out a profile page, so I don't make a big deal about ignoring it.

Back to the grind.

Thought, thanks for posting... honestly, I was with JoAnn29 too until I saw your other post. We regular forum participants have seen many advertisers and marketers (and sadly, trolls) masquerading as "regular" people (real regular people almost always create a profile) so we are perhaps a little over sensitive to anything that *may* appear to be taking advantage of exhausted, burnt out caregivers and souls. No offense intended, just being protective of those who come here seeking objective help and information and don't want them to waste their precious time and energy on what may turn out to be someone "hawking" a product. Forgive us, please, and thanks for your understanding!

I didn't set up a profile because I posted this right after I helped my dad into my sister's car for his dr's appointment and then had to help my mother with breakfast. I don't have a profile because profiles don't matter to me. I have too much on my plate to worry about that.

I mentioned no specific products, there are hundreds of choices for saint john's wort. I don't see how you could construe this as an advertisement. It's like someone saying "drink more water" is an advertisement for big water.

So if you want to keep people from finding information that could help their parents / loved ones, good job.

Since no profile is given I am assuming this is an Advertisement and reported it.

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