Brain Anxiety and Depression

(anxieties and depressions are brain-based)

Research has shown that anxiety and depression are real, brain-based, and fall into seven different categories:

  1. Pure Anxiety
  2. Pure Depression
  3. Mixed Anxiety and Depression
  4. Overfocused Anxiety/Depression
  5. Cyclic Anxiety/Depression
  6. Temporal Lobe Anxiety/Depression
  7. Unfocused Anxiety/Depression

The brain is the organ that ultimately experiences anxiety and depression because it is the organ of our personality. In fact, the brain controls mood, personality, intelligence, and adaptability. It experiences our hopes and dreams, sorrows, and pain. Sometimes the brain is the sole cause of anxiety and depression; sometimes it is simply the organ that experiences the results of too much life stress.

Usually anxiety and depressive illnesses are the result of a combination of brain vulnerability and life stresses. In order to understand the seven types of anxiety and depressive illnesses as fully as possible, it is important to understand the underlying brain systems involved in feelings and behavior.

The brain is involved in everything we do. The actual physical functioning of our brains heavily influences how well we get along with others, how we think, how we feel, and how we act. When our brains function properly, we tend to to work well; when our brains don't react correctly, it is very hard for us to be our best.

The brain is the most complex and powerful organ in our bodies. It is estimated that the brain contains 100 billion nerve cells, and each of these cells is connected to other cells through hundreds or, in some cases, thousands, of individual connections.

It is also estimted that the brain has more than 1,000,000,000,000,000 connections within it. Each part of the brain is vastly interconnected with other parts of the brain. The brain is also very soft, about the consistency of soft butter. It is housed in a very hard skull with many bony ridges, which means it can easily be damaged. The adult human brain weighs about three pounds, or about two percent of the body's weight; yet, it is the body's major energy consumer, using aproximately twenty percent of the body's energy.

—Compiled from information located in
Healing Anxiety and Depression by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.;
Published by the Penguin Group; New York; 2003; from the Introduction.

O God, give us serenity to accept what can not be changed;
courage to change what should be changed,
and wisdom to distinguish the one from the the other.
—Reinhold Niebuhr

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