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Can Anxiety be Treated Holistically?

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

This episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast features the first Brain Warrior Q&A of the new year. Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen tackle listener questions from such topics as treating anxiety holistically, the different types of ADD, Daniel and Tana’s personal supplement regiments, as well as their favorite meditation practices.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Welcome to The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Welcome back. In this episode, we’re going to answer your questions. The first question is can anxiety be treated holistically? If so, how?

Now before we answer that, if there’s anything you learn today or really strikes you, write it down, post it at any of your social media sites. Also, leave us a comment, question, or review at The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. We’ll enter you into a raffle to win either Tana’s new book, a signed copy of Tana’s new book, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child, or my book, The End of Mental Illness, whatever you choose.

All right. So what do you think? Can anxiety be treated holistically?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Absolutely. So we’ve got teenagers in the house and we’ve got me. And so during the pandemic when I started to get really anxious, I wasn’t sleeping at night, and I know … And one thing I like about our work is anxiety is not one thing. So knowing what type of anxiety you have, what’s causing your anxiety is really important. So going to brainhealthassessment.com and taking a very quick short assessment will really help you understand.

So for me, I can’t take 5-Htp. It makes me feel stoned. So I don’t like that feeling of walking through mud for me. Now, the kids in our house who have very busy brains, they take that, they feel great. They actually feel normal. But for me, when I take GABA at night, I sleep like a baby when I feel a little anxious. I don’t take it all the time, just when I’m anxious. I’ll take some GABA and all of a sudden I don’t say no as much. You’ve noticed that.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

I love that. That is stress management for me. So how you treat my anxiety holistically is treat Tana with GABA-calming support. That’s great.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

I remember the first time I took 5-Htp I felt like I literally was walking through mud. I was, “What is happening right now?” And you loved it. You loved me feeling stoned. But I just couldn’t. It was the wrong thing.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

I just love you being more flexible, less rigid.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Well, flexible is one word, not being able to talk is a whole different thing.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And without the judgemental drag and pounding on my head.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right. But GABA does that for me without the whole-

Daniel G Amen, MD:

I love that.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Spinning thing.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Also, other ways to treat anxiety holistically, kill the ANTs, [crosstalk [00:03:23] not believing every stupid thing you think. I used to be filled with fortune-telling ANTs, where I’d be masterful at predicting what was going to go wrong.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And I mostly have that under control. I think that’s critically important. Diaphragmatic breathing, do not underestimate getting your breathing under control-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah. Meditation.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

So important. Hypnosis, meditation-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Exercise.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Music. We have a new music album coming out in March called Your Brain Is Always Listening, and there’s a whole track for anxiety and another track for stress. Another question, what’s the difference between the different types of ADD that I’ve seen? So I wrote a whole book about this called Healing ADD. There is Classic ADD. Short attention span, distractibility disorganization, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. So, that’s Classic.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

That’s why I didn’t believe in it.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Well, type two, more common in women, Inattentive ADD, where they’re never hyperactive or impulsive, but they can’t focus and they tend to be disorganized. Type three is Over-focused ADD, where they have trouble letting go of. And if you can’t shift your attention, ultimately you can’t pay attention. Type-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Shifting attention is what I struggle with.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Type four is Temporal Lobe ADD, often from a head injury where you hurt one or both of your temporal lobes. So all the ADD symptoms, plus mood instability, irritability, temper problems. Type five is Limbic ADD, where all the ADD symptoms plus sadness. Six is the Ring of Fire, way too much activity going on so you can’t concentrate. And seven is Anxious ADD, where the anxiety in your brain really sends interrupt signals to your frontal lobes and you can’t focus.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And so, just to give people an idea, because I write a lot about things about my journey in my book, and a lot of people have been resonating with that. So over-focused and anxious, that combination is not uncommon for women.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Very common.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

So that’s what I had, was over-focused and anxious, which is why I didn’t believe in ADD, because I thought I believed it was one thing classic, but it’s not.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And that’s a big mistake.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Because not everybody responds to the typical ADD treatments, but when you treat everything that’s going on, [inaudible [00:06:07] you should, you can just get so much better.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And that’s why we just celebrated our 15th anniversary of being together. And yeah, you’re my best friend.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Absolutely.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

I’m grateful. Another question. What supplements do you take every day?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Oh, geez.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Dr. Amen and Tana?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Mine is probably too long on the list for this episode, but…

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Well, mine is NeuroVite Plus and Brain and Memory Power Boost, mostly because I did a randomized placebo controlled crossover trial with Brain and Memory Power Boost, and it dramatically improved memory and focus, actually decreased hostility. So I’m pretty happy about that. I also take 5,000 units of vitamin D. I take niacin, extra niacin curcumin, and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

So I take all of that, but then I also take… I mean, there’re things you take individually. So we always say, get your numbers checked, because I have to take ferritin on top of that. So I take ferritin…

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And I can’t take ferritin because my iron level is too high.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Right. It’s very independent in an individual. I take supplements for my eyes and I can never pronounce it right. Is it Z, Z?

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Zeaxanthin.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Zeaxanthin for my eyes, because it really does-

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Astaxanthin. Sorry.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah. So I can never pronounce it. For eyesight, it really does help. And I take Berberine. I think Berberine is amazing-

Daniel G Amen, MD:

I take that too. [crosstalk [00:07:43]. It helps balance your blood sugar.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And Probiotics.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And I do that too.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah. But my list actually goes on. Most of them are very specific to me, but those are some of the big ones.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

All right. One more question.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

You said fish oil, right?

Daniel G Amen, MD:

And fish oil.

What’s your favorite meditation?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

So I like… My favorite meditation once in a while I’ll do just being still in breathing and focusing on breathing, but mostly I like guided imagery, which I can do myself now. I used to need to listen to someone else do guided imagery, but now I actually focus on more of a mindful. I do it myself, focusing on mindfulness, bringing my attention to my feet and then bringing it up and focusing on my breath. And I have sort of little mantras that I say along the way, where my breath is at. And so for me, that really, really settles me. I think of prayer and meditation very similarly. Prayer is where I’m talking to God, I get all of that stuff out of my head. Meditation is where I’m listening [inaudible [00:08:43] thing. And so that’s my favorite form of meditation. It’s just being very mindful of where my attention is, where my breath is. Having those little mantras that I do and then setting my day with intention for the day.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

So I have two meditations. So I like, Loving-kindness meditation, super simple on brain fit life. I actually do one for you. It’s all four and a half minutes long. And a Kundalini yoga form of meditation called Kirtan Kriya. It’s a 12 minute meditation, where basically you do Sa Ta Na Ma, which are primal sounds that actually mean birth, life, death, rebirth. Birth, life, death, rebirth. Birth, life, death, rebirth. And two minutes out loud, two minutes whispering, four minutes silently to yourself, two minutes whispering, two minutes out loud, 12 minutes.

Significant benefits, including brain benefits. Strengthens your frontal lobes. And anytime you can strengthen your frontal lobes, you want to do that because that’s the part of you that helps you be human. So we hope this week has been helpful for you. We’re going to have a whole another year of Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. We’re going into, I think, what is it? Our fourth year or fifth year?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Fifth year.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

Wow. So, we’ve done more than 800 episodes and share with any of your friends. We want to create this Brain Warrior Community because we know the end of mental illness will begin with the revolution in brain health, which requires brain warriors. Stay with us.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

If you’re enjoying The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe. So you’ll always know when there’s a new episode and while you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five-star rating as that helps others find the podcast.

Daniel G Amen, MD:

If you’re interested in coming to Amen Clinics, use the code, podcast10, to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com. For more information, give us a call at 855- 978-1363.