Understanding the Anxiety and Depression Types—Type 7: Unfocused Anxiety/Depression

Anxiety and Depression Types—Type 7: Unfocused Anxiety/Depression

Type 7: Unfocused Anxiety/Depression is characterized by feelings of anxiousness or low moods in addition to inattention, trouble concentrating, or in some cases, brain fog. This type is often seen in conjunction with ADD/ADHD. People with this type of anxiety and depression tend to lack motivation, have trouble achieving their goals, and tend to get easily distracted or off task. This holds you back at school, at work, and in relationships, which just makes you feel more depressed and anxious.

Type 7: Unfocused Anxiety/Depression is characterized by feelings of anxiousness or low moods in addition to inattention, trouble concentrating, or in some cases, brain fog. Click To Tweet

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF TYPE 7: UNFOCUSED ANXIETY/DEPRESSION

People with Unfocused Anxiety/Depression typically have at least 4 symptoms from Pure Anxiety (Type 1) and/or Pure Depression (Type 2) plus at least 4 of the “unfocused” symptoms.

Anxiety symptoms include:

  • Frequent feelings of nervousness or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Avoidance of people or places due to a fear of having anxiety or panic attacks
  • Symptoms of heightened muscle tension (headaches, sore muscles, hand tremor)
  • Periods of heart-pounding, nausea, or dizziness
  • The tendency to predict the worst
  • Multiple persistent fears or phobias (such as dying or doing something crazy)
  • Conflict avoidance
  • Excessive fear of being judged or scrutinized by others
  • Being easily startled or a tendency to freeze in anxiety-provoking or intense situations
  • Shyness, timidity, and getting easily embarrassed
  • Biting fingernails or picking skin

Depression symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad or “empty” mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that are usually fun, including sex
  • Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, pessimism
  • Sleeping too much or too little, early-morning awakening
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  • Decreased energy fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain
  • Persistent negativity or chronic low self-esteem
  • Persistent feeling of dissatisfaction or boredom

Unfocused Symptoms

  • Trouble staying focused
  • Spaciness or feeling in a fog
  • Overwhelmed by the tasks of daily living
  • Feeling tired, sluggish or slow-moving
  • Procrastination, failure to finish things
  • Chronic boredom
  • Distractibility
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty expressing feelings
  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Mental dullness
  • Brain fog
  • Cognitive impairment

TYPE 7: UNFOCUSED ANXIETY/DEPRESSION IN THE BRAIN

SPECT findings with this type show decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex at rest and during concentration (often associated with ADD/ADHD), in addition to high activity in the ganglia (see Type 1: Pure Anxiety for more on the basal ganglia) and/or the deep limbic system (see Type 2: Pure Depression for more on the deep limbic system). Distinguishing Unfocused Anxiety/Depression from ADD/ADHD can be difficult because of the similarity in symptoms. However, brain imaging provides a window into the brain to see the areas with too little or too much activity. This allows for a more accurate diagnosis.

  • Prefrontal cortex basics (PFC): The PFC is the most evolved part of the brain. It occupies the front third of the brain, underneath the forehead, and is involved with attention, focus, impulse control, judgment, organization, planning, and motivation.
  • PFC problems: When the PFC is underactive, people often have a short attention span, impulsivity, distractibility, poor time management, disorganization, procrastination, poor judgment, and low motivation.
  • Common causes of PFC problems: Due to its location in the skull, the PFC is especially susceptible to head injury. Research suggests the PFC is involved in 91% of brain injuries. Many people do not fully understand how head injuries, sometimes even “minor” ones in which no loss of consciousness occurs, can alter a person’s character and ability to learn. This is particularly true when the head injury occurs in the brain’s “executive director” (the PFC).

A variation of Unfocused Anxiety/Depression is caused by overall reduced blood flow and activity in the cortex along with too much activity in the basal ganglia and/or deep limbic system. This pattern may be related to physical illness, drug or alcohol abuse, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), infections (such as Lyme disease), traumatic brain injury, or exposure to toxic mold or other environmental toxins. Symptoms of this variation also include frequent feelings of sickness, mental dullness, “brain fog,” or cognitive impairment.

INTERVENTIONS FOR TYPE 7: UNFOCUSED ANXIETY/DEPRESSION

There are many natural solutions for Unfocused Anxiety/Depression, including:

  • Diet: Eat a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate diet to increase focus.
  • Supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids, saffron, and SAMe are helpful for low moods, and stimulating supplements like green tea, rhodiola, ginseng, and ashwagandha can be beneficial.
  • Neurofeedback: This non-invasive technique allows you to train your brainwaves to achieve a more focused state.
  • Meditation: You may think meditation calms the mind, but it actually activates the PFC and improves focus.
  • One Page Miracle: Knowing what you want out of life can help you stay focused on those goals. Write down your goals on one sheet of paper and look at it every day. Ask yourself, “Is my behavior getting me what I want out of life?”
  • Get organized or find someone who can help you do it. Having someone teach you organizational skills can help you stay focused and keep up with projects and deadlines.

Depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, infections, and other mental health issues can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.

7 Comments

  1. I have alot of these symptoms. I am currently taking anti depression med and occasionally a lorzapam. Have had lyme and a heart attack last May on top of this pandemic hitting my lodging business. How do I undo so I dont have a 2nd heart attack?

    Comment by Melody — February 1, 2021 @ 4:59 AM

  2. Do you accept Medicare/Medi-cal?

    Comment by Kenneth Lukasik — February 1, 2021 @ 5:31 AM

  3. This is very interesting. My son(20yr.) has been ex with sever general anxiety, ADHD, depression and mood disorder when he was 13. Recently ( June 2020) ,he has been complaining of dizziness, “brain fog” and difficulty concentrating causing him to take a leave from his job. It has impacted where he can not hang out with friends and has increased his depressions. He says he just wants to feel normal again. He has had many blood tests, images, seen by ever specialist out there to determine why and how to fix it. Medications currently on are Effexor ER, vitamin K2/D3, Iron, Adrienne Vive, and methyl Balance. He recently discontinued Depakote. He does not eat vegetables as he dislikes them, and only certain fruits. He eats grass fed steaks, and fish ad protein . He is a marijuana smoker to Assist with anxiety and sleep. He is not a physically active person.
    Has for any head injuries in his past, he was jumping on his bed at the age of 2 and fell hitting his forehead on the chair rail on the wall. This left an indentation (contusion) and brushing around both eyes. Never thought of it impacting him later in life till reading articles by you. Should we be adding something else to his routine to help?

    Comment by Tina Moser — February 1, 2021 @ 7:14 AM

  4. Hello Kenneth, thank you for reaching out. Reimbursement by insurance companies varies according to your plan. Amen Clinics, Inc. does not bill insurance. At the end of the evaluation, patients are given a “walk-out statement” containing applicable diagnosis and billing codes, which can then be submitted to insurance companies for possible out-of-network reimbursement. Our Care Coordinators can assist you with additional information regarding insurance, reimbursement, and financing options: https://www.amenclinics.com/schedule-visit/.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 3, 2021 @ 8:31 AM

  5. Hello Melody, thank you for reaching out. We’d love to contact you directly and explore possible options. We look forward to speaking with you.

    Comment by Amen Clinics — February 3, 2021 @ 8:32 AM

  6. Can supplements like SAMe and ashwagandha be taken along with antidepressants(Wellbutrin & Viibryd) and ADD med(Strattera)?

    Comment by Donielle — February 5, 2021 @ 8:13 AM

  7. Are these scans available in Melbourne Australia?

    Comment by Lisa Grant — February 15, 2021 @ 8:15 PM

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