The Amygdala Paradox: Treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks

Introduction


This book comprises the contents of the popular workshop ‘Treating Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks’. 

 

The amygdala is a small almond-shaped set of neurons located in the emotional part of the brain responsible for measuring the tones and intensities of emotions. Like a little key that unlocks a very large door, the amygdala is a tiny structure which can override our much bigger thinking brain, signalling a distress response that can cause us to go into a complete meltdown. If you’ve ever experienced the humiliation of a public panic attack, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

If there is a stressor (thought, thing, person, place or emotion) that we feel uncomfortable with to the extent that we start to avoid that stressor, the amygdala notices this avoidance tactic and then emotionally tags that stressor as threatening and dangerous to our survival. From this time onwards, the amygdala alerts us to fight, flee or freeze each time something triggers this emotionally-tagged stressor. 

The amygdala is really only trying to be helpful, just like an over-protective parent. Super-defensive and constantly monitoring our behaviour, this little chap can rob us of our independence and resilience if left unchallenged, sending us into a tailspin of recurring panic attacks that can result in Generalised Anxiety Disorder. And herein lies the paradox from which this book takes its title: while appearing small and insignificant, the amygdala is actually highly effective and powerful, generating a chain of chemical reactions which places our conscious, thinking self at its mercy.

If we are to transform Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic, we must first understand the workings of different regions of the brain involved in emotions including the amygdala centre. Secondly, we need to rewire the brain out of its former anxious wiring into new synaptic connections that reinforce emotional wellbeing. Thirdly, we must show the amygdala who’s boss and find ways to reduce its influence in generating our anxiety and panic.

Happily, the amygdala can be retrained and our anxious homeostatic balance can be recalibrated to a normal and healthy level. We can teach the amygdala to delete some information from its emergency list that it uses to fire our fight or flight response on a regular basis. And we can even make it shrink in size, correlating to a life of calm and confidence.

If you picked up this book because you suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Panic, it is my hope that this book will serve as a bridge between where you are right now and the future of mental, physical and emotional wellness you desire. Likewise, if you are reading this book as a professional or helper looking to understand the subject better and get new ideas on how to help your clients, I hope that you find the content stimulating, inspiring and informative, empowering you to achieve your goals.

To your wellbeing and success,

Wale Oladipo,

MindBody Breakthrough


The Amygdala Paradox at a Glimpse


This book will help you :

  • understand the causes of GAD and panic as well as the biochemistry of recovery
  • understand the implicated regions of the brain with relation to GAD and provide recommended practical interventions
  • learn effective ways of managing GAD and panic
  • understand the emotional cycle for breaking the vicious circle of anxiety
  • understand how to use the FEAR model recovery steps for longterm transformation


What Others are Saying About the Content

“Insightful. The light was switched on with regard to effect of anxiety on our being. It now shines brighter through the understanding and knowledge passes on today.”(anxiety sufferer)
“The course has given me some easy-to-follow steps to help my anxiety.”
Anon
“I really enjoyed the course. I learned so much about myself and about why people around me often behave the way they do.”
Belinda F (Student / Holistic Therapist)
“The course was really beneficial for me and I feel more able to cope with panic attacks and more positive about the future.”
Helen W. (anxiety sufferer)
“Excellent. I gained a better understanding about how the mind works, enabling me to see how the steps taught would work rather than just being told what to do without understanding why.”
Kim W. (Reiki Practitioner) 
“Really useful course that I can imagine using on my own and with clients.”
Jennifer Y (Counsellor)
“Host was personal, respectful and approachable. Course content was helpful and plentiful.”
Lauren R. (anxiety sufferer)
“The message about tackling negative thoughts and implementing practical solutions came across loud and clear.”
“Interesting concepts presented in an understandable way.”
Janet J (Registered Mental Health Nurse)
“Warm and engaging speaker, knowledgeable. Good use of personal experience by Wale.
Nathan S (Psychotherapist)
“Thought-provoking. I found the ‘life experiences’ discussion and the focus on compassion triggering.”
J.L.  (anxiety sufferer)
“Wale was very knowledgeable and interesting. The course was excellent. Wale was able to assist me to relate to all teachings. His personal insights were invaluable. I think this will help someone suffering from anxiety.”
Catherine M (Hypnotherapist)
“Highly informative and well delivered. I will definitely use this in my practice as a CPN working with patients with anxiety disorders.”
Clare O. (Community Psychiatric Nurse)
“Very insightful with step-by-step guide. Easy to follow.  Great learning about what anxiety is and how to deal with it. Nice to have the lecture notes to refer to when needing help. Interesting to learn about the science behind it and all the quotes from philosophers and scientists.”
Katie A. (SEO executive / anxiety sufferer)
“Brilliant atmosphere and teacher. Great way of presenting such a serious topic. People felt safe and were telling their personal stories. Thanks for the copy of slides and space for comments. Definitely enjoyed the whole workshop!”
Hania W. (Clinical Health student psychologist)
“Absolutely fantastic day. So well delivered and easy to understand. Really made me understand myself a lot more too.”
Alex W (Registered General Nurse and Clinical Hypnotherapist)
“Exceptional event which tackles a complex subject in a much easier to understand way. Fantastic value for money. Delivered by an extremely knowledgeable and articulate presenter. I would strongly recommend this to companies, counsellors and sufferers.”
Lorraine M. (General Manager) 
“Very easy to understand, no jargon, approachable and encouraging discussions.”
Janice B (anxiety sufferer)
“A very succinct and clear teaching about anxiety which is useful and a practical tool I will use in my practice.”
Susan D (CBT Therapist, The Glasgow Cognitive Therapy Centre)
“Extremely personable presenter. Enjoyable workshop”
Shirley R. (Hypnotherapist and Asst. Manager, Harvest Clinic Glasgow)
“Wale clearly has a genuine passion for this topic. I feel encouraged that I am capable of helping myself. Thank you!”
Alex B (anxiety sufferer)

Table of Contents


Introduction

  • What is GAD?
  • What Causes GAD?
  • Did I inherit my anxiety?
  • Other Contributors to GAD and Panic

The Biochemistry of GAD: Three Parts of the Brain 

The Emotional Brain and Implicated Regions

  • The Emotional Brain: Issues and Recovery Tips
  • The Amygdala Paradox
  • The Basal Ganglia: Functions, Issues and Recovery Tips

Managing Gad and Panic

  • First Aid Treatment for Panic Attacks
  • Nutritional Tips to Ease Anxiety 
  • Three Metacognitive Skills to Ease Anxiety

The Neurophysiology of GAD

  • The Hebbian Law and Recovery
  • The Autonomic Nervous System
  • The Emotional Cycle - Phases of anxiety 

Moderate Intervention: The FEAR Model Recovery Steps

  • Step 1: Flip
  • Step 2: Envision
  • Step 3: Advance
  • Step 4: Relax
  • Daily Exercises

Eight Common Denominators for Transformation

Appendix A: Managing the Side Effects of Antidepressants


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The recovery programmes and workshops are run by Wale Oladipo and his team. Wale is the director of MindBody Breakthrough - a training provider that specialises in mental health awareness, personal wellbeing and professional development.

Wale is the author and creator of various well-being and success materials, courses and online recovery programmes, which include: Overcoming Chronic Stress and Stress-Induced Pains Online Programme; Treating Obsessive Worrying; Overcoming Intrusive Thoughts and the Inner Critical Voice Online Recovery Programme; 200 Keys To Unlock Your Destiny; Overcoming GAD and Panic Disorder Online Course; The Millionaire In Within; The Power of Optimism; Four Indispensable Keys for Happiness and Success for TEENS; and The Worry Instinct.

Wale is a psychology writer and passionate speaker in the areas of restoring emotional control, maximising human potential, and achieving personal success.

Accredited Voluntary Register

I am also an Anxiety UK approved therapist providing therapeutic support to the charity’s members and partner beneficiaries. I am subject to Anxiety UK’s regular monitoring of my professional qualifications, supervision, continual professional development, insurance and professional body membership in addition to complying with the ethical framework and professional standards set down by my registered governing body.

Full details of the Anxiety UK approved therapist scheme can be found here - www.anxietyuk.org.uk/getinvolved/therapists-at-anxiety-uk Details about becoming a member of Anxiety UK to be able to access therapy via the charity can be found here www.anxietyuk.org.uk/membership