Health

How Drained Is Your Brain? Take This Quiz to Measure Your Anxiety Level

by Rachael Ray Show Staff 3:00 AM, January 22, 2018

Aired January 22, 2018

This quiz is from Heal Your Drained Brain: Naturally Relieve Anxiety, Combat Insomnia, and Balance Your Brain in Just 14 Days by Dr. Mike Dow.

Answer all 20 questions and add up your score to see just how brain drained you are, says Dr. Mike.

THE BRAIN DRAINED QUIZ

I’ve lost someone close to me or have just had a significant relationship end recently.
a. yes: 4
b. no: 0

I have experienced a major trauma in my life like abuse, violent crime, war, or major accident.
a. yes: 4
b. no: 0

I have financial or legal problems.
a. yes: 4
b. no: 0

I have or someone close to me has significant health problems.
a. yes: 4
b. no: 0

I get stuck in negative thoughts.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I feel nervous.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

It’s hard to relax.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I worry about how things could go wrong.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

It’s hard to make decisions.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I feel out of control of important things in my life.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I feel stressed out.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

It’s difficult to cope with all the things I have to do.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

My body feels tense.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I am jittery.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I have digestive problems.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

My heart races.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I have difficulty breathing.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I’m exhausted.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I have trouble falling asleep.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

I have difficulty staying asleep.
a. never: 0
b. occasionally: 1
c. sometimes: 2
d. often: 3
e. all the time: 4

SCORING:

9 or below: balanced brain
parasympathetic nervous system dominance

You move through the world with ease. You’re able to move quickly through difficult and stressful events without getting bogged down by them. There aren’t too many large stressors present in your life right now, and if there is one, you’re good at dealing with the stress. Your brain is balanced with high levels of feel-good neurotransmitters and low levels of stress hormones. Your cortisol/melatonin levels also follow a healthy 24-hour cycle; one dips as the other rises. Also, your brain shows mild parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) dominance. When the sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, or freeze) is activated, the pattern looks like a rolling wave: up briefly and then back down easily.

10-14: mild brain drain
mild sympathetic nervous system dominance

Your brain is somewhat drained. If sleep is a problem, your cortisol/melatonin levels are likely out of balance or are not following a 24-hour cycle. If it has more to do with stress, anxiety, or physical problems, it may be the result of mild sympathetic nervous system dominance. In this case, brain drainers like cortisol and adrenaline may be moderately high and one or two feel-good chemicals may run somewhat low. You are most likely experiencing the most common neurochemical footprint associated with this state: Light Drain. This quiz may offer some clues to which of the brain drainers and balancers are out of whack in mild cases. Questions 5-12 may indicate low serotonin and/or GABA since anxiety runs high, questions 13-17 may indicate high adrenaline and norepinephrine since they indicate physical problems, and questions 18-20 may indicate low melatonin and high cortisol.

15 or above: moderate to major brain drain
major sympathetic nervous system dominance

You’re drained, and—chances are—you know it. You feel frazzled, stressed, fatigued, and exhausted quite often. If your stress response tends to go high and stay high, you may be experiencing the Skyrocket Drain form of sympathetic nervous system dominance. If you begin to feel frazzled but soon lack the energy to get through a crisis, your neurochemical footprint may be Drop Drain. Either way, you may consider yourself a worrier and have difficulty moving on after stressful events. Difficulty sleeping soundly is likely. There is probably one or more physical problems present, including problems with digestion or immunity. Additionally, your 24-hour cortisol/melatonin levels aren’t peaking and dipping at the right time. If you’ve survived a severe and untreated trauma, your sympathetic nervous system dominance may be manifesting itself as X-treme Drain. This neurochemical footprint can also develop over time if Skyrocket Drain is left untreated. In X-treme Drain, adrenaline and norepinephrine are high, but cortisol remains low. Major sympathetic nervous system dominance also means you are likely low in most or all of the brain-balancing neurotransmitters: acetylcholine, GABA, serotonin, melatonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Your sympathetic nervous system displays major dominance, and your parasympathetic nervous system is weak or nonexistent.

No matter how drained your brain is right now, don’t worry about how bad it seems.

Learn some of Dr. Dow’s tips for helping to balance your brain here.

Excerpt from "Heal Your Drained Brain: Naturally Relieve Anxiety, Combat Insomnia, and Balance Your Brain in Just 14 Days" by Dr. Mike Dow. Copyright © 2018 by Dr. Mike Dow. Used with permission by Hay House, Inc.. All rights reserved.