Cognition/Mood/Anxiety Tracking

I’ve scrolled the past year’s worth of posts and couldn’t see anything on this topic. Perhaps because the science and available tools just don’t match up yet.

I was wondering if anyone has thought about, is thinking about or is interested in thinking about ways to improve understanding and mapping a mix of cognitive/mood and anxiety symptoms to biochemical abnormalities to help drive improved interventions?

I have a mix of ADD (with sig EF deficits VIQ/PIQ discrepancy), mood and anxiety issues that don’t map neatly to lifestyle and other interventions. My frustration is that there are not yet biomarkers to help guide interventions, which I feel is helpful once you have a combination of symptoms that are non-traditional. I’ve done 23andme raw genetic data analysis and at one point a QEEQ, but not clear data indicating reliability of adapting these to solutions.

My goal is to get the biochemical support in place where I could keep to better lifestyle interventions, but that has been an elusive goal at times :(. Even with medication/exercise/therapy, I still struggle to leverage and benefit from lifestyle interventions.

Anyone have any reflections/thoughts on this? Are there any neurointerfaces or use of QEEG that could reliably help? The cognitive tests help identify a phenotype, but don’t help narrow down what biochemical abnormality to address.

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maybe relevant:
https://wiki.openhumans.org/wiki/Tools_to_survey_symptoms_and_states
https://wiki.openhumans.org/wiki/Talk:Lab_Tests

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One place to start might be with active tracking/self-assessment to guide interventions. For instance, a single score in the evening, perhaps on just a 3 point scale: How focused was I able to be today. This is a crude measurement, but over time it may prove useful to have a long term measure. There are many other approaches, but in my experience a project that begins with a simple measurement has a better chance of succeeding and producing useful discoveries that a project that begins with complex, cutting edge equipment. In the latter case, an awful lot of energy goes into troubleshooting the equipment rather than reasoning about the phenomenon.

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Thanks. I have thoughts on scales. I was hoping there were more biomarkers to use because often times phenotype really doesn’t map clearly to existing interventions.

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I don’t know if there’s strong correlation, but Garmin uses HRV to deduce stress levels. I would think that stress and anxiety has a lot to do with serotonin levels, and hence mood.

Really looking forward to something that measures serotonin, or some better work on HRV

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Stress levels would be a good measure or you can measure serotonin levels, there are a few companies doing at-home test kits. I can have a chat with one of our in house nurses to see if you’d like?

I didn’t realize there was at home testing for serotonin now, but I searched and found several options. (For instance: https://www.labme.ai/products/at-home-neurotransmitter-test/.) Has anybody tried these? Maith, if you have, I’m very curious what you’ve learned!

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That link doesn’t work for me! But I know you can test serotonin levels at home via dried blood spots. I haven’t personally tested it, but I know a few of our customers are looking into it, but mainly to see it’s affect on sleep.

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I’ve seen a lot of success using the Goldilocks scale to measure objective stress influencing activities (social, physical, intellectual). I paired it with the subjective 1-5 mood scale so that when it’s plotted on a time-series graph you can start to see correlations.

Regarding the high-resolution data behind prescriptions and others, I’m working on a few designs to capture what I call “metadata” of an entry that is tracked. I’d love your input if you’re interested.

I am 77. Sent you an email. Understand if you don’t bother reading this but loved your emotion-mood wheel. Can be useful. Anyway since 1974 I have used a regular practice of crying-mindfully to prevent depression, eliminate mood swings, and dissolve stress-installed thought and behavior patterns. Scientific research has demonstrated the value of meditation and mindfulness. It will do the same for crying. No one should be deprived of its consistent benefits - we must show proof that the stigma on crying has to be reversed if we ever want to be universally rational. I deas here…but will order book so can set up research and find fellow subjects:
THE PRACTICE OF MINDFUL CRYING - WHAT YOU WILL LEARN. BASIC VIEWPOINTS. SKILLS ARE ON A SEPARATE PAGE.

Practitioners learn the difference between feeling feelings, which motivate, and experiencing emotions, which inform and require tears. They learn to resist their social conditioning to avoid painful emotions and instead use well-refined embodiment skills and the attention of one watcher to activate emotion so that each discrete suppressed emotion can be directly experienced with acute introspective awareness. The skills practiced include: (1) how to prolong the experience of each discrete arising emotion so that all associated sounds, words, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images can be addressed thoroughly; (2) how to maintain conscious awareness of all arising mental phenomena; (3) how to attend to/experience the stream-of-consciousness when it arises and even pause crying, report what is happening, then return to the previous emotional state; and, (4) what to do when a cognitive-emotional cycle is completed. If you already possess sharp concentration and introspection skills and can deeply sense your body and attention, your first experiment with emotional mindfulness, which requires at least one partner and at least 6 minutes each, will probably produce a result…I can’t predict what. (If you already are comfortable with intense emotion and suddenly access the stream-of-consciousness, your experiences may startle you. Opening your eyes, looking at your partner(s), examining your surroundings, and talking will likely cancel it. Because you cry, whatever the experience, it will be stress-reducing, integrative, and transformational.)
VIEWPOINT #1―We may possess a fight/flight/freeze rat/rabbit brain but evolution/Creation, in all its brilliance, provided us with this mind-boggling naturally corrective biological mechanism or process of crying. It comprehensively reduces physical and psychological stress (tension, pressure, strain, emotional pain), enables us to identify and extinguish unhelpful trauma-conditioned responses, integrates information when we consciously and mindfully experience our emotions, yields all of the emotions that make us human and humane (especially, affection, tenderness, empathy, compassion, and love and even foresight), and plays a major role at each stage of our cognitive-emotional development and maturation, or it would— when we allow it to do so. Tragically, this stigmatized and avoided integrative process, crying-with-attention, likely is the mechanism that prepares us for and then enables each stage of our physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual development. I have good reasons for believing this.
VIEWPOINT #2―To assure our lifelong use of this process we inherit three basic socializing and intelligence/emotion-stimulating drives which are obvious during our infancy and babyhood. They are to instinctively: (1) seek and receive attention (aware attention stimulates the brain and activates emotion), (2) communicate with living entities (language in any form!!), and (3) consciously, with full awareness experience emotion(s) while receiving silent, respectful, approving attention.
VIEWPOINT #3―My experiences suggest the following: (1) that aware attention we receive during crying yields the precise information integration that we must have if we are to understand our experiences and interact with-and-in Reality with wisdom, compassion, and empathy; (2) that comprehensive integration occurs only when we deeply experience any previously suppressed discrete emotion to the precise degree of intensity with which it consciously or unconsciously was originally felt (takes seconds); (3) that for thorough integration we must experience our emotions with 100% conscious awareness of sensations, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and imagery; and, (4) that for this process to truly fulfill its socializing purpose we must report aloud to at least one watcher (partner) each arising word, sentence, thought, image, feeling, and emotion (this is a discipline). During practice we must not try to explain anything as that will distract us.

Hi, EB_G, this might interest you. It might be helpful. I can hope for that as you deserve some solutions to the challenges you describe.
JUST SAW GARY’S REPLY AFTER I FINISHED THIS DOC. I apologize for the length here and also if placing all of this in “reply” is inappropriate. (Don’t be surprised if you see this identical text elsewhere. Now that I’ve written it it makes sense to use it.)
My subject for evaluation/self-testing is the above, plus rapid stress-reduction through crying-with-attention i.e., with at least one silent listener or “watcher” (quantum craziness for which I presently have no time). I used therapists and practice partners to whom crying was the primary source of stress-reduction.
I know, crazy, but it IS our nervous system’s primary stress-reducing process and the fact that we are trained to ignore our feelings and suppress emotions just to avoid crying is exactly what is producing our current social and political upheaval and suffering, in my opinion.
NEEDED: A DEVICE, BUT ALSO INEXPENSIVE WAY TO TEST BLOOD
I have an experienced-based structured practice for which I am seeking self-testing collaborators, volunteers , and biological testing information and devices. Objective: to help us reduce stress while amassing enough evidence of crying’s value to finally interest neuroscientists and mental health professionals so that they will develop research programs. (I have had no luck for 30 plus years of intermittent effort.) Meditation and mindfulness, which I highly esteem, are now popularized only because of research evidence for their value.
I am 77. I inherited the vulnerability to stress-induced depression/mood swings and had unwanted experiences including a suicide attempt at 23 (1968). I tell you that because when I was 29 (1974) I began personally experiencing the incredibly valuable effect of intentional and skillful crying. I didn’t realize it at the time, when I was seeing a therapist once a week for 10 years and crying my head off at the start of each session (1978-1988), but I was actually preventing recurrence by keeping my stress level either low or next to absent and because of this I kept jobs, moved as needed, and dealt with human and animal deaths without relapse or difficult stress.
Wouldn’t you think that IF crying is so effective for everyone, mental health professionals would be helping clients/patients cry during at least part of a session when it was evident, at least to the professional, that feelings were strong and emotions were being suppressed? Well! For one thing, they don’t know that each of us can actually learn how to cry skillfully if we receive silent attention from one approving person, be it therapist or fellow “mindful crying” practitioner.
You don’t need my history with crying although it is impressive.I’ve written three books, on Amazon, on the power of crying . They are under my full name Pamela Anne Maccabee. You DO NOT have to buy them as the summaries are informative.
I AM HERE NOW, (1) to see if any QSrs want to participate in a self-testing mindful crying practice where each person develops their own best measurement approach; (2) info on truly affordable electronic self-tracking devices; (3) if there is any way to inexpensively begin biological, including blood, testing for measurable changes in stress level; and (4) suggestions for recruiting. I am posting info re this effort on LinkedIn, FB, and Twitter today. Do I know what I am doing? No. But I can at least help anyone here form their own emotion-support mindful crying partnership or group.
I see you were last here in March. I hope that things are doing either okay or well for you. I send an electronic hug! OH, we can use this practice with therapists, even psychiatrists, who promise not to interrupt.

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That is every interesting!! Will check both out!!