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This podcast episode is based on Journey to Recovery: A Comprehensive Guide to Recovery from Mental Health and Addiction Issues by Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes  Read it for free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

Journey to Recovery Series
Biopsychosocial Aspects of Emotions
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes Executive Director, AllCEUs

CEUs are available at

~ Learn how to help clients understand, identify and modify
~ Physiological causes and mitigators of emotions
~ Psychological/ Cognitive causes and mitigators of emotions
~ Social causes and mitigators of emotions
~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ Sleep & Circadian rhythms
~ Depressive disorders are associated with various neurobiological alterations like hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, altered neuroplasticity and altered circadian rhythms (Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr. 2018 May;86(5):308-318)
~ Circadian disruption is reliably associated with various adverse mental health and wellbeing outcomes, including major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder. (Lancet Psychiatry. 2018 Jun;5(6):507-514)
~ Prefrontal cortex is particularly susceptible to the effects of sleep loss (Prog Brain Res. 2010;185:105-29)
~ Reduced quantity of sleep increases risk for major depression, which in turn increases risk for decreased sleep (Sleep. 2014 Feb 1;37(2):239-44. BMC Public Health. 2018 Jun 11;18(1):724)

~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ Sleep & Circadian rhythms
~ Balancing circadian rhythms
~ Improving sleep quality
~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ Nutrition
~ Proteins and vitamins (absorption)
~ Blood sugar
~ Anxiety is associated with low blood sugar
~ Nervousness and fatigue are associated with high blood sugar
~ Hydration
~ Nutritional Interventions (Under medical supervision)
~ Good nutrition
~ Improve absorption
~ Stabilize blood sugar
~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ PTSD/Hypocortisolism
~ Stress is associated with an increased activity of the HPA-axis, increased cortisol levels and a decreased downregulation.
~ Hypoactivity of the HPA-axis develops out of chronic stress, in stress-related disorders such as PTSD, chronic fatigue syndrome & burn out. PLoS One. 2014; 9(6): e98682
~ Cushing’s and Addison’s disease are characterized by altered cortisol levels, and both exhibit high rates of depression which can be reversed when cortisol is normalized.
~ Organic dysregulation

~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ PTSD/Hypocortisolism & Organic dysregulation
~ Identify and address vulnerabilities
~ Stress and stress stimuli (emotional or physical (illness, over-exercise))
~ Sleep deprivation
~ Pain
~ Sudden discontinuation of glucocorticoids after prolonged glucocorticoid therapy
~ Mindfulness to prevent or mitigate vulnerabilities
~ Address trauma

~ Neurotransmitter balance
~ Inflammatory Conditions (Autoimmune conditions: Chron’s, Rheumatoid Arthritis)
~ Fatigue, anhedonia, low mood, social isolation and irritability
~ Inflammation activates IDO (indolamine-2,3-dioxygenase) IDO is an enzyme which converts tryptophan into kynurenine, which competes for tryptophan with the serotonin pathway and produces neurotoxic byproducts.
~ Childhood trauma permanently upregulates proinflammatory molecules

~ Hyper or hypothyroid
~ Medications
~ Hormones
~ Beta-blockers (Depression)
~ Calcium channel blockers (Depression)
~ Statins (Depression
~ Opioids
~ Stimulants (decongestants, ADHD medications)
~ Antidepressants (esp. anxiety and mania)
~ Antianxiety (Benzodiazepines, barbiturates)
~ Steroids (anxiety and mania)
~ Herbs (Yohimbe, 5-HTP, St. Johns Wort, SAM-e, Valerian)

~ Schema and prior learning
~ Emotion = arousal + cognition
~ Updates pending…
~ Overriding the amygdala
~ Negativity bias
~ 5:1 ratio for happiness
~ Dialectics
~ Mindfulness and serenity
~ Attributional style
~ Internal/External (LOC)
~ Global/Specific
~ Stable/Changeable

~ Attributional style
~ Some people who are experiencing a high level of arousal have difficulty accurately determining which emotion they are experiencing
~ Consider a time when your behaviors or judgments were based more on affect than on cognition. Were the outcomes positive or negative?
~ Have you ever misattributed an emotion? If so, what was the impact of doing so?

~ Attachment
~ Attachment theory describes a biological system with a survival function that is activated under pressure, separation, and danger (Bowlby, 1969). An activated attachment system elicits attachment behavior in children (approaching, seeking contact, and maintaining contact), which in turn leads to caregiving behavior by adults.
~ If caregivers primarily act sensitively with responsive availability, the child will most likely securely attach
~ securely attached individuals have a high flexibility in social interactions
~ When attachment signals are not adequately answered by their caregivers, attachment becomes insecure–avoidant or ambivalent

~ Self-esteem
~ Social support
~ Environmental Energy
~ Posture and facial expressions
~ Verbalizations
~ Facebook’s experiment

~ The body, mind and environment all contribute to mood
~ Each of these areas needs to be explored and addressed to improve client’s chances for optimal recovery