Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Notes: Give Amy a Bottle

From my therapy notebook:

I now know who to blame for my feelings of panic and anxiety … Amy.

It’s all her fault.

That’s what I call my amygdala, the delinquent cluster of neurons in the limbic system considered by most neurobiologists as the fear center of the human body, like the “welcome center” of college campuses, except that instead of providing glossy brochures, Amy doles out panic attacks.
This almond shaped group of neurons is responsible for making us act like apes, those very hairy creatures from which we’ve evolved … most of us anyway. Whenever you begin to feel the adrenaline—perhaps, for example, when you open your e-mail to find a thousand messages and among them a Facebook friend request from your ex-boyfriend who smashed your heart like a callous hairy ape–envision the almond neurons, the brat Amy, and warm up a bottle of milk for her.
“Ahhh, there you go. Much better.”

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  • Therese

    Thanks for posting this. I do have this feeling of panic, often out of the blue over something that’s been there for awhile but for some reason I decide out of no where to worry about. Plus we have the same name!

  • Anna

    I think it’s so helpful to think of the anxiety as something separate – it’s really hard to do, but I like your habit of calling our crazy amygdalas by name. :)

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