Overview of Craving Type Questionnaire

February 4, 2022
Chris Engen

Here's an example of the Mental Health SYMPTOMS that drive CRAVINGS for substances.  I use Julia Ross' The Craving Type Questionnaire to determine which neurotransmitter systems are depleted and causing symptoms and cravings. 

Take a look and check off the symptoms below that best describe your struggles with mood. What's standing out for you? If it's "ALL OF THE SYMPTOMS", don't worry, I see that a lot! We rank them 0-10 and knock them off one by one, prioritizing the most bothersome.

EXAMPLE: Worry and anxiety can be a result of low GABA AND/OR also low serotonin, so you may check off anxiety in both sections. Low GABA tends to result in a more physical anxiety, while low serotonin tends to result in more anxiety in the head, ruminating thoughts etc.

Low GABA

  • Crave carbs, alcohol, or drugs for relaxation and calming
  • Anxiety and feeling overwhelmed or stressed
  • Feeling worried or fearful
  • Panic attacks
  • Unable to relax or loosen up
  • Stiff or tense muscles
  • Feeling stressed and burned-out

Low Serotonin

  • Afternoon or evening cravings for carbs, alcohol or drugs
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks or phobias
  • Feeling worried or fearful
  • Obsessive thoughts or behaviors
  • Perfectionism or being overly controlling
  • Irritability
  • Winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Negativity or depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Low self-esteem and poor self-confidence
  • Anger or rage
  • Fibromyalgia, TMJ, or other pain syndromes
  • Difficulty getting to sleep
  • Insomnia or disturbed sleep

Low Catecholamines

  • Crave carbs, alcohol, caffeine, or drugs for energy
  • Depression and apathy
  • Easily bored
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of focus
  • Lack of drive and low motivation
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Procrastination and indecisiveness

Low Endorphins

  • Crave a reward or numbing treat
  • Heightened sensitivity to emotional pain
  • Heightened sensitivity to physical pain
  • Crying or tearing up easily
  • Eating to soothe your mood, or comfort eating
  • Really, really loving certain foods, behaviors, drugs, or alcohol

Low Blood Sugar

  • Crave sugar, starch or alcohol any time during the day
  • Irritable, shaky, headachey – especially if too long between meals
  • Intense cravings for sweets
  • Lightheaded if meals are missed
  • Eating relieves fatigue
  • Agitated, easily upset, nervous

There are specific amino acids to target the symptoms associated with depletion in each of the above areas. I have an advanced certification in Amino Acid Therapy to help you determine where to start!

It's sometimes straightforward and sometimes a "puzzle" to be figured out.

Often it takes just a few days or a week to resolve! Sometimes there's more going on and we need to take a deeper look "under the hood" to see if adrenal function, thyroid or gut health is causing the aminos not to work.

Curious? Book a call with me and I'll send you the Questionnaire and we can get started!

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