I’ve plugged Brain Workshop here before as a method to help counter act some of the cognitive side effects of the antipsychotics that I’ve been on. It’s a wonderful program for that and it does have its rewards in increasing fluid intelligence. But I’ve also noticed another change. It helps me with my performance anxiety.
I’m still unsure of whether it is due to abilify or if it is the program itself, but somewhere in my brain, I get a greatly diminished anxiety reaction to stressful cognitive acts. The reason that I can find for this decrease is due to desensitization to the act of cognitive stress by perpetually stressing my performance with the brain workshop. Before, whenever I began to become stressed, my palms would sweat, I would tremble slightly, my motor skills were fairly diminished. But now, working at maximum capacity, I find that these responses are slowly retreating. I still have some physical reactions, but my brain is able to concentrate and be more efficient in remembering tasks.
Another fascinating development is a greatly diminished fear of failure. Now, when I get a bad score or a task wrong. I simply carry on without being phased as much. I just keep going ahead and trying my hardest to keep up.
This brings up yet another reason for why I find this program so important. Not only does it allow me to have an objective measure of my mental performance on any given day with respect to the past days, and it helping to increase my performance in certain tasks, but it also provides a method of desensitization environment.
While I’m suspect on just how much it is just the brain workshop, I’m inclined to believe that it is a combination of abilify and desensitization. In that case, there is increased hope that abilify is truly stabilizing my behavior and mind. Right now, I’m almost giddy with happiness over the prospect that my anxiety might be controlled in addition to my depression and manias. The response is rather dramatic. I hope to relay some of this to my psychologist to see what exactly he thinks of the progress. Still, this is yet another wonderful example of just how much technology can be used to improve quality of life in manic depression and anxiety.