Feeling “Tired & Wired?” Take This Limbic System Dysfunction Quiz

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Robert Stevens

For each of the following questions, you will be asked to select one of the following options to indicate the frequency of your symptoms: never, very rarely, rarely, occasionally, frequently, or always. Your unique answers will then be used to calculate your results and determine whether your symptoms are mild, moderate, or severe. Your results will show further unique educational information, and all results are strictly confidential.

Please note and acknowledge that this depression test is not intended to estab­lish a physician-patient rela­tion­ship, to replace the ser­vices of a trained physi­cian or health care pro­fes­sional, or oth­er­wise to be a sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sional med­ical advice, diag­no­sis, or treatment. The aim of this quiz is to provide education about the condition. By filling out this depression test and clicking “calculate,” you acknowledge that you’ve read and agree with this statement and agree to re-origin’s Terms & Conditions.


​​To determine where you stand on the Limbic System Dysfunction spectrum, follow these steps:

  1. Read each question carefully and consider your experiences over the past few months.
  2. Answer each question with a “yes” or “no” based on your current symptoms and feelings.
  3. Tally your total “yes” answers at the end of the quiz.
  4. Refer to the scoring guide to understand your level of Limbic System Dysfunction.


  1. Are you experiencing long-term symptoms of an acute illness for which you cannot find the cause? 
  2. Do you suffer from fatigue, brain fog, or low energy throughout your day?
  3. Do you often ruminate on your symptoms or worry about your condition?
  4. Do you have trouble sleeping or feel “tired & wired” (being physically exhausted but mentally alert) at night? 
  5. Do you feel a sense of fear around certain activities - holding yourself back because you think they may worsen your symptoms?
  6. Do you find yourself checking your body for symptoms during the day? 
  7. If symptoms arise, do you fall into a spiral of persistent thought, trying to figure out what caused them?
  8. Do you feel the need to explain your health story repeatedly to anyone who might listen?
  9. Have your health symptoms affected your ability to work or your relationships with family and friends?
  10. Do you feel as though you have “tried it all” in terms of treatments, medication, and supplements, and yet you still feel ill? 

Scoring Guide

For each "yes" answer, give yourself 1 point. Your total score will be out of 10.

  • 0-2 Points: Low likelihood of Limbic System Dysfunction. Your symptoms are minimal, and you likely have a well-functioning Limbic System.
  • 3-5 Points: Moderate likelihood of Limbic System Dysfunction. Some symptoms are present, indicating potential Limbic System issues that might need attention.
  • 6-8 Points: High likelihood of Limbic System Dysfunction. You are experiencing significant symptoms that suggest Limbic System Dysfunction. It's important to explore strategies for improvement.
  • 9-10 Points: Very high likelihood of Limbic System Dysfunction. Your symptoms are severe and pervasive, strongly indicating Limbic System Dysfunction. Immediate action to address this is recommended.

If you answered “yes” to six or more of the above questions, then you may be experiencing Limbic System Dysfunction. 

Here’s the good news: this constant struggle of feeling “tired & wired” is not your body—it’s your brain (well, your Limbic System, to be exact). However,  the fantastic thing is that your Limbic System can change, so your circumstances can change! Join the re-origin brain retraining program to reduce or eliminate symptoms of Lymbic System Dysfunction dramatically. 

What is the function of the Limbic System?

The Limbic System is one of the brain's oldest and most primal parts. It is located primarily in the forebrain, surrounding the thalamus on both sides, and just below the temporal lobe, anterior to the occipital lobe, and above the brainstem. It is made up of multiple different brain structures, all functioning as a threat assessment and response team. These parts of the Limbic System include:

  • The Hippocampus is the area of the brain that helps consolidate memories. The reason our sense of smell (the olfactory nerve) is often tied so closely to our memories is that it is connected directly to this region of the brain.
  • The Hypothalamus is in charge of many automatic body functions, including hunger and thirst, regulating body temperature, sleep rhythms, and hormonal functions.
  • The Cingulate Cortex regulates your heart rate and blood pressure based on whether it deems an experience positive or negative.
  • The Amygdala is the portion of the brain that is responsible for fear and anger. It also analyzes situations in an attempt to tell you whether you are safe or unsafe.

When each of these structures functions, individually or together, the Limbic System promotes survival through feeding, reproduction, and fight-or-flight responses. Without the Limbic System, the natural urge to survive would not exist. Even though the Limbic System is key for our survival, everyday human experiences can sometimes create a somewhat false sensation of constant danger. When the Limbic System feels threatened, it triggers the Sympathetic portion of the Autonomic Nervous System. This trigger turns on our “Fight or Flight” response. When the Sympathetic Nervous System is activated, we may feel certain sensations, including:

  •  Increased heart rate and respiration rate
  •  Increased blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils and tunnel vision
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Hypervigilance
  • The sensation to fight back, run away, freeze in place, or appease the threat.

Chronic stress (you know, like not getting enough sleep, night after night?!) can lead to persistent Sympathetic Nervous System activation. This is often the largest contributor to Limbic System Dysfunction and often creates more stress in moments that are not inherently stressful or dangerous.

What are some of the side effects of Limbic System Dysfunction?

The most common side effects of Limbic System Dysfunction include:

  • Heightened physical and emotional responses to normal everyday stimuli
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep disorders
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
  • Mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression
  • Both short-term and long-term memory impairments
  • Limitations in producing or absorbing serotonin and dopamine
  • Overproduction of cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline)
  • Dysfunction of the endocrine system
  • Adoption of maladaptive coping mechanisms.

It is important to recognize that Limbic System Dysfunction is on a spectrum and manifests in a multitude of ways. While one person may notice sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, and long-term memory impairment, another person may notice the overproduction of cortisol, heightened responses to everyday stimuli, or the adoption of maladaptive coping mechanisms. Whatever your symptoms may be, and however intense they are, they can eventually be neutralized with brain retraining and neuroplasticity.

How to Reduce Symptoms of Limbic System Dysfunction

The value in understanding this information is that it empowers us to take action on limiting Sympathetic Nervous System activation in our daily lives, thus limiting symptoms of impairment of the Limbic System.  While doing this, we can also work towards decreasing overall life stress and calming the Limbic System. Some of the simplest ways to do this include:

  • Freeing up time in your day to take short rest breaks
  • Shifting from high-intensity exercise to slow, mindful movement kinds
  • Partaking in breathwork—focusing on making your exhales longer than your inhales
  • Taking slow walks outside while focusing on nature
  • Meditating before bed
  • Engaging in fun and uplifting content (movies, books, podcasts, etc.) and activities (games, creating art, playing with pets, etc.)
  • Focusing on being fully present and savoring each moment instead of trying to multitask
  • Participating in brain retraining to shift the way your Limbic System responds to your symptoms
  • Joining a brain retraining community to build connections with like-minded people.

Many of these activities engage the prefrontal cortex and midbrain. Doing this can shift your awareness from Limbic System reactions towards conscious awareness, thus decreasing symptoms of Limbic System Dysfunction.

It can also be helpful to gently participate in any of these activities while in a Sympathetic state. This can also calm your Limbic System and create a positive association with your symptoms. As neuropsychologist Norman Doidge once said, “Neurons that fire together wire together.” So, the more you participate in uplifting and positive activities during moments of symptom activation, the calmer your Limbic System, and the less discomfort you will feel while experiencing symptoms. It’s a win-win situation!

The human brain is incredibly plastic, meaning it has the ability to change. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of Limbic System Dysfunction or are simply curious about how you can minimize the possibility of it happening, there aremany ways to change your brain positively! Our body’s desire is to maintain homeostasis, plus neuroscience shows us that this is all possible with brain retraining.

At re-origin, we offer a 28-day brain retraining program to help address Limbic System Dysfunction. Join or learn more about re-origin’s brain retraining program today. 


  1. The Limbic System. (2019, January 24). Queensland Brain Institute - University of Queensland. https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-anatomy/limbic-system
  2. Bari A, Niu T, Langevin JP, Fried I. Limbic neuromodulation: implications for addiction, posttraumatic stress disorder, and memory. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2014 Jan;25(1):137-45. doi: 10.1016/j.nec.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Oct 10. PMID: 24262905; PMCID: PMC4445935.
  3. Streit, D. J. C. (2020, July 30). Is a Limbic System Impairment Hijacking Your Health? Institute for Restorative Health. https://instituteforrestorativehealth.com/2020/07/29/is-the-limbic-system-hijacking-your-health/
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