Change Your Brain, Change Your Life
Healing ADD
Dr. Daniel Amen


Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life | Healing ADD | ...more Daniel Amen Books

Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen ISBN 0812929985Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
by Daniel G. Amen

How the brain works - or doesn't!
Dr. Amen's fascinating book describes the brain functions of five separate areas of the human brain and tells what personality and behavioral changes occur when an area is overactive or underactive. Separate chapters describe each part of the brain and how it functions--or malfunctions, followed by a chapter which gives a broad range of advice for normalizing that part of the brain, including helpful medications, alternative therapies such as herbs and proper breathing, and activities such as thought control and exercise. Sure, you've heard that proper diet, exercise, deep breathing and meditation are good for you. Dr. Amen gives specific non-medical "prescriptions" so you can do what works best for the part of the brain you need to address.

Seeing is Believing
Illustrating the book are numerous brain pictures called SPECT scans which show the differences between normal and abnormal activity in the brain. Frequently it is seeing their SPECT scans which will finally convince Dr. Amen's patients that a brain malfunction is causing their problems, and convince them to get the help they need.

The book has extensive information about child and adult attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) such as: ADD medications work by stimulating the neurotransmitter dopamine, which "helps to prevent the prefrontal cortex shutdown that happens in ADD." Dr. Amen says that excessive serotonin can result in lowered dopamine, leading to prefrontal cortex underactivity which in turn causes an inability to focus and decreased motivation. He explains that people with ADD thrive on conflict, unconsciously creating it to enhance their brain function! One reason why an ADD person will stay in an abusive relationship is that they need to have their prefrontal cortex stimulated. (Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Healing ADD, below, would make a great attention deficit disorder gifts for someone you love.)

Obsessive Behavior
Dr. Amen discusses behavioral disorders such as obsessive behaviors, including obsessive compulsive disorder, obsessive thinking, obsessive eating, and obsessive defiant disorder, and explains how overactivity in the cingulate gyrus can cause this type of behavior. He also makes a connection between ADD, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette's Syndrome.

Emotional Behaviors
Anxiety, fear, depression, anger, and road rage are also covered. There is information on impulsive behaviors and compulsive behaviors such as compulsive gambling. One chapter is dedicated to the effects of drug and alcohol abuse--how various brain imbalances can lead to abuse and how abuse can lead to imbalances or further imbalance an already challenged brain.

Improving Home and Workplace
Throughout the book there are explanations to help you understand and support your loved ones and co-workers who have an imbalance, and suggestions for helping them achieve a healthier state.

Better Brain Function = Better Relationships
My favorite chapter covers relationship problems--how they can be caused by one or both people having abnormal brain function--and gives practical relationship advice for restoring intimacy and smoother functioning in troubled relationships. In this chapter Dr. Amen stresses the importance of bonding, building positive memories, and the positive affects of smell on the limbic system, which "sets the emotional tone of the mind." There are sections on improving function in each of the five areas of the brain in order to enhance relationships. I would buy the book for this chapter alone. It's a gem!

 -Editor, The Healing Arts, Homosassa

Some quotes from Change Your Brain, Change Your Life:

"Using the new imaging technology...patients and their families were able to "see" the underlying brain problems that were driving their emotional and behavioral symptoms. Rather than blame themselves for having a weak character or a "mental illness," they were able to more clearly understand the origins of their struggles and get the right help with more targeted, more effective treatment."
 -Introduction to the Paperback Edition (linked above)

"Your brain is the hardware of your soul. It is the hardware of your very essence as a human being. You cannot be who your really want to be unless your brain works right."

"The deep limbic system...directly processes the sense of smell. The olfactory system is the only one of the five sensory systems that goes from the sensory organ to directly where it is processed in the brain...Because your sense of smell goes directly to the deep limbic system, it is easy to see why smells can have such a powerful impact on our feeling states [emotions]."
 -Chapter 3: Looking Into Love and Depression

Functions of the Prefrontal Cortex:

  • attention span
  • perseverance
  • judgment
  • impulse control
  • organization
  • self-monitoring and supervision
  • problem solving
  • critical thinking
  • forward thinking
  • learning from experience
  • ability to feel and express emotions
  • interaction with the limbic system
  • empathy

Problems With the Prefrontal Cortex:

  • short attention span
  • distractibility
  • lack of perseverance
  • impulse control problems
  • hyperactivity
  • chronic lateness, poor time management
  • disorganization
  • procrastination
  • unavailability of emotions
  • misperceptions
  • poor judgment
  • trouble learning from experience
  • short-term memory problems
  • social and test anxiety

-Chapter 7: Looking Into Inattention and Impulsivity: The Prefrontal Cortex

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Healing ADD adult attention deficit disorder children kids hyperactive hyperactivity 6 types sixHealing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the Six Types of Attention Deficit Disorder
by Daniel Amen M.D.

Hard, visual data make a compelling case for the existence of attention deficit disorder (ADD) in this pioneering work by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. Using a nuclear medicine technique called "single photon emission computed tomography" (SPECT)--a controversial step, according to some of his peers--Dr. Amen scans patients' brains to identify various abnormalities. From more than 8,000 such studies and more than 12,000 patient evaluations, Dr. Amen concludes that six--not the formerly presumed two--different types of ADD exist. This book encompasses the full spectrum of Dr. Amen's work: from symptom identification to clinical evaluation, to diet and medication recommendations, to everyday strategies for living with ADD (whether the reader is a parent of an ADD child, or has been diagnosed with the disease.)

No stranger to the skepticism surrounding this topic, Dr. Amen begins with a list of dead-on myths (including "ADD is overdiagnosed") and surprising facts ("Many people with ADD are never hyperactive"). From this intriguing beginning flows a highly readable chapter on the signs and manifestations of ADD in all ages. Dr. Amen's full description of SPECT imaging includes multiple brain scan photos that nicely support his theories. But the most satisfying element of this well-researched presentation occurs in the final half of the book; here, Amen thoroughly explores the biological (diet, exercise, medication), psychological (from personal coaching to psychotherapy), and social support (parenting and school strategies) needed to heal each type of ADD. This book will prove a valuable tool for parents, adult sufferers, and medical professionals seeking practical support for managing this increasingly recognized condition.
 -Liane Thomas,

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