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Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness [Paperback]

Daniel G. Amen M.D.
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 31 1999
BRAIN PRESCRIPTIONS THAT REALLY WORK
In this breakthrough bestseller, you'll see scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness, or impulsiveness could be related to how specific structures in your brain work. You're not stuck with the brain you're born with. Here are just a few of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen's surprising--and effective--"brain prescriptions" that can help heal your brain and change your life:
To Quell Anxiety and Panic:
¸  Use simple breathing techniques to immediately calm inner turmoil
To Fight Depression:
¸  Learn how to kill ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
To Curb Anger:
¸  Follow the Amen anti-anger diet and learn the nutrients that calm rage
To Conquer Impulsiveness and Learn to Focus:
¸  Develop total focus with the "One-Page Miracle"
To Stop Obsessive Worrying:
¸  Follow the "get unstuck" writing exercise and learn other problem-solving exercises

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Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness + Healing Anxiety and Depression + Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted
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Product Description

From Amazon

In this age of do-it-yourself health care (heck, if the doctor only sees you for 10 minutes each visit, what other options are there?), Change Your Brain, Change Your Life fits in perfectly. Filled with "brain prescriptions" (among them cognitive exercises and nutritional advice) that are geared toward readers who've experienced anxiety, depression, impulsiveness, excessive anger or worry, and obsessive behavior, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life milks the mind-body connection for all it's worth.

Written by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has also authored a book on attention deficit disorder, Change Your Brain contains dozens of brain scans of patients with various neurological problems, from caffeine, nicotine, and heroin addiction to manic-depression to epilepsy. These scans, often showing large gaps in neurological activity or areas of extreme overactivity, are downright frightening to look at, and Dr. Amen should know better than to resort to such scare tactics. But he should also be commended for advocating natural remedies, including deep breathing, guided imagery, meditation, self-hypnosis, and biofeedback for treating disorders that are so frequently dealt with by prescription only. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist Amen uses nuclear brain imaging to diagnose and treat behavioral problems. He explains how the brain works, what happens when things go wrong, and how to optimize brain function. Five sections of the brain are discussed, and case studies clearly illustrate possible problems. The accompanying brain-scan photos are difficult to read with an untrained eye. Although Amen provides step-by-step "prescriptions" geared toward optimizing and healing the different sections of the brain ("create a library of wonderful experiences"; "try meditation/self-hypnosis"), 80 percent of the patients in his case studies were given medication to treat their behavioral problems. The audience for this book is ambiguous. While it encourages readers to evaluate themselves and others, it would be more useful to a professional in the social sciences than to the general reader. Buy where self-help or brain-research books are popular.?Maria Uzdavinis, Rochester P.L., NH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A 1st -hand view April 22 2001
By Johncpu
Format:Paperback
Since both myself and a loved one have been diagnosed and treated at Amen's clinic, I'd like to respond to this book from the view of my actual experience.
First, I agree with most of the what is said in the other positive reviews. The book is engaging, informative, and most importantly, it offers a great deal of hope. It breaks new ground, and it allows the layman to make better sense of the complexities of brain biology, personality, and behavior. To those few reviewers who insisted that Amen does not actually tell us "how to change your brain" - this is simply not true. Amen offers a variety of options including traditional meds, (even a nice chart to help with the benefits of each), and alternative treatments such as herbal and dietary suggestions.
As many know, Amen's use of SPECT scans is very controversial. Although he has a following of professionals, he is also careful to say that the scans are NOT a primary diagnostic tool - only a way to confirm a tentative diagnosis. This may be because SPECT is not approved by the DSM, nor the APA(to my knowledge), as an accepted and reliable diagnostic tool for ADD or any of the other problems Amen discusses. Given the stodgy psychiatric mentality in the US toward new approaches, this should not be a problem in and of itself. Yet given the controversy, a serious flaw of the book is that it does not address the number and types of cases in which this approach does NOT work.
But I also want to offer some cautions to those who might be tempted to passively accept the book in its entirety.
1) In my own case, two Drs and a thrapist in Amen's own office had different interpretations of my loved-one's SPECT scan, yet there was no consultation among them to resolve the issue.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Important Books I have Ever Read Aug. 12 2001
By Riowest
Format:Paperback
This book shows you that there is hope for everyone! Though the title is a little silly, it is appropriate. This book actually shows you pictures of brains with different emotional/chemical imbalances. Give it to anyone who questions whether diet or medication really affect their feelings and relationships. Many people believe that medication is for weak people and that they should be able to conquer their problems through sheer will. I have known countless people who have tried everything to overcome emotional issues but actually changing their physiology. This book gives indisputable evidence that problems like depression, aggression, ADD and Alzheimers are physically based. The changes in patients' brains before and after treatment (often, but not always medication-based) are phenomenal. It demonstrates with the SPECT series brain scans that our brain chemistry rules our emotions.
I learned that even minor bumps to the head can change people's personalities and ability to learn. Dr. Amen shows pictures of brains with little or no activity in areas that have been injured, mirroring the patients' emotional or intellectual difficulties.
Amen is very clear that he always uses talk therapy and teaching communication skills before he contemplates having a SPECT series done. His point is that many people can benefit from learning new skills and ways of looking at life, but some are truly stuck because their brain activity keeps them looping on negative thoughts, reacting with extreme anger, obsessing about limited situations, or shutting down when they try to concentrate. When medication is used these patients can finally put the communication and coping skills they have learned to good use.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Aug. 5 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I suffer from all of these disorders. I have been to therapists but it seems to me that it only has increased my obsessiveness, anxiety, etc. Dr. Amen gives you techniques to help you deal with the brain chemicals that get released when you are in the throes of these ailments. I would like to read other books in this vein. This seems like it is a new issue, yet it is extremely important. Dr. Amen gives "prescriptions" (non-medicinal) and also does recommend medicinal prescriptions from dr.'s as well. In my case I would prefer not to be on any psychological medications, so the non-medicinal advice is greatly appreciated for these ailments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is a fun book, easy to read and very thought provoking.
The book recounts a wide variety of case studies. Each story begins with a patient coming for help. After inquiring about the problem, the wise doctor does a SPECT scan (like a CAT scan) and discovers over-active or underactive brain regions. Based on the diagnosis, drugs and/or therapy are prescribed. Most stories have a happy ending.
As a whole, the book constructs a fascinating link between behavior and brain 'health.' By presenting at least 50 SPECT images (black and white to keep costs down), Amen describes brain health in terms of 'normal activity' levels. Hyperactivity and underactivity in localized areas of the brain cause behavioral problems. At the end of the book is a section on drug abuse and brain health. The pictures of what drugs do to the brain ought to scare many.
The material is somewhat controversial. Dr. Amen's definition of brain health is not universally shared. Rather than dwell on the controversy, the book sticks with the case study review, including conflicts with doctors favoring 'talk' therapy along the way. In one case, he has to go all over the country to find a surgeon willing to remove the cyst causing a patient problems. The story telling style keeps the politics to a minimum and lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A major break through for brain function
This book reveals just how intricately linked are the brain chemistry --- it's activity level -- one's behaviour and one's emotions. Read more
Published 8 months ago by dawn elliott
5.0 out of 5 stars Great insight!
Wonderful information on brain function and the impact it has on relationships, and how we can improve our lives as we learn about ourselves and the people around us.
Published on Dec 26 2011 by Serena
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is dead on. The best part is, that among all the studying...
This book is a must read. It is written in lay persons terms and even if you don't suffer from ADD or OCD or any of the other issues addressed in this book, there's a damn good... Read more
Published on July 12 2009 by Brenda Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Dr. Amen
Great alternative to reading a book although we do recommend the book + CDs. We take these CDs everywhere we go and play them in the car.
Published on Feb. 18 2009 by JDupla
5.0 out of 5 stars Change Your Brain--HAVE A BETTER LIFE!
Another excellent book by Dr. Amen, which is so fascinating about how the brain works and how with the newest diagnostic tools, it can be "tweaked" so our lives can be... Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by Jacqueline Marcell
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Brain on TOAST!
Fascinating book, looking at physiological and functional problems in the brain due to trauma or drug use (both legal and illegal) - the SPECT images are *scary* !! Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2004 by Lynn Magdalene
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book
Dr. Daniel Amen, MD is a pioneer in the up and coming technology of functional neuroimaging. Using SPECT scans, functional MRI and PET scans Neuro oriented psychiatrists such as... Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2003 by LostBoyinNC
4.0 out of 5 stars Change your brain for the better
This is a pretty good book that appeals to the broad audience of just about anyone who has suffered from at least mild mental distress, and that includes about everyone. Read more
Published on March 27 2003 by Avery Z. Conner
4.0 out of 5 stars After I read this....
This book will make you want to change your brain! Surrendering caffeine was my answer. I would consume coffee or even caffeine pills to get going in the morning. Read more
Published on Dec 25 2002 by dean_from_sa
2.0 out of 5 stars A Book on Drug Treatment
This is a book on drug treatment. It seems like a good one. Since the author
uses SPECT scans. Read more
Published on Nov. 18 2002 by Bill Butler
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