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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wondeful book I have ever read!
If you are an adult with ADD, paticularly "non classic ADD" this book will change your life.
You have to have a certain amount of academic ability to understand the early parts of the book but if you are intrested in the neuroscience of why you are different this book is a fantstic breakthrough.
If you aren't interested in the case histories at the front of the...
Published on Dec 18 2002 by Claudia

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible
While this book is well-written, compelling, and introduces new technology that supports the idea of AD/HD as a brain disorder (versus being a flaw in character), it makes claims that are years ahead of the research needed to substantiate most of them. Amen writes with the certainty and fervor of a zealot rather than the cautious prose of a scientist. This is...
Published on Oct. 23 2001


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wondeful book I have ever read!, Dec 18 2002
This review is from: Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD (Paperback)
If you are an adult with ADD, paticularly "non classic ADD" this book will change your life.
You have to have a certain amount of academic ability to understand the early parts of the book but if you are intrested in the neuroscience of why you are different this book is a fantstic breakthrough.
If you aren't interested in the case histories at the front of the book then just do the test to find out which kind of ADD you have and then read the chapters on medication, herbal treatments and practical advice for your day to day life.
I have read almost every ADD book for adults on the market and this is the first one to address my problems with sleep! This was fantastic for me.
Also in New Zealand where I live most medications for ADD are not available and this has been extremely frustrating for me.
Dr Amens advice about herbal supplements helped me to find a supplement that has also helped me immensely.
I have Inattentive ADD and Overfocused ADD and Dr Amen's descriptions describe my life more perfectly that any other book I have read. Most books just focus on the "classic hyper ADD male (or sometimes female) but ignore the rest of us who DO have very serious problems in life.
If you are the mother of an ADD child this book proves the physical existance of ADD once and for all and the tips at the back will really help your child when they become a teen and adult. Also the chapter on herbal supplements is not written by one of the many many people trying to sell you a snake oil cure for ADD but by a doctor who knows how herbal treatments REALLY work on the brain because he has seen the physical evidence.
As someone who has ADD and who has worked with children with ADD and studied psychology I must say Dr Amen's ideas explain what I already knew from experience, research and logic. That is... that our brains are wired differently that others.
People are angry with Dr Amen because he has finally proven once and for all that ADD exists. No more calling it a fad or saying that ADD people are just lazy and selfish. So called "mental health professionals" are jealous because he is a genius, that has discovered a totally new way of helping people. There are many so called professionals who just can't handle someone coming up with new ideas that challange the status quo.
Some of the people writing reviews on this site are motivated by their own professional jealousy and fear of anything new. Also the scientologists who belive doctors are evil (they say so publically) also come here to attack many of the books sold on Amazon.com.
Anyway I truly belive Dr Amens works are an ENORMOUS breakthrough for those suffering from the less serious mental health conditions (ADD, anxiety etc...)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Irresponsible, Oct. 23 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
While this book is well-written, compelling, and introduces new technology that supports the idea of AD/HD as a brain disorder (versus being a flaw in character), it makes claims that are years ahead of the research needed to substantiate most of them. Amen writes with the certainty and fervor of a zealot rather than the cautious prose of a scientist. This is problematic because the only empirical support for his claims comes from his own work. A lack of replication is a crucial flaw in any sort of scientific endeavor and, while not invalidating results, calls for cautious interpretation. In his failure to engage any caution in his writing, Amen is gravely irresponsible.
A second point to consider is that Amen's taxonomy of AD/HD suggests six types of the disorder that functionally encompass any bad experiences that a person with AD/HD might have. He then prescribes medical and psychosocial treatments for each type --again without any empirical support. If his position in this book were indeed true, it would be too good to be true. Generally, claims that seem too good to be true (i.e., avoiding food dye 'cures' AD/HD) are indeed too good to be true.
If you elect to read this book (and it is an interesting read), I would recommend that you digest all of the information it conveys with a great deal of caution.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hargray, Sept. 14 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
I was the terror of the neighborhood, failed grade 1,
dropped out of high school after grade 10, then after the
army, 3 teachers talked me into returning to school. A
VERY difficult journey began - hard to concentrate, memory
problems, hyperactivity, and etc. It took a LOT of help,
but ultimately I received a BA, MEd, and Ph.D. I became a
chief of psychology in a psychiatric hospital, teacher,
therapist -- and then at 46 years of age, I was diagnosed
with ADHD. Suddenly, "everything" made sense, as the
disorder was 'classic' to how I had behaved, thought,
struggled with relationships, and etc. MEDICATIONS
comletely turned MY life around (as my wife, friends, and
work associates would affirm) - they don't work for everyone,
but for me, it was like a miracle from heaven. Of course, the
anti-medication zealots will not wish to believe this, but
my experience is like that of so many others I have seen IN MY
PRACTICE AS A PSYCHOLOGIST. When medications work, they
really do a great job. When they don't, the experience can
be very disappointing, and anger can run high. I also
conducted over 500, 1-day seminars in almost every state in
the USA, and provinces in Canada (this took place over a
14 year period). Having said all of this - the absolute
best book in the field, based on my having read scores of books,
articles, and my experiences factored in, is Dr. Amen's book!!!
I have, in fact, cleared out about 80% of all the AD/HD
literature I had, and Dr. Amen's book remains my favorite.
It is the ONLY book I now recommend to individuals who ask
for my opinion, as a psychologist WITH ADHD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Amen's book helped change my (daughter's) life!!!, April 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD (Paperback)
My daughter will be eleven this month. About a year ago, I found this book quite by accident while browsing ADD topics on MSN. I had had continuous school problems with my daughter since kindergarten. Before that, I knew she was different from other kids. From kindergarten through 4th grade I ran from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong. I was introduced to ADD-ADHD at the age of 5-6. From there after an MRI and trips Children's Hospital - we had different maybe diagnosis' that ranged from a non-verbal learning disability to asperger's disorder. By 4th grade I was at my whit's end. A terrible year in school!! Then one day I found this book. It described my daughter to a tee!! OVERFOCUSED ADD - TYPE 3!!!! She could not help herself - she could not help being difficult!! Now let me mention that my daughter had already been on several different ADHD medications since kindergarten - and she was still having these problems!! I then took her to a PHD level Psychologist who did a full Neuro-pysch and behaviorial evaluation on my daughter who recommended a medicine - the same medicine that Dr. Amen used on one of his "hopeless" patients. "Risperdal" An anti-psychotic medication that works wonders on this type of ADD. It does not mean that the person is psychotic - just works wonders on this type of Overfocused ADD. I swear - you could see the change in my daughter within a week!!! We could never have a conversation - because something else was always pulling her away after less than 2 sentences. She could not transition - I had to drag her from one place to another. She was always fixated on things. TV - cats - rocks - bugs -gems - gliter- etc. She had no social skills. She sat like an aborigine! She ate like an animal. She was a bull in a china shop!! She was distructive. She broke all her toys. Her room was like a tornado ripped it up every night. She ruined her clothes. She wrecked the furniture........ I was at my whit's end...I was so tired of explaining.......Then exactly 6 months ago - Risperdal changed my daughter's life. Within a week we could see a change. She has done a complete turnaround in school. She also takes Adderall as a stimulant to calm the hyperactivity. With the help of special ed classes to help her "catch up" in all the areas that she missed while being overfocused, she is a different, and almost "normal" 10-11 year old. I swear she got all As & Bs this semester and all satisfactories in conduct. This is the first year in her life that we have truly been happy. I feel that if I hadn't found this book on the internet - that I would still be searching. I recommend this book as the one true source of ADHD. Much better than "driven to distraction". Thank you Dr. Amen!!! I swear on my daughter that this is the truth!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and validating, Dec 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD (Paperback)
Dr. Daniel Amen describes several sets of ADD symptoms, illustrating them with images of abnormal brain activity in those who suffer from the symptoms. While I'm not convinced that his six types are all really primarily ADD, or that they are the only types of ADD, still, this book provides fascinating insight into the physical basis for psychiatric difficulties. Dr. Amen's case studies are fascinating and quite compelling, and he shows both great tenderness for his clients and great insight into the needs and difficulties of people with ADD.
This book is extremely valuable for debunking the myth that ADD is not a real disability. Dr. Amen's use of brain imaging technology demonstrates the ways that some people's brains work differently and ineffectively. It's not just laziness--when people with ADD try to concentrate, the part of our brain that controls concentration just shuts down. It's genuinely a physical disability. Although I can "feel" this, to see it verified in black-and-white was extremely validating.
While Amen's treatments might be experimental, his diagnostic methods do not seem so. It is not "experimental" to use brain imaging technology to identify where the brain is working properly and not working enough. This has been done for many years. And it's not true that Amen's work is completely "out there"--his work was reviewed by research physicians in two departments (nuclear medicine and neurology, I think) at UCLA and found to be "good medicine" and worthwhile. Comparisons made in other reviews to procedures completely unsupported by any scientific evidence are really in themselves unsupportable.
I am not a doctor and can't recommend whether the treatments outlined in this book should be implemented. I can say that people with ADD, and those around them who doubt the reality of their difficulties, will learn a lot from looking at the brain images in this book and understanding the connections between the brain's impaired functioning and the associated symptoms.
Reading this book almost makes me feel that "normal" psychiatry is working in the dark without tools... Dr Amen might or might not have made as much progress in the field as this book appears to demonstrate, but nonetheless I think he must be on the right track. I wonder whether it will one day seem to us that trying to guess what's wrong with someone's brain without looking at it, is as strange as trying to diagnose strep throat over the phone.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST ADD book out there!, Nov. 16 2002
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
If you have anything other than "Classic hyperactive ADD" this book will finally give you an understanding of who you are and why you are the way you are.
This book discusses some very important issues that no other ADD book I have read discusses, and I have read over 100 ADD books.
For example Amen discusses the terrible problem many ADD people have with going to bed late and getting up late. This is a terrible problem because it can impair a person's ability to hold down a job. Amen offers possible solutions to this little understood dilema.
I live in New Zealand where most medications for ADD are not availabe, so his discussion of herbal supplements was very helpful. I tried a herbal supplement he recommended and it has changed my life in combination with my antidepressant.
I agree so much with the mother who said that if everyone read this book the world would be a much better place for all the millions of ADD sufferers out there and the people who love and care from them. But of course that will never happen and even so called "mental health professionals" won't bother to read it and will snob it for being different and stick to their own wilfully ignorant ideas such as ADD doesn't exist etc...
Dr Amen scientifically proves that ADD exists with his brain scans (as much as anyone can scientifially prove anything.) He is a godsend to out people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST ADD book out there!, Nov. 16 2002
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
If you have anything other than "Classic hyperactive ADD" this book will finally give you an understanding of who you are and why you are the way you are.
This book discusses some very important issues that no other ADD book I have read discusses, and I have read over 100 ADD books.
For example Amen discusses the terrible problem many ADD people have with going to bed late and getting up late. This is a terrible problem because it can impair a person's ability to hold down a job. Amen offers possible solutions to this little understood dilema.
I live in New Zealand where most medications for ADD are not availabe, so his discussion of herbal supplements was very helpful. I tried a herbal supplement he recommended and it has changed my life in combination with my antidepressant.
I agree so much with the mother who said that if everyone read this book the world would be a much better place for all the millions of ADD sufferers out there and the people who love and care from them.
But of course that will never happen, and even so called "mental health professionals" won't bother to read it and will snob it for being different and stick to their own wilfully ignorant ideas such as ADD doesn't exist etc...
Dr Amen scientifically proves that ADD exists with his brain scans (as much as anyone can scientifially prove anything.) He is a godsend to our people.
The book is quite academic in the early chapters on case studies because Dr Amen is discussing his scientic breakthrough but the second half of the book covers all the different catogories of how to help yourself with your ADD ie... medication, organisation, life coachs, herbal supplements, diet etc....
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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Research & Effort, Somewhat distorted conclusions, Sept. 2 2002
By 
Jed Shlackman (Miami, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
Dr. Amen has done a lot of work with modern brain imaging technology, and has charted correlations with patterns of brain activity and add/adhd subtypes. His research is certainly useful and somewhat helpful in identifying approaches for treatment. It also helps predict which medications are likely to have an immediate negative effect on a given person. However, the mind-brain connection goes BOTH ways, so the brain activity is affected by both biochemical factors and emotional/psychological factors. Thus, the imaging doesn't really prove what Amen claims it does, namely that ADD is a specific set of biological abnormalities [interpreted properly this research fits with the idea that ADD is a menu of symptoms that are triggered by multiple biological and psychological factors]. The fact that Amen uses EEG neurofeedback successfully disproves his idea of ADD as an essentially biological illness, since symptoms that can be resolved by the mind can also be created by the mind. Amen's commentary minimizes the hazards of medications prescribed under his methods, and while acknowledging nutritional/dietary factors, he underplays their significance, especially with regard to allergies and sensitivities. I also suggest people consider that the brain imaging procedure itself presents a potential health risk, and that there are a number of effective non-drug nutritional, neurofeedback, and psychosocial interventions that don't necessitate any expensive radiating the brain with SPECT scans. This book is worth reading and has some useful information, but parts of it are misguided or misleading.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Bunk! Utter bunk!, Aug. 9 2002
By 
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
Daniel Amen, much like any cult leader, is dangerous because he is convincing. This book is very well-written, persuasive, and does an excellent job in advancing the illusion that the advocated ADHD classification system and associated treatments are supported by research.
The most frightening aspect of this is the fact that people who suffer from ADHD, a very real and very serious condition, are buying into Amen's snake oil and banking their hopes on its effectiveness. Like any treatment that is successfully marketed, it undoubtedly carries a substantial placebo effect that, in the absence of replication by other researchers using similar techniques, makes it impossible be validated. While SPECT may be a useful imaging technique, NOBODY has made use of it in a manner even remotely close to that which Amen indicates. His classification (the "6 types") and treatment recommendations are utterly unsupported by science and, as such, carry with them great risk.
It remains to be seen whether Amen is a genius or greedy zealous snake oil salesman. Despite my great reservations about his position, it may ultimately be found to be valid. However, until such a time comes that others replicate his findings, his diagnostic and treatment practices should be considered EXPERIMENTAL, UNPROVEN, and POTENTIALLY HARMFUL. Moreover, Amen exhibits the highest degree of ethical disregard by promoting his position as valid and empirically supported.
Readers should be advised that Amen is far out of the mainstream and his practice may be akin to past life regression, abuse memory recovery, rebirthing, and other treatments that appeared promising early on, were found to be utter bunk when viewed under the bright light of scientific inquiry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Useful, March 22 2002
By 
This review is from: Healing Add (Hardcover)
I was diagnosed with ADD about six months ago. By now, I have checked out more than twenty books on the subject from local libraries.
As others have mentioned Amen's main idea is that using SPECT imaging, he can tell what areas of the brain are having problems and based on his own experience, he recommends different Drugs, supplements and therapies including coaching, EEG neuro-feedback and alike depending on the particular area.
My main problem initially with the book was that reading the behavioral symptoms noted for his "discovered" six sub-categories of ADHD, it seemed like I had five of them! This was a bit hoaky to me. It also seemed that Dr Amen had never bothered publish ANY of his research.
Reading posts on the web I found more people who had gotten "possible" four or five sub-categories by taking his online test. Reading the book carefully a few months later, I realized that he indeed admits that many people may have combinations of these subtypes.
As far as publishing the work, I can see how many people like Amen may be totally frustrated trying to fund and execute their double-blind tests and push their ideas thru the academic reviewers. Old school academia will not let totally different ideas thru and that is why the research is usually stuck: They stick too much to the literature. I have experience this myself and my field is physics!
The book, aside from this main theory, contains much useful information on various alternative approaches and strategies. After trying every Adderal, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Cylert, Celexa (SSRI) and Welbutrin, I have decided to try EEG biofeedback training at home (see phil bate's website for EEG machine rentals) and later visiting Amen's satellite clinic in New Port Beach. A few thousand dollars, even as an experiment would be nothing compared to all the pain and suffering I endure for seven years that it took me to get my doctorate at Caltech.
My psychiatrist, although open to Amen and EEG nuero-feedback, referred me to Professor Walid Shakim at UCLA, "THE" local scientist on ADHD. He charges over $1500 for the diagnosis only. I spoke with him on the phone (I introduce myself as Dr "last name" on my messages). As a researcher myself, I found him WAY too old school and anti-anything-non-stimulant. He rejected SPECT or EEG as anything useful.
I find Dr Amen much more open in comparison if less academic and say artistic. I have spoken to a psychologist who had had great experience with Amen's clinic for her family member and know one psychiatrist in the area who has ADHD and is a big follower of Dr Amen.
As I always say, a few big reliable data points near home are worth much more than a thousand by some god-knows-who's data. I have seen too many researchers in physics confirming somebody's junk data over and over. Contrary to the accepted belief, fads, trends and mass herding is as common in academia as it is in the normal population. IMHO. If Amen's does not work, at least I have tried it and will write about it. I'll try other approaches will do the same thing.
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