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Showing 1-8 of 8 reviews(1 star)show all reviews
on August 9, 2002
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 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
i am a psychiatrist in the bay area. i have seen many patients who have been taken to the cleaners by this man. he is taking snippets of science and feeding back a gumbo of non-useful information to vulnerable patients and familes. he charges exorbitant fees for work-ups that are superfluous and then makes vague, all-encompassing recommendations. he does none of the treatment himself. he is a charlatan. do not buy this book and add to the fortune of this dangerous man.
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on September 22, 2002
I was VERY disapointed with this book!! It has entirely too many of his patients stories. (Long stories) I don't want a book with "case stories"...I want a book to help me learn about ADD/ADHD and what I can do for my son. This book describes the 6 types of ADD, but where's the "healing" part?! This book was an ENORMOUS LET DOWN for me! If you're considering buying this book, I recommend going to the library or a bookstore where you can "look over" the book before you actually buy it. You may be glad you did!!
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on August 31, 2001
After reading this book, I thought it would be a good idea to actually visit the clinic for an evaluation. I received two conflicting treatment plans since I was unable to see the original doctor I was assigned to for my follow-up. I had high hopes in figuring out what was wrong but I am now, more confused then ever. I am out alot of money and still do not know what is wrong with me. Please, do your homework before going to his clinic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2001
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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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2003
I have no doubt that Dr. Amen has a lot of experience with SPECT scans, and ADD. I worry that his conclusions haven't been reproduced or confirmed indepedently outside his laboratory, which makes me highly skeptical of his results, and generalizations. Therefore, as the SPECT identifications are the selling point of his book, I can't recommend it.
The title, should also give anyone who has studied ADD pause, as ADD isn't really something that can be "healed", although it can be substantially mitigated. It strikes me as very a "huckster" or "snake oil salesmen" kind of title.
In a world with so many charlatans and unethical companies trying to fool people or exaggerate claims to make a buck, it is disturbing to see a medical doctor disregard the reproducibility demanded by the scientific method.
The general advice given in the book is good, but by no means unique or exceptional, by comparison.
I would recommend Driven to Distraction to those who are looking for more scientifically sound information and advice regarding ADD, and it's treatment.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2002
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 contrary to volumes of sound research from a diversity of sources. As such, Amen's HYPOTHESES, when put into practice, carry great risk.
It remains to be seen whether Amen is a genius or zealous snake oil salesman driven by greed. Despite my great reservations about his position and my belief that he is the latter, his HYPOTHESES may ultimately be found to be valid. However, until such a time comes that others (who do not benefit financially from positive results) 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, while appearing promising early on, were found to be absolutely invalid when viewed under the bright light of scientific inquiry.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2001
This book is the same as the others he has written.
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