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Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness Paperback – Dec 31 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 edition (Dec 31 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812929985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812929980
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

By Prairie Gal TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 18 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another fabulous book by Daniel Amen. He has a way of explaining things well so that even those of us who don't have medical background can understand well. This book offers hope for those suffering from depression and other conditions affecting the brain. Well worth the price.
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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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Format: Hardcover
I read this book three weeks ago and am performing as an actor in a stage musical for the first time in over a decade. I have to admit that I first took it from the shelf in the "new books" section of the library because it struck me as having (my apologies to the designer) the ugliest cover I had ever seen! In spite of my having been on Prozac since 1996, I have experienced continual mental problems which resulted in periods of severe depression. The first sentence on the inside cover grabbed me: "Do you panic at the thought of walking into a room full of people you don't know?" I checked out the book. I am, as I write this, in the process of ordering my own copy and one to send to my sister. I am a 45 year old male teacher/ actor/writer. I hold a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts and have previously made my living as a working actor as well as having had books, plays and songs published since 1976. My spouse of twelve years died in 1994. Suicidal, I returned to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, after living fifteen years in New York City and Los Angeles. I have not been able to work on a regular basis since. Going back on stage and working as an actor was not even a consideration. Since 1995, I have only been successful at doing sporadic tutorial work with English Composition students at local colleges and universities.
The suicidal tendencies I was suffering stopped with the administration of Prozac, but I have spent the past two and one-half years wondering what was wrong with me because I could not focus long enough to complete any of the dozens of projects I would start. I had no patience and could not even keep still long enough to attend a film.
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By A Customer on Aug. 5 1999
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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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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