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

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  4,474 ratings  ·  308 reviews
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--"brai...more
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Published June 10th 2008 by Harmony (first published 1998)
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While I enjoy learning about the different areas of the human brain, such as the deep limbic system, basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, among others, and the aspects of our behavior for which they are responsible, Daniel G. Amen focuses solely on case study after case study after case study as evidence for how effective various medications can be. We are never given a zoomed-out view on all of his patients; he only focuses on subjects that received "successful" treatments.

He does not balance his...more
T. Edmund
Wow. I picked up this piece thinking it would be some Dr Phil level 'common sense' (read unresearched, brow-bashing) advice piece.

Instead I found it a detailed well-balanced academic/practical book about the relationship between brain patterns and problem-behaviour. In reference to the title, I found the chapter on the Cingulate part of the brain to be absolutely enlightening. Individuals with over actice cingulate's tend to hold grudges and automatically respond in the negative.

It was refreshin...more
It always amuses me to read reviews of non-fiction books. Every book I've ever read in this category has one of every two or three reviews that complains about the book giving them information they already knew. It seems there are a lot of uber-intelligent people out there that have never heard the term "positive reinforcement." If it's good info, it doesn't have to be new.

That rant on other reviewers aside, this is a good book. Dr. Amen does a great job of talking about SPECT scans, and describ...more
The New Year brings the season of fresh starts, resolutions, the air of possibility and the impulse to make changes. This book came across my radar a few weeks ago when I was channel-surfing and caught the PBS program "Change Your Brain, Change Your Life" presented by Dr. Daniel Amen. After watching a few hours of his lectures, I was hooked...and decided to review what I learned in the presentations by reading his book.

Dr. Amen is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has used new brain -imaging...more
Your brain is the hardware of your soul.
--Dr. Daniel Amen

After reading about half the book, I grew weary of the repetitive pattern of naming a part of the brain, describing its function in terms of behavior, and then offering advice about how to improve its performance. Dr. Amen's recommendations range from common sense (good nutrition) to unproven and New Age techniques (such as EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) to invasive and controversial treatments (including the SPECT...more
Cathy Campbell
This book is an excellent resource. I highly recommend it. It explains behavior in a whole new way. If you have ever struggled with anxiety, depression, ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or other garden-variety psychological problems, this book is extremely helpful. The author, Daniel Amen, is a neuropsychiatrist who specializes in a type of brain imaging called SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography), which measures cerebral blood flow and metabolic activity patterns. Which is a f...more
«Ознакомившись с результатами пяти тысяч обследований SPECT, вкупе с историями болезней этих пациентов, я пришел к убеждению, что – это мы, когда наш мозг работает нормально. Когда он работает нормально, мы более внимательные, более целеустремленные, мы больше интересуемся другими людьми. Мы добрее, эмоционально стабильнее, терпимее».

Хочу сказать, что до этой книги я ничего подобного не читал. Не читал в смысле того, что не читал книги с медицинской тематикой. Я обладаю весьма посредственными ме...more
I have bipolar disorder, and this book helped give me more direction in treating and controlling it. I found myself described very well in Dr. Ahmen's case studies, self-tests, and medical studies. He dispenses more than just medication (which, by the way, I take and fully support) - he offers direction in psychotherapy and behavioral therapy as well. I found the book encouraging and helpful as did my husband. He's not bipolar; he was able to relate more to me and help me determining things abou...more
Oct 14, 2008 D rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to D by: I checked this book out after seeing Dr. Amen give a presentatio
Shelves: nonfiction, self-help
My hubby and I saw Daniel Amen give a presentation on PBS on the nutrition-brain-wellness connection and were intrigued. I think I accidentally bought the wrong book on Amazon. Anyhoo, we *are* trying to incorporate the brain foods that Amen recommended in his PBS presentation into our weekly diet:

1. Fish--salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring
2. Poultry--chicken and turkey
3. Meat--lean beef and pork
4. Eggs
5. Tofu and soy products
6. Dairy products--low-fat cheeses and cottage cheese, low-fat sugar-fre...more
I really loved this book, first time i stumbled across the author, and if his findings are true, it sometimes can make a lot of sense of how some mental issues or problems can be actually 'brain' related rather than environment related...lots of case studies from his own experience has even made me consider seeing this guy and his clinic, facinating stuff and surprisingly a lot of fun reading and first time ive made a random book fav that i just stumbled across

really makes you think serious abou...more
Yeah for me!!!!! I finally completed this entire book! It has taken me four years to read-a-little, comprehend, apply, read-some-more, listen to the audio version, comprehend, re-listen, apply and finally finish this amazing book. Dr. Amen explains so much about how brains function and how behavior is drastically changed by the dysfunction of a brain. I have received many answers to some of the real struggles I have had in my life due to some brain malfunctioning of my own. :)

It is amazing to g...more
Joy Fox
This brain book is used in a school that I am currently affliated with in Greenwood Villiage, CO (America's Academy of Coaching, Counseling & Hypnotherapy). Daniel Amen is a psychiatrist and writes from that perspective, so the use of medications and brain scans is heavily emphasized. Dr. Amen primarily uses SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) scans to show patients what their brains look like before and after treatment. The organization of the book is such that educative pass...more
I don't often read this kind of book, and it is not inspiring reading. On the other hand, there are enough nuggets of interest to have allowed me to read it through (mostly).

The good Doctor describes the new progress in understanding the parts of the brain itself, and what functions they control. His thesis is noting that some of what humans have viewed as abnormal, weakness of character, etc are actually parts of the brain that aren't functioning in normal range. So sudden outbursts of anger, n...more
This book came to me through my interest in Brain Gym (something all integral health seekers should look into as the brain is the organ we ignore the most and take care off/exercise the least). The title of this book is unfortunate as it can throw many off when all could benefit.
It is easy to read (zero medical jargon) and it gives you a very high level explanation of the brain structure dividing it into different areas. Each chapter refers to a specific area of the brain, its importance to the...more
I liked this a lot. Scared me straight. It got me thinking about acquaintances who have taken too many drugs and why they keep telling the same stories over and over again, and why some people behave the way they do. Do you or your friends have senior moments? Early signs of dementia? There may be a cause, like their brain is missing something. There are dire consequences for damaging your brain with drugs, alcohol, or trauma.

Dr Amen used a specific type of brain scan, a SPECT, to aid in diagno...more
This review is for the audiobook edition, which was read by the author himself. He has a moderately annoying voice, but not so bad I couldn't have gotten through the book--I stopped the book cause it was bad, not because his voice was bad.

I was going to give this book 2 stars (or MAYBE 2.5) but eventually I had to call it at 1. Let me explain.

I think the science that is introduced/outlined in this book has potential.

For those who haven't aren't familiar, the science discussed is essentially abo...more
Lukáš Gregor
Kniha výborná, kniha užitečná. Neztrácíte se v lavině odborností, byť jich je tam dost, spíše fascinovaně přihlížíte. A pak vždy u každé části mozku kromě výčtu konkrétních funkcí/diagnóz sada tipů, jak mozek usměrňovat/léčit bez nutnosti léků - myšlení je samo o sobě totiž intenzivně fyziologická záležitost, hmatatelná, která fungování mozku významně nastavuje. Vřele doporučuji.
I read this on the advice of a friend. This book describes the author's work using a brain imaging technique to look at which parts of the brain are active under different conditions, and to examine how abnormalities in brain activity are reflected in personality and behavior. I found the information to be interesting. Another goal of the book is to describe some ways to treat abnormal brain activity patterns (or their resulting psychological conditions) which was also moderately interesting, an...more
I channel surfed onto a PBS special where the author was talking about this book. I came into the program part way into it, with the author discussing attention deficit disorder although I didn't quite get the full gist of it as I was IM-ing with a friend and playing a computer game at the same time ... which made me think that I probably needed to learn more so I checked the book out from the library.

It's a really fascinating book on brain disorders. The coolest part is that it includes photos...more
Ben Campbell
I don't know about 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. One can only imagine why people in the world are so screwed-up. Alcohol, drugs, depression, psychosis, bi-polar-mania, skizoid Freud. Will this book treat and cure us? Will this MD show us the way to faith and posterity? Drug freedom is merely a dream, doctors advocate drugs for anything...more
Dr. Daniel Amen is a psychologist and nuclear medicine doctor who specializes in using SPECT scans, a cutting edge brain imaging technology, to help his patients have access to their brains.

When our brains misfire, discord is more likely to happen within ourselves and in our reactions to others. Our view of life can be tainted in a negative light, and thoughts can circle our minds over and over. He teaches that through proper treatment, both non-medicated and medicated prescriptions, we can hav...more
Jeremy C.
Nov 01, 2012 Jeremy C. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those seeking to understanding behavior
Oh this book is good! The writing is good, but the content is critical!

How much do we tend to judge one another on the basis that others actions are solely dependent on this mysterious and insubstantial "moral character?" We are so quick to judge people on the basis that everyone has complete control over their own actions and reasoning according the strength of their "will." This is all wrong, and Daniel Amen can show you a brain scan to prove it. We can't judge one another in such black and w...more
What this book is NOT: another self-help, anti-depression book. What this book IS: an informative and fascinating look at neuro-pshychiatry that is easily translated for laymen. Seriously, I could NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. If you're wondering why it took me so long to read, it's because I read it TWICE. IN A ROW. It's that good. Dr. Amen takes his superior knowledge and expertise about brain imaging a step further and offers solid prescriptive behaviors and suggestions to help rectify troubled reg...more
Wow. There's a lot I could say about the contents of this book, but I'm sure I'll forget some things. Here's my attempt to summarize the book's contents and my opinion:

This book is about how the author has discovered that many kinds of behavioral / psychological problems map to specific areas of the brain being over- or underactive as revealed by a SPECT scan of a person's brain. The author divides the brain into five rough areas (limbic, basal ganglia, prefrontal cortex, cingulate, and temporal...more
False Advertising!

Dr. Amen is not a compelling writer; he has neither the poetry of Oliver Sacks, the compassion of Jerome Groopman, the enthralling precision of Atul Gawande nor the mystical awareness of Abraham Verghese. One thing that particularly interests me is how a doctor writes his case studies and in this Dr. Amen demonstrates about as much perspicacity and compassion for his patients as a potato.

As I'm not interested in the latest PET scan technology--which *is* the most fascinating p...more
4.5 stars:

I've recently discovered the power of a good self-help book, but I'm reviewing this as a casual reader, not as someone who's tried the self-help aspects of the book.

This is a very interesting study on using SPECT scans to look at the brain, as opposed to MRI's or CAT scans. SPECT has been around since the 70s, but advances in the cameras and computers used made them much more usable by the late 80s. Dr Amen performed scans on thousands of patients and found some very interesting things...more
Heard it quoted on a lightweight radio show, so I'm a little skeptical, but also desperate to fight the winter blues...This is in keeping with my friend's command to boycott Russian literature due to its heavy and despairing nature.
Well, it was worth reading, I guess, if for no other reason than to leave it to the experts to know all the brain stuff. A lot of anecdotal material, to me, always indicates in neon blinkers "written for the laymen who are desperate for answers and wi...more
Ketika pertama kali melihat buku ini dan membolak-balik halamannya sekilas, saya merasa ini adalah buku yang berat untuk dibaca, yang dipenuhi oleh istilah sains tingkat tinggi yang hanya dipahami oleh seorang profesor kedokteran berkepala botak (seperti penulisnya). Apalagi dengan halaman berjumlah 356, buku ini akan cocok sekali menjadi sebuah bantal sekaligus obat tidur mujarab berdosis tinggi apabila dibaca oleh seseorang yang memiliki IQ dua digit pasien keterbelakangan mental kronis sepert...more
Dr. Amen's book is a very informative, yet easy to understand primer that helps the average person understand the way his or her brain works, and how to manage and even fix certain psychological issues. I commend the good doctor for being only as thorough as necessary, rather than taking detours into territories that only those with a degree in Psychiatry could ever understand or appreciate. Likewise, another strong point of his book is that instead of presenting a dry, clinical approach, Dr. Am...more
Doran Barton
When I picked this book, I thought it was going to be more about changing the way you think. I thought it was going to be more of a self-help, train yourself to think more productively, kind of book. It's not, but the information in this book is very valuable to anyone who has dealt with mental... I don't want to call them "illnesses," but they are sometimes characterized that way: depression, anxiety, obsession, ADD, etc.

Dr. Amen explains the current scientific beliefs supported by his own res...more
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Daniel G. Amen, MD is a physician, child and adult psychiatrist, brain imaging specialist, bestselling author, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and the CEO and medical director of Amen Clinics, Inc. (ACI) in Newport Beach and Fairfield, California, Tacoma, Washington and Reston, Virginia .

ACI is the world leader in applying brain imaging science to clinical practice. AC...more
More about Daniel G. Amen...
Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance Magnificent Mind at Any Age: Natural Ways to Unleash Your Brain's Maximum Potential Use Your Brain to Change Your Age: Secrets to Look, Feel, and Think Younger Every Day

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“It is interesting to note that the people who had a good relationship with the person who died often heal their grief much more easily than those whose relationship with the deceased was filled with turmoil, bitterness, or disappointment. The reason is that a positive relationship is associated with good memories, and remembering and reprocessing these memories helps in the healing process. When people who had a bad relationship think back on it, they have to relive the pain. In their mind, they are still trying to fix what was wrong, to heal the wound, but they can’t. In addition, the guilt they carry with them impairs the healing process. Donna is a case in point. Donna and her mother had had a stormy relationship, fighting constantly over things that seemed insignificant in and of themselves. Yet in spite of their problems, the year after her mother’s death was the hardest of Donna’s life. Her husband could not understand the force of her grief; all he had ever heard her do was complain that her mother was selfish and uninterested in her. What he failed to understand was that Donna had to grieve not only over her mother’s death, but also over the fact that now she would never have the mother-daughter bond she had always wanted. Death had ended all her hopes.” 0 likes
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