June 10, 2021

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The breakthrough program for conquering
anxiety, depression, obsessiveness,
lack of focus, anger, and memory problems

by Daniel G. Amen. Harmony, 2015,
revised and expanded (352 pages)

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Quote = "You can literally change people's brains, and when you do, you change their lives. You are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better, and we can prove it." (By author, Daniel Amen, from part 1 page 16)

Quote = "Specifically, we need to know who we are and what we want to accomplish in our relationships, at work, and within ourselves. When we know what we want, we are more likely to change our behavior to get it; being goal-directed helps keep our behavior and choices on track." (By author, Daniel Amen, from part 2 page 194)

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    note = Numbers in parentheses refer to pages

    note = This newest edition, 17 years after the publication of the first edition of the book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, in 1998, and after more than 100,000 SPECT brain scans (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography studies), Dr. Daniel Amen and his clinical staff have become the world leaders in applying brain imaging science to help people who have serious emotional disorders. (xiv)
    [1] Your Brain --- a brief primer (3-)

    [2] Introduction --- the single most important lesson Dr. Amen and his staff learned from looking at more than 100,000 brains with SPECT: (7-)

      "You can literally change people's brains, and when you do, you change their lives. You are not stuck with the brain you have, you can make it better, and we can prove it." (16)

2) STOP FLYING BLIND, START FEELING BETTER --- An introduction to the Amen Clinics method (42-)


4) HOW IMAGING CHANGES EVERYTHING --- Stories from the revolution --- from miracles and meat cleavers to flashers, tooth fairies, and trains (56-)

5) KNOW YOUR IMPORTANT NUMBERS --- You cannot change what you cannot measure! (79-)


6) LOOKING INTO LOVE AND DEPRESSION --- the limbic system (89-)

7) FEEL BETTER FAST --- Limbic system prescriptions (105-)

8) LOOKING INTO ANXIETY AND FEAR --- the basal ganglia and more (132-)

9) STOP FEELING NERVOUS NOW --- Basal ganglia prescriptions (148-)

10) LOOKING INTO INATTENTION AND IMPULSIVITY --- the prefrontal cortex (169-)

11) ACHIEVING TOTAL FOCUS --- Prefrontal cortex prescriptions (188-)
    Using the "One-Page Miracle" ("OPM") strategy of staying focused on an important goal can help you stay totally focused on a clearly defined goal, which is essential for success: (194)

    "Specifically, we need to know who we are and what we want to accomplish in our relationships, at work, and within ourselves. When we know what we want, we are more likely to change our behavior to get it; being goal-directed helps keep our behavior and choices on track." (194)

      note 1 = "Making goals that you can focus on daily will make a big difference in your life." Goal-setting is for now and it is very specific. (194)

      note 2 = The "One-Page Miracle" goal-setting exercise can help guide nearly all of your thoughts, words, and actions.

      note 3 = "Take one sheet of paper and clearly write the following main headings and subheadings:" (194-195)


      (1) Spouse/Partner/Lover

      (2) Children

      (3) Extended Family

      (4) Friends

    [2] WORK

    [3] MONEY

      Note = Dr. Amen omitted "Intermediate Goals" and did not specify the length for Short-Term and Long-Term Goals. However, other motivation experts suggest the following simple rules:

        (1) Short-Term Goals = Hourly, Daily, or Weekly Up to Three Months

        (2) Intermediate Goals = Three-Months to Six-Months

        (3) Long-Term Goals = Six-Months to a Year or More

    [4] SELF

        (1) Body (including brain's physical structure)

        (2) Mind (including functions caused by mental forces)

        (3) Spirit (as "constructed emotional experiences" under control of mental forces)

      note = "Next to each subheading, write down what is important to you in that area. Then, write what you want, NOT what you do not want!"

      note = "Be positive and write in the first person." Also keep a copy with you for several days so you can work on it over time. (195)

      note = "After you finish the first draft, place the paper where you can see it every day. You should update it frequently. This makes it easier for you to supervise yourself and to match your behavior to get what you want." (195)

      note = "Your life will become more [self-aware], and you will spend your energy on goals that are important to you."

      note = "When you separate your behavior into the four areas: RELATIONSHIPS, WORK, MONEY, and SELF, you will be able to achieve a more balanced approach to life." (195)
12) LOOKING INTO WORRY AND OBSESSIVENESS --- the anterior cingulate gyrus (205-)

13) GETTING UNSTUCK --- Anterior cingulate gyrus prescriptions (230-)

14) LOOKING INTO MEMORY, TEMPER, AND MYSTICISM --- the temporal lobes (245-)

15) LOOKING INTO MEMORY, LEARNING, AND TEMPER CONTROL --- Temporal lobe prescriptions (263-)

16) KNOW YOUR BRAIN TYPE --- 7 types of ADD, 7 types of anxiety and depression, 6 types of addicts, 5 types of overeaters (272-)

17) IMAGING CHANGES EVERYTHING IN RELATIONSHIPS --- Understanding the brain patterns that interfere with intimacy (293-)

18) THE MISSING LINKS --- Drugs, alcohol, head trauma, toxins, infections, and the brain (323-)



20) THE BRAIN WARRIOR'S DIET --- Eat right to think right! (373-)

21) PLEASE HELP ME! --- When and how to seek professional care (398-)

22) WHO IS ANDREW REALLY? --- Questions of the essence of our humanity (412-)



ABOUT AMEN CLINICS, INC. (420-) (422-) (423-)



INDEX (449-463)

Brain Optimization
    (1) Amen Clinics and brain optimization (25-41, 346)

    (2) Decision making and brain optimization (26-27, 363-364)

    (3) Healthy vs. unhealthy brain and brain optimization (26)

    (4) Hippocrates on brain optimization (25)
Brain Rehabilitation Programs = (14, 17, 297, 366-370)

Brain Reserve (33-36, 34-35, 48)

Brain Systems = See following four topics:
    (1) Anterior Cingulate Gyrus [ACG] = (450)

      note = Amen Clinic algorithms and Brain Systems (23)

    (2) Basal Ganglia = (450-451)

    (3) PreFrontal Cortex [PFC] = (459)

    (4) Temporal Lobes = (462-)
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AUTHOR NOTE = Daniel G. Amen, MD, is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and brain imaging expert who heads the world-renowned Amen Clinics.

The Washington Post called Dr. Amen the most popular psychiatrist in America, and Sharecare named him the web's #1 most influential expert and advocate on mental health.

He is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a nine-time New York Times bestselling author for books about the brain, including this book, and Magnificent Mind at Any Age, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Body. He is also an internationally recognized keynote speaker and the star of several very popular PBS TV specials.

SUMMARY = The neuropsychiatrist, Daniel Amen, reveals the link between certain brain structures and particular psychological problems and opportunities.

BOOK DESCRIPTION = In this completely revised and updated edition of the 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 are not stuck with the brain you were born with!

Renowned neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen includes cutting-edge research and the latest surprising, 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 by following the 18/40/60 rule; To fight depression: learn how to kill ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and build a "library" of wonderful emotional experiences and/or surround yourself with antidepressant fragrances; To curb anger: follow the Amen anti-anger diet and learn the nutrients that calm rage and let Mozart [music] calm you down; To conquer impulsiveness and learn to focus: develop total focus with the "One-Page Miracle" exercise by writing your goals concerning your relationships, work, money, and self and use lights and sounds and get coaching from a professional organizer to stay focused; To stop obsessive worrying: follow the "get unstuck" writing exercise and learn other problem-solving exercises.

Do you panic at the thought of walking into a room full of people you don't know? Do you feel as if a cloud of gloom is always hovering over your head? Do you have the same negative thoughts over and over? Are you so easily distracted that you often can't finish a project? Do you fly off the handle at your spouse for no good reason? Do you have trouble connecting meaningfully with other people? If you have been struggling to overcome a problem like these without success --- perhaps you have even tried therapy but given up --- it probably is not for the lack of trying, thinking, or motivation; you just did not have the right answers or the right [mental] tools. Now you do!

In this pioneering new book, Dr. Amen explains how you can "optimize your brain" to achieve your fullest potential. Using state-of-the-art brain imaging technology, Dr. Amen has spent the last decade helping thousands of patients understand how the way their brains are wired can affect their thoughts and emotions. He explains which brain systems are associated with particular problems, gives detailed checklists to help you pinpoint your problems, and offers specific yet simple "brain prescriptions" (cognitive exercises, nutrition, medication, and more) to help actually enhance brain function and heal each problem.

Many of the difficulties associated with anxiety, depression, excessive worrying, anger, and distraction are related to five specific systems in the brain. Dr. Amen explains how these systems work and how malfunctions can affect your behavior. If you've always believed that you were just going to have to live with the way you are, you'll be amazed by the vivid before-and-after brain scans of some of the thousands of patients that have been successfully treated at the Amen Clinic --- visual proof that the right treatment can help you. You certainly don't need a brain scan to understand the basis of your particular problem or implement the correct solution, but these striking images will inspire you to make meaningful and effective changes. Seeing is believing!

When your brain does not work right, you cannot work right. With its easy-to-follow program and compelling evidence that you can actually retrain your brain to work more optimally, this breakthrough book will help you make lasting changes.

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AMAZON.COM REVIEW = 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?), the book fits in perfectly. Filled with "brain prescriptions" (among them cognitive exercises and nutritional advice) that are geared toward readers who have experienced anxiety, depression, impulsiveness, excessive anger or worry, and obsessive behavior.

The book milks the mind-body connection for all it is worth. It 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. And it was written by a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who has also authored a book on attention deficit disorder,

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.

FROM AUDIOFILE = Imagine your favorite teacher ever -- the one who had passion for his subject, loved to explain, and found just the right images to make difficult information understandable. If you haven't been lucky enough to have this experience, that's all the more reason to listen to this audio. Amen is clearly dedicated to dispelling negativity about mental illness and making his brain research accessible and usable to those who need it.

He breaks down the five sections of the brain, describing the characteristics of each and offering "prescriptions" ranging from medications to step-by-step brain games to change behavior and improve life. The audio is filled with stories from history, literature, his own life, and, most helpfully and spectacularly, the many successes he has encountered in his practice. S.W. AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine.

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With a cutting-edge, easy-to-apply plan, Dr. Daniel Amen proves you do not need to succumb to depression, anger, and other negative emotions. This must-read book provides the key to heal your brain and transform your life. -- J.J. Virgin, Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert, Author of the NYT bestsellers: The Virgin Diet & Sugar Impact Diet.

“This is the definitive manual for taking care of your brain, so it can take care of you. Prevent one of the most important hidden agers of your body.” -- Sara Gottfried MD, Harvard Trained Physician and NYT bestselling author of The Hormone Cure.

“This book is your manual for fully optimizing your brain. Dr. Amen and I partner with Pastor Rick Warren in creating The Daniel Plan that has helped tens of thousands of people get well by using habits that optimize decision making and brain function. His newly revised book gives readers a powerfully practical exploration into the organ that makes you who you are.” -- Mark Hyman, MD, Director of the Cleveland Center for Functional Medicine and the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Blood Sugar Solution.

”I consider Daniel Amen to be the most innovative psychiatrist in America. His message is simple, yet profound: You cannot have a healthy life without a healthy brain. His dietary and lifestyle strategies to maintain brain health are based on the world’s most comprehensive library of brain imaging technology that allows one to observe the impact of his recommendations. If you want a more fulfilled life, this book is a must read.” -- Barry Sears, Ph.D., Author of The Zone

“After 110,000 brain scans Dr. Daniel Amen is the ultimate expert on how to change your brain so that you can change your life for the better. The discovery of his wisdom and insights will make your life and brain health infinitely better.” -- Mark Victor Hansen, New York Times Bestselling Author, Co-Creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and The Miracles In You series.

“No one knows more about the connection between your brain, your body, and your life than Daniel Amen. This new, updated edition of his classic book is even better than the original, and it belongs in every health library. Highly recommended!” -- Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS aka “The Nutrition Myth Buster”, author of The Great Cholesterol Myth and Smart Fat: Eat More Fat, Lose More Weight, Get Healthy Now.

"Revolutionary. Dr. Amen shows how your brain can become your worst enemy, and how with the proper treatment, your best friend." -- Martin Stein, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, George Washington University.

"Opens the door to assessment and interventions that can change your life." -- Robert D. Hunt, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

"Dr. Daniel Amen's book represents an expert solution not only for better treating brain illness but more importantly for creating a lasting state of brain wellness." -- Cyrus Raji, MD, PhD, UCLA Medical Center, Department of Radiology

"This book is a goldmine of practical and easy-to-follow instructions on how you can feel sharper, happier, and more in control. Dr. Amen has condensed his 35 years of experience in treating patients with attention deficit disorder, depression, anxiety, OCD, and addiction into a practical program you can follow on your own." -- Majid Fotuhi, MD, PhD, Medical Director, NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center. Affiliate staff, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Howard County General Hospital.

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You Are Your Adaptable Memory!
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instantly return to:
Introduction - Section 1 - Details


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