REVIEW: Dr. Daniel G. Amen — Change Your Brain Every Day (BOOK)
“Your brain is involved in everything you do, including how you think, feel, act, and interact with others. Your brain is the organ of intelligence, character, and every decision you make. Your brain creates your mind. It is the hardware of your soul. Your brain creates anxiety, worry, or a sense of peace. It stores traumatic events that continue to hurt you long after they’ve stopped, or it processes them for any important lessons to learn.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: https://danielamenmd.com/
Your brain focuses your attention on relevant material or on meaningless distractions; feels sadness or happiness; creates a healthy and a sick reality; and remembers what’s necessary to make your life better and discards what’s not,” writes Dr. Daniel G. Amen in his new book, titled Change Your Brain Every Day: Simple Daily Practices to Strengthen Your Mind, Memory, Moods, Focus, Energy, Habits, and Relationships. If the aforementioned passage is any indication, Dr. Amen applies the bedside manner applicable to his credentials to subject matter presentation. He’s calm, nuanced, and straightforward.
There’s never the feeling Dr. Amen doesn’t exude a knowledgeable confidence in what he’s talking about. He’s cuts right through anything that could be a narrative red herring, or intellectual fallibility. Surprisingly, even credentialed professionals and experts in their fields can suffer from this kind of literary phenomenon. But Amen remains focused. He doesn’t doubt the reader’s intelligence or worldliness, yet simultaneously is careful to make the read tonally fit for the widest possible of audiences.
A pertinent example of the aforementioned trait is the way Dr. Amen tastefully uses his treatment of celebrity superstar Justin Bieber as an example. “In 2020, Justin Bieber released his docuseries Seasons, where he told the world I’ve been his doctor,” he writes. “Fame is very hard on the brain, and it happened to Justin so early and so intensely that I’m happy he survived and is now an amazing young man.
Before Justin came to see me, he had been diagnosed by another physician with bipolar disorder based on his symptoms alone, but his SPECT scan showed his brain had been hurt. I remember one day when he came into my office and said, ‘I think I understand what you’ve been trying to tell me. My brain is an organ just like my heart is an organ. If you told me I had heart disease, I would do everything you said. I am going to do what you say.’ By focusing on both brain and mental health together, he has continued to do well.”
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Dr. Amen adds, “Your brain is an organ, just like your heart, lungs, and kidneys are organs. Yet most people who see cardiologists have never had a heart attack; instead, they are there to prevent them. I anticipate a day when psychiatrists will act in a similar way, when they will know the brain’s risk factors (see the BRIGHT MINDS risk factors on days 7, 9, and 39–101) and address each of them in their patients as soon as possible. To have a better mind, you must first work to optimize the physical functioning of your brain.”