Book Review: Amen wants to change your brain

I read Daniel Amen’s book about Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness by Daniel G. Amen.

I think it was the first of his series. I can’t say I liked it though I did become very aware of what and how car accidents really affect your temporal lobe and brain chemistry…perhaps there is something to phrenology after all? Dr Amen would say that these things are under the skull and cannot be detected by just probing it, but my father in law disagreed and so now thinking more and more about Amen, perhaps he just tells you about the spec studies because that is high-tech and sounds more scientific than just probably the nooks and crannies of your head.

Why didn’t I like it? Well it seemed going through his 10 questions after every topic you could either answer them all right and have everything or nothing. They seemed rather generic and frankly while I saw V very clearly in one, which I don’t remember which now, except the temporal lobe issue because he did hit his head in a car accident with his father when he was in high school; but me? I saw shades everywhere. I can’t say that did much for me.

So what am I doing? I’m getting the library the newest Amen book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted because I have this thing about reading everything by someone once I get into it. I realize it’s stupid, but it’s me. I like to make sure I get the full flavour of their oeuvre so I can really understand it and I also think that is more pertinent to me anyways. Maybe things are better explained here, maybe I missed “it”. I dunno but it’s free and I’m willing to give Amen another try. I admit after this if the old man come out with anything I would probably borrow it again and just glance through it. I don’t think I would read that one fully.

Another thing I didn’t like was all the stories about people. They were long and boring and very drawn out. Didn’t do anything for me. It’s hard to say if the reviews on Amazon are worthwhile as I am sure they are by a lot of personal clients and people who went to his clinic and paid for his services. That really is a different thing as one you are getting his personal expertise for quite a dollar I would imagine by his comments, and the other you are just using a book.

Overall though he is a good God fearing man with a lot of emphasis on things you can do like prayer and meditation to help your mental health. He does recommend that reading “your book of prayer” prayerfully and engaging the Bible regularly is a spiritual exercise, As you begin your Bible reading, ask God for a receptive and disciplined heart, ask Him to speak to you through the Word, and use the passages you read as providing you with thoughts and words you can use as you pray to God and then gives you several prayers like the Our Father and the Serenity Prayer to help you along. So I think that was good and that was something from which we can all easily benefit.

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