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Anxiety and depression are a huge problem for millions of people. Compounding the problem is the common mistaken belief that these disorders result from bad character or weak will. In fact, recent cutting edge brain science has shown that they result from brain dysfunctions, and if they are diagnosed and treated correctly, the quality of life for millions of sufferers and their families can change dramatically. Dr. Daniel Amen, a pioneer in uncovering the connections between the brain and behaviour, has spearheaded the use of brain SPECT imaging - one of medicine's most sophisticated functional brain-imaging techniques- in psychiatry. His imaging studies have revealed the major anxiety and depression centres of the brain and have paved the way to new, effective approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Lisa Routh has extensive experience with women's concerns, especially in relation to anxiety and depressive disorders.

Healing Anxiety And Depression explains the science behind Amen and Routh's discoveries; gives case histories of individuals who have been successfully treated, illustrated with 'before' and 'after' brain scans; provides a detailed questionnaire so readers can identify which type of disorder they may have; and describes a proven treatment protocol targeted to each type. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 91 reviews
321 of 327 people found the following review helpful
A Fascinating Integration of Medicine and Psychology 19 Feb 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Many books are one-sided arguments for the causes of depression and anxiety. According to these biased books, depressions stems from:
Past child abuse and other negative environment factors
Holding your body in a depressing way - bent down, frowning, etc.
Medical causes
Poor diet, lack of exercise
Fill in the blank
But this book is different.
Healing Anxiety and Depression is a refreshing book, for it takes all of the above factors and mixes it into a complete approach to the causes and treatment of anxiety and depression.
Moreover, Daniel Amen, M.D. and his co-author, Lisa C. Routh, M.D. have pioneered the use of a brain imaging technology known as SPECT: Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography. This interesting brain scanning method is different than other methods because it allows one to see how certain parts of the brain interact to cause these debilitating conditions. Other
methods of brain imaging only give a surface view of the brain - which is of very little use for psychiatry.
The authors also touch upon how these areas of the brain cause insomnia, suicide and violence as well. They also point out the different causes of anxiety and depression between the genders. They convincingly describe gender differences from social, psychological, and biological perspectives.
In short: they give you the full picture on depression from every possible angle - literally. In between the pages, interspersed among case histories, personal stories, and scientific explanations, you will find actual pictures of the five areas of the brain they have focused on via SPECT technology:
1.) Basal Ganglia
2.) Deep Limbic System
3.) Anterior Cingulate Gyrus
4.) Temporal Lobes
5.) Prefrontal Cortex
Furthermore, the authors have taken these five areas of the brain, and through thousands of their own patients, compiled their findings on how these five areas interact to cause seven variations of depression and anxiety:
1.) Pure Anxiety
2.) Pure Depression
3.) Mixed Anxiety and Depression
4.) Overfocused Anxiety/Depression
5.) Cyclic Anxiety/Depression
6.) Angry Anxiety/Depression
7.) Unfocused Anxiety/Depression
There's only one drawback to this book: the technical terms can be a bit annoying. I constantly flipped back to beginning chapters to refresh my memory on what they were talking about. The medications and dosages - and their variations, are mind-boggling. Ask your doctor about them.
Despite this, the book is worth the extra memory and concentration required to comprehend it.
It's very empowering too: Dr. Amen is a strong advocate for natural supplements, exercise, and deep diaphragmatic breathing. He also gives the reader a simple, flexible, easy-to-follow diet that'll maximize your brain function. More wisely, however, he directs you towards a way of eating that's based not on a one-size-fits-all mentality, but a diet that is focused on your
particular type of anxiety and/or depression.
He also has his own version of cognitive therapy: ANTS (Automatic Negative Thoughts) and ANTeaters, developed by Amen as a child psychiatrist to help make the ideas a bit more concrete for children. Amen's short chapter on the power of thoughts can help you take more responsibility for your own
Closing with "32 Strategies to Overcome Anxiety and Depression," along with a chart summarizing "diagnostic and treatment principles," this book will give you the real knowledge you need to manage your life on a whole new level.
127 of 129 people found the following review helpful
Astonishing 8 Mar 2005
By N. St-Amand - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Amen is definitely one of the best when it comes to mental illness. Having suffered from depression, and more severely, anxiety, I browsed through the health section at my local bookstore looking for answers. And I definitely found them in this book. This book talks about the 7 types of depression and anxiety, how they are caused, what brain chemicals are causing the symptoms and where in the brain the problem lies. Dr. Amen uses SPECT nuclear imaging to see the brain in its depressed/anxious states. Along with descriptions of all of the 7 types are images of the brain with that type of depression/anxiety. I narrowed down my depression/anxiety to be a type 4, followed the advice it suggested, and have been 90% depression and anxiety free for 6 months. A MUST read for anyone suffering from a mood or anxiety disorder.
128 of 135 people found the following review helpful
A "Must Read" for Anyone Facing Anxiety/Depression 3 Nov 2003
By Kelly Frey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Healing Anxiety and Depression is an easy-to-read book that shines a spotlight on anxiety and depressive disorders from the perspective of brain functioning, as opposed to the traditional diagnostic approach based primarily on symptom clusters. In this book, Dr. Amen and Dr. Routh clearly explain the following five major interconnected brain circuits that underlie most of these disorders:
* basal ganglia-sets the body's idling level
* deep limbic system-sets the mind's feeling tone
* anterior cingulated gyrus-helps shift attention
* temporal lobes-helps mood stability, temper control, and memory
* prefrontal cortex-helps with decision making, attention span, judgment, and impulse control
The authors describe in detail the functions associated with each of these brain components, as well as the common difficulties that arise when that particular part of the brain is not functioning well. They proceed to propose a new way of approaching treatment for anxiety and depression, based on their finding that anxiety and depression commonly occur together, that they are largely the result of brain dysfunction, and that there are seven different types of anxiety/depressive disorders, with a number of effective treatment approaches for each type. The seven disorder types the authors describe are:
* Pure Anxiety
* Pure Depression
* Mixed Anxiety and Depression
* Overfocused Anxiety/Depression
* Cyclic Anxiety/Depression
* Temporal Lobe Anxiety/Depression
* Unfocused Anxiety/Depression
The book explores each disorder type in detail, including illustrating the brain functioning patterns the authors have found associated with each, based on their work with Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) scans. It also contains a questionnaire to help the reader identify if he meets the criteria for each disorder type (this questionnaire is not meant to render a diagnosis).
When describing their treatment approaches for each disorder type, the authors go well beyond a thorough discussion of prescription medications to include discussion of natural supplements, diet, cognitive therapy (e.g., changing Automatic Negative Thoughts, or "ANTs), the healing power of relationships, the impact of breathing properly, and biofeedback.
The authors also explore gender differences (e.g., hormonal factors) associated with anxiety/depressive disorders, and the impact of these disorders on families. They include a whole chapter on the topic of insomnia, and conclude with a host of resources.
As is typical of Dr. Amen's books, this book takes a complex subject and breaks it down into essential components that are easy to understand. By including "healthy brain" SPECT scans next to the scans of people suffering from one of the seven anxiety/depressive disorder types, the brain functioning patterns seem very clear. By including real-life anecdotes about the patients that correspond with the brain scans, including their diagnoses, treatment approaches, and treatment results, the book leaves the reader with a feeling of great hope that these disorders can be accurately diagnosed and treated.
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Good for laypeople with depression/anxiety, too! 10 Jan 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I could write something long and flowery, but I'll keep it brief. I have had depression for over 20 years. For the first time EVER, I fully understand what's going on with me. I no longer feel defective or like it's my fault for having a weak character or whatever. I finally understand that it's an actual medical problem, one that can be fixed. I can't wait to take care of it now that I know what's wrong. This book will make you think of your own brain in a very different way.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Get a Clue! 4 Mar 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Amen has changed my life and the lives of several members of my family. The stigma associated with mental illness is deep-seated and difficult to overcome. Understanding the root causes, particularly the genetic predisposition within families, is the indispensable first step in coming to grips with dealing with life-long problems. These problems are often not adequately addressed via behavior modification or cognitive therapies because they get the cart before the horse: they do not deal with the biological root causes. Once those are dealt with, the learned behaviors and habitual patterns can be peeled away to create a whole new start on life. However, without the understanding of the causes and types of underlying brain conditions, one is often doomed to the roll the rock up the same hill only to see it roll down again as we watch. Take my advice. If the brain pattern descriptions look all too familiar, get help as recommended. You will become a new person, the one you were created to be. And that is a wonderful thing.
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