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Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program That Allows You to See and Heal the 6 Types of ADD Paperback – June 4, 2002
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Hard, visual data make a compelling case for the existence of attention deficit disorder (ADD) in this pioneering work by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. Using a nuclear medicine technique called "single photon emission computed tomography" (SPECT)--a controversial step, according to some of his peers--Dr. Amen scans patients' brains to identify various abnormalities. From more than 8,000 such studies and more than 12,000 patient evaluations, Dr. Amen concludes that six--not the formerly presumed two--different types of ADD exist. This book encompasses the full spectrum of Dr. Amen's work: from symptom identification to clinical evaluation, to diet and medication recommendations, to everyday strategies for living with ADD (whether the reader is a parent of an ADD child, or has been diagnosed with the disease.)
No stranger to the skepticism surrounding this topic, Dr. Amen begins with a list of dead-on myths (including "ADD is overdiagnosed") and surprising facts ("Many people with ADD are never hyperactive"). From this intriguing beginning flows a highly readable chapter on the signs and manifestations of ADD in all ages. Dr. Amen's full description of SPECT imaging includes multiple brain scan photos that nicely support his theories. But the most satisfying element of this well-researched presentation occurs in the final half of the book; here, Amen thoroughly explores the biological (diet, exercise, medication), psychological (from personal coaching to psychotherapy), and social support (parenting and school strategies) needed to heal each type of ADD. This book will prove a valuable tool for parents, adult sufferers, and medical professionals seeking practical support for managing this increasingly recognized condition. --Liane Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Daniel G. Amen, M.D., is a clinical neuroscientist, a psychiatrist, and the director of clinics in California, Washington state, and Virginia. In addition to operating a private practice, he is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine. He is the author of Healing ADD, Healing Anxiety and Depression, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.
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Dr. Amen takes a completely opposite approach to ADD and ADHD than other psychiatrists/ psychologists. He looks at the physical attributes of ADD/ADHD and divides it into six catagories.
Included is a test for the person suspected of having ADD/ADHD, and the person who knows him or her best for comparison. This is much more thourough than any test I have been given.
He does not just recommend throwing drugs at the problem, he gives alternatives such as diet and exercise.
It is very easy to read and very interesting. If you or someone you know has ADD/ADHD or suspects they have ADD/ADHD this book is a must have.
Dr. Amen appears to be way ahead of his colleagues "in a way". For that, I would've given this book more than five starts if possible!
But let me first tell you what I didn't like about this book:
The book is structured around two themes: The second theme is ADD coping/management stratgies. Unfortunately I was not very impressed with what Dr. Amen had to say on the subject. For example, steps suggested by him to get to bed early and wake up early sounds so lame that any journalist college drop out could've written it! I simply don't see it clicking. Dr. Amen, a non-ADD, seme to be missing a "feel" for an ADD mind. I am not surprised. This is very common for a non-ADD. Hence, most of what he has to say under this theme ring hollow to me. For this part of the book, I would give it only 2 or 3 out of 5 :-(
Now for the good, no great, thing about this book:
Dr. Amen has developed skills in using brain imaging techniques (SPECT scanning) to understand ADD better. He is the first one to categorize (to my knowledge) ADD into six sub-types. This is based on the underlying brain mechanism, which can be very different from each other. This knowledge, and establishing the concept categorically using SPECT, has added so much clarity to the understanding, treatment and coping.
This clarity is very crucial. For example treatment for limbic ADD can make things worse for "Ring of Fire" ADD. And Temporal Lobe ADD needs to take anti-seizure medication along with ADD medication. And so on.
I am scientifically inclined and I do scientific investigation for my living. I have always been very uncomfortable with the Freud type modeling/explanations. Reading this book gave me a feeling that for the first time there is some semblance of science in psychiatry!
Mental science (if you can actually call science) has moved one step away from shot gun approach and moved a bit towards sniper approach. That is a big step, I think. Without such tools, the psychiatrist comes to an approximate fix, starts the treatment, adjusts the medication along the way till such time something works or the patient drops out!
And for bringing the semblance of science to ADD treatment, I would happily rate "Healing ADD" off the scale! Say, a 10 out of 5 :-)