Two individuals were diagnosed with major depression. They had the same symptoms, so logically, the same medication would be prescribed for both patients. However, after a depression brain scan was taken of each individual, it was discovered one had low brain activity and the other had high activity. Although their symptoms were the same, the depression brain scan of each patient showed different approaches were needed.
If a depression brain scan had not been performed on each of these patients, they would have been treated the same despite the fact one had low activity and the other high.
Did you know psychiatrists are the only medical specialist that never look at the organ they treat? Every other medical specialist uses some form of imaging so they can view the organ they are treating.
You don’t have to be too smart to understand the brain or any organ is likely to be misdiagnosed without having a look at the organ. It is not a reassuring thought that psychiatrists are guessing when they diagnose people. I am beginning to understand why my son Darrell has had three diagnoses and still doesn’t have a treatment plan I feel fits him correctly.
A depression brain scan and other brain imaging is necessary
Dr. Daniel Amen is a psychiatrist who insists on taking brain scans so he can best treat his patients as he explains in the following video.
Depression brain scans and other brain scans can show:
- Blood flow and activity
- High activity- too much activity
- Low activity- too little activity
- Good activity
- A healthy or unhealthy shape
For no apparent reason, a young boy had become violent. A brain scan was taken to discover he had a cyst. Most psychiatrists would have tried various prescribed medications to find what worked best for the boy, although, drugs would have never cured the problem. After the boy’s cyst was removed his behavior returned to normal, sweet and loving.
Brain scans of convicted felons
I found Dr. Amen’s findings by scanning 500 convicted felons including 90 murders, interesting. Conducting this study proved people who did bad things often had troubled brains.
Astronomical costs of housing inmates
In a prior blog, I shared some staggering statistics concerning the number of inmates with mental disorders, (some research shows as high as 75-90%), and the astronomical costs associated with housing inmates. In 2017, the state of California reported that it now costs over $75,000 to house an inmate for one year. Another 2017 report was released reporting the costs associated with U.S. mass incarceration is now 182 billion dollars per year. (see “prior blog” link above to view sources) Outrageous!
It would bless so many lives and society in general if we would spend more resources on helping people who are not bad, but simply have an unhealthy brain.
Statistics have proven that some brains can change by following a brain smart program which is very encouraging.
Dr. Amen’s Brain-Smart Program
Eighty percent of those who followed Dr. Amen’s brain-smart program experienced an elevation in mood, increased blood flow and improved memory.
Dr. Amen’s recommendations
Here are a few of Dr. Amen’s recommendations to achieve these positive results.
- Spend time with positive people
- Keep learning new things which makes new connections in the brain
- Food can be medicine when making proper choices
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night
- Meditation improves brain health
- Gratitude is excellent
- Question your thoughts- Don’t believe every thought you have.
- Protect the head- the brain is soft and can be injured if caution is not used
- No smoking, drugs, or alcohol- All are very bad for the brain
- People who are obese have smaller brains so losing weight is giving yourself and your brain a gift of improved health.
I truly believe societies could save a lot of money if we focused more on rehabilitating those with mental disorders rather than punishing them. Rehab focuses on rebuilding lives so people can get jobs to provide for their families. They could very likely become citizens who contribute to society by paying taxes and sharing their talents if someone cared enough to help them heal their brains.
Choose a brain
Dr. Amen compared the effects of both a healthy brain and an unhealthy brain.
- Healthy brains are healthier, happier, wealthier, wiser, more creative, and more innovative.
- Unhealthy brains are sadder, sicker, poorer, not as smart, rigid, and inflexible.
It is not difficult to choose which brain would improve societies across the world. I am hoping for better and more positive options to improve mental health disorders in America and across the world.
Top Featured Photo by Jesse Orrico