An important lesson 2020 has taught us is that when things don’t go the way you planned, how you react can drastically shape your mental well-being. One of the best ways to react to the adversities in your life is to simply perform a mental do-over and start fresh. In this episode of the podcast, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen discuss when and how to wipe the brain’s slate clean and start over, giving you a better chance for a better tomorrow.
Daniel G Amen, MD:
Welcome to The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics; where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
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Welcome everyone. This week, we’re going to talk about reset. It’s just such an important word, and when things didn’t go the way you planned, think 2020, resetting, it’s just great. It’s sort of like at the bowling alley.
It’s like, “Ooh, that was really a bad bowl. Let’s do this again.”
So that’s going to be the theme of our week, but you have someone who posted your book on it.
I did, they tagged 10 people. So if there’s anyone else who tagged 10 people and I didn’t see it for some reason, make sure you direct message me private message me because we only saw one. And it’s possible that you’re sending it to some other site that I didn’t see. But Jessica McCurdy, we thank you so much. You tagged 10 people. We are sending you a signed copy. And so that was really cool. Then problem is we’ve got a whole bunch of different sites that people send stuff to. So I just want to make sure I’m not missing anybody.
Awesome. And we have a brain warrior winner who sent us just a wonderful testimonial that I’m going to read. And it’s from Rebecca_Lynn3. Thank you, Dr. Amen and Tana. 10 years ago, I was prescribed an SSRI and the doctor said it was making me worse to then have the dose increased. Repeat that process five times, obviously a defeating process. I knew it wasn’t right. And looked for books to be an advocate for myself and Dr. Amen’s book saved my life by de-stigmatizing depression and focusing on brain health. I couldn’t afford us then, but bought every book, which helped me get a college degree after dropping out.
Tana your stories, give people who have had trauma permission to turn pain into passion. Your strength of character is inspiring and provides how to heal childhood trauma. My sister and I are so excited for your book to be released and learn so much from both of you on the podcast. Thank you for the work that you do, but more importantly, daring to be different.
That almost made me cry. Wow. That sounded like my life. They kept increasing the dose and almost ruined my life.
Isn’t that crazy?
Crazy. It’s like, well, this isn’t working. So let’s just give you more.
Well, if you only have one hammer…[Crosstalk [00:03:53].
[crosstalk [00:03:53] Right? You just keep hammering.
That’s what you continue to use.
You just hammer harder. It’s so demoralizing. Cause it makes you feel like your defective. It makes you feel like you’re the one that is the problem. And that’s just, it’s such an awful feeling.
And the theme for the week is reset. We are trying to reset how psychiatric medicine is practiced, giving you a different way.
That is something that I wish I had had. I wish I had someone coaching me and giving me that information that you could just reset and start over. When I was a kid, when I was an adolescent, when I was in my twenties. You know, we have that as a rule in our house with the kids. It’s like, if we’re having a bad day, if we get in an argument, if one of the kids like, sort of loses it, we have a tip, it’s like, we have this saying, “let’s do a do-over, let’s have a do-over”. It’s like, we just do a do-over. We don’t sit there and we don’t need to keep going on and on and on and hammering the other person with it. It’s like, let’s have a do-over. Do we want to have a good day? Or we don’t want to have a bad day.
And I’ll actually ask that question. You want to have a good day? Or you don’t want to have a good day? And wait for an answer. And if they say, well, I want to have a good day. Then it’s like, let’s have a do-over. And it’s like, just having the knowledge that you can do that. Like, that’s a possibility when I was growing up that wasn’t a possibility. You were just going to get screaming and chaos and just constant, problems all day long. That wasn’t a possibility. It wasn’t known to be an option.
So you like, do-overs.
I like do-overs a lot. There’s hope. There’s grace.
And if I would’ve seen you right after you had thyroid cancer-
I’d have a totally different outcome.
I’m like first thing is let’s give you thyroid-
First of all, we probably would have been married. First of all, we probably would have been married for a whole lot longer by now. You would have saved me a whole lot of pain.
Well, no, I’d have seen you as a patient.
Yeah. That’s true. We wouldn’t be able to be married. So maybe it’s good that it happened then[crosstalk [00:05:51]
[crosstalk [00:05:52] Yeah, I mean it would have been so hard with you, but, no.
Yeah, that’s wrong I need to rewind that.
Don’t date patients. But yeah, I’d have been heartbroken probably. But you know, when someone comes to you after they’ve had thyroid cancer and your childhood, the first thing is not Prozac. But if that’s the only hammer you have, that’s what you use. The first thing is, oh, we have to get your thyroid right. It’s calling the endocrinologist and go, “Low thyroid is associated with depression all the time”.
And to be fair, I went in there demanding Prozac. As I read about it, I went in there demanding it. I was going to walk out with Prozac, but I wasn’t given options.
But I still, I don’t let my patients demand anything from me. Now it’s always-
Because I don’t know, I’m not the doctor. Right.
A collaboration, right? Right, I never think of myself as someone’s boss. But if you came in and you’re demanding Prozac, I’m going to like, well, let’s look at your brain because you didn’t know about Wellbutrin or you didn’t know about it.
I know you, what you would have done is you would have said, because this is what you do. What I’m hearing you say is you’re not feeling well, you’re depressed. Let’s figure out why you’re depressed. That’s what didn’t happen. Because there’s lots of things that cause depression.
Yeah. So the easy thing is to give you a medicine and don’t [crosstalk [00:07:30]-
[crosstalk [00:07:30] Oh no, I would have been-
Hear that either one of us are opposed to medicine because we’re not. But to do it without looking, did he even get like a whole lab panel on you?
No, God, no.
Oh God no. Right? Because there’s like-
No, I left that day with a prescription [crosstalk [00:07:48].
[crosstalk [00:07:48] A thousand causes of depression. And if you don’t look, you don’t know. You don’t-
Nobody said to me, Oh, by the way, you’re going through this problem with your thyroid cancer, you’re going through this like massive change in your biology. It’s going to be better in a few months. Let’s do something temporarily to bridge this, to get you through it. No one said that.
Right, like get to know you.
No one said that.
And get to know the traumas you experienced, but also the successes that you’ve had to evaluate the quality of your thinking, right? I mean, we always talk about these four circles. So reset, let’s go back and talk about resetting your life. So all of us would agree 2020 was stressful.
And it was what it was.
And 2021, the pandemic is still with us and may be with us for half the year, longer. I mean, we just don’t know.
And that’s what I like about, past, present and future, the past was what it was right now. It is what it is. And I love that. It’s like, when you accept what’s happening, it’s like, are you with reality? Welcome to help. But tomorrow is a blank canvas, right? We can, we can plan something different for tomorrow. Now, that doesn’t mean it’s always going to go according to our plans, but we get to have hope for tomorrow.
Well, we did just watch. So during the pandemic, we’ve watched a lot of movies, and we just watched Castaway again with our niece, Amelie, and Castaway with Tom Hanks, he was nominated for an Oscar. He was great in that movie. But at the end of the movie, he said, cause he actually went through a suicidal period in the movie. At the end of the movie, he said “The sun is going to come up tomorrow. And I want to see what the tide is going to bring him”. And I liked that a lot and reset because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.
And since you don’t know what it’s going to bring, why not hope for the best? Why not plan for something good? Now, we all know we get things happen. People get sick, stuff happens. But to plan for that just creates anxiety. So, be in the present, but just know that tomorrow is a blank canvas. Have hope for tomorrow. Cause we have hope, tomorrow can be whatever we want it to be and wait for tomorrow to happen before you start to be anxious about it.
We are going to talk about the one-page miracle. When we come back, we’ve done it before. But as you think about resetting, it’s just job one. Know what you want-
And know why.
And then ask yourself, is your behavior getting you what you want. This is one of the most important brain exercises. I mean, yes, you can work crossword puzzles, but don’t even get near the crossword puzzle until you’ve done the one-page miracle.
So when we come back, we’re going to dive into that. Stay with us.
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