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Overcoming Childhood Trauma As An Adult

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

This week of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast kicks off a special series based on Tana Amen’s brand new book “The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child.” Each episode will feature insights and anecdotes from Tana’s book that will inspire others to overcome past anxiety, depression, trauma, and guilt. In this episode, Tana reveals a how a reluctant interaction with a group of recovering addicts forced her into a shocking revelation that changed her life forever.

For more information on Tana’s new book, “The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child”, visit https://www.thomasnelson.com/9781400220762/the-relentless-courage-of-a-scared-child/

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Daniel Amen, MD:

Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And 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.

Daniel Amen, MD:

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.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.

Daniel Amen, MD:

We have a very special six week series we are starting and it’s going to be on Tana’s new book, The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child. I’m so excited about the launch of this book. And we’re really going to talk about overcoming anxiety, depression, trauma, and grief.

We have an event, a live event, coming December 12th. It’s free. We’ll tell you how to sign up for it, but this is a book that I’m just so proud of Tana for writing.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

I just want to mention for people who sign up for the events, you have to stay to the end, because we’re going to have a question that you’re going to have to answer at the end. You’ll be entered into a drawing to win an evaluation at Amen Clinics.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Yeah, no, that’s a big deal. A lot of people who listen to the podcast either came to the clinics or want to come to the clinics. I’m also so happy to announce the podcast has now over 10 million downloads,-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

That’s a big deal, yay.

Daniel Amen, MD:

… so we are thrilled that you listen or watch. But you know, it’s a book I sort of nudged her to write for a long time-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

That’s a gentle word.

Daniel Amen, MD:

… because Tana’s story is probably a bit like your story and how she has embraced it and overcame it. I mean, it’s always a process, right?

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Oh, yeah.

Daniel Amen, MD:

But the lessons from The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child, I am certain can help you. So, before we get into it though, we have winners.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yes.

Daniel Amen, MD:

We’re going to choose two this week. Today is, A New Look at Life, by daniellems19, “Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen have really opened my eyes to my health. I’ve been struggling with my physical and mental health since I was a kid.” That sounds familiar. “The podcast keeps me interested. I love listening to it. There are so many great topics being discussed that make me want to learn more. I’m interested in having my brain scanned to find out more about what I have been experiencing and hoping to get a better understanding why feel and think the way I do. I am excited for the future. And I really hope that what Dr. Amen is doing spreads like wildfire.” We have wildfires here in Southern California. “And more people invest in their own brain health.”

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Well done.

Daniel Amen, MD:

So daniellems, you are one of our winners and my team will reach out to you. You can either get a copy of my new book or Tana’s new book.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah. So the next one, we have Sarah McClanahan. “So I’m currently a school counselor and I’m always looking for ways to help my kiddos and make myself better. This podcast has truly opened my eyes to brain health and how to also help my family. I’m also reading one of his books.” You, I think that means. “I am so excited, I’m obsessed. From a counseling perspective I cannot believe I’m just now finding out about Dr. Amen. He’s the real deal.” I love that.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Now, speaking of the real deal. So you open The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child with, I remember this day like it’s yesterday, and you were pretty mad at me.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Yeah, I was mad at you, I was mad at God. I felt like I was being pushed to do something that I didn’t want to do. We were speaking… Well, I was asked to help change the menu at the Salvation Army and you were going to be helping the people. And then Laura, who is just an amazing human took my six week, excuse me, my 12 week class. When I wrote The Omni Diet, she took the 12 week class and she got so healthy that she realized she needed to plant this in the Salvation Army to get them healthy. That if their physical health wasn’t right they were never going to beat their addiction. It was going to be much harder. So I’m like, “Yeah, I’ll do the menu.” And she said, “No, not the menu. I really need you to work with the people like you worked with me, with us, in your class.”

And all of a sudden I was like, “No, I didn’t agree to do that.” Like this isn’t what I agreed to do and I didn’t realize until that moment just how judgemental I was. And so we were driving home from one of their events, she’s like, “Come to our event. Just come and see what the people are all about. This is a graduation ceremony. They’re going to talk about their accomplishments, their struggles, their challenges, what they’ve overcome.”

And I went and I hated myself for being not more empathic, or empathetic. I hated myself for being sort of angry through the whole thing and feeling almost scared. And so I remember sort of clutching my purse to me and I’m listening to these people and it felt to me like they were making light of their situation. Now keep in mind, they’ve been in this program for over a year. So, probably it was a big journey for them too, but that’s not what I saw. And so we leave the event and we get in the car and I started crying, which I don’t do very often.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Very often, she’s not a crier.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

And I just said, “God just picked the wrong person this time. I can’t do this.” And you said, “No, God picked the perfect person.” And, between you and Laura, you can both be very persuasive, I ended up working with these people. But the first time I went to talk to them, there is over 200 people in the audience, because there were the people who were residents, but then there were also some family members and so there were a lot of people there.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Staff.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

Staff, and it’s probably more like 300 people. I’m on stage and I’m thinking, “How am I going to reach these people?” I can see them looking at me like, “Why are you here?” And I’m looking at them thinking, “Why am I here?” And so this isn’t going to work. How am I going to teach them something when I don’t like these people? And I realized I don’t like these people.

So, I kept just thinking of them as those addicts or I was labeling them in my head. And so I said a quick prayer, I mean, I’m a nurse. I’m a mother, I’m a nurse. It’s not like I’ve loads of life experience. I should be more evolved than this. And I know that, I’m confiding with myself.

So I say a quick prayer as I’m walking onstage and I’m like, “God, please let me, like just use me to teach one person one thing in this audience, if it’s possible.” And all of a sudden I have this epiphany. I’m looking out at these people and it just hit me. They were scared children just like I was at one point. Like we were all just scared children. And I don’t know why some turned right and some turned left, that’s just above my pay grade. But it hit me that if I could go back to that time where we all had that in common, where we were all just kids, that scared child inside, even now. That maybe I could help the next generation and the one after that.

It was just this huge epiphany. You would think it would be easy after that, but it wasn’t, because a woman in the audience looked at me and she goes, she raised her hand and she goes, “What would you know about my life? Look at you, your life is perfect.”

It was like someone slapped me and I’m like here I thought I had made all this, because I had this amazing epiphany. This is going to be beautiful. And I realized in that moment, she was seeing exactly what I wanted her to see, a facade. I took years to build that facade. So why would I suddenly expect that they weren’t going to see through it. So I stepped back and I just said, “How many of you are judging me right now?” And nobody raised their hand at first and I’m like, “No, how many of you are judging me, because I’m judging you.” So I raised my hand and eventually they started raising their hands and I just said, “So let me tell you about a scared little girl. Her name is Tana.”

Daniel Amen, MD:

That’s beautiful. I’ve heard this story over and over again.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

But when I told them my life story, we suddenly had this bond and the next two years were just beautiful.

Daniel Amen, MD:

And when I first met you, you were not telling anybody-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

No.

Daniel Amen, MD:

… this story. But when you share authentically about who you are, you bond. You can connect to people. And that’s one of the most beautiful parts of The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child.

So, you can pre-order the book, relentlesscourage.com. And you can sign up for the event at tanaamen.com/event. And at the event, we’re going to raffle off an evaluation-

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

We have great speakers. I mean, in addition to you, who is amazing. We’ve got J.J. Virgin. We have Pastor Derwin Gray, Pastor Miles McPherson, Caroline Leaf. I mean, it’s going to be an amazing event. There’s going to be so many takeaways that are just practical for people.

Daniel Amen, MD:

Now, write down what you learned. We’re going to come back and we’re going to do more with the Salvation Army story, I mean, spectacular. Write down what you learned, post it at any of your social media sites. Take a picture of it and post it, and then go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com, leave us comments, questions, or reviews and we’ll enter you into a drawing to win one of our books. Stay with us.

Tana Amen, BSN RN:

If you’re enjoying The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll always know when there’s a new episode and while you’re at it, feel free to give us a review or five-star rating as that helps others find the podcast.

Dr. Daniel Amen:

If you’re considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code podcast 10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com or a 10% discount on all supplements at brainmdhealth.com. For more information, give us a call at 855-978-1363.