Today’s episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast brings a feature back by popular demand: Brain in the News! In this episode, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen take a brain-centric look into some of the latest hot news topics associated with the brain and mental health. This episode features such topics as how much sleep you need, the rise in mental health issues for teenagers and young adults, how stress ages the brain, and how many alcoholic drinks a week is ok for your brain.
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.
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 back. We’ve been talking about spring cleaning for your brain, so many great tips that we’ve had this week. And now we’re going to read a review and we’re going to answer some questions, and talk about a couple of current things going on.
All right. Della Hosanna from the US, “I really enjoy your podcast, which feels very short.”
I think that’s intentional.
“It will be good to listen to each topic for more than 12 minutes. So just string them together, because-”
It’s a week, we intend them to be a week.
It’s now for a week.
It’s for our ADV audience.
“I wanted to have a mentor, but it’s difficult for me to connect with someone, never the less to get a mentor. Like Tana, I had a very difficult childhood and didn’t have any role models growing up that would guide me through life. However, my decisions were bad and I took refuge in drugs and alcohol. Now I find it difficult to connect with people and with my confidence in myself.”
“I would love to treat this condition so that I can be a better mother. My self-destructive patterns are affecting my relationship with my children. I feel like they are drifting away too.”
Well, I love that you’re listening to our podcast. And one thing I would love to tell you … This is Della?
So one thing I would love to tell you is that when I was in that position, mentors, you don’t need to actually know them. So I love what Tony Robins says when he says, “Success leaves clues.” You can copy people. And when I first started finding mentors, they were people I did not know. I would literally take their work and tape it to my mirror. I would listen to people that I didn’t know.
Later, I was able to find mentors that I knew and that would connect with me. But you can still find mentors, people that you respect, people who have been there where you are now and overcome and follow what they do. That’s just the first step in mentorship is, there’s different levels of mentorship, and that’s a huge one. So find several people you respect and you love what they’re doing, where their life is now. They’ve been where you’re at and you’re going to overcome like they have. And just do what they do, copy them.
That’s so smart. So smart. I love that about you. All right, branding in the news, we haven’t done that in a long time. We’re going to brand the news and then answer some questions. So how much sleep do you really need? The Daily Mail actually had an article about this, and it was a big headline. And the answer was seven to nine hours for most people.
Yeah, I know I need a … And since time change it’s been really hard for me. That was the one thing during quarantine, I slept so much, it was so good. Now I’m just, I keep waking up in the middle of the night. It’s just, it changes during time change.
Well, you also have us working out at seven o’clock in the morning.
I do, so we have to get up early. But I actually feel better when we do that. But it’s an interesting time, depending on what’s going on in your life. We’ve got a kid leaving for college and that’s got me stressed out, and so learning how to manage your stress is important.
The next article, teenagers and young adults have had their mental health battered by the coronavirus pandemic. According to a vast study of medical records and insurance claims, self-harming behavior in children went up 400%.
Yeah, it’s so sad. I actually know some kids doing that. I know some adults doing that. That’s really hard.
Well, and the big thing in the news have been these mass shootings again, both in Atlanta and in Boulder, Colorado. I mean, it’s just really even hard to imagine a Boulder, Colorado, that this was a grocery store. And there was a headline in USA Today, mass shooters not associated with mental illness. And I just find-
How is that possible?
That is trying to take a very complicated problem and give it a simple solution.
Yeah, that’s not even possible.
Like, these are just bad people.
And it’s way complicated than that.
And I’m not one to protect people from consequences at all, not even a little bit, and people need to pay consequences. But to say it’s disconnected from mental health is ridiculous. Anyone who does something like that has about something going on mentally.
Or physically, in their brain. I mean, that’s really-
But it manifests mentally.
[inaudible [00:05:44]. I’ve actually had the opportunity to scan a couple of … Well, more than 100-
Kip Kinkel was a famous one.
But Kip Kinkel, who-
He was 15-
… shot and killed his mom and dad, and then went to his high school and shot 25 people.
His brains was one of the worst brains that I’ve ever seen for a 15-year-old. He must’ve had anoxia or some form of toxic exposure that just ate away his brain. It’s easy to call people bad, it’s way harder to ask why they do what they do.
Now, it doesn’t mean he shouldn’t go to jail, and it doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences because there are people who have bad brains that never do anything [crosstalk [00:06:40].
Well, I mean, you have to protect the innocent.
We have to protect the innocent, always. So I only have a couple of minutes left. Some questions. Can stress age the brain? Absolutely.
High cortisol levels, stress hormones, shrink cells in the hippocampus.
In fact, stress is one of the worst things.
Stress is one of the worst things.
And it’s also one of the worst things for your health in general. Cancer, heart attacks, diabetes. Yeah.
Do vaccines cause infertility? There’s just no evidence.
Yeah. I don’t think we know, but also one of the big problems and one of the answers that hasn’t been answere, and one of the reasons so many people get upset about vaccines. We’re not anti-vaxxers, we’re just more like, “What’s the science on this?” Some vaccines vaccines have obviously saved billions lives.
But one of the concerns I have is over vaccinating and layering and not having enough research on what happens when we layer too many of them. So that’s the big question mark, is what happens when we layer too many of them? I think that’s one of the big things that gets people really concerned.
Do you have an idea on how to stop recurring thoughts? Write them down. Question them. And you may need to do it a hundred or maybe even a thousand times.
Yeah, but also, I have to jump in here because this time change, we talked about it earlier in this week’s episodes. Things like time change and stress and your kids leaving and going to college or whatever, can cause these thoughts that spin and you get this mouse on a wheel at four o’clock in the morning. It just happens, it’s been happening a lot. GABA helps me so much.
Please take it.
I know. It helps so much.
How many alcoholic drinks do you recommend a week?
Do we recommend, or can you get away with? Those are two very different things.
Yeah, and the answer’s none. There is a correlation between any alcohol and cancer. And so the American Cancer Society came out last year and recommended against any alcohol. Now I realize people are going to have a drink or two, but not every day.
If you want a smaller brain, have a drink or two a day, according to a study from Johns Hopkins.
So I think we’ve sort of figured out that a couple of drinks a week you can get away with.
What research is new in this book that hasn’t been found in the others? For me, it’s the dragons. That’s new. I’ve never talked about big mental health issues, where I talked about their origin, what triggers them, how they cause us to react and how to tame them.
Sort of how you present it is different. So what I really like is you take some very complex topics and present them in a way that is really digestible. It’s easy to understand and it makes it more … I don’t want to use the word entertaining, but it’s easier to … It’s just, it’s more digestible.
It’s more fun.
This book is more fun than the rest. Can you averse damage to the brain caused by drinking and smoking weed? But we did with [Jessimae Peluso [00:00:10]:04] yesterday, showed her the damage. And if she does what I ask her to do, and including losing both of those, her brain will be better. I mean, it’s really what our work is all about. How can you have a better brain, because with a better brain always comes a better life.
So what’d you learn today? Write it down, post it on any of your social media sites, #brainwarriorswaypodcast. Also go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com. Leave us a comment, question or review. If we read it off on the air, we will enter you into a drawing to win one of our books. Thanks for being with this.
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