Tana Amen’s father wasn’t there for her much during her childhood. So when he became ill, the last thing she wanted was to have to be the one to take care of him. However, by doing so, she learned as much about herself as she did about him, and the dynamic change in their relationship made it all worth it. In this episode, Tana relates this life-changing experience.
Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: 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.
Dr Daniel Amen: 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 spec imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit Amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain MD where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com
Welcome back. We are talking about reluctant healers in these episodes this week. And, we're talking about the story of my dad and my husband who tends to bring people back into my life.
Dr Daniel Amen: So,, we'd been talking about how he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and he was a recluse and not coming out of his room. And your sisters were freaked out and they call you and you're like, "why is this my problem? This is a guy that's not been part of my life a good way. He's actually brought more pain in my life than anything."
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr Daniel Amen: And, when I scan him, he does not have Alzheimer's disease. He has something called pseudo dementia. So, now we're going to get to the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say.
But, first, Hannah Raul writes in, "thank you very much for sharing this podcast. I appreciate so much, both of your expertise in the field, the complementarity of your couple, the willingness to share your passions. Always a great pleasure to watch your exchange no matter what the topic. It makes me feel great and fun about relationships and myself. It points out how much should be still done in expanding the knowledge and technologies, access to nuclear medicine, scans and care. You make me feel real progress in love."
Tana Amen: Aww.
Dr Daniel Amen: Hannah, thank you so much. We adore each other, which is why we've done 412 podcasts. We haven't killed each other.
Tana Amen: You're my best friend.
Dr Daniel Amen: And, I'm staying that way. You're not getting rid of me.
Tana Amen: 'Till death do us part.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's it.
And, we're trying to keep you alive as we try to keep ourselves alive. And, so not the rest of the story with David, but the next part of this story is he does not have Alzheimer's disease yet he's being treated for it. He's depressed. So, obviously if you're depressed, being in a room all by yourself is going to accelerate the illness. It's not going to decelerate it. And, I couldn't think of someone better for him to be around than his daughter who-
Tana Amen: Why you had that thought is just completely beyond me.
Dr Daniel Amen: -but, I was witness to him being better and actually he's quite a bright man who'd been involved in teaching seminars on the desk, which is personality. Inventory, he'd done it for businesses and done it for couples. I had him actually do it for our business and I realized how smart he was and as he began to get better through socialization, learning not to believe every stupid thing he thought Omega three fatty acids, Sam-E, which is a supplement that's been shown to-
Tana Amen: Wait, you took him off of the medications he was on, you put them on the correct medications.
Dr Daniel Amen: -well, it was mostly the correct supplements.
Tana Amen: Okay.
Dr Daniel Amen: That really helped.
Tana Amen: Oh, and the interesting thing is he was convinced his entire life that he had ADD. So, that was a really, really fascinating discovery. He didn't have ADD. Now, my mom, who didn't believe in ADD, had ADD from hell. So, that was really kind of fascinating.
Dr Daniel Amen: And, your uncle.
Tana Amen: My mom's for ADD was terrible. My dad was convinced he had ADD.
Dr Daniel Amen: So, now you've just shared with everybody. Not only did I scan you, I scanned your dad, I scanned your mom, I scanned your uncle.
Tana Amen: You've scanned my entire family, pretty much.
Dr Daniel Amen: Just about.
Tana Amen: So, yeah, it was really fascinating though. So, my mom just believes you need to work harder, you know, and just stick with it. My dad couldn't really stick with stuff very well, and so he believed he had ADD and he didn't.
Dr Daniel Amen: He did not. In fact, depression ran throughout his whole family. There was significant issues with his mother and other people in the family. And, so as his depression got better through working in our four circles approach, right. We always talk about, so what's the biology? That's why the supplement supported, the psychology learning not to believe every stupid thing you think, the social circle, which is then getting reconnected with his daughter.
Tana Amen: For him, it was church.
Dr Daniel Amen: And then, church which is social and spiritual. And, then he began to develop a sense once again of meaning and purpose. And, so over four, five, six months, we really saw this closed flower, open.
Tana Amen: So, we, I should, you know, we should really sort of lay this out for people. So, obviously moving someone in with me who I did not have a relationship with did not just like, it wasn't just all of a sudden this magic thing just happened and oh, it was all rosy. No, it didn't. That was not what happened. It was weird and it was rough at first. So, I found myself staying away from home. I didn't like it. I didn't like having him in my house. He was getting better. I was annoyed. It was just like, "why am I doing this?" But, at some point I actually got some therapy over it. And, I think through my process of getting therapy, I learned to let it go. I dealt with my own stuff with it. So, EMDR really helped. And, so I really learned how to let it go for real, like finally let it go.
And, I was able to talk to him. What's really interesting is I actually did let it go. I had no idea how much guilt he was holding on to. He couldn't let it go. He could not let the past go. And, that was actually more painful to watch. That was really painful to see him, to see this man not be able to let the past go and to just sort of beat himself up. And, so I'd never seen that. I'd always just seen this very sort of arrogant, proud facade that he had. You know, that's all I ever knew of him.
So, now when he let that go and he's in my house, I'm watching the other side of that. And, it was actually this, he really just didn't like himself for the past and he could not forgive himself, which I thought was fascinating for a man who was sort of a man of God. And, so it was really sort of an interesting thing. And, I kept saying to him, "why are you so holding onto it? I'm not holding onto it. Why are you holding onto it?" So, I'm confused. What's this about? And, it really wasn't until he died that he was able to let it go.
Dr Daniel Amen: You're way ahead of the story.
Tana Amen: Okay, but I had to talk about how hard it was.
Dr Daniel Amen: Let's not get to death, yet.
Tana Amen: Okay. But, we had to talked about how hard it was.
Dr Daniel Amen: It's coming, but it's coming in a beautiful way, I promise. So, yes, things just don't go away.
Tana Amen: No.
Dr Daniel Amen: That you have to work through them.
Tana Amen: And, you have to do your part.
Dr Daniel Amen: But, you have to work through, and this is the point, if your brain's not right, it's really hard to work through past emotional pain.
Tana Amen: Hardware and software.
Dr Daniel Amen: You got to get the hardware right and then the software can kick in.
Tana Amen: And, for me it was more a software issue at that point. So, I was not having very positive thoughts 'cause I had a lot of the past and I was holding on to.
Dr Daniel Amen: All right. But, as we start to nurture his brain and your relationship begins to get better, what happens?
Tana Amen: Well, like I said, I let the, a big part of it was me letting the past go. So, as I start to let the past go, I start being able to focus more on who he is now. And, so what I started to notice was he started to get really healthy. He lost 20 pounds and he's walking, I lived right across the street from a church, one of the big churches in our area, which he got connected to and loved. All of a sudden I come home one day and he's got men's Bible study going on in my house. Like, "oh, he's back." So, but this time I felt a very different person emerging. I didn't feel like it was, he was doing this at this stage in his life for any type of reward or facade from his family, which is what I had always felt before.
This time, I really felt this sincerity coming from him. Like, it was something he was doing because it was his connection because it was something he loved. And, so it was, it was very different. He was connecting and it was a young group that he was teaching 'cause he was sort of their mentor and they loved him. Like they just, they looked up to him and they needed him. So, it was very interesting to see. So, I started to see him in a different light.
Dr Daniel Amen: And, then about six months after I first met him, he went to the church and did an all day seminar.
Tana Amen: Seven hours.
Dr Daniel Amen: Teaching.
Tana Amen: Yeah. This is a guy who couldn't come out of his room. Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So, it was miraculous.
Tana Amen: Yeah.
Dr Daniel Amen: So, we had the sense things were going in a better direction. In the next episode, we're gonna talk about how your relationship with him, gets healed. Stay with us.
Tana Amen: 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: For more information, give us a call at (855) 978-1363.