The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is currently on hiatus. We plan to be back soon!
In the fourth and final episode of a series with former NASCAR driver Chase Mattioli, Dr. Daniel Amen and Chase discuss some of the more common mental health issues people face, probable causes, how they can be misdiagnosed, and what can be done to help.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warriors Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Chase Mattioli: And I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain. To defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought you by Amen clinics. Where we transform lives for three decades, using brain spect imaging to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Chase Mattioli: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by Brain M.D. Where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit brainmdhealth.com.
Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome back, I'm here with Chase Mattioli, we're talking about it's insane not to look at your brain. When you do, at least for me, everything in my life change, and you can say the same thing when you looked at your brain. Everything has changed, and you've fallen in love with your brain. I'm so happy. Let me read one more review. Tyesha Ann, "Thank you so much for creating this podcast. My sixteen year old suffers from ADHD and sleep disorders. I look forward to bringing him to you for scan to see how we can help him be the best person he can be. I want to do all that we can to heal his brain."
You can tell, it's not just, you have 6 out these 9 criteria. You get the diagnosis of ADHD, depression, Bipolar Disorder. Here take this medication, go see somebody and talk about your problems, and then you're done. I'm thinking about a new book called, "Get Off the Psychiatrist's Coat" Because it's really about, how do you take this really whole person approach, to getting truly well that lasts. That's what I want for you. How can we help you have the best brain possible, for the rest of your life. Because if you think about the low activity in your brain, how old were you when you got scanned?
Chase Mattioli: I was 26.
Dr. Daniel Amen: 26. So at 26, very few 26-year olds are thinking about what's life like when I'm 60, or when I'm 80. Your brain just finished developing, so you're really not thinking long-term. Now that I'm 64, I'm really thinking about the rest of my life. I think about my children's lives for the rest of their life. How you prevent Alzheimer's disease, or how you prevent Early Cognitive Impairment which you clearly was going towards. You got to work on having a healthy brain your whole life. So, by doing what you're doing now, your 30s will be better, your 40s will be better, your 50s, 60s, 80s 90s will be better and being forward thinking does not mean you won't be able to have any fun now. I guess that will be an interesting question, now that you're really conscious about your brain and your lifestyle. Are you having more fun, or less fun?
Chase Mattioli: I'm having more fun, different fun. You have mentioned that at 26 not people are thinking about getting their brain healthy and all that other stuff. For me, the impetus was I wasn't health at all. At 26, I think a lot of people, especially many people like me that can't do school. It's like, How did I get that next job, how do I become better at work, what's holding me back? So, I was really cool to. It's one thing that holds be back, was I was getting angry at everybody else I was talking to. Doesn't help me get any promotions, if you're getting grumpy. I can be the smartest person in the room, but if I told everyone they were stupid first, those aren't really going to help me my point across.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Yes, that's true. It's hard to manage people if you're mad.
Chase Mattioli: Exactly. For me, it was almost like a career building thing as well, because it helped me kind of put my life back on track. Also, my grandmother has Dementia, so I think about that all the time. Hers was really bad, she can't remember me when I walk in the room, and things along that nature.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That's so sad.
Chase Mattioli: It's hard, but it was great for me to identify like alright, this is something that is going to happen to me, if it happened to her. If that happens, I should be conscious of it and doing what I can to prevent it. That was kind of the impetus to doing it. Am I having fun now? I'm having different fun. Before, I'd go out to concerts, I'd go out to a bar and party, or go to a happy hour with friends. I was in the entertainment and racing industry, so we'd go, we'd race, and then we'd go crush beers, get drunk. That's really what you do for fun. If not, you're going to some bad restaurant eating a bunch of bad food. I was doing pretty much everything you shouldn't do. Then, I decided I wanted to get healthy, and the hardest part, I think anybody that gets sober, it's like telling your friends you're not drinking anymore. It's almost going beyond that and saying "I'm not drinking, I'm not eating this bad food, and I'm not going to that place with these people anymore."
They're like "Well what's wrong, are you okay, you dying?" No it's just who I am now and what I want to do. Once you figure out who your friends are that accept those positions, it got a lot more fun. I do a lot of intramural sports now. I do a lot of biking, as we mentioned earlier. A couple of my co-workers here, we go cycling on the weekends together, do cooking with a lot of my friends now. I'm very conscious about what I'm eating, we trade recipes, or we'll do pot luck, things along that nature. What else am I doing for fun? Coaching! That's kind of random, and we haven't gotten there.
Once I got through getting healthier, the next best thing to getting your own health is sharing with other people, right? That was after your advisement, actually Terry's as well, I went to Emory University and got a coaching certificate, so that I can work with other people who was having similar issues as me. That's actually- it sounds messed up I guess what I do for fun, but I work with other people.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Helping other people. I mean it's the biggest joy I have, when someone tells me that they are better. That's its own hit of cocaine. Emotional cocaine, and it doesn't wear off. It doesn't have side effects. One of the things I learned when we did the Daniel Plan, the big project at Saddle Back Church to get the world healthy through churches, if I want to stay healthy, I have to learn it like you've learned it. Then I have to give it away, because it's in the act of giving that you receive. What you're really doing, is you're creating your own support group making it more likely you will stay on the program forever. By giving it away, and then hanging out with people who get it, Brain Warriors, they don't do well if they don't have a community of warrior's who do the same thing; Who you can learn from and so on.
Now I promised people we would actually talk about it. What's the difference between Bipolar Disorder and depression. I think way too many people are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. If they hurt their temporal lobes, and they have mood and stability, irritability, temper problems. They hurt their frontal lobes, from accidents or concussions, just like you had, and they have impulse control issues. They had diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. They get put on Lithium, or Lamictal, Depakote, Trileptal, or whatever.
Bipolar disorder is real and left untreated, it devastates people lives. These are people who literally go between two poles. They have normal time when they're just fine, and then they'll have discreet episodes where they're down, they're sad, they're blue, they feel hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, suicidal. They'll cycle out of that, and they'll either then cycle back down there, they'll go up. When they go up, their thoughts go fast, they don't need to sleep, they're terribly impulsive, hypersexuality, hyper-religious, spend a lot of money they don't have. Then they'll cycle either to normal or depressed. When I go to my board, for at least 50% of the people who come her diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, they go "I don't have that. I don't have those discreet episodes", it's like "I'm sort of always irritable. I'm sort of always impulsive, I'm sort of always this way."
For those people who have Bipolar Disorder or make it 3 fatty acids really helpful. Mood stabilizers like Lemictal, really helpful. Or Lithium, they save people's lives. If you don't have that, the potential side effects of medicine can ruin your life. Depression, it's most commonly diagnosed in women, but a lot of men have it because they don't say "I'm sad." They say, "I'm mad." It's the irritability, the negativity, just becomes pervasive. Often happens after I've have trauma. Anxiety often happens after I've had trauma. The difference is people who are depressed, go down and then back to normal. Or, they just stay down. People that have Bipolar Disorder go between those poles. People have the chronic effects of traumatic brain injury, they just sort of bounce around all the time. The brain injury when you get stressed, moves, job changes, end of relationships, parents die; that stress will bring out whatever vulnerability that you might have.
Chase Mattioli: Yeah, definitely. I thought like, as I said Bipolar, that's what they thought immediately. Going back to it, probably with the Intermittent Explosive Disorder, they saw me get angry and that was out of character. They know that I'm normally kind of a happy person. A lot of people around me like, "Oh that's got to be Bipolar, because he was happy sometimes, and really mad the other times." There really wasn't, I guess it was easier for-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Have you ever had, what we think of as a manic episode that lasted weeks? Long, didn't need to sleep, racing thoughts, really bad decisions. I've had some women come in here and they put their family in $200,000 in debt, and have no idea how they're going to tell their husband.
Chase Mattioli: Well, never that bad. Obviously, I've made a lot of poor decisions, health wise, as far as jumping off a ski jump and things along that nature. Never like "I'm gonna sell the house this week", or do something like that. Never Once. It was more when I would have an emotional reaction that didn't seem to fit with the proper emotional reaction wise. That was more my issue, which was more of a depression issue, and less of Bipolar.
Dr. Daniel Amen: More temporal lobe issue. There's researchers now at the University of Tennessee. When I learned about [inaudible 00:12:06] at Emory, Dietrich Blumer, and it actually talks about temporal lobes syndrome. There is a whole sort of cluster of symptoms for people who've heard their temporal lobes, or they have temporal lobe seizures. I see so many people here at Amen Clinics; mood instabilities, irritability, temporal problems, sometimes weird experiences they may hear things that aren't there. It's not typical, psychotic voices, "you're bad, do this awful thing". It's more like they hear illusions, like the sound of bees buzzing. Or, they think their name's being called when nobody's there.
Chase Mattioli: Happens to me all the time.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Or, they get the smell of burning rubber, and there's no burning rubber.
Chase Mattioli: I heard that one, different reasons though.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That could be temporal lobe instability, and another potential treatment is this thing we do called Neurofeedback. We can actually see what's going on in your temporal lobe on the spec scan or the Quantitative EEG. Once we see it, we can then retrain your brain to function in a healthier way and dramatically can change people's lives, in a good way.
Well, it's insane not to look at your brain, but once you do, everything in your life changes. You fall in love with your brain, and then you become a brain warrior. Stay with us.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Thank you for listening to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free, signed copy of "The Brain Warrior's Way", and "The Brain Warrior's Way Cookbook" we give away every month.