Well-Being//

The Surprising Thing I Learned About Myself When I Got a Brain Scan

The results may surprise you, too.

A model brain atop a rocket symbolizes innovation, progress, and psychology topics.
A model brain atop a rocket symbolizes innovation, progress, and psychology topics.

I’ve always wondered about my brain. What does it look like? Does its texture change over time? Does it swell when I’m anxious? Some of these curiosities can be addressed with a simple Google search, but others — like questions about my mental health — are more personal, and not of the search engine variety. When I was younger, for example, I was diagnosed with depression, but it’s not something I identify as having today. Even though I don’t feel like I’m depressed now — I’m no longer treated with therapy or medication — would an image of my brain reveal otherwise? I recently decided to get a brain scan with psychiatrist Daniel Amen, M.D., a renowned yet controversial figure in psychiatry today. I hoped that this experience would answer some of these lingering questions. The results, as well as Dr. Amen’s suggestions for me, may surprise you.

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