Finally. That was my first response to Dr. Earl Henslin’s book This is Your Brain on Joy. Finally, a psychologist who recognizes the spiritually of a person. Finally, a Christian who understands the physical aspects of mental illness.
Dr. Henslin explains how the brain works and how each area of the brain affects each person. In addition, he shows that mental disorders such as anxiety disorder, attention deficit disorder, or depression are not character flaws or sinful behavior, but real biological based disease.
Working with renowned physician Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Henslin learned of groundbreaking research done with SPECT scans (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography). These scans show more detail of the brain working than any other to date. Specific regions of the brain control specific actions and emotions. Dr. Henslin, using Dr. Amen’s work, gives clear details of these actions.
Going further, Dr. Henslin gives suggestions for self-help that includes not just the typical think good thoughts and get plenty of exercise, but dietary changes, helpful music, and spiritual changes. Dr. Henslin clearly writes from a Christian perspective, but he doesn’t promote one faith over another.
I was particularly encouraged by Dr. Henslin taking on Christian ministries that dismiss depression and other mental illnesses as lack of faith or other spiritual needs. He pulls no punches that mental disorders are a biological based, not faith-based.
I find the explanations of the parts of the brain and how they function childish. Readers, even if they can’t pronounce the medical names, can understand the biological explanations without being told there’s a gerbil in the brain.
It’s disappointing that the small photos of the SPECT scans are not clear. Most are too dark to even view. I encourage the reader to go to www.amenclinics.com to see living color scans for the true impact.
This is Your Brain on Joy is a must read for anyone dealing with mental illness either as someone with a diagnosis or a family member. Like all psychology books, do be careful that you don’t finish with every disease mentioned.
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