By A. C. Rose
We asked leading brain doctor, Daniel Amen, MD, about the benefits of reading Fifty Shades of Grey. He agrees it good for us!
Dr. Amen is a clinical neuroscientist, psychiatrist, and expert on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice. As founder of the Amen Clinics and bestselling author of 29 books, he is a leading expert on all things about the female brain.
He indicated that the reason we love reading Fifty Shades so much is that it can heighten feel good chemicals in the brain and inspire more sexual activity as home, which in turn helps us feel better!
We were able to pose a couple of question to him about Fifty Shades during a interview about his book, Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex, in which he offers tools and exercises for understanding, optimizing, and harnessing the power of the female brain — including a program for relief from depression. The books was released in paperback last month.
Here’s an excerpt from our interview.
A. C. Rose: Fans seem so happy when they read Fifty Shades of Grey. Do you think it boosts their Serotonin?
Dr. Daniel Amen: It’s not Serotonin, it’s Dopamine. Dopamine is the chemical that is pleasure, surprise, motivation, “OMG,I can’t believe he did that,” or “I can’t believe she’s giving into him.” I think husbands or boyfriends get the benefit because now it helps the women relax.
Is it correct to that that when people are reading fiction books, the brain can’t tell difference between reading it and doing it?
Dr. Amen: Yes. You have to be careful what you read. I think you have to be careful what you read because it becomes part of your DNA. It stimulates people.
You mean Christian Grey gets into your brain? Is that how it works?
Dr. Amen: Happy thoughts. He becomes part of synapses. You’re much more likely to remember something if it’s visual and emotionally intense, good or bad. For that month my wife was reading those three books, I noticed that she was more talkative, more happy, and more edgier, and was very curious.
Does this book alleviate depression in women?
Dr. Amen: I think it’s the trigger that leads to other things that helps alleviate depression in women. Women are more stressed out now because they are doing too much, working full time, managing their husbands, taking care of their kids. Because of that they begin to ignore some of the really important parts of life that have anti-depressant qualities like making love to your husband. I am convinced it has anti-depressant qualities, not just because I’m a guy (I’ve been accused of that). It’s the exercise and the eye contact, touching and closeness. Another treatment for depression is interpersonal psychotherapy, teaching people to get along with other people has anti-depressant qualities.
So it is no surprise that reading the book can improve a readers love life and perhaps your mental health?
Dr. Amen: If you read the book you are tinglier inside and you like your husband more, then you are relieving some of the built-up energy from reading the book on a more regular basis, which has anti-depressant affects.
Does the basic act of reading make you feel like it’s really possible? Like it’s happening to you in real life?
Dr. Amen: It depends on the book. Ken Follett is great about writing about relationships and you find yourself totally immersed and it’s like you are there. This is why you smile and why you laugh–because he’s talented at being able to put you right where the story is… right where the bedroom is… right where the flirtatious woman or guy is.
And many of us feel like we are right there when reading Fifty Shades and other steamy novels!
Unleash the Power of the Female Brain: Supercharging Yours for Better Health, Energy, Mood, Focus, and Sex is packed with great advice for women on how to be healthy, happier, calmer, and to access the power of the female brain. He says some of our natural skills include intuition, empathy, self-control, and the ability to work collaboratively.
Dr. Amen is also the author of the bestselling book The Brain and Love, for more information on his take on the benefits of love, sexual activity, romance, and the brain. Its a really fun book.