Dr. Amen on Dr. Phil: Is Brandon Addicted to Abuse?

Addicted to Abuse

It’s hard to imagine why a man would pay women to abuse him, but that’s the dark world Brandon has been stuck in.

For years, he has solicited women to cause him physical pain by stepping on his face and neck, walking on him, kicking him in the groin and other abuse, while wearing expensive designer shoes. He even had someone run over his arm. And he pays money for them to do these things to him.

Pain helps to make Brandon feel alive.

Even though he has been with his girlfriend, Lindsay, for more than 2 years now, he continues to engage in this of kind behavior with other women to get his needs met outside of their relationship. While Brandon recognizes that his desire to have women demean and abuse him is abnormal, it feels good to him in the moment. In fact, the more he pushes his limits, the greater the thrill or reward he experiences.

At the same time, he feels shameful about it—not just the behavior—but the constant lying and hurt he causes Lindsay. The biggest problem for Brandon though, is his inability to stop. Like an addict who can’t stay away from drugs, Brandon can’t control his urges to seek out pain.

A Referral to Amen Clinics was Needed!

When Lindsay and Brandon were featured on the Dr. Phil show recently, Lindsay said she believes Brandon needs help; that she loves him but feels something is wrong with him, and maybe he could get better with the right help. Dr. Phil agreed and said he suspected Brandon’s history of traumatic brain injury was playing a big role in his significant behavior problems.

He referred Brandon to Amen Clinics for a full evaluation of his brain–STAT!

Dr. Phil explained to Brandon that seeing Dr. Daniel Amen was the first step in healing his brain because Amen Clinics does some of the finest work in the country in evaluating and rehabilitating brains. He also knew Dr. Amen would give Brandon a personalized treatment plan to address his brain and behavior issues.

The Power of Brain Scans

Dr. Amen, who uses brain SPECT imaging as part of the evaluations at Amen Clinics, met with Brandon to discuss what his brain scans revealed. There were some very telling clues about Brandon’s behavior issues.

To begin with, there was extensive injury to his brain as evidenced by several areas of low blood flow, particularly in his prefrontal cortex (PFC). This area is the brain’s CEO and is involved with:

  • Reasoning and decision-making
  • Planning and forethought
  • Insight
  • Empathy
  • Judgment
  • Impulse control

While many of these functions were compromised for him, the biggest issue for Brandon was his utter lack of impulse control. Even if he wants to stop himself, the odds are against him because the brakes of his brain don’t work!

Another area of concern from his scans was the low blood flow in his temporal lobes. Damage to this part of the brain can cause problems with language, memory, anger, mood instability, and dark thoughts. And it was Brandon’s dark thoughts that were troublesome even to himself—that he had them and couldn’t control them.

As Dr. Amen says, “It’s easy to say a person is bad. It’s harder to ask why.” This is the reason he uses brain SPECT imaging to look at the brain and identify the underlying causes of symptoms and behavior problems.

It’s easy to say a person is bad. It’s harder to ask why. Using brain SPECT imaging to look at the brain helps us identify the underlying causes of symptoms and behavior problems. Click To Tweet

While Brandon is fully responsible for his decisions and behavior—and recognizes this—it was very helpful for him to understand the problems with his brain. Using the brain scans to identify the problem areas, Dr. Amen was able to give Brandon a specific treatment plan so he can start healing and strengthening his brain while he works on changing his maladaptive behaviors.

Brain Trauma and Mental Illness

Unfortunately, many people with brain trauma don’t know they have it because most doctors don’t actually look at the function of a person’s brain. Without looking at the brain, how can you know what’s really going on?

Have you ever had a concussion or other type of head injury?

Did you know brain trauma is a major cause of mental illness and behavior problems? Left untreated, a brain injury can lead to:

The good news is that with the right diagnosis and treatment, your brain really can get better. Learning to avoid things that hurt your brain, engaging in brain-healthy habits, taking targeted nutraceuticals—or medications if necessary—and other therapies can help optimize your brain function, even if you’ve had a head injury.

You are not necessarily stuck with the brain you have today!

TBI and concussions can’t wait. During these uncertain times, your mental well-being is more important than ever and waiting until life gets back to “normal” is likely to make your symptoms worsen over time.

At Amen Clinics, we’re here for you. We offer in-clinic brain scanning and appointments, as well as mental telehealth, remote clinical evaluations, and video therapy for adults, children, and couples. Find out more by speaking to a specialist today at 888-288-9834 or visit our contact page here.


  1. Checked into you brain scans. Very expensive. Probably very good

    Comment by Barbara Senneseth — February 22, 2021 @ 8:41 AM

  2. Please work on getting your price much more affordable so many more can be helped . Thanks

    Comment by Heidi Slay — February 27, 2021 @ 4:42 AM

  3. I’m looking forward to the day when Spect imaging becomes a standard procedure for intake of people with serious mental health illnesses. Imagine the difference it could make for an individual to get the right treatment out of the gate. As well as the impact on the community and their families. .

    Comment by Carol — February 27, 2021 @ 8:10 AM

  4. He may not see himself as being a courageous pioneer for going ‘public’ with his story; but I do…let the healing begin.

    Comment by Kat — February 28, 2021 @ 10:25 AM

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