Excerpt: 'The UltraMind Solution'

Do you sometimes feel as if your brain is breaking from all the stress you're under?

Dr. Mark Hyman appeared on "Good Morning America Now" to share his thoughts on how altering one's nutririon, sleep and excercise habits can help wipe away anxiety and boost brainpower. You can read an excerpt from Hyman's book, "The UltraMind Solution," below.

'The UltraMind Solution'

Your brain is broken. You know it. You feel it. You hide it. You fear it.

You have been touched by an epidemic. It deprives children of their future, the elderly of their past, and adults of their present.

Brainpower
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No one is talking about this invisible epidemic. Yet ­it's the leading cause of disability, affects 1.1 billion people worldwide1—one in six children, one in two elderly—and will cripple one in four people during their lifetime.

I am talking about the epidemic of broken brains.

We refer to our "broken brains" by many names—depression, anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, attention deficit disorder or ADD, autism, and dementia to name a few. This epidemic of brain breakdown shows up in radically different ways from person to person so that they all seem like separate problems. But the truth is that they are all manifestations of a few common underlying root causes.

These seemingly different disorders are all really the same problem—imbalances in the seven keys to UltraWellness.

Conventional treatments ­don't help, make things worse, or provide only slight benefit. That's because conventional treatments use the wrong model to heal these disorders. There is another way to fix your broken brain, and it is not what you have heard or might think.

Just as brain problems all stem from the same root causes, they all have the same solution—The UltraMind Solution.

I know this as both doctor and patient. My own brain broke one beautiful late August day in 1996. I became disoriented and terrified and descended into a spiral of helplessness and hopelessness.

Let me tell you my story.

My Broken Brain

Learning, thinking, and speaking were always easy for me. My brain never failed me. In college, I learned thousands of Chinese characters. In medical school, the intricate patterns and names of our anatomy—the bones, muscles, organs, vessels, and nerves—mapped effortlessly into my mind, and the complex pathways of physiology and biochemistry were clear after one lecture and reading my notes.

I ran four miles every day to medical school. I took detailed notes in my classes, able to simultaneously listen to, remember, and write down nearly every word my professors spoke.

At the end of the day I ran back again to my apartment, did yoga for an hour, ate a freshly prepared whole-­foods meal, and studied without distraction or loss of focus for three hours every night. Then I crawled into bed, fell peacefully asleep within five minutes, and slept deeply for seven hours.

The next day I got up and did it all over again.

That rhythmic life broke down, as it does for all physicians in training, when I entered the hospital and started pushing my body and mind beyond their limits with regular thirty-­six-­hour shifts on top of an occasional sixty-­hour shift (Friday morning to Monday evening!).

When I went to practice as a small-­town family doctor in Idaho, I worked a shortened schedule of only eighty hours a week, seeing thirty patients a day, delivering babies, and working in the emergency room.

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