Andrew has struggled his entire life to understand his own mind. He developed learning disabilities as a child, and as an adult was diagnosed with mental health conditions like ADD, anxiety and depression, but the treatments proved ineffective. Dissatisfied with these diagnoses and the direction of his care, Andrew began furiously researching any avenues that might yield improvements in his quality of life. He became interested in biohacking, the process of experimenting on oneself with supplements, diet and actions aimed at bettering ones health. He also sought the help of practitioners outside the traditional medical establishment, which led him to the Amen Clinic where he was diagnosed with MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury).
In episode 38 of the Major Pain podcast, Andrew discusses re-contextualizing his entire life after being diagnosed with MTBI. At the Amen Clinic he received a SPECT brain scan (images below) which can show areas of activity or inactivity of the brain. A handful of clinics are using this technique to diagnose psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression, although significant controversy over the efficacy of this technique exists in the medical field. Andrew describes the multiple whacks to the head he has experienced, and how brain science is evolving to understand the cumulative effects of repeated concussion. He also shares in some of his more maverick experiments in biohacking, and reflects on the emotional journey his health has yielded.