The word depression has come to mean bad mood to many people. The illness of depression though is much worse than a bad mood. Depression lasts for months and includes the inability to have any expectation of pleasure. Other symptoms may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem.
How does Neurofeedback therapy help?
The classic brain presentation of depression is a left prefrontal cortex that is ‘off-line.’ This is the portion of our cortex that controls ‘approach’ behavior and optimism. When the right is more powerful than the left, our pessimism and avoidance run amuck. There are often deregulations in the deeper structures of the limbic system that control pleasure and emotion.
A QEEG can reveal where the deregulations are the most powerful and that gives us a target for training. When someone is acutely depressed tDCS can help to quickly enhance the left prefrontal cortex and reduce the energy in the avoidant right prefrontal cortex. Following this with operant conditioning so that the brain learns this happier pattern is very powerful.
Jimmy was a freshman at a prestigious college. His desire to do well and the challenges of school were very difficult. He had some big traumas in his early life and started to feel like he could not cope. He was almost suicidal. Luckily, his family heard about Advanced Therapy Center through a friend. His initial brain map was spectacularly deregulated! In 13 sessions of LORETA Neurofeedback and NeuroField he was ready to get back to school. He was calmer and thinking positively. An unexpected plus was that he could now write school essays without the agony. He joined student government and worked on setting limits with his traumatic background. His brain map looked much better!
Eleanor was a high-powered financial advisor in an unhappy marriage. She felt empty and unseen. She had lost hope of feeling loved or valuable as a person. Her work did not fulfill her and was taking up more and more of her time as she felt she was less sharp and focused. She could not sleep as long as she knew she needed and would wake hours before it was time.
Her QEEG revealed that her right prefrontal cortex (pessimism and avoidance) was overly connected to the rest of her brain. We used neuromodulation techniques to break up that pattern. We trained her parasympathetic nervous system to help her feel safe and healthy. With some counseling and Loreta neurofeedback (about 20 sessions), she was able to take on the challenge of changing her life to one that she found more fulfilling.