The Effects of Neurofeedback Training on Depression
Depression of any type or on any level of intensity is hard to live with. However, for someone suffering from manic depression such as Bipolar Disorder, quality of life is completely compromised. According to statistics, depression is something experienced by millions of people around the world. Because of this, there has been a tremendous amount of research and money invested to find viable, long-term solutions.
Today, many remarkable advances have been made, which is evident with neurofeedback training. Because this treatment is considered one of the most important treatments available for people with depression, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide some of the key benefits. Keep in mind that unlike more conventional treatments, neurofeedback is unique since it is beneficial at the onset of symptoms, but also once depression has already set in.
Common Symptoms of Depression
While there are many similarities among the different types of depression, there are also distinct differences. As mentioned, if a person begins to experience symptoms associated with depression, neurofeedback training can be provided to retrain the area of the brain malfunctioning. With this, it is possible to stop the progression of this mental health condition, which ultimately makes it easier to achieve a quick and full recovery. For that reason, we also felt it important to offer a list of the most common signs to watch for.
- Mood Swings – Initially, a person will begin to experience mood changes and swings. Typically, these consist of getting upset over small things, feeling anxious, and dealing with a sense of sadness.
- Loss of Interest – Another early warning sign of depression is losing interest in activities that are normally enjoyed. Pulling back from playing in sports, traveling, having sexual relations, and hanging out with friends are prime examples.
- Feeling Fatigued – Feeling fatigued and run-down are also early warning signs of depression. For this, the feeling is much different from being sleepy. Instead, it is an overwhelming sense of physical and psychological fatigue that even with rest does not go away.
- Change in Eating – Eating more or less is also considered an early warning sign of this mental health issue. Some people eat constantly while others seldom eat but no matter the direction an individual goes, both are risky.
- Poor Concentration – Depression will also have a direct impact on a person’s ability to concentrate and make decisions. As a result, being productive at work or school becomes increasingly difficult.
- Sleep Pattern Changes – Someone heading into depression will likely experience a change in sleep pattern as well, which can consist of sleeping all the time to having major bouts of insomnia
- Worthless Feeling – It is also common for someone struggling with depression to feel worthless. Unfortunately, if not properly treated, this will eventually move into feeling completely hopeless and guilty.
Understanding Neurofeedback Training
Once a person has full-blown depression, most doctors will prescribe medication, order therapy, and recommend various medical procedures. Now, there are times when the more conventional methods of treatment are necessary but in recent years, it has been discovered and proven that neurofeedback training is also a highly effective and safe treatment. However, the one advantage that neurofeedback training has over other treatments for depression is that it works as both a preventative and corrective tool.
As part of neurofeedback training, the exact area of the brain causing problems is targeted using a process known as “brain mapping”. Using a special computer program, brain wave activity is captured and then analyzed. Based on the findings, a diagnosis of depression is made. However, because mapping is so precise, it is actually possible to identify the specific type of depression.
Remember, for each form of depression, a different type of improper brain activity occurs. Therefore, along with mapping a specific area of the brain, followed by making a firm diagnosis, a trained professional can determine the exact type of depression based on the activity captured. Because neurofeedback training is so precise, a very small section of the brain is retrained. With this, healthy brain activity replaces inefficient activity. Without unnecessary portions of the brain being touched, retraining usually occurs quickly but best of all, even when training stops, the results are permanent.