Depression was one of the earliest clinical applications of Neurofeedback.
According to the 2005 paper Hammond, D. Corydon. “Neurofeedback treatment of depression and anxiety.” Journal of Adult Development 12.2-3 (2005): 131-137, Neurofeedback training can help 80% of people with Depression, especially those who have the biological predispositions for Depression. The effects on Depression with Neurofeedback are long-term unlike that of medications which can produce temporary remission.
The NeuroDevelopment Centre in the USA describes two stories of treatment with Neurofeedback for John and Mary who suffered from Depression.Mary had remarkable results after 20 sessions. Now she can live with a positive mood and with very little anxiety. John after 20 sessions had stopped all three medications for Depression. Neurofeedback training helped him and now he shows minimal signs of Depression and Anxiety.
Dr. Corydon Hammond, PhD Professor & Psychologist from Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation University of Utah School of Medicine describes the Depression from the biological point of view: “The left frontal area of the brain is associated with positive emotions and approach motivation, which is a desire to be involved with other people. The right frontal area of the brain is more associated with depression and fear, accompanied by motivation to withdraw from and avoid other people. When there is more slow brainwave activity in the left frontal area, this part of the brain is more inactive and the right frontal area is more dominant. Such a person is predisposed to become depressed more easily, to withdraw from other people, and to be anxious”.
On the left is the brain of someone with a long history of depression. The left frontal area has an excess of slow, alpha brainwave activity.
On the right the brain map with relatively normal activity.
The main treatment options consist of a combination of medications (e.g. antidepressants), counselling or talking therapies (e.g. psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and self-help techniques. However, these options mainly suppress the symptoms and/or give support in how to deal with the symptoms.
Researchers have found that antidepressants do not correct the brainwave patterns which may be responsible for Depression. It seems that medication treatment for Depression leaves intact the biological predisposition for becoming more easily depressed when unpleasant life circumstances come along.
There is also new evidence that has found that on average, antidepressant medications only have an 18% effect over and above placebo effects and medication may only be mildly effective in treating anxiety as well.
Unlike these options, Neurofeedback is able to make a change to the source of these symptoms within the brain/central nervous system.
During Neurofeedback we will train and stabilise your depressed mood and other symptoms which may reflect that you suffer from Depression. Most clients feel the difference after 3-6 sessions.
Neurofeedback training for Depression is very promising because it can not only relieve the symptoms of Depression but can also modify the biological predisposition for becoming depressed. It may reverse the frontal brainwave asymmetry that predisposes you to depression and help you regain control of your life.
With successful results you will not need medication any more. Training often requires about 20 to 25 sessions.
To learn more about Neurofeedback for Depression, visit: www.braintrainuk.com