Depression can really take the joy out of living. Irritability, irregular sleep patterns, decreased energy, changes in appetite as well as difficulty thinking and concentrating all make it very difficult for depressed people to take pleasure in daily activities. If you want long-lasting relief from depression, then you should consider Neurofeedback.
Symptoms and causes of depression
If you have been struggling with depression, you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 17.3 million adults have suffered from a major depressive episode. World wide, it is estimated 300 million people are now living with depression. If you are feeling overwhelmed, worn down, fatigued, sad, isolated, foggy-brained, or disconnected, these are classic signs and symptoms that accompany depression. Research at Keck Imaging Labs at the University of Wisconsin shows that depressed people experience a reduction of activity on the left side of the brain. This is the side responsible for engaging in positive moods. When the brainwaves are abnormal, your mood can become abnormal.
Depression is about a lot more than just the “blues” or being “down in the dumps”. We all experience feelings of sadness from time to time, and this is normal and healthy. The problem arises when the sadness doesn’t stop, it doesn’t lift and it is not just temporary. This is when the problems can set in, impacting every area of your life from eating and sleeping to your work, relationships and your sense of self.
Depression can develop from a complex combination of factors. These include genetics, brain chemistry, lifestyle, environment, personality and the role that stress plays in exacerbating these elements, impacting areas of the brain. When the left prefrontal cortex, which operates to get us engaging in positive moods and effective social interactions, is impaired, your mood can change. When the left side of the brain wave activity slows down, you naturally pull away from others and lose interest in things: you want to withdraw. Energy levels become low and your sleep quality is changed. Even if you spend a lot of time in bed, the brain is not resting properly. A short mild depression is not necessarily a bad thing or abnormal for most people, but when it goes on for more than two weeks and begins to undermine your daily life, then it is a serious problem and you should seek help.
How Neurofeedback can help depression
When depressed people look for ways to treat their disorder, medication usually seems like the best alternative, and, for a while, it can be. The problem with using medication is that eventually your body begins to build up a tolerance to the medication and it stops working. Eventually, you find yourself jumping from one medication to the next in the hope that you will get your life back. Moreover, many people find that when they stop using the medication, due to side effects such as sexual dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, and weight gain, the depression returns.
Medication works by trying to regulate brain functioning, so it can work at optimal levels once again. Unfortunately, the change is not long-lasting. What if there was a way to regulate brain physiology without building tolerance? What if you could restore your brain’s functioning to its healthiest capacity? And what if this change lasted and your body never built tolerance? What if I say all of this is possible?
It really is! Neurofeedback is the answer. The “depressed brain” does not present healthy brain wave patterns. It gets “stuck” in unproductive and irregular patterns that keep repeating themselves. Neurofeedback, in essence, is a workout for the brain. It seeks to change and strengthen unhealthy brainwave patterns by presenting them with stimuli that challenge their dysregulated patterns. Research has shown that hyperactivity of the right prefrontal cortex is related to negative mood and avoidance behavior. Neurofeedback addresses this imbalance head-on, giving you the tools you need to surmount it for good!
Neurofeedback is a drug-free, non-invasive natural approach to healing depression. In dealing with depression, Neurofeedback therapists place an electrode on the scalp over each side of the brain and train the individual to increase alpha brainwaves on the right side while reducing it on the left. As the left side of the brain becomes more active, individuals begin to feel more positive in their moods. The abnormal brainwave activity diminishes over a period of training sessions. As brain function improves, so does your mood and ability to function effectively.
Jennifer Willemsen, MA, LMFT provides therapy and neurofeedback therapy for children, adolescents, and adults in Corona, North Hollywood, and the Los Angeles area. To start leading the best life you can, reach out by phone or fill out the contact form and click Send.
To find out more about how Neurofeedback can help with depression in Los Angeles, get in touch today.