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Chronic Depression Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Life

Neurofeedback can break the pattern

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Anti-depressants don’t always work well.
Research suggests that half or more of people who try anti-depressants experience no benefit at all. For many others, medications reduce symptoms but don’t stop them.

Anti- depressants can have unpleasant side effects.
Side effects like reduced libido, weight gain or loss, insomnia or dry mouth are common.

Difficult to stop.
Another issue: once on an anti-depressant, it can be very difficult to get off. When you try to stop unsuccessfully, it’s often viewed as “proof” that you need the medication. Yet that is often not true. There are more effective strategies for helping people withdraw from medication.
At Center for Brain our clients with depression typically experience significant relief. Medications are often reduced and sometimes eliminated.

Unlike medication, which chemically forces temporary changes in the brain, neurofeedback helps you change your own brain—naturally—by harnessing its neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s innate ability to physically change.

Neurofeedback helps you physically change brain patterns through neuroplasticity.
Training the brain with neurofeedback helps you reduce depression naturally. You literally change the brain patterns associated with depression. It takes work and time, but you learn to physically change those destructive patterns. Chronic depression has a strong brain basis, which helps explain why psychotherapy often doesn’t work long-term.

Changing Your Brain is Necessary for Feeling Better Long-Term
The two images below illustrate the physical nature of depression. The map on the left shows the brain of a client with a long history of depression, indicated by the orange and yellow area. These colors represent excessive slow brainwave activity, generally associated with depression. The picture on the right displays the brain of a client who doesn’t suffer from depression. Neurofeedback can help your brain look like the one on the right.

What can I expect from my neurofeedback training sessions?
The brain of someone with depression is “stuck” in a pattern of being down. We generally start by conducting a brain map similar to the one on figure 1 to identify key problem areas. Using advanced biofeedback technology, neurofeedback guides the brain into becoming “unstuck” from this undesirable cycle and keeping it unstuck. Once unstuck, the brain will function in a healthy way, producing fewer and less intense dark moods.

Many of our clients report being in а better mood after just a few sessions and eventually describe being less susceptible to depression and moodiness.

How many sessions will you need?
The number of sessions varies depending on the individual, including how long they have been suffering with depression and how many medications they are taking. Individuals typically notice some improvement within four to eight sessions. However, maximum improvement from neurofeedback technology can often take from 25-40 sessions.

Does neurofeedback do the same thing as medication?
In some ways, yes, but in one important way, no.

Both neurofeedback and medication can regulate your mood. The difference: medication doesn’t teach your brain. Once the medication wears off, you’re right back where you started.

Neurofeedback, on the other hand, teaches the brain a different way to operate. It reduces your tendency to become depressed by ordinary day-to-day life and minimizes the chances that down moods will stick around.We have clients who have been able to reduce or eliminate anti-depressant medications, even after being on them for 20 or 30 years.

Why come to Center for Brain for neurofeedback training?
As neurofeedback training and its effectiveness have become better-known, neurofeedback companies have sprung up around the country. While some are staffed by veteran practitioners like myself, in the field for more than 20 years, many are not.

It takes a great deal of technical know-how and clinical experience to customize and adapt neurofeedback training protocols for maximum benefit. There are also many other tools to complement neurofeedback and make the process work better that other practitioners may not have.

At Center for Brain we are known for our experience in working with chronic complex cases including depression and anxiety.

Call us today to find out how we may be able to help!

Mark’s story

Mark’s parents first learned about his chronic depression when he confessed at age 21 to his mother, Kim, that he was profoundly depressed. She took him to a doctor who prescribed an antidepressant. That would be the first of a nightmarish parade of one ineffective drug after the other recommended by a string of medical professionals with nothing else to offer.

Side effects
Some drugs worked for a while and then stopped. Some didn’t work at all. One caused Mark to gain a tremendous amount of weight without alleviating his depression. When anxiety became part of the equation, he was prescribed as many as three drugs to take at the same time. They made him feel like a zombie.

Suicide attempt and panic
At age 24 Mark attempted suicide by overdosing on a prescription medication. Frantic for other options, Kim conducted an internet search, found Center for Brain and brought him to us from their home in New Jersey. Mark had two panic attacks on the airplane ride to Florida.

Medication adjustment and testing
Once in Florida we had Mark seen by a psychiatrist, who changed and minimized Mark’s medication, and an internist, who conducted a battery of tests. Those tests identified nutritional deficits contribut- ing to the depression. We had him start on custom vitamins that many of our depressed and anxious clients have said help. He was soon able to start a daily physical fitness workout.

Better quality of life after neurofeedback training
We gave Mark a course of 11 neuro- feedback sessions over the next four weeks.
Mark said he felt better after the very first session. He described his mood as “lighter.” He had ranked his depression as a “10” when he arrived (the worst on a 1-10 scale) and a “3” when he went back home. He needed more sessions to ensure it held, but his brain did remarkably well after a fairly short training regimen.

Mark had no panic attacks on the return flight home. Later his mother told me that even on bad days Mark is able to “pull himself out of” a bad mood.

Being able to pull out of depression is a major key to feeling better. Doing so is a challenge for many people but often occurs after a series of neurofeedback sessions.

Michael Cohen, Director Center for Brain
Michael Cohen is one of the leading experts in brain biofeedback in the United States. For more than 20 years he has helped children and adults feel better who suffer with a wide range of problems including ADHD, anxiety, insomnia, and learning and processing issues. He has taught neurofeedback to over 2,000 healthcare professionals, including medical doctors, all over the U.S. and the world.

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