Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you can’t stop thinking certain thoughts or repeating particular behaviors over and over again, you may have obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.
There are many symptoms of OCD, but typical OCD thoughts include fear of being contaminated by germs, fear of causing harm to yourself or others and focusing excessively on morals or religion. Typical OCD behaviors include excessive double-checking (Is the door locked? Did I turn off the oven?), counting or arranging everything you see, and hoarding.
Sometimes medication helps, but often it doesn’t, and it can have side effects.
Neurofeedback has many advantages over medication. The most important one is that it helps the brain physically change so that unwanted thoughts and behaviors diminish (along with the need for medication) – or go away. Medication is unable to do this. Once medication is discontinued, the OCD behaviors return.
Research has been able to identify parts of the brain in the frontal area that are implicated in this problem. In some people with OCD those parts run too slowly. In others they run too fast. Whichever it is, the end result is that you’re unable to switch gears and think about or do something else – even though you try. And when you can’t switch, you can’t live a normal life.
Because the “problem areas” of the brain known to be involved in OCD have been identified by research, neurofeedback is able to easily target them, “unstick” them and break the cycle of constant repetition of thoughts or behaviors.
Patients report that after training they don’t have to work as hard at shutting down bothersome thoughts or behaviors. Their mind is quieter and better able to manage these impulses when they arise.
Why hasn’t your doctor told you about neurofeedback?
Unfortunately, most physicians and healthcare professionals are unfamiliar with neurofeedback technology and its application to OCD. Even those who do know about it haven’t invested the time necessary to learn about it. At the Center for Brain Training, we’ve been studying and working with neurofeedback technology for more than two decades and know exactly how to use it to help people with OCD.
Dr. Tanju Surmeli, a psychiatrist world-renowned for his research in neurofeedback and psychological disorders, explains the results of a study of 36 patients with OCD in an interview with Mike Cohen, Director of Center for Brain.
Listen to the audio clip: Dr. Surmeli on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder