After more than 40 years of anxiety, depression, 20 failed medications and contemplated suicide, neurofeedback gives woman a life she never imagined.
Amanda was just 27 when she had her first panic attack. She doesn’t know why she had it, but looking back, it signaled the beginning of a spiral. At first the spiral was gentle—only a minor inconvenience— but it marked the beginning of a four-decade-long saga that led the 71-year-old to the brink of suicide.
Smart, motivated and the mother of two, Amanda pushed through the earlier years. She was head of the Girl Scouts and a member of the League of Women Voters in her town while simultaneously co-managing a family-owned business.
When she turned 40, Amanda experienced a traumatic event which opened the floodgates of not only anxiety but of unrelenting depression which only got worse over the years.
“I would wake up with such anxiety that I would be ill every day, all day long,” Amanda recalled. “With medication I could sleep for several hours, but the anxiety would wake me up. I was in agony.”
As her situation worsened, Amanda withdrew from family, community and social activities. “I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she said.
She stopped seeing her family members and friends, and only saw her grandchildren from time to time when she took them out to lunch. “All I could think about when I was with them was getting the lunch over with and going back to the couch,” she remembered.
Her marriage started straining at the seams, but through faith and commitment she and husband Ron held on.
She saw one psychiatrist, then another, who all prescribed a string of powerful mood-altering medications – more than 20 over the years.
“They always started me out on a low dose, then upped it and upped it,” Amanda recalled. “When they didn’t work or stopped working, they lowered the dosage, then switched me to another medication. This process went on and on and on.”
A new psychiatrist Amanda went to in 2017 “nearly killed” her, she said, when he took her off high-dose Cymbalta in just two weeks in anticipation of trying her on yet another medication.
“It made me so sick I couldn’t get off the couch,” she recalled. Months later she was still on the couch, shutting everyone out and surviving on ice cream.
“I finally decided that I was done. I put my life in God’s hands. I wasn’t going to any more shrinks or take any more mind-altering anti-depressants. I told myself, if the good Lord wants me living this way, then I’m not going to have a very long life. I seriously contemplated suicide.”
Within a week of making that desperate decision, Ron read an article about Center for Brain and neurofeedback in a magazine in a doctor’s office, brought it home to Amanda and asked her to read it.
She was intrigued and encouraged—but disappointed.