Neurofeedback can break the pattern
By Michael Cohen, Director
Center for Brain
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 the majority of 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 bran 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 there. 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. People typically notice improvements within four to eight sessions. Longer-term some improvement often occur within 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 the tendency to become depressed by day-to-day living and to not get “stuck” in depression.
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 correctly customize neurofeedback training protocols for maximum benefit. There are also many other tools that complement neurofeedback and make the process work better that other practitioners may not have.
When you entrust Center for Brain to help you with brain-based issues such as depression, you are in the hands of a recognized national expert.
Call us today to find out how we may be able to help!
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 anti-depressant. 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.
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 contributing 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 neurofeedback 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 key, and is a challenge for many people. However, after a series of neurofeedback sessions, that can occur.
About Center for Brain
Center for Brain is staffed by a team of compassionate professionals whose mission is to enhance the lives of people suffering from a variety of conditions that can be significantly improved with the help of neurofeedback and other brain technologies.
Michael Cohen, Director
Center for Brain
Mike is one of the leading experts in brain biofeedback. 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.
Center for Brain is located at:
550 Heritage Drive, Suite 140
Jupiter, FL 33458