Over the last ten years, thousands of mental health professionals have become increasingly aware of the limitations of medication and psychotherapy for depression. SSRI medications like Prozac or Lexapro are considered “standard” solutions. They target the brain.
Problem with reliance on medications:
1) Many individuals still struggle. 2) Once on antidepressants, it is hard to get off them. The brain becomes reliant on medication. This makes it more difficult to manage your own mood, to get out of depression, or become motivated on your own.
Thousands of psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and mental health professionals now use neurofeedback daily with their clients. As an alternative to medications, neurofeedback can often help people reduce or eliminate antidepressant drugs as their brains become more stable.
A great deal of research shows evidence of a neurological basis for depression. Certain image patterns often correlate to depression (see example below).
The Canyon Vista Clinics offers brain diagnostics as well as neurofeedback training. This can help identify the specific areas of the brain to target. After brain training, many depressed clients report changes in mood, motivation, and become more stable. Many clients report being less susceptible to depression or moodiness after training.
Think of depression – or just chronically being down – as being “stuck.” Anyone can have an experience that gets them down or depressed. It’s when you can’t lift yourself out of it that depression becomes a problem. When someone’s brain gets stuck, they can’t break out of it alone. Friends will say – “get a grip”, or “cheer up”. If you could, you would. When the brain is stuck in a pattern of being down, it’s not psychological. Research has shown physical patterns in the brain often correlate with depression.
You can exercise your brain back to health. Training the brain helps break up the stuck pattern. Most clients report the impact of neurofeedback on mood is very powerful. We’ve seen cases where people notice being in a better mood within a few sessions. However, to stabilize mood regulation, more training is required. Neurofeedback, like exercise, is not a one time “fix”. Training helps the brain practice a better pattern of mood regulation. After all, the brain learns. The brain teaches you everything you know. It can learn to regulate your mood.
The two images below are brain maps from different people. The map on the left is from a person with a long history of depression. On the left, there is a colored orange and yellow area. It represents an excess amount of slow brainwave activity. This pattern is often associated with depression. The picture on the right displays a relatively normal brain, without depression.