Depression is a common mental illness that affects millions across the globe. The situation is no different in the U.S. and corroborating this fact is the statistic shared by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), according to which, approximately 16.1 million U.S. adults aged 18 or older had at least one major depressive episode the year before.
Depression or major depressive disorder makes the patient feel sad, low, angry and irritated. It can be treated using medications like antidepressants, undergoing therapies, and avoiding triggers like stress and trauma.
While the condition can be treated with the help of traditional therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy or group therapy, and talk therapy, researchers are still working on finding innovative modalities to help cure the condition; and one such therapy is neurofeedback training.
Neurofeedback training alters brain functioning
Neurofeedback training, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a technique that uses real-time brain activity details to help an individual control his/her brain functioning. Conducted under the guidance of an experienced professional, the training is held once a week.
During the session, electrodes are applied to the individual’s scalp. These pick up signals, sent by the brain and direct them to the computer, which processes them. The signals are converted into a combination of sound and images that the individual watches.
This is done in real-time so that the individual can observe the variation in the images and sounds as his/her thoughts change. While the brain observes how it is controlling the image and sound, at which thoughts it is becoming more ordered, and at which more chaotic, it learns to self-regulate to improve its functioning.
Helps depression symptoms
Neurofeedback has an ability to track the healthy and unhealthy patterns of the brain. The therapy helps to improve brain functioning through intensive brain training exercises that assist in restoring healthy brain patterns. It retrains the dysfunctional brain patterns related to depression, helping affected people feel better and motivated.
A successful neurofeedback training could take anywhere between 15 and 35 sessions and the treatment outcomes remain with the individual even after the therapy ends. However, everybody suffering from depression might not be a suitable candidate for this treatment modality.
Apart from depression, the therapy can also be used to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, sleep problems, headaches, memory problems, etc. Researchers are also trying to see how it would affect patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Parkinson’s disease, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and the habit of smoking.
Causes of depression
There are some factors that increase an individual’s probability of getting affected by depression or makes him/ her more prone to it. A few of these include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual assault
- Emotional abuse
- Certain medications
- Personal conflicts
- Death of a loved one
- Chronic illness
- Family issues
- Substance abuse
One can recognize the development of the condition from symptoms such as persistent sadness, anxiety, bad mood, feelings of hopelessness, guilt and worthlessness, loss of interest in activities once loved, low energy, poor concentration, etc.
Depression is a real illness that affects an individual’s personal, social and professional life. In this age of constant stressors and pressures, it becomes important for a person to stay cautious, recognize the symptoms of depression and take action if needed.
If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or any other form of mental illness, Sovereign Health can help in availing the best depression treatment in Los Angeles. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our representatives who can assist you in connecting with depression treatment centers in California and other parts of the U.S. Remember, you are not alone.