Biofeedback is a type of therapy where patients are taught to change their bodily functions and even brain activity. This allows the use of this type of therapy in the treatment of a wide variety of conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, ADHD and high blood pressure. Depending on the type of biofeedback therapy used, Treating Depression with Biofeedback is also possible.
They type of biofeedback that’s helpful for treating depression is called Neurofeeddback. With neurofeedback therapy, the patient is hooked up to an EEG so they can monitor their brain activity and see how particular actions affect them. This makes it possible for people to improve their mental health by learning which actions or thoughts can best change their brain activity so it’s more similar to that of a person who isn’t depressed. In many cases, this means making the left frontal cortex of the brain more active than the right. Research using EEGs has made it possible for scientists to discover the EEG patterns most common in people who are depressed as well as those of people without this condition and those who are responding well to antidepressant medications. These patterns are the goal for people who are being treated for depression with biofeedback.
Antidepressants treat the symptoms of the problem, but not the actual problem itself. With proper brain training using biofeedback, people can learn how to treat themselves and this allows many patients to either reduce their medication dosage or stop taking antidepressant medications altogether. This type of biofeedback training appears to work for people who are depressed regardless of the reason for their depression and usually is effective even in cases that haven’t responded to more conventional methods of treating depression, such as therapy and medication. It’s an especially good alternative for people who can’t take the medications typically prescribed to treat depression for some reason, such as women who are pregnant. The best thing about this treatment is that once the biofeedback method for treating depression is learned, people can use it whenever they start to feel depressed again, so they don’t have as much of a risk of relapsing into a depressive state.
For more info on biofeedback treatment for depression, contact Dr. Leigh Richardson The Brain Performance Center (office in Dallas and Irving).