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Neurofeedback and depression

  • anonymous Asks ...

    Dear Doctor Lauren,
    How do you feel about biofeedback for someone with persistent unresponsive depression? I know this is something that is helpful for panic and anxiety but can it work for depression also?

  • Loren Gelberg-Goff Says ...
    Loren  Gelberg-Goff

    Great question... I have found neurofeedback to be very helpful with persistent unresponsive depression, BUT... (and I usually hate the word but) there are some conditions that need to be included as well.  First, neurofeedback alone with persistent, unresponsive depression is not enough.  Ongoing insight oriented therapy needs to be included.  Understanding the emotional roots of one's depression is part of the process that is necessary in overcoming depression.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also a component, because while the neurofeedback will help you internally to not feel depressed, changing certain behaviors that have evolved as a result of depression need to be addressed and modified.  In other words, with persistent unresponsive depression, you want to treat it with a holistic approach and understand that no one therapeutic intervention is enough. Adding mindfulness to your treatment plan would also be beneficial.

    Depression is an overwhelming and insidious dis-ease and needs to be treated with respect, compassion and a great deal of patience.  If you choose to use neurofeedback, it's imperative that you are consistent in your appointments, go to a practitioner who will treat you individually for your particular needs and issues and do one-on-one sessions. Keep focused on your desire to feel healthy, whole and hopeful and all that you do to move in that direction. Remember that you are worth taking care of and deserve the best that the field of mental health can offer.

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