07 Mar 2017

Neurofeedback For Depression

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       We do not normally think of children being depressed, but depression knows no social, economic, gender, or age boundaries.  There are many children with dysregulated  brains who manifest symptoms of depression.  Many children diagnosed with ADHD and other disorders are actually depressed, and if you clear the depression the attentional and behavioral problems disappear.  Depression can manifest at any age.  Once again, if we rescue the child, we save the adult.  If brainwaves are not regulated in childhood, they may carry those dysregulated brainwaves into adulthood.  We know of no specific clinical studies confirming that treatment of children for depression precludes depressive patterns in adulthood, but in our clinical practices, this idea seems to hold up.

Often children do not demonstrate the typical signs we think of as depressive signals; instead, some children become more irritable and defiant.  They are often angry about not feeling well and so they act out or show irritability or impulsivity.  They get labeled as stubborn, disobedient, oppositional, or mean, when, in fact, they just feel lousy and are mad about it.  Depression produces unhappy feeling and often severe emotional pain.  No one wants a child to live in a chronic state of unhappiness.  Brainwave training can help even with severe symptoms.  If a child or an adult is on antidepressant medications when they come for neurofeedback, they are usually trained while they are on the medication.  As the symptoms improve, the medication is titrated down.

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