Depression (also called major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively impacts how a person feels, thinks and acts.
Depression often causes feelings of sadness and can trigger a loss of interest in the activities you once enjoyed. In the long term, it can lead to a range of ailments – both emotional and physical – that can limit your ability to function at work and at home.
Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year and one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Depression can occur at any time in life but, on average, it first appears in a person’s late teens to mid-20s.
Common treatments for depression include options in pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. However, research increasingly shows the medications for treating depression and its related symptoms are only marginally more effective than placebo treatments. Moreover, not every patient responds positively to pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy options – and some often experience detrimental side effects.
Our brain cells can become overactive when we feel anxious, stressed or depressed. This activity is what contributes to depression. Neurofeedback therapy, also called Neuromodulation therapy, essentially trains a patient’s brain to improve the brainwave patterns by way of computer technology. By using video images or by using sounds, the feedback is administered to the patient in real-time.
Research shows a person’s mood is positively influenced when the left frontal area of the brain is more active than the right frontal region. Subsequently, mood is negatively impacted when the right area is more active than the left.
At our practice, we use these established findings to apply Neurofeedback therapy in ways that treat depression and improve outcomes for our patients.