How Neurofeedback can help with anxiety, depression, trauma, and insomnia.
In today's fast-paced world, the importance of mental health cannot be overstated. Conditions like anxiety, depression, trauma, and insomnia can significantly impact one's quality of life. While traditional treatments such as therapy and medication remain effective, there's an emerging tool in the mental health arsenal that's gaining recognition: neurofeedback. Explore how neurofeedback can benefit individuals struggling with these mental health challenges.
Understanding Neurofeedback: Neurofeedback is a non-invasive technique that provides real-time feedback on brainwave patterns. By learning to regulate their brain activity, individuals can potentially alleviate symptoms associated with various mental health conditions. Let's delve into how neurofeedback can be a game-changer for anxiety, depression, trauma, and insomnia.
Neurofeedback can be beneficial for individuals who may be experiencing anxiety by improving stress response as well as to help regulate their anxiety.
Through Neurofeedback training, people are able to regulate brain processes that are related to anxiety and stress. As a result, individuals have been seen to have an improvement in academic environments as well ( Bennett et al., pg. 182. 2020).
Anxiety Regulation: Excessive beta wave activity is often linked to anxiety. Neurofeedback helps individuals learn to shift their brains into calmer states, reducing feelings of anxiousness.
Improved Stress Response: It can also assist in controlling physiological stress responses, like heart rate and muscle tension, helping individuals cope better with stressors.
Research indicates that individuals who are diagnosed with depression present higher alpha activity in the left hemisphere of the brain. Through neurofeedback, there has been an improvement in depressive symptoms after experiencing neurofeedback training (Fernández-Alvarez et al., 2021). Some areas that neurofeedback can specifically help are with mood regulation and increased motivation.
Mood Regulation: Neurofeedback can target brainwave patterns related to mood regulation, helping individuals shift towards more balanced and positive states.
Increased Motivation: It improves motivation by enhancing the brain's reward pathways, making it easier for individuals to engage in activities and pursue goals.
"Neurofeedback (NFB) training, also known as brainwave training or electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, is a treatment intervention that aims to improve mental health symptoms (i.e., anxiety and stress) by increasing brain efficiency through training the electrical response patterns within the brain (Hammond, 2005, 2011)."
Continual exposure to trauma, specifically in adolescents, may have a negative impact on both mental and neural development (Rogel et al., 2020). Through neurofeedback, people who have experienced trauma may benefit by increasing emotional regulation and reducing flashback and intrusive memories.
Emotional Regulation: Trauma survivors often struggle with emotional dysregulation. Neurofeedback can train individuals to better regulate their emotional responses by targeting areas of the brain responsible for emotional processing.
Reduction in Flashbacks and Intrusive Memories: Trauma-related symptoms, such as flashbacks and intrusive memories, can be reduced through neurofeedback by modifying brainwave patterns associated with traumatic memories.
Insomnia is a sleep disorder where you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep and is commonly found in people who struggle with anxiety, depression, or have experienced trauma in their lives. Through research, it was found that neurofeedback decreases in beta waves and increases in theta and alpha waves (Kwan et al., 2022).
Neurofeedback can target brainwave patterns contributing to sleep disturbances
common among trauma survivors, leading to improved sleep quality and reduced nightmares.
Neurofeedback is a cutting-edge tool that offers hope to those dealing with anxiety, depression, and trauma. Its ability to empower individuals to regulate their brainwave patterns is a significant step forward in mental health treatment. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health challenges, consider exploring the potential benefits of neurofeedback here at Colorado Center for Neurofeedback, in the Denver Metro Area and Evergreen. With the right guidance and support, it can be a powerful ally in the journey toward mental wellness.
Bennett, C. M., Lambie, G. W., Bai, H., & Hundley, G. (2020). Neurofeedback Training to Address College Students’ Symptoms of Anxiety and Stress: A Quasi-Experimental Design. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 36(2), 170–189. https://doi.org/10.1080/87568225.2020.1791777
Fernández-Alvarez, J., Grassi, M., Colombo, D., Botella, C., Cipresso, P., Perna, G., & Riva, G. (2021). Efficacy of bio- and neurofeedback for depression: a meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 52(2), 201–216. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0033291721004396
Hammond, D. C. (2005). Neurofeedback treatment of depression and anxiety. Journal of Adult Development, 12(2), 131–137. doi:10.1007/s10804-005-7029-5
Kwan, Y., Yoon, S., Suh, S., & Choi, S. (2022). A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Neurofeedback and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia Patients: Pilot Study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 47(2), 95–106. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-022-09534-6
Rogel, A., Loomis, A. M., Hamlin, E., Hodgdon, H., Spinazzola, J., & van der Kolk, B. (2020). The impact of neurofeedback training on children with developmental trauma: A randomized controlled study. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(8), 918–929. https://doi.org/10.1037/tra0000648