Neurofeedback for Anxiety
Neurofeedback is a non-drug non-pharmacological treatment for anxiety.
You wake up and can’t believe it is another day. This can’t be your life. Is this all there is? Sometimes you can’t feel at all and don’t give a crap, other times you are overreactive.
But you go to work and it was a difficult day…again. You don’t feel like you are being your best at anything and some days you don’t care. Your co-workers, customers, and your boss really irritate you. You can’t wait to get home, but as you walk in the door, the kids are fighting again. You can’t wait to climb into bed, but tomorrow is the same thing… You feel overwhelmed and as the stress increases, you feel flat, reactive, and crappy. This isn’t who you are or who you were meant to be.
When the kids fight you may have difficulties managing your reactions because you feel like a failure as a parent. Your child/ren may be reactive, angry, and you are embarrassed. You are ready for a change.
You feel exhausted, stressed, and overwhelmed. Thoughts get stuck in your head and you can’t make them go away. People annoy you, and you just wish that people would do what you expect them to do.
Other people piss you off. . . it isn’t you, it’s them! Well, maybe it is. . . you.
If you have anxiety, all of your senses are heightened making life circumstances, loud noises, and people annoying to you. Maybe you don’t like the way someone said something, you may misinterpret situations or what someone has said. Maybe you are just freakin angry and you don’t know why.
Neurofeedback can train your brain to change its response/overreaction to stress. This is NOT the same as teaching you to manage your stress or teaching you coping skills. I bet you have already tried that.
Neurofeedback simply enables your brain to not overreact to stress in the first place. Your brain will stop overreacting. You don’t have to remember skills that you really don’t freakin want to use in the moment anyway. You don’t have to try to calm yourself down (who can calm themselves down when they are annoyed?)
You may manifest anxiety by always moving, not being able to sit still, or by being not able to relax without falling asleep. Maybe you appear calm in your body, but your brain cannot stop the chatter. Do you always worry about the past or the future?
Anxiety affects the quality of your life. Anxiety affects your mood, job, and your future, but neurofeedback calms your brain, and a calm brain can make better decisions.
It is time for you to take back control of your life, call today so that I can sit down with you and explain how I may help you be better.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders. They affect 18% of adults in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health). Of these cases, 22% are classified as severe, and only 34% are getting treatment.
80% of kids with an anxiety disorder are not receiving treatment, according to the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report. These kids struggle because life is difficult for them.
Children with anxiety are difficult to understand and parent. Do you feel on edge, waiting for your child to blow up, tantrum, rage?
Anxiety is not caused by what you are or are not doing as a parent. It is a brain thing.
According to the 2016 Children’s Mental Health Report :
Anxiety disorders like social phobia can make students twice as likely to drop out or fail a grade; ADHD, mood and anxiety symptoms and disruptive behavior at age 6 predict math and reading achievement at age 17; and combinations of mental health disorders (including substance abuse) are predictors for low levels of lifetime educational attainment.
Our goal at Intellect LLC is for you to be able to come off your medication or at least decrease your medication under the direction of your prescribing doctor.
- We do not advise patients to stop medication without medical advice. Abruptly discontinuing certain medications may induce a seizure. Medically-supervised weaning is imperative.
Medication only covers up your symptoms and increases your need for taking them. When you stop taking the medication, you will still have anxiety. Who wants to take medication? Long-term use of benzos has been linked to dementia and permanent memory impairment. You want to feel better without the need for medication.
Areas of your brain are smaller in size with chronic stress. That is why anxiety affects your memory, reasoning, decision-making, emotions, and self-control.
Not all people with anxiety have these symptoms, but sometimes these symptoms stem from anxiety:
- Controlling behavior
- Overreactive responses
- Negative thinking
- Unable to let down your guard down
For additional resources:
- American Psychological Association
- National Institute for Mental Health
- Anxiety Disorders Association of America
Generalized Anxiety Disorder includes the following symptoms occurring more days than not for at least six months:
- Restlessness of feeling on edge
- Excessive worry
- Being easily fatigued
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
- Sudden recurrent panic attacks with intense fear
- accelerated heart rate sweating
- shortness of breath
- feeling impending doom
- Difficulty breathing
- Marked fear of social scrutiny or judgment by others (i.e. that they will feel humiliated, embarrassed, rejection, or offend others)
- Fear of appearing anxious
- Social situation are avoided
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Obsessions are uncontrollable reoccurring and disturbing thoughts, urges, or mental images that cause anxiety
- Some common obsessions may be:
- Fear of germs or contamination
- Unwanted forbidden thoughts involving sex, religion, and harm
- Aggressive thoughts towards others or self
- Needing symmetry or in a particular order
- Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels the urge to do in response to an obsessive thought.
- Some common compulsions may be:
- Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing
- Ordering and arranging things
- Repeatedly checking on things, such as checking if the door is locked or that the oven is off.
- Compulsive counting
- Mental rituals (prayer, reciting nonsense words or phrases)
Not all rituals or habits are compulsions. A person with OCD generally:
- Can’t control thoughts or behaviors, even when those thoughts or behaviors are recognized as excessive
- Spends at least 1 hour a day on these thoughts or behaviors
- Doesn’t get pleasure when performing the behaviors or rituals, but may feel brief relief from the anxiety the thoughts cause
- Experiences significant problems in their daily life due to these thoughts or behaviors
Some individuals with OCD also have a tic disorder.
Motor tics are sudden, brief, repetitive movements, such as eye blinking and other eye movements, facial grimacing, shoulder shrugging, and head or shoulder jerking. Common vocal tics include repetitive throat-clearing, sniffing, or grunting sounds.
- Mind over chatter: Plastic up-regulation of the fMRI salience network directly after EEG neurofeedback.
Ros T, Théberge J, Frewen PA, Kluetsch R, Densmore M, Calhoun VD, and Lanius RA
NeuroImage, 65, 2013, pp 324-35