Anxiety disorders are the most common condition in the United States, affecting 18% of the population every year. Prolonged stress and anxiety can have a negative effect on one’s health, and the consequences of prolonged anxiety can manifest in a multitude of ways. Neurofeedback can be an alternative treatment to those suffering from anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the mind and body’s reaction to stressful, dangerous or unfamiliar situations. It often results in a feeling of uneasiness, distress or dread. Fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating and feeling tired may occur.
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. At healthy levels, it helps us stay alert and aware. However, for those experiencing these feelings more often than not, it can be debilitating and can hurt our relationships, our work life, schooling, and our health. Neurofeedback is an effective treatment for anxiety.
How Can Neurofeedback Help Anxiety?
Neurofeedback is an all-natural approach that can create long-term changes in brain function. Neurofeedback allows you to reshape anxiety networks in your brain, helping it heal. Medications for anxiety typically just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain. Neurofeedback techniques have the ability to measure brain function, identifying the source of the problem, and training the target area for change. This method allows you to change your brain, not just mask your symptoms.
Unlike medication, which has been reported to have numerous side effects, Neurofeedback therapy essentially has no side effects. The most common side effect reported from clients is feeling tired after a session. Side effects for medications for anxiety include, but aren’t limited to the following:
- Weight gain
- Trouble sleeping
- Low sex drive
“Before Neurofeedback I didn’t feel emotions, just depression and anxiety. I constantly had voices in my head. I don’t remember feeling anything other than pain. I feared sleep because of nightmares. I mostly stayed home, afraid to even go out my door and terrified of going to the grocery store. I never took freeways. I couldn’t go into an elevator or be with a crowd. I was scared. I detested being in my own skin. I was a cutter and enjoyed self injury. The abuse I’d suffered had control of me.
I started Neurofeedback in November 2014 as a last attempt to get out of the dark (I’ve had depression and therapy most of my adulthood.) I feel like my brain slowly began to open up. It was a lot of work, but I could feel something happening. I had counseling with Neurofeedback after a couple of months, and that started put the things I was learning and sensations and feelings I was beginning to have in the right places … I needed help to understand the amazingly rapid changes that were happening to me. I could feel my awareness growing. The voices started to go away.”