Severe anxiety no match for neurofeedback

submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center,

Joyce (not her real name), a young adult from Ewing, struggled with anxiety, severe panic attacks and depression, making it difficult for her to attend school all through high school.

Because of these difficulties her academic and social life were very limited.

After graduation, career options were also limited because of her debilitating anxiety and depression with most situations.

Medication did not seem to help her with reducing her anxiety or depression or improving her coping skills.

Because she had severe difficulty with being emotionally stuck and not getting on with her life, she was referred by a concerned family member.    Some of her difficulties included being easily frustrated and impatient, having difficulty following directions, sadness, moodiness, lack of motivation, fear, anxiety and worry, being very shy, and feeling hopeless.

She reported procrastinating, being easily distracted, having low energy with difficulty learning, and she was becoming despondent.

Joyce’s treatment included neurofeedback with counseling.

Almost immediately she reported sleeping better, having more energy, feeling calm and relaxed and having better concentration.

She felt happier, more awake and alert and physically better.

A Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) was administered after a few months which indicated more specifically the areas of brain wave imbalances that contributed to her anxiety and depression.

Joyce has been able to reduce her medication significantly and continues to make remarkable improvements in her recovery with finding a better job, connecting with friends and happily returning to school.

Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback that has successfully and permanently remediated many behavioral and emotional issues without negative side effects by using a system of rewards for desirable brainwaves.

Neurofeedback began in the 1970s and has been practiced since then with research findings making it effective with many more conditions. As the research expands hope grows for this non-invasive treatment.