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    Teenage mood disorder no match for neurofeedback

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

    Andy, not his real name, a high school student from West Windsor, was struggling emotionally and behaviorally with anxiety, depression, and mood disorder. His struggles brought him to multiple inpatient placements, multiple medications, and suicidal ideation. Issues included impulsivity, being easily overwhelmed, and inability to concentrate for long periods. 

    Appropriate school placement was also a problem. Reports include difficulty with sustaining attention, being easily distracted, getting bored easily, lacking patience, getting frustrated easily, being unable to see consequences of his behaviors, having his own way and resisting discipline, being argumentative and easily annoyed. Other behaviors include being fearful and worrying, being upset often, and lacking self-confidence.

    Andy was referred to our office by a friend. On interview, he looked very sad and lonely. He was unhappy and discouraged with his school placement that was made because of behavioral concerns. He appeared discouraged with all the treatments, placements and medications that were seemingly ineffective.

    A treatment plan was begun that targeted mood disorders and depression. After the first session, he reported sleeping better, having more energy, feeling calm and relaxed, being less hyper, having better concentration, feeling happier, more awake and alert, and physically better. 

    As the treatment plan continued, Andy was smiling more in session and began reporting longer periods of happier mood. Now when Andy comes into the office he is smiling and looking like he is loving life. He got a part time job which he enjoys.

    Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback or brain training that is a non-invasive way of showing the body what is going on and facilitating change.

    The brain will begin making the changes to the more desirable brainwaves, and over time the new brainwaves and behaviors become permanent. The behavioral, emotional and cognitive improvements result in a much happier lifestyle.

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