submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D. Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center
Florence, not her real name, a senior citizen from Buckingham was struggling with her caretaker role for her disabled spouse. He suffered a stroke 8 years ago and was dependent for all his basic needs with failing health. She, being his primary caretaker, struggled with the stress and emotional pain of his disability and poor prognosis.
The emotional distress she experienced was overwhelming for her at times, leaving her drained and discouraged.
She expressed her unhappiness and her frustration with her situation. She reported being frequently tearful and depressed, with low motivation and mental energy. Sleep was a problem.
Often, she would forget words she wanted to say. Irritability with her spouse and son often resulted in conflicted situations.
Emotional stress and poor sleep were taking a toll despite her medications.
On intake, Florence was tearful, reporting her struggles and frustration with not being able to cope with her situation.
Neurofeedback training focused on her depression and stress.
She began to feel calmer with the first treatment, reporting she had more energy, felt calm and relaxed, better concentration, better mood, more awake and alert, feeling of well-being physically better. She began to smile more and seek more enjoyable activities. She reported being able to express herself better and having more energy.
Biofeedback guided autogenic training along with counseling gave her stress-management skills and the empowerment to manage her stressors on a daily basis.
Besides calming the depression and stress Florence was able to begin making clear decisions about her life.
Her spouse has since passed, but Florence continues to maintain the program to manage her loss and maintain a healthy lifestyle and emotional balance. Neurofeedback, a type of biofeedback, helps to reward the happier calmer waves and reduce the less desirable waves by a system of rewards to encourage heathy brain functions. Its positive effects are long lasting and believed to be permanent.