submitted by Maria Di Donato DEd, BCN, PA Licensed Psychologist, PA/NJ Certified School Psychologist
Regina, not her real name, an adult woman from Mayfair had severe anxiety and difficulty sleeping. She reported sustaining multiple head injuries, initially as a child from a fall downstairs. Later, as an adult, she had several work-related car accidents with head injuries.
She also reported emotional trauma during her upbringing. She had been through many therapeutic interventions and was taking medication but not feeling adequate relief.She reported having panic attacks, feeling nervous frequently, being generally fearful, worrying excessively, and having persistent thoughts. She reported feeling sad much of the time and seemed unusually quiet. Besides difficulty falling asleep, she had restless sleep with frequent and early waking.
During her first appointment she appeared anxious, depressed and withdrawn. Because of her head injuries, a Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) was administered that would give useful information for the treatment plan.
Regina’s progress is proceeding slowly, given the diffuse damage of the several concussions. Over time, she gradually and happily began to experience better sleep. Anxiety reduction is a slow path, but over time, she reports gradually experiencing lower anxiety levels, overall.
As part of her treatment, Regina is helped with counseling and is practicing autogenic training for stress management. She reports her personal autogenic training is also helping her manage daily anxiety and stress.
Regina’s recovery is slow, but her progress is consistent, and she is beginning to smile and engage more. With head injuries, besides neurons being damaged at the site of the concussion, there is other damage at the opposite side of the brain from the impact.
Also, nerve fibers that connect neurons throughout the brain are torn causing disruption in communication between neurons at other locations.
Neurofeedback (a form of Biofeedback) helps to retrain the neurons that have been damaged and helps repair the torn pathways between neurons.
All of this takes consistent training and time for the healing to occur. Eventually, with treatment the brain will gradually restore normal functioning.