submitted by Maria Di Donato DEd, BCN, PA Licensed Psychologist, PA/NJ Certified School Psychologist
Colleen (not her real name), a high school graduate from Ivyland, was experiencing difficulty with racing thoughts, anxiety, depression focusing, attention and being very forgetful. At a different clinic, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder with medication. Because her mother was not in favor of medication, Colleen came to our office.
During our clinical interview, Colleen responded positively to having a head injury. She explained that a male classmate spun her around while holding her midsection and threw her down to the ground causing her to hit the back of her head on the ground. This happened twice.
She suffered a concussion but was reluctant to report the incident to anyone. Shortly after she began to have trouble with bright lights.
Over time, she began to struggle at school, grades began to slide, she had difficulty with social situations, became more withdrawn and experiencing increasingly higher levels of anxiety and depression. A Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) was administered to locate the injured areas in order to set up a treatment plan. Once neurofeedback was begun Coleen began feeling calmer, less hyper, more awake and alert, and physically better.
Her self-reports during treatment indicate less anxiety and depression. She is beginning to improve her focus and is getting more comfortable with social situations.
Gradually she is beginning to regain emotional and behavioral balance. It is expected that with continued treatment, Colleen will restore her normal functional skills and healthier lifestyle.
In a concussion there is damage to the neurons at the site of impact and at the opposite site in the brain because of a coup and contra-coup effect. In addition, the fibers connecting distant parts of the brain are torn causing poor neural communication.
Neurofeedback will remediate all those damaged areas and over time restore normal functioning.