Our Florida Neurofeedback Program helps assist in treating neurological damage in the brain without the use of medication. Because this process can help treat substance use disorders, neurofeedback addiction treatment is used by many medical professionals to help treat addiction to drugs and alcohol. Whether a person is new to recovery from their addiction or has tried to become sober before and relapsed, neurofeedback addiction treatment may provide a missing piece of the recovery puzzle.
While not necessarily the primary goal of neurofeedback therapy, treatment has other additional benefits, which include:
- Improved focus
- Better mental clarity
- Improved memory
- Decreased impulsivity
- Improved moods
When we’re anxious our brains create new neural pathways that essentially get locked into a heightened state of sensitivity. Neurofeedback helps retrain your brain to get out the locked pathway and to create new, helpful pathways.
Brain imaging studies have shown that activity in defined parts of the brain can improve or worsen moods. By using neurofeedback therapy to activate helpful parts of the brain, depression symptoms can be improved significantly.
Studies have shown neurofeedback therapy helps retrain the brain to have more control of emotions and moods. This control helps balance the messages being sent by neurons and reduces cycling between depression and manic episodes.
Disorder (OCD) Treatment
Recent research performed at Yale University showed that our brains are adaptable. Through neurofeedback treatment, patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder were able to retrain their brains to reduce OCD symptoms.
PTSD & Trauma
PTSD and trauma symptoms activate your body’s sympathetic nervous system, triggering a “fight or flight” response. Over time, especially with exposure to multiple traumatic events, your brain is trained to either shut down or remain in an almost permanent state of arousal. Neurofeedback therapy helps retrain your brain to better regulate the emotional response to triggers, invasive thoughts, and distress.
Common Questions About Neurofeedback
While any questions a person who is interested in neurofeedback addiction treatment has can be directed to the provider, here are some answers to some commonly asked questions:
The electrodes applied to the head are non-invasive and do not leave any punctures or bruising. The ones applied directly to the scalp will not leave any sticky residue. The electrodes are often attached to something similar to a swimmer’s cap that goes on the person’s head, which is simply removed after the session is completed.
A session typically lasts from 30-45 minutes.
Many people report feeling relaxed both during neurofeedback addiction treatment and in the time immediately following their appointments. A person who has received neurofeedback can drive themselves home and resume their normal activities.
Because neurofeedback itself does not involve taking any medications, it will not interfere with meds a person is already taking.
Several sessions are needed to achieve maximum effect, with the provider determining how many are needed and how often to have them. Most people report feeling a positive change after several weeks of sessions.
How Quickly Does Neurofeedback Work?
Retraining your brain effectively is not an overnight process. While many patients may start to notice results within the first couple of sessions, it is helpful to remember that neurofeedback therapy is a marathon, not a sprint. Generally speaking, you may notice improved sleep right away or other minor improvements, but that might now always be the case. However, the biggest gains are achieved after 8-12 sessions.
Most patients who have successfully used neurofeedback therapy to treat mental health disorders will achieve long-term relief from the majority of their symptoms. Brain training becomes an ingrained skill that is reinforced every day. However, follow-up treatment may be necessary for you if you have experienced a setback due to a crisis or trauma. Follow-ups may also be necessary for individuals with a brain injury or other degenerative condition.
Neurofeedback Side Effects
Retraining your brain to increase or decrease certain wave activity may result in temporary side effects during treatment. Side effects tend to be more intense during initial treatment sessions, or if other neurological conditions are present, but lessen over time. These effects include:
- Feelings of panic
- Generalized anxiety
- Low energy
- Muscle tension
If you experience side effects during treatment, is important to let your provider know. Treatment can be adjusted to accommodate any issues and make your experience more comfortable.
Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive treatment that has proven to be remarkably successful in treating many mental health conditions. Even individuals who do not suffer from depression, anxiety, or PTSD may find improved focus, better sleep, and enhanced memory from receiving treatment. However, neurofeedback therapy is not for everyone. For individuals with certain neurological conditions, like epilepsy, neurofeedback may not be a recommended course of treatment.