Monday, October 31, 2011

Alternatives to Anti-Depressants

In July, 2011, Science Daily published an article titled Patients Who Use Anti-Depressants Can Be More Likely to Suffer Relapse, Researcher Finds.

The researcher, evolutionary psychologist Paul Andrews, concluded that those participants who had used anti-depressant medications were nearly twice as susceptible to future episodes of major depression (25% rate of relapse for those not taking meds versus a 42% rate for those who had taken and gone off medication).

Anti-depressants and other psychotropic medications have their place, but many feel that the main problem with them is that they suppress symptoms - the brain isn't learning anything. This is likely why some studies have shown lower rates of relapse with those getting psychotherapy alone for depression or a combination of psychotherapy with medication.

With neurofeedback, the brain learns. A common report from my clients who have experienced recurrent depression is that when they notice depression symptoms starting up they are able to choose to "not go there." Others report their depression being gone completely. Most who come in taking medications are able to reduce the dosage or number of medications they are taking. Some are able to eliminate medication entirely.

In makes a difference when the brain learns. Our systems seem to like running more efficiently and with less discomfort. Once learned, they tend to continue to operate that way.

Catherine Boyer, MA, LCSW
New York Neurofeedback

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