Treatment-Resistant Depression

A small pilot study has indicated that neurofeedback – where patients concentrate on modifying their own brainwave patterns – has the potential to treat many of the 100 million people worldwide who suffer from Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD).

According to the World Health Organization, “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.” Over 300 million people suffer globally from depression. There are treatments for depression, but up to a third of people don’t respond to treatment, even after trying different anti-depressants. This is Treatment-Resistant Depression (TRD).

Neurofeedback May Be a Viable Care Option for Certain Types of Depression

A small pilot study from Korea in 2016 indicated that neurofeedback may offer a viable treatment to patients suffering from Treatment-Resistant Depression. The researchers found that in the neurofeedback group, 67% responded to treatment, and 42% of the entire test group responded well enough to be classified as being in remission.

Project leader, Professor Eun-Jin Cheon said:

Neurofeedback has been trialed with psychological conditions in the past, but as far as we know this is the first time that anyone has succeeded in achieving remission and overall recovery (functional recovery) with treatment-resistant depression. This is particularly important because this is an otherwise untreatable group of patients.

In our study, we included patients with major depressive disorder, who still had residual symptoms and functional impairment despite receiving antidepressant treatment. Our results suggested that neurofeedback might be an effective complementary treatment to make patients feel well again and successfully engage with life. The most promising thing about neurofeedback is it doesn’t cause even mild side effects.”

Depression Attributes

Dr. Richard Soutar, PhD, who developed the hardware, software, and database for the neurofeedback system we use at Michigan Brain Health, finds that patients who present with depression typically have elevated alpha brainwaves on the left-hand side of the brain. Imbalances in brainwaves are determined with a qEEG or Brain Map. Helping a patient learn to train their alpha waves to be higher on the right side of their brain with neurofeedback can decrease the symptoms of depression. There are other patterns that show up on a qEEG that often signify someone has the tendency for depression as well. Besides neurofeedback training, many health practitioners find the key to helping a person suffering from depression is to check for other factors that contribute to depression. Some of these factors include dietary imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, brainwave imbalance, psychological trauma, toxin accumulation, food intolerance, etc.

Here are some of the symptoms of depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking, or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Next Steps to Better Function

For Macomb and Oakland County area residents, when you add this to the ever-growing list of successful research studies on neurofeedback and depression, it makes a strong case for neurofeedback as a first approach care option for all types of depression.

Are you ready to find out if neurofeedback at Michigan Brain Health may help you feel better? If so, we are excited to let you know we offer a free initial evaluation for everyone. No strings attached. No obligations. It takes about 30 minutes. So, if you’re ready to check it out, call my office at 586.488.4818. I’d love the chance to help you improve your sense of well-being.

Schedule a Free Evaluation

Want to learn more about neurofeedback? Check out my Introduction to Neurofeedback video

Schedule a Free Evaluation or call (586) 488-4818 and see for yourself how beneficial the Michigan Brain Health neurofeedback program can be for your health challenges.

Always remember one of my mantras, “The more you know about how your body works, the better you can take care of yourself.”

For more details about the natural approach I take with my patients, take a look at the book I wrote entitled: Reclaim Your Life; Your Guide To Revealing Your Body’s Life-Changing Secrets For Renewed Health. It is available in my office or at Amazon and many other book outlets. If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the bottom of this post, and please share with those you know who are still suffering from chronic health challenges, despite receiving medical management. Help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living! Thank you!



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