Depression is a disabling condition which affects most people at some stage of their lives and can adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits and general health.
Depression can result from a number of factors including intrinsic (internal) biochemical changes in the body and brain (after a heart attack or brain injury), a genetic predisposition, external events (loss of loved one, personal tragedy, long term stress due to environmental factors). Depression can begin at an early age some children show signs and symptoms of depression as young as seven years of age.
Persons with major depression feel down, discouraged and often hopeless, it may seem to them that nothing is right with their lives. Typical cognitive symptoms of depression are low self-esteem, loss of motivation and pessimism. A single event which they perceive as failure may seem insurmountable or a foreshadowing of worse things to come and may lead to anxiety.
The depressed person will often experience a very low level of energy and may accordingly slow down their movements and rate of speech. Difficulty in sleeping or waking up may also be experienced. Hence, depression is a ‘whole-body’ disorder affecting many levels of being including the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behaviour. Observable symptoms of depression may include chronic fatigue, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, headaches, backaches, digestive disorders, restlessness, irritability,
loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Since adults and children can exhibit such varied symptoms, a holistic approach is necessary.
The diagnosis of depression is based on the patient’s self-reported experiences, behaviour reported by relatives or friends. In noting the symptoms of depressed individuals, clinicians also look to the causes and distinguish them between external, environmental variables and internal physiological variables.
For those individuals who cannot take antidepressants because of negative side effects or because they just don’t work for them, there are an increasing number of natural, drug-free and holistic strategies that are now available such as neurofeedback, diet and nutrition.
Neurofeedback training for depression helps a person regulate brainwave activity by informing them about their own brainwave characteristics. It also helps the central nervous system to become more adaptive and responsive instead of remaining inflexible and reactive.
The added advantage of Neurofeedback training is that it can be undertaken in conjunction with medication, cognitive behaviour therapy, diet and physical therapy. And in most cases, improvement in brain function continues long after the training has stopped.
At Learning Discoveries we take a holistic approach to formulating strategies to overcome depression and have had excellent results with Neurofeedback training in improving mood swings, negative affect and thought patterns in those who exhibit symptoms of depression. In conjunction with neurofeedback, diet, nutrition and food intolerances are also addressed because it is important for the body to have a good foundation and the optimum chemical balance, for change to occur.
To learn more about the various Neurofeedback Training techniques we offer at Learning Discoveries or to make an appointment please send an email or contact us on (02) 9639 7778 during business hours.