Is Neurofeedback Therapy a safe alternative to prescription antidepressants?
Yes, Neurofeedback Therapy is a safe alternative to prescription antidepressants.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by 65% between 1999 and 2014. This same study showed that by 2014, about one in every eight Americans (over the age of 12) reported recent antidepressant use.
Even more concerning than the rate of use of antidepressants is the length of time people stay on them. Long-term use of antidepressants is becoming more and more common, and in fact, the NCHS study showed that 25% of the people who reported taking an antidepressant over the past month also reported having taken them for 10 years or more.
Considering the serious side effects associated with antidepressants, neurofeedback therapy provides a safe and effective alternative to the long and uncertain path that many depressed patients find themselves heading down with prescription pills.
Most common side-effects of antidepressants
- Increased risk of suicide.
- Erectile dysfunction and decreased interest in sex.
- Weight gain and increased appetite.
- Gastrointestinal distress such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Facts you should know about antidepressants
Antidepressants are the 2nd most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) admits that the process of finding an effective prescription treatment may take several months and various doses or combinations of different medications before finding one that works.
Most first-time (depression) patients require antidepressant prescriptions for between 6 and 9 months, but many continue to require a prescription plan for many years or even indefinitely.
Is Neurofeedback Therapy a clinically proven treatment for depression?
Yes, Neurofeedback Therapy is a clinically proven treatment for depression.
There are many research studies that show positive support for neurofeedback as a treatment for depression. Please see a few examples below, and don’t hesitate to contact MyBrainDr for additional information and studies.
Musical neurofeedback for treating depression in elderly people.
“The neurofeedback system was tuned so that increased arousal, computed as a beta to alpha activity ratio in the frontal cortex, corresponded to increased loudness, and increased valence computed as relative frontal alpha activity in the right lobe compared to the left lobe, corresponded to increased tempo. Pre and post-evaluation of six participants was performed using the BDI depression test, showing an average improvement of 17.2% (1.3) in their BDI scores at the end of the study. “
“In addition, an analysis of the collected EEG data of the participants showed a significant decrease of relative alpha activity in their left frontal lobe (p = 0.00008), which may be interpreted as an improvement of their depression condition.”
The Efficacy of Neurofeedback in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder: An Open Labeled Prospective Study.
“Pre- and post-training clinical assessments revealed significant improvements in HAM-D, HAM-A, BDI, and CGI-S scores. Cumulative response rates by HAM-D were 35.0 and 75.0 % at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively, corresponding cumulative remission rates by HAM-D were 15.0 and 55.0 %, respectively. No significant differences were found between pre-and post-treatment A score.”
“Neurofeedback treatment could improve depressive symptoms significantly. In addition, anxiety symptoms and clinical illness severity decreased significantly after neurofeedback treatment. Despite its several limitations, such as a small sample size and lack of a control group, this study suggested neurofeedback has significant effects in patients with major depressive disorder.”