Neurofeedback for bipolar disorder

Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a research proven way to help you improve your brain function through intensive brain training exercises. Although the technology is quite sophisticated, the process is simple, painless, and non-invasive. It is just learning. You learn to alter your brain activity the same way you learn every other skill – through feedback and practice. What is new in neurofeedback is that you are guided by a form of feedback that was previously not available to you – instantaneous information about changes in your brain’s electrical activity. Every half second, your brain activity is compared to your targets for change. You get a signal and “reward” when you meet the goal. No signal or reward when you do not.

In 20 neurofeedback sessions, with feedback every half second, you get 72,000 chances to learn. That’s a lot of repetition and practice. Brain science has shown that repetitive exercise of brain networks reshapes the brain. Neurofeedback allows you to reshape your brain. Learn more.

Scientific evidence on neurofeedback for bipolar disorder

Research is in the very early stages for studying the effectiveness of neurofeedback for bipolar disorder in children and adults. Initial case series, presented at scientific meetings, suggest that it can be helpful along with medication and other forms of treatment. This has also been our experience, and that of other neurofeedback treatment centers, with clients with bipolar disorder. Because of the lack of controlled scientific research, we recommend considering neurofeedback as an option when better researched treatments have been employed and found wanting, either because symptoms remain or side effects are severe. Many patients with bipolar disorder have difficulty with very long term use of medications, even when they are helpful with stabilizing mood. Adding neurofeedback treatment has helped many to feel more stable with less medication. In some instances it is possible to reduce the amount of medication needed. Rarely, but occasionally, individuals with bipolar disorder have been able to get off medication entirely and remain stable, after a long course of neurofeedback. Learn more.

See the problem, then correct it.

Neuroscience is increasingly showing the basis in the brain for many mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder. Medications just treat the symptoms and do not correct the source of the problem in the brain. At the NeuroDevelopment Center, our approach is different. We measure brain function with a quantitative EEG brain map, so that you can see the reason for your difficulties. The image below is from the qEEG analysis of one of our clients with bipolar disorder. The area in red shows an abnormality in a part of the brain involved in emotion and memory. Once we see the source of the problem, we target that area for change through neurofeedback brain training. This allows you to reshape your brain, not just mask your symptoms. Learn more.

bipolar loreta

Real stories about neurofeedback for bipolar disorder:

neurofeedback for bipolar treatmentFrancine came to the NeuroDevelopment Center at the age of 58. Severe mood symptoms had plagued her since the age of 15. She managed to struggle through life despite her emotional ups and downs.  She had sought treatment many times.  She made many attempts at psychotherapy and had been on many medications in many combinations, with little improvement. Francine responded beautifully to neurofeedback.  Her mood improved and stabilized.  She felt great and  stayed active. Her marriage improved and she became more socially active. It is now seven years later. Francine  updates us periodically. She continues to thrive.

At one year follow-up, she summarized her experience with neurofeedback this way: My manic-depression has disappeared. From January to the present I have had 9 fantastic month. I eat properly. (I lost 11 lbs in 14 weeks.)  I sleep well. I have energy and I want to go out as much as possible and enjoy life to the fullest.” – F.D., Newport, RI

No one can describe Paul’s response to neurofeedback better than his Mom:

bipolar boy“My son P had been having difficulty at home and school managing throughout the day, struggling with social interactions, and staying focused at school. We had tried many things including 5-6 different medications, none of which helped. Most made him more agitated, aggressive, angry and less able to focus. The last straw was when he asked me to kill him because his life was way too hard. He is only 7. This brought me to seek alternate routes of treatment, thus The NeuroDevelopment Center.

The results with neurofeedback training have been amazing. He now looks at the world in a totally different perspective. The glass is now half full, not empty. He is able to handle frustrations and challenges without getting angry and aggressive. His social situations have also become much easier for him to negotiate. He no longer feels the need to be in control of everything the group is doing. He is now willing to put his ideas on hold, and follow through with what others want to do. His laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds and something we rarely heard. We and he discovered he has a good sense of humor.

Neurofeedback has certainly had a huge impact on our family and hopefully on the outlook he has for his future. The fears/anxieties that he still has at least now he can verbalize, and we can discuss them openly. We now have some idea as to what he is thinking/feeling.”

S.F., Attleboro, MA

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