Treatment | DepressionLaurence Hirshberg
At the NeuroDevelopment Center, you have choices for your depression treatment.
The most common form of treatment for depression is medication. Although anti-depressants are often helpful, the effectiveness of these medications remain limited. Research suggests that medication is only 18% better than a sugar pill. Between 30% and 50% do not respond to anti-depressant medication. Anti-depressants often lose their effectiveness over time. Even when they are helpful, significant symptoms often remain and relapse rates are very high. Side effects are common. The rate of sexual side effects is very high, and the negative impact on intimate relationships does not help the mood. All told, more than half of depressed patients stop taking anti-depressant medication within in the first six months of treatment. Recent research is showing that patients who take anti-depressants are much more likely to suffer relapse than those who do not.
Many studies show that results are better when treatment for depression combines medication and psychotherapy. Recent research is showing the HRV biofeedback and neurofeedback can be effective for depression.
Individual psychotherapy has been repeatedly shown to be an effective treatment for depression. When you come to the NeuroDevelopment Center for help with depression, you can build a strong, supportive, and truly collaborative relationship with one of our psychologists. We won’t just listen, nod our heads, and sympathize. We will help you with the very hard work of change and growth. We will help you identify and gradually alter longstanding patterns of thinking, acting, perceiving, and relating to others that contribute to your depression. We will also help you implement solutions that work for you – solutions that last decades beyond the end of treatment. Our psychologists can call upon decades of experience and a very broad range of treatment strategies, including:
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Interpretive or dynamic psychotherapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy
Family or couples therapy can help with depression when family or relationship patterns contribute to the depression. For adolescents, family therapy will often be a part of the treatment for depression.
Research shows that heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback is an effective treatment for depression. Your heart beat is a great “stress-o-meter”. When you are stressed or “revved up” or in a negative emotional state, and your nervous system arousal is high, your heart beats in lockstep. The amount of time between heart beats changes very little. When you are calm and stable, and nervous system arousal is lower, the beat to beat interval becomes more flexible. HRV biofeedback training provides an easy and very concrete way to learn how to reshape these heart rate rhythms for increased calm and stability. A simple sensor on your ear or finger picks up your heart beat. The computer analyzes the interval between heart beats. During HRV biofeedback sessions we will help you learn to relax your muscles and your mind, and learn to slow and regulate your breathing. Once you learn the techniques in sessions in our office, you can also use inexpensive software at home to build your ability to recognize when you are bothered and rapidly regain your calm. The image on the right shows a session in progress, with the more regular signal on the right half of the top section showing increased HRV.
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 research is in its earliest phases, many neurofeedback treatment centers, including the Neurodevelopment Center, have found that this treatment method can result is significant improvements in mood. Learn more.