Technology Serving Consciousness

Anxiety/Depression

Though experientially very different, Anxiety and Depression present a similar pattern in the brain electrical spectrum. Firstly, to understand this explanation, it will help to know what is the brain electrical spectrum. There are many causes for the symptoms of Depression and of Anxiety to manifest. Our lives are filled with trials that demand constant decision and revision. Our potential reactions to these demands are many. It is natural to experience the feelings associated with Anxiety and those associated with Depression for short periods in reaction to environmental challenges or to our "failings." There is a danger that one of these mind states effectively "swallows its own tail" making that distressing state very difficult to leave because it is hard to find the exit. Oftentimes the experience goes on for years on end, though only at specific times, as a coping mechanism to certain interactions or environments.

What happens in the brain of an Anxious or a depressed person is relatively consistent regardless of the persons reasons for feeling that way. There is a lack of the middle speed called Alpha. Which effectively shuts down the person’s connection to "real life". Simultaneously there is a high amount of very fast speed Beta activity. This is experienced as the voice that will not be quiet. The person may actually "hear" a voice, and it is often saying a lot of negative things about the person; the Self. It casts doubt and comments upon every other thought that enters into consciousness. When that voice cannot be silenced there is a terrible sense of frustration. There is an anxious feeling or a hopeless feeling that one is simply never going to find solace.

The affects of these deleterious states are symptomatic of the brain speed. It stands to reason (and stands up to experience) that if one can raise the middle speed brain activity and lower the very fast speeds, there will be an experience of peace-of-mind. Neurofeedback training does just that. We set targets that challenge the actual brain speed levels of the person doing the training. When the targets are being met, one's sensations are of calm and silent awareness.

Anxious and depressed states are often reactions to some distressing stimulus. Generally that stimulus does not follow our clients into our offices. So what success clients feel in our office must be reinforced outside as well. Clients create and learn their own techniques for calming and reflecting (though we can offer some tips) and when the stimulus presents itself they can implement those techniques at will. Usually, the time of training required to overcome Anxiety and Depression issues is twenty to thirty sessions; done twice a week. Each session is one hour long, and with this type of problem we suggest some sort of companion practice be started. Clients may start a martial arts class, or a meditation class, or yoga, or a dance class. Exercises will certainly help a person get out of the purely mental realms. Then the important biofeedback work they are doing with the EEG as their mirror can be more easily reinforced in real situations. As well, with companion training, both the mind and the body become stronger, together.