Depression

Treatment for Depression with LENS Neurofeedback

Clinicians at Echo Rock Neurotherapy in Mill Valley CA have have developed a successful integrative-medicine treatment for Depression blending LENS Neurofeedback Sessions, brain supplements, and mindfulness training. This depression treatment program is safe, effective, and medication free.


Neurofeedback is the Integrative Alternative to Medication for Depression

Depression changes your brain. That’s why you don’t feel like yourself. Neurotherapy helps your brain drop negative thoughts and relax into your happy place. If you’re looking for an alternative to antidepressants, direct neurofeedback may be your answer. For most people, depression will end with neurofeedback, but it will take time.

How long will neurofeedback take till I feel better? To answer that question, you need to know what kind of depression you’re dealing with. Where do you fall on the depression spectrum? Take the test to know where you are starting:

  1. Normal, situational disappointment in response to difficult events.
  2. Anxiety-driven depression anchored in ongoing, unresolved brain stress.
  3. Deep depression without anxiety, which has depleted all reserves in the body and left you hopelessly without body resources.

How does direct neurofeedback help depression? Neurofeedback clears situational depression immediately. Situational depression, or grieving, is the body’s response when our expectations aren’t met.  Ideally, this chemical rush only needs to last a couple of minutes.  But our defensive brains set us up to obsess about every loss, trying to protect us in the future.  Neurofeedback typically breaks up these negative thought-patterns so we feel lighter right away.  We simply stop taking life’s disappointments personally anymore.  Most people feel relaxed, then lighter before they even leave their session. And increased clarity helps them move on with doing things that build confidence.

Neurofeedback clears brain-stress to recharge cyclic depressed moods. Anxiety-driven depression is the bottom half of an energy cycle.  Our bodies know how to rally resources for emergency fight or flight, but modern life triggers stress throughout the day, and on into the night. Stress is activating, but tiring, so eventually our bodies run out of battery power, and demand we shut down.  This is anxiety-driven depression. We don’t feel like doing anything, and our mood is low.  We take a break; recharge with sleep or relaxation.  But we still worry a little deep down, draining our battery, setting up the next low mood. Neurofeedback shows the brain exactly how it constantly wastes energy defending against past emergencies. When given this quality information, it lets go within minutes.  We relax into a sustainable state of energy efficiency and spacious clarity that typically lasts for days.  Repeated sessions make this our home base.

In chronic depression, neurofeedback refills reserves so happiness can flow normally. Deep depression is the result of years of stress.  Often a lingering virus or other health challenge has drained our body resources constantly for years. Our body’s adrenal system has been so overused, that our internal battery can no longer hold a charge. We can’t rally enough to be anxious;there’s no charge left to run alarms.  In chronic depression, neurofeedback takes longer, because first the body’s reserves need to be refilled.  Neurofeedback acts like a long rainy season to refill the lake that feeds the stream of our happiness and energy.  We will return to flow states, but the momentum of our long habit of hopelessness will keep us from noticing until our family and friends finally convince us the worst has past.  In this case, we recommend people buy a package of 10-20 sessions to insure they stay with treatment long enough to notice gradual improvements in their sleep, energy, mood, confidence, and productivity.

You are stage three, if you’ve shown several of these signs for a full two weeks or more and it is not due to substance use or a medical condition.

  1. You’re feeling depressed most of the day nearly every day.
  2. You’ve lost interest in day-to-day activities and/or find yourself unable to take pleasure in the things you used to enjoy.
  3. You’ve experienced significant change in appetite, sleep patterns, or diminished ability to think or concentrate.
  4. You feel fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  5. You’re filled with feelings of worthlessness, or have recurrent thoughts of suicide.

At this point you’ve probably progressed to the third stage, clinical depression. This is an actual illness, not a normal response to difficult life events or stress. Anxious feelings give way to despondence and hopelessness because there is no longer enough energy to run the anxiety. This type of depression requires intervention as it does not tend to resolve without help. You need assistance getting out of a dark hole because your resources are so depleted you simply can’t climb out on your own. Anxious feelings give way to despondence and hopelessness because there is no longer enough energy to run the anxiety.

Neurotherapy is a proven stand-alone treatment that is a viable alternative to medication. It can also be used in combination with medication or to help you get off antidepressants. More than simply a matter of degree, these categories give us key insight into how the depressed person’s brain is doing and what can be done to bring the brain back to a relaxed state where happy feelings can bubble up again.
In the case of normal unhappiness, it’s pretty much a matter of time. Cinderella needs to sit by the well and cry until her tears fill the well. We hang in there for however long it takes, knowing “this too will pass” because “everything changes” and “time heals all.” But In the case of anxiety-driven depression, rather than “pass,” the stress stacks up. To the brain, “everything changes” means “everything could be a threat.”

The brain’s negative bias replays past trauma in hopes of avoiding future pain, leaving us in a constant state of anxiety. We get overwhelmed. Our mental, emotional, and physiological resources get tapped out. The brain essentially gets stuck on high alert, anxiety takes over, and good feelings are harder and harder to find.


Irving’s Story

“My diagnoses were depression and anxiety associated with grieving over the sudden loss of my spouse 19 years ago. Ever since, constant repetition of the events and a deep depression have affected my social functioning, affected my work stability, as well as sleep patterns, appetite, and basic joie de vivre. I’ve seen Grant now for five LENS therapy sessions. Immediately after the first, I felt a lifting in my shoulders. My stiff neck and teeth clenching and grinding were alleviated, and two months later, I no longer have a stiff neck. I didn’t feel the exuberance that many experience after the first treatment. My awareness of the changes came on overnight. I wasn’t as irritable with traffic and with things that usually annoy me and even anger me. I still wake up in the middle of the night, however, I am able to get back to sleep quite easily. I am no longer kept up by racing thoughts and an anxious stomach. I still use marijuana to regulate anxiety, mood, sleep, arthritis pain, and appetite, but started using a vaporizer to reduce the amount. I also felt an increase in sensitivity to alcohol. I have felt the social confidence I had prior to my loss coming back, and others have noticed it too. I’ve also suffered from migraines since I was 10 years old. Recently, my migraines had been reduced to once a month. Two months later after LENS, no more migraines. I have discovered that LENS helps you correct negative brain patterns. Your brain then recognizes the positive ones. And, you learn how to opt for the positive patterns. All of my stress and anxiety induced ailments are gone – neck stiffness and pain, migraines, and even psoriasis on my ears and elbows. I will be continuing therapy with LENS. I suggest LENS to all those suffering from similar symptoms caused by anxiety. What a chance discovery! ”

-Irving S