Treatment for Depression and Anxiety
A Client’s Story
Susan is a 46 year- old female with severe depression, anxiety, and migraine headaches. When she came to us she had uncontrollable crying spells several times a day and was calling or emailing her physician four-five times a day trying to find a remedy. She had gone to two brain training programs prior to coming to BrainAdvantage, one for EEG neurofeedback (18 months) and the other for “brain optimization”(84 sessions) with no positive result. <br<>br>She had a history of two brain injuries resulting in unconsciousness and reported 3-5 years of occupational or other major exposure to solvents. She had not been able to work for over a year because of depression and anxiety.
At the time she started this program she was on anti-anxiety medication (Paxil) and lorazepam to help her sleep. She was still experiencing sleeplessness at night.
Susan was assessed with the BrainAdvantage tools and found to have very low activity in the left frontal lobes.
Using a customized program of BrainAdvantage therapies, Susan began the program. At the end of the first session Susan felt remarkably better.
During her first 10 sessions, Susan gradually came off the anti-anxiety meds. At that time she was still on sleeping meds. She stopped crying as much and stopped phoning and emailing her physician.
Over the next 10 sessions Susan was able to wean herself off the sleeping meds as well.
Susan’s program was 30 sessions long. At the completion of her program she had made a remarkable recovery. She is now happy and active and back to her chosen profession. She says if she starts to feel as if she’s going back to that old place of fear and anxiety, she can now catch herself and stop the reaction. She says she no longer cries and feels helpless. She has a whole new look on life.
Life is full of emotions. Most of us experience feelings of joy and sadness. However, constant, ongoing anxiety can be extremely difficult to live with, as the cause can be very hard to pinpoint.
Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with GAD, the worry often is unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.
GAD affects the way a person thinks, but the anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well. Symptoms of GAD can include:
- Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
- An unrealistic view of problems
- Restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent urination
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Easily startled
In addition, people with GAD often have other anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias), suffer from depression, and/or abuse drugs or alcohol.
Depression can appear as an all-encompassing low feeling accompanied by low self-esteem and loss of interest or pleasure that hangs on for weeks. If it becomes more intense or begins to interfere with daily activities, then it is a more serious problem. It is estimated that 20 million people in the Unites States have depression. (National Institute of Mental Health, 2010). Symptoms of depression can vary, but typical symptoms include:
- Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
- Dramatic changes in appetite, possibly accompanied by weight gain or loss
- Extreme difficulty concentrating
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and helplessness
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and inappropriate guilt
- Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities, or activities that were once enjoyed
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
Depression can occur at any age. However, statistics show that depression occurs more often in women than men, through stress, loss of a loved one, hormonal changes or traumatic events. (Hays et al, 1995)
BrainAdvantage uses a combination of neurotherapies to reduce and/or eliminate anxiety issues.