Cathy Successfully Treated Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Insomnia with Neurofeedback
Cathy Successfully Treated Chronic Pain, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD and Insomnia with NeurofeedbackDecember 5th, 2017 by Cindy Perlin
Cathy was a 54 year old special education teacher who was experiencing numerous difficulties when she came to see me for neurofeedback treatment. Among her complaints were difficulty with sleep, poor concentration, depression, anxiety, flashbacks of trauma, mood swings, obsessive negative thoughts, suicidal thoughts, fatigue, heart palpitations, irritable bowel, migraines, abdominal pain, fibromyalgia pain, joint pain and jaw pain. She was taking two antidepressants daily, two antianxiety medications as needed, and ibuprofen and Tylenol frequently. She rated all of her symptoms as severe, in the 7-10 range on a scale of 0-10. She had been in psychotherapy for many years. Cathy had heard that neurofeedback could help.
Cathy described a traumatic childhood and her current life as very stressful. There was domestic violence in her household growing up and when she was still quite young her father threw the family out on the street. A compassionate neighbor eventually took them in and ended up marrying her mother. Cathy’s career was stressful because she was not being given the resources she needed to adequately help her students. At home, she was in conflict with her stepdaughter, who she was trying to get prepared to leave for college.
Neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback. Biofeedback uses sensitive electronic instruments to measure your physiology and feed that information back to you so that you can learn to control it. In the case of neurofeedback, electrical activity of the brain is being measured and your brain is being rewarded with audio and visual feedback for making positive changes. In the course of her neurofeedback treatment, Cathy watched movies that changed size, brightness and volume. The changes depended on how well her brain was doing. When her brain was doing better, in Cathy’s case when it was calmer, she was rewarded with a movie screen that was bigger and brighter and at full volume. Over time, using this process, the brain learns to heal itself and the changes are enduring.
Cathy did neurofeedback treatment for 32 sessions over a period of five months. During that time, Cathy was able to eliminate her antidepressants and significantly reduce her use of pain medications while reducing her symptoms by an average of 72%. Her jaw pain and irritable bowel syndrome were gone. Her difficulty maintaining sleep, migraines, anxiety, fatigue and flashbacks of trauma were decreased by 90%. Her fibromyalgia pain was 50% less. Depression decreased by 40%.
Cathy had to stop treatment due to scheduling and financial issues. I am confident that if she had been able to continue treatment a little longer, the results would have been even better. Cathy was very grateful for her level of improvement.
The author, Cindy Perlin, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Board Certifed Biofeedback and a chronic pain surviovr. Her practice is located in the Albany, NY area. See Cindy Perlin’s provider profile HERE