Neurofeedback for Seasonal Affective Disorder

qEEG Brain Mapping to Identify Seasonal Affective Disorder

My husband, Dr. Cosmas Leigh, and our awesome team at Leigh Brain & Spine help people overcome SAD all winter long. If you struggle with SAD or The Winter Blues and cannot use any of the suggestions above, you probably are using a brain pattern that is really stuck in a depressed mode. A qEEG Brain Map can show you, with your own eyes, what is going on and how you can improve your life. Don’t just survive this winter, Thrive.

Scientific studies show that Seasonal Affective disorder and its less cumbersome cousin, the “Winter Blues” are caused by an underlying brain pattern of too low of neural power. This results in lower levels of serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitters in the brain that give you a little oomph each day.

People ask me all the time, “Why haven’t I ever heard about brain mapping?” The answer is simple. Traditional healthcare has been shown to be 17 years behind current research. At Leigh Brain & Spine, the doctors use state-of-the-art, cutting-edge (read CURRENT) science to help people learn to use their brain performance patterns better. When your brain works better, so do you. Symptoms reduce or go away when your brain is working properly. What most people don’t know is that science proves that ADHD, anxiety, and depression are caused by underlying brain performance. so now you know. What do you do about it?

Neurofeedback to Improve Seasonal Affective Disorder

Neurofeedback therapy has been used to help people train their brains to regulate their own moods. People have alleviated or even eliminated their symptoms from seasonal affective disorder, depression, anxiety, bipolar, and other conditions affecting mood and emotions using Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback relies on your brain’s neuroplasticity in order to help work more efficiently, eliminating the brain imbalances that can cause depression. First, a brain map is performed to identify which types of irregular brain patterns are being used in the brain. Then customized training protocols are implemented to assist you in learning to use the optimal brain pattern for calm focus instead of one that causes depression. Best of all, the treatment is non-invasive – most patients spend 30 minutes for a set number of weeks watching a video and learning to respond to its visual cues. The results are long-lasting and can be used safely in combination with any other treatments.

What are the “Winter Blues” and Seasonal Affective Disorder?

When short, dark days and frigid weather roll around each winter, do you feel yourself wanting to hibernate? Researchers estimate that up to 6% of the U.S. population suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and 14% more experience the milder form as Winter Blues. Both are types of depression that arise when the seasons change. In Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, with shorter days and colder nights many people could benefit from natural treatments to help them combat depression symptoms that can adversely affect mood, productivity, and attention (US Census estimates).

How do Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Winter Blues affect you?

The Mayo Clinic reports the following as the signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern and the Winter Blues is a less severe form of the condition. Here is how it impacts people:

  • Women much more than men
  • Family history
  • Farther away from the equator, the more likely you will suffer

Why do people develop Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Scientists believe that this type of depression is caused by an imbalance with the neurotransmitter serotonin which is involved in maintaining a positive mood. They also believe that sufferers might overproduce the hormone melatonin, which is involved with sleep and circadian rhythms. Many people with SAD often have a deficiency of Vitamin D.

What is the most well-known treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Light therapy is one of the most well-known treatments to help people who have Seasonal Affective Disorder but just 60-80% of people may benefit. Light therapy involves sitting in front of very bright light from 30-90 minutes a day to simulate the light levels during the summertime. This type of depression was first identified, along with the light therapy treatment by Norman Rosenthal, a psychiatrist working at the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) 1984. Neurofeedback therapy can work in conjunction with light therapy to improve symptoms.

If you are someone you love struggle with the Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder, enter our contact information below so we can explain to you how we can help.