Depression is a very large problem in our country. In fact, depression is a very large problem for the world. The World Health Organization estimates 300 million people worldwide deal with depression. The WHO also states, “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.” Unfortunately we are seeing cases of depression in younger and younger patients.
We have worked with many people dealing with depression over the last two decades. Over the last 10 years we have used brain mapping to detect if there is a neurological reason behind the depressive states. Brain mapping is a non-invasive, computerized, EEG analysis of brain function. Brain mapping actually started in the 1950’s with NASA and UCLA studies, but has really gained notoriety and acceptance in the last 10-15 years.
Alpha waves were the very first brain wave discovered by researchers investigating the electrical activity of the brain using EEG. The electrical activity of the brain is measured in hertz. Alpha waves are found between 8-12 hertz. Alpha waves are associated with several functions. One of the most important functions of alpha waves is emotional control. People who don’t make much alpha tend to be much more prone to bouts of depression.
Many years ago, some sources say 18th century France, doctors found if they put depressed patients in front of a flickering candle, depression symptoms often improved. I don’t know if you are like me, but when I sit in front of a fireplace of bonfire, I get a sense of peace and calm. The fact is, that the waves of our brain can change. These brain waves can also be trained into a normal zone as well.
Thankfully, we are more advanced now. We no longer use a candle in an effort to raise alpha waves. We can used a computerized, brain strengthening workout called neurofeedback to raise the alpha waves. This involves operant conditioning. The patient is rewarded when the brain does what we want and the reward is taken away when the brain goes back to the negative pattern we don’t want. We have used neurofeedback on many patients with great success.
To find out if your depression symptoms have a brain based cause, a brain map can be performed. For more information, feel free to contact us at The Martin Clinic. We are located in Duluth, Georgia (across from Infinite Energy Arena). Our number is 770.237.3970 and our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.