Neurofeedback and Anxiety
Anxiety… Uneasiness, tension in muscles, difficulty in focusing, early exhaustion, and almost spending the greater part of the day in worry and apprehension…
All those uncomfortable situations mentioned above are the main symptoms of “Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)” that we generally call “Anxiety”.
From time to time, people may observe some of these uncomfortable situations on themselves, yet this doesn’t necessarily mean that this individual has GAD. People with GAD are the ones who have been suffering from these uncomfortable situations for almost 6 months and even more than that with great severity.
The use of EEG (Electroencephalography), a brain imaging method, in diagnosing and treating GAD is of great importance regarding the implementation of a correct diagnosis and treatment. Today, it is known that EEG is a clear pattern of anxiety disorder.
In the EEG findings of GAD patients, an increase is observed in the beta rhythm (You may watch our video titled “EEG in Anxiety Disorders” for more detailed information). The distinct increase in the beta rhythm getting decreased also decreases the anxiety symptoms.
Neurofeedback helps the patient as a complementary method at the point where the EEG and anxiety relationship is clear. Through neurofeedback, the aim is to decrease the beta rhythm that is increased in patients with GAD. (You may read our article titled “What is Neurofeedback?” for detailed information on Neurofeedback). Individuals are taught how to train their own brain waves through Neurofeedback sessions. An individual being able to control their own brain waves means that the individual is able to control and even eliminate their disorder symptoms in time.
– DSM-V, American Psychiatric Association, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, Tanı Ölçütleri Başvuru Elkitabı, Translated by: Köroğlu E, Hekimler Yayın Birliği, Ankara, 2014
– Nan, W., Rodrigues, J. P., Ma, J., Qu, X., Wan, F., Mak, P.-I., … Rosa, A. (2012). Individual alpha neurofeedback training effect on short term memory. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 86(1), 83–87.
– Gurnee, R. (2003). QEEG/Topographic Brain Maps: Generalized Anxiety Disorder Subtypes. Retrieved from http://www.add-clinic.com/anxietytreatment.html