Grief and Neurofeedback: Coping with Loss

ID-10055137One of the most difficult life experiences every person will encounter is coping with the death of a loved one. Death triggers emotional grief that may be so intense and consuming that even the thought of living life normally seems absolutely impossible. There is no right way to grieve, and everyone grieves in their own unique ways. While it is perfectly natural to be sad after losing a loved one, many times grief can lead to depression or make already existing anxiety and/or depression substantially worse.

Not everyone who grieves will become depressed as a result, however grief can be a major trigger, particularly for those who are more prone to depression or have a history of depression. Everyone experiences varied symptoms of grief, however many of these symptoms are similar to those of depression, including debilitating sadness, changes in sleep habits, appetite loss or gain, and losing interest in activities once enjoyed. Grief typically affects people in waves with symptoms fluctuating through time and eventually lessening. However, when grief becomes so intense that is starts interfering with a person’s ability to live their life normally for an extended period following a death, treatment may be necessary.

Symptoms of grief should improve over time, and not worsen. If a person experiences any of the following symptoms after a loved one passes away and these symptoms only worsen over time, this person may be suffering from grief-induced depression:

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  • Constantly thinking/longing for the loved one who passed
  • Difficulty focusing on anything other than sad thoughts
  • Difficulty accepting loss
  • Difficulty remembering good times/positive memories of loved one
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feeling as though life has no meaning
  • Difficulty completing normal, every day tasks
  • Becoming unable to take care of oneself physically
  • Difficulty trusting others, even those once trusted

Neurofeedback works to calm the brain to help improve functioning. When the brain is functioning more calmly, the person feels less overwhelmed and more capable of functioning normally in their every day lives.

In addition to neurofeedback, therapy is also recommended for people struggling to accept the loss of a loved one. Click here to set up a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross to develop a plan unique to your situation.

7 Signs Your Partner Has Depression

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the United States today, depression is considered a common mental health issue affecting more than 15 million people. Although a person might think depression is easy to spot with obvious symptoms, identifying the signs as they are presented can be difficult considering how subtle the nature of depression symptoms can be. This is especially true when it comes to identifying symptoms of a life partner. Do any of the below symptoms of depression sound familiar regarding your life partner?

1. Changes in physical care – Have you been noticing that your partner has not been showering as frequently as they have in the past? Has your partner either gained or lost weight without intentionally trying? Symptoms can also be different depending on gender. For example, men have a tendency to start shaving less frequently and women have a tendency to wear less make up than usual. People struggling with depression will often put less effort into their daily getting ready routine.

2. Lack of motivation – In addition to your partner putting less effort into getting up and dressed, has it become difficult to get your partner out of the house, even if doing activities that they used to enjoy? Has your partner suddenly begun a pattern of lateness? Would your partner rather hang around the house all day? People suffering from depression lose normal motivation, do not see value in doing things they once loved, and would prefer to be within the comfort of their own home, leading us to the next few points.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Fatigue – Your partner does not seem to have the same zest for life as shown by the lack of motivation. Does your partner seem more tired all the time? Have you noticed changes in their sleeping patterns, whether it be sleeping much more than usual or much less? If a person is struggling with depression, exhaustion can be expected because being depressed utilizes much more energy than people realize on a day to day basis. If a person is depressed, doing normal, every day activities takes much more effort. The person needs to fight through fatigue and lack of motivation to even perform the simplest tasks.

4. Isolation – Has your partner stopped spending time with their friends or family? Does your partner flake when it comes to social engagements? People struggling with depression often find socializing to be extremely draining because of the fatigue an lack of motivation. Instead, those who are depressed are known to retreat to a place of solitude and isolation to avoid these situations that they once enjoyed.

5. Escapist behavior – Has your partner started exhibiting escapist behavior? This can be observed in many different ways. Has your partner started drinking more than they had in the past? Does your partner sit for hours in front of the tv or seem completely consumed by video games? This is considered escapist behavior because a person can use these behaviors to avoid facing their problems.

ID-10027757 (1)

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

6. Emotional reaction changes – Have you noticed changes in your partner’s patience? Is it difficult to speak to them because you are afraid of their overreaction? On the other hand, does your partner’s reactions seem emotionally devoid? Does your partner not seem to react with any emotionality to any of the things you say to them? Changes in emotional reactivity indicate depression as a distinct possibility.

7. Changes in intimacy – Have the levels of intimacy changed in your relationship? Does your partner seem disinterested in sex or are they physically incapable of having sex presently? Depression initiates in the brain, which is where sexual stimulation initiates. If the brain is not functioning properly, a person may feel physically and emotionally disconnected, making intimacy challenging for both partners.

If your partner has been exhibiting signs of depression, speak with them in an understanding, compassionate way. Many sufferers might feel shame that they are experiencing depression, so remind them there is no shame in needing help dealing with depression.

To develop a wellness plan specific to the needs of your partner, our director Dr. Jolene Ross offers free consultations. Click here to contact Dr. Ross.

Click here to read “10 Types of Depression” 

Click here to read “8 Natural Solutions for Depression”

Why December is Great for Neurofeedback Booster Sessions

Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Image courtesy of Feelart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Neurofeedback helps to retrain the brain to function at it’s optimal ability, creating safe and long-lasting results. However, patients can return to Advanced Neurotherapy for occasional booster sessions to ensure the brain continues to stay on the right track. December is an excellent time to come in for a booster session for several reasons!

  1. Finals – If you are a student, December brings the hardest exams of the semester. In addition to the actual tests, students spend long hours compiling information and studying to prepare. A booster session keeps the brain functioning at it’s best to ensure success during difficult academic periods. The better the brain functions, the better performance a person will give on their exams.
  2. Depression and Anxiety – For many people, the holidays provoke many emotional symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although the holidays are meant to be a time of happiness and celebration, often people feel increased symptoms of emotional distress. Booster sessions provide emotional assistance to the brain as neurofeedback teaches the brain how to cope.
  3. Stress – The holidays bring about a substantial amount of stress. Holiday parties, financial struggles, and family-related issues can impact a person heavily during this time of year. Neurofeedback helps the brain handle the stress with greater ease. A booster session provides excellent stress management.
  4. Grief – For those who have lost loved ones over the years, the holidays can bring feelings of immense sadness and grief. To help the brain cope with the grief and try to improve emotional stability, boosters sessions are very effective.

To schedule a booster sessions, please call our office at 781-444-9115!

Booster sessions are effective year round! Read our list of 10 Reasons Why Neurofeedback Booster Sessions are Beneficial to Clients.

 

5 Mood Boosting Foods

Nutrition impacts how well the brain functions on a day-to-day basis. Some foods will make your brain work wonderfully, contributing to a person’s good mood and ultimately productivity. If you have a case of the blues or you struggle with a mood disorder, the importance of a well-balanced, nutrient dense diet can not be underestimated. Try adding these five foods to your diet to improve overall mood!

 

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Oily Fish – Some excellent choices are salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, and lake trout. What do all of these fish have in common? High levels of omega-3 fatty acids! Omega-3’s are extremely important nutrients, especially for those suffering with a mood disorder. In fact, omega-3’s actually make up a very large percentage of our brain tissue. Studies have shown deficiency of omega-3’s can contribute to depression and poor mood.

 

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of amenic181 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lean Poultry – Chicken and turkey breasts are filled with the amino acid tryptophan, which the body utilizes to make serotonin, the key neurotransmitter in mood regulation. Those suffering with depression benefit from the increase in serotonin production. Additionally, lean poultry contains tyrosine, another amino acid that helps reduce depression as it is used to make adrenaline. Low levels of adrenaline are also associated with depression.

 

Image courtesy of Viacheslav Blizniuk at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Viacheslav Blizniuk at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Spinach – Leafy greens are all really good for the body and brain! Spinach is particularly good for obtaining B vitamins. Deficiencies of B vitamins have been linked to depression as well.  Spinach is full of many other vitamins and a large amount of fiber in addition to being low in fat and cholesterol. Buying organic whenever possible is highly recommended. Make sure you are getting your daily dose of greens!

 

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Bananas – Comprised of many mood-boosting elements, bananas should be added to your diet! Tryptophan is also present in bananas as well as a variety of vitamins, fiber, potassium, iron, and phosphorous. Additionally, bananas have healthy carbohydrates that help tryptophan absorption in the brain. Since tryptophan helps create serotonin, this will improve mood and also improve sleep!

 

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Mister GC at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Brazil Nuts – Many people who show symptoms of depression, irritability, anxiety, and fatigue are often low in the mineral selenium. Brazil nuts happen to be an excellent source of selenium! Brazil nuts are slightly larger than the average nut, so a person only needs about three nuts to get your daily dose of selenium.

5 Natural Mood Boosters

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Lifestyle choices will greatly impact a person’s mood! If you struggle with a mood disorder, finding natural methods of boosting mood is key to living a happier life on a day-to-day basis. People who struggle with mood issues often find themselves less productive in daily life. If you find yourself feeling down, try to examine various daily choices and evaluate how they may be impacting your current mood. Read these five natural mood boosters:

1. Eat Healthy and Nutritious Foods – Life can be extremely busy and stressful, which often results in people turning to fast food or craving foods, like carbs and sugar, that are simply not good for a person’s mood. No matter how hectic a person’s life is, eating healthy is one of the simplest things a person can do to naturally improve their mood. While unhealthy cravings feel good when satisfied, the feeling does not remain after the initial eating process. Eating well is one of the first steps you can take to promote natural change in your mood.

2. Exercise – One of the best ways to naturally mood boosters to feel great on a regular basis is to get regular exercise. Getting the right amount of fitness every day will actually boost hormones in the brain responsible for elevating mood. Many people say being busy is the reason for their lack of physical activity. However, even just taking thirty minutes a day to take a walk in your neighborhood can be helpful in boosting mood.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3. Light Exposure – Particularly during the dark and cold months of winter, many people find their mood decline as a result of not getting enough sunlight, which can even become Seasonal Affective Disorder. Investing in a therapeutic mood light, such as a Veriluxis an easy, effective way to expose a person suffering with mood issues to the right amount of sunlight to improve overall mood.

4. Make Time for Hobbies – Many people have so many responsibilities each day that there is little time to do things that help maintain mood and keep a person happy. It is very important to make sure you are involved in activities that make you happy, otherwise of course your mood will suffer as a result! There are many great fun activities that are actually known to function as mood boosters, such as yoga, singing, and spending time with friends.

5. Neurofeedback – Did you know that neurofeedback actually finds the root of mood issues in the brain? Once this has been determined, neurofeedback sessions target the root of the problem to help the brain function more calmly and efficiently, leading to sustained better moods and also higher productivity! What’s the best part about neurofeedback? It’s completely natural!

To learn more about neurofeedback and how Advanced Neurotherapy can help you develop a plan to beat the daily blues with nutrition counseling, therapy, neurofeedback, and more, call our office to set up a free consultation with our director Dr. Jolene Ross. 781-444-9115