Trauma affects more than a person’s thoughts - it changes the brain’s biology. The brain becomes triggered to protect the person following a traumatic event, which can lead to an on-going state of hypervigilance resulting in greater levels of anxiety and stress. PTSD is a mental health condition that occurs in those who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic or triggering event such as a serious accident, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, combat/war, serious injuries, domestic violence, and other traumatic events. The condition can last months or even years and is characterized by triggering events that bring back memories of the trauma. PTSD adversely affects psychological processes associated with the brain, which can result in long-term consequences.
Benefits of Neurofeedback for PTSD
Neurofeedback is a safe alternative treatment to alleviate PTSD symptoms. It changes the way the brain functions and potentially changes the way the person recalls memories with the recognition that they exist in the past not in the present time. Neurofeedback works by helping to develop better self-regulation, self-awareness, and attention control. This helps individuals be able to safely process and recondition the impact of the trauma without becoming overwhelmed.
Neurofeedback Therapy for Veterans
One in five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have been identified as experiencing symptoms of PTSD. Symptoms can include agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, severe anxiety, or mistrust.
Veterans and other diagnosed with PTSD who have used neurofeedback report substantial improvements in the reduction of sleeping problems, improved anger management and stress management.
Unlike medication, neurofeedback causes minimal to no side effects. The most commonly reported side effect is a feeling of tiredness after a session.