Neurofeedback for Bipolar Disorder
Neurofeedback for Bipolar Disorder
Table of Contents
Bipolar disorder is a personality disorder characterized by soaring highs and devastating lows. It can greatly reduce one’s quality of life, causing poor personal relationships, the inability to hold a job, and other issues.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat bipolar disorder. Neurofeedback and neuroimaging bipolar disorder are commonly used. This article will look at this mental health condition and the options that make it more manageable.
What is Bipolar Disorder?
Formerly known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by extreme mood swings.
Types of Bipolar Disorder
There are several types of bipolar disorder1 including the following:
- Bipolar I Disorder: Bipolar I disorder involves manic episodes that last 7 days and more. Symptoms are typically severe and may require hospitalization.
- Bipolar II Disorder: The mania experienced with Bipolar II Disorder is not as severe as Bipolar I, but it can still greatly reduce the quality of life. Hypomania is another medical term used to describe Bipolar II.
- Cyclothymic Disorder: Also known as cyclothymia, this type of disorder involves hypomania or depression that continues for two years or more in adults and one year or more in children. It is not as severe as Bipolar I Disorder.
- Other Types of Bipolar Disorders: Bipolar disorders do not always fall into the categories above. Symptoms may be brought on by drug or alcohol use, medical conditions, trauma, and other factors.
Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder
Psychiatric disorders like bipolar disorder are characterized by several symptoms. Here are some examples of what a person with this disorder is likely to experience.
- Racing thoughts
- Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of suicide
- Excessive talkativeness
- Loss of interest and pleasure in things you love
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Disinterest in eating
- Excessively jumpy during manic episodes
- Excessively fatigued and lethargic during depressive episodes
- Weight loss or weight gain
Is Bipolar Disorder Genetic?
Like other psychiatric disorders, this disorder may be genetic. However, other risk factors can be involved in the development of this disorder.
Scientists are not sure exactly what causes this disorder, but they have determined certain factors that may be involved including the following.
- Biological Engineering: People with bipolar disorder have certain changes in their brain.
- Genetics: People with close relatives that have this disorder are at higher risk of exhibiting symptoms.
Risk Factors of Bipolar Disorder
Risk factors for bipolar disorder include:
- Having a close relative with this disorder
- Dealing with a traumatic event
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Treating Bipolar Disorder
Fortunately, there are ways to treat bipolar disorder including the following:
- Medications: Several mood-stabilizing medications can be used to treat this disorder.
- CBT: Cognitive-behavioral therapy can be used to manage symptoms and control mood swings related to bipolar disorder.
- Family Therapy: Family therapy helps those with bipolar disorder and their families deal with mental conditions.
- Ecopsychology: Ecopsychology involves clients immersing themselves in nature to deal with this disorder and other psychiatric disorders.
- Neurofeedback: Also called neurotherapy, neurofeedback is a type of biofeedback that studies brain activity’s real-time feedback to reinforce healthy brain function and emotional responses.
What is Neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is effective in treating bipolar disorder and other psychiatric disorders.
Electroencephalogram (EEG) is another term for neurofeedback. It can treat a wide array of psychiatric disorders including anxiety disorder, PTSD, phobias, OCD, and more. It stabilizes the brain and awards it for conforming to specific states. During sessions, patients learn to produce positive brain wave patterns by following the activity shown on a computerized screen.2
Quantitative electroencephalogram, or qEEG, is a cap that measures brainwaves and provides brain mapping reports. It is effective in teaching the brain to fire more efficiently through biofeedback.3
What is Neuroimaging/Brain Imaging?
Neuroimaging bipolar disorder4 involves producing images of brain activity and it is often used in neurofeedback. It can be structural or functional.
- Structural: Structural neuroimaging looks at the structure of the brain and the contrast between different tissues.
- Functional: Functional neuroimaging measures brain function to provide insight into the activity in certain regions of the brain.
Benefits of Neurofeedback
Neurotherapy comes with its share of benefits. Here are a few to consider.
- Non-Invasive: The biofeedback method does not require any type of surgery that may require recovery and lead to significant medical expenses.
- Targeted Treatment: Neurofeedback brain therapy goes directly to the root of the problem determining the brain’s actions and how and why it causes specific responses. It makes for a targeting treatment that has the potential to be quite effective.
Neurological Disorders Treatment with Neurofeedback
In addition to bipolar disorders, there are several other neurological and psychiatric disorders that can be treated with neurotherapy, including:
Neurotherapy may raise a person’s seizure threshold making them more resistant to seizures.
Neurofeedback can rewire pathways in the brain so clients are less likely to use substances.
The biofeedback associated with neurotherapy has been shown to help people fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality.
Anxiety and depression
Neurotherapy improves brain waves to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The brain training of neurofeedback modulates brain activity to ameliorate PTSD symptoms.
Disruptive behavior disorders/bipolar disorder
Neurotherapy retrains the brain, so it has more emotional control which contributes to stable moods.
Biofeedback has been shown to reduce inattentiveness and hyperactivity in ADHD and ADD patients.
Neurotherapy reduces the brain’s tendencies to see certain stimuli as overwhelming, making it an effective treatment for people with autism.
Brain training improves attention and focus allowing athletes to perform better.
Neurofeedback has been shown to reduce the pain associated with migraines.
Concussions and traumatic brain injury
Neurotherapy may improve cognitive impairment due to a concussion or TBI.
Heal with J. Flowers Health Institute
Bipolarism and other psychiatric disorders can greatly reduce your quality of life. J. Flowers Health Institute offers therapies that reduce mental illness so you can start enjoying the things you love again.
We offer mental health, wellness, and substance use disorder programs. We always start by providing a clear diagnosis so we can get to the root of the problem. We follow up with a variety of programs including detoxification, wellness and restoration, continuing care, and a variety of therapies including neurotherapy. We offer services for adolescents and young adults.
Do not let mental illness get in the way of your ability to live life to the fullest. Call J. Flowers Health Institute today. We will get you on the path to a happier and healthier existence.