Can Neurofeedback therapy help with addiction? And is it effective? The answer is yes to both. If you’ve been reading my weekly blog, by now you should have a basic understanding of why and how Neurofeedback therapy works. Since addiction is a neurological disorder, finding the root of the brain that is encouraging addiction and retraining the brain is the key to long-term success and great health. By using an EEG machine, we monitor the person’s brain waves during a variety of non-stressful and stressful exercises. With this feedback, we are able to balance a person’s brain so they can always remain reasonable, calm and focused during stressful situations. When their brain is balanced, the person will make better choices during demanding situations and will no longer need their dependency to cope.
It’s important to know and understand that addiction is a physiological condition, which is caused by an imbalance of the brain. Those who suffer from this have no control over what they are doing and grow dependent on their addictions in order to get through their daily lives. Going without it can and will cause great physical and emotional pain to them. Whether it’s addiction to gambling and sex (behavioral) or drugs and alcohol (substance) all addicts struggle with a ton of the same emotions like anger, guilt, frustration, shame and sadly having no self-worth at all. Addiction debilitates a person’s life and affects their loved ones as well. Also, people who suffer from addiction commonly suffer from other mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder, and neurofeedback therapy can help with these illnesses as well.
The causes of addiction are caused by a combination of physical, mental, circumstantial and emotional factors. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 21.5 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2014. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately two to three percent of Americans meet the criteria for problem gambling. That’s around 6 million adults and about a half million teens. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, nearly 12 million Americans struggle with sexual addiction in the United States. In October of 2017, President Donald J. Trump declared opioids a National Health Emergency in the United States. According to the White House, in 2016 more than two million Americans had an addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States.
It’s important to remember that rehabilitation facilities are only for 30 days. The reason why so many people relapse is that it takes more than 30 days to fully heal a person. With the support of loved ones and Neurofeedback, a person suffering from addiction will definitely gain the ability to thrive past the classic 30-day rehab cycle no longer feeling the need to sustain their addiction.
Dr. Elena Eustache is a specialist in Neurofeedback Therapy, with a PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Dr Elena Eustache helps her patients reach their full potential so that they can have the life they have always dreamed of.