Neurofeedback Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bipolar Disorder in Astoria
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Neurofeedback Therapy for Bipolar Disorder in Astoria
One of the most common psychological conditions in Astoria is bipolar disorder, also known as “manic depression” or “manic-depressive disorder.” Bipolar disorder is characterized by alternating cycles of depression and mania. Depression, of course, is marked by a persistent low mood. Mania is, in some ways, the opposite of depression. Mania in people with bipolar disorder in Astoria can manifest as either abnormal euphoria, or excessive anger and irritability. Some of the signs of a manic episode include:
- Racing thoughts
- Nonstop talking (“hyperlocution”)
- Unusually impulsive behavior
- Appetite changes
- Sleep disturbances
Mania symptoms vary from person to person. One person might become filled with delusions of grandeur, concocting various far-fatched “get-rich-quick” schemes. Another person may become angry, suddenly lashing out at friends and family members for no apparent reason. Bipolar disorder can be difficult to live with; oscillating moods can compromise work performance, relationships, and other aspects of life. Although bipolar disorder in Astoria is often treated with prescription medication, another approach that is recognized to be effective is cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy lacks adverse side effects and allows the patient to take an active role in his or her own treatment, which sets it apart from pharmacological treatments. Like CBT, neurofeedback therapy is also an active rather than a passive process; it works by training the patient to correct brainwave abnormalities that underlie bipolar disorder, anxiety, depression, and other related conditions.
Common Bipolar Medications and Their Side Effects
There are several classes of drugs that are commonly used to help alleviate symptoms of bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, all of them carry the risk of various unwanted side effects.
- SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) work by increasing the availability of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter for regulating mood, within the brain. Although correcting serotonin imbalances can help reduce depression and mania in the context of bipolar symptoms, these drugs can often cause excessive sedation, somnolence, and weight gain, due to serotonin’s other effects within the body and brain. Another notable SSRI side effect is sexual dysfunction.
- Lithium interacts with a variety of receptor systems in the brain, and has a relatively long history of use for managing bipolar disorder in Astoria. Lithium can have severe side effects, however, notably sedation and weight gain. Many patients who do not respond well to lithium report that it “made them feel like a zombie.” It can also cause hand tremors that can persist for years, or even for the rest of the person’s lifetime, even after the lithium has been discontinued.
- Sodium valproate is most commonly used as an anticonvulsant, although it is also used for manic symptoms in bipolar disorder in Astoria.
- Lamotrigene, like sodium valproate, is an anticonvulsant that can also act as a mood stabilizer. However, in some people, a potentially dangerous reaction can occur. This is identifiable by a distinctive target-shaped rash that developed. Because of the risk of this reaction, when someone begins taking Lamotrigene they begin at a low dose and increase it gradually.
- Antipsychotic medication is sometimes used for severe mania; however, these drugs can cause side effects ranging from weight gain and somnolence to tremors and motor problems.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Bipolar Disorder in Astoria
Medication side effects can make drugs disagreeable for many bipolar patients, so in some cases cognitive behavioral therapy might be a better option (although it can also be undertaken in combination with various drug therapies). Cognitive behavioral therapy in Astoria is a well-supported form of psychotherapy that is known to be effective for many psychological disorders, including bipolar. While medications directly affect neurochemical factors that underlie bipolar symptoms, cognitive behavioral therapy addresses dysfunctional thoughts, feelings, and behaviors instead.
Neurofeedback Therapy for Bipolar Disorder in Astoria
Recently, neurofeedback therapy has become available in Astoria and the greater New York area through BrainCore Therapy of New York. Like cognitive behavioral therapy, neurofeedback therapy gives the patient an active role; however, it is also a physiological approach to bipolar disorder and other mood disorders. Neurofeedback therapy uses qEEG (quantitative encephalography) mind mapping technology to pinpoint abnormalities in the brain’s electrical activity, which is a known factor in a wide variety of brain-based disorders. Neurofeedback is completely safe and non-invasive, using electrode sensors to measure and record electrical oscillations emitted by various areas of the brain. It has never produced any unwanted side effects.