By Chelsea Galvez |Staff Writer|
Student Veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can participate in Neurofeedback sessions through The Institute for Research, Assessment and Professional Development at CSUSB.
The Neurofeedback program, developed four years ago by the Institute for research at CSUSB, may be used for individuals ages five-95 who suffer from depression, ADHD, epilepsy and more.
Neurofeedback aids veterans suffering from PTSD as an alternative method to medication and analyzes an individual’s brain waves to identify parts that aren’t working to their highest ability.
“Using neurofeedback, we can monitor their brain waves and identify the exact areas that aren’t turned up to the right levels,” Dr. Connie McReynolds, director of the Institute told the CSUSB Veterans Newsletter, Giving Back to Those Who Served.
PTSD is a mental health condition and, according to the Mayo Clinic, is often the result of participation or witnessing a terrifying event in which severe physical harm occurred or was threatened.
The Mayo Clinic also lists that symptoms of PTSD include and range from flashbacks, anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts and nightmares of the event.
“PTSD is a label for a variety of symptoms, but it really doesn’t tell us what is happening with that person,” McReynolds told the CSUSB Veterans Newsletter.
Neurofeedback is a noninvasive, drug-free treatment that causes little harm to the individual, according to neurodevelopmentcenter.com.
The participant has to use their mind and focus in order to fill up a virtual barrel that is on the screen. The more attentive the participant is, the faster the barrel fills up.
“The computer provides coaching and overtime. We can make their symptoms better,” said McReynolds.
Individual treatment sessions are beneficial to the individual, however, a single treatment session is not a quick fix for symptoms.
“It may take 40-80 sessions for complete retraining of the brain,” said the Hull Institute of Lifestyle Management.
While many are skeptical of the treatment, others feel that it is an advancement to better mental health care.
“I don’t like using medication, but I know it is widely used and people believe it works with time to get the correct type and dose,” said student and Veteran Kerry Morgan. “While working through this process, it can be difficult for the patient, so I think that Neurofeedback should be tried, everything should be tried.”
The institute encourages that you, “train your attention, decrease anxiety or depression, alleviate chronic pain, and lessen behaviors that interfere with living your best life,” said McReynolds.
For more information about the program, visit the Neurofeedback Center in the of College of Education building.