Today was the first day of neurofeedback with Doc, the psychiatrist. I actually walked in feeling relatively calm. Though I did not sleep well, I was able to go to the gym this morning, so I felt alright. In fact, I felt the best I had felt in at least a couple of weeks.
Doc sat me in front of a laptop, and started putting some goop on my ears and head for the sensors that would send feedback from my brain to the computer. There were a variety of programs on the screen, and Doc chose Spectral Mirror, whatever the hell that means. He told me to focus on the screen the entire time. Various colors would appear on the screen at certain intervals. I believe the intervals have to do with my brainwaves.
At the start of the neurofeedback session Doc just blurted, “Wow, I’ve never seen numbers this high. Yes, you have PTSD in spades!” It’s a good thing I’m patient with the old guy because I didn’t exactly appreciate hearing that in that moment, especially with the fervor in which he exclaimed it.
It was a bit weird how Doc knew when my mind was beginning to drift during the session. I would start to think about work, and there were even a few times when I started to get triggered. I got twitchy a few times. When my mind would drift he would tell me to put my focus back on the screen. Weird. Kinda like he was an interloper in my brain. There was a moment when I was fighting the urge to get under the table.
The neurofeedback session took 30 minutes. As soon as I was done he told me that my brain took to it very nicely as my “number” came down to a 5. I asked him what was ideal, and he said that ideally it should be under a 7. I asked him what it was when I started, and he said it was a 45, and he had never seen such a high number.
Doc then asked me if I was feeling nervous when I came in, and I said no. In fact, I arrived feeling the most calm I had felt in many days. Then he asked how I felt now that the session was over. and that’s when I realized that I felt even better. I actually felt calm. Perhaps, I’ve been so anxious for so long that I didn’t even know what calm felt like … Doc thought that could very well be the case. I will be back on Thursday for another session.
that sounds fascinating…i didn’t know they had something like that.
I didn’t know either until the psychiatrist suggested it! I thought I knew all the treatment options for PTSD. I guess I didn’t.
me either…so what do they do with the results?
Doc saves the results each time, so that he can see how I progress. This first time provided us with a baseline. He says it will take anywhere between 20-40 sessions fort brain to retain the benefits long-term. We shall see.
so you are getting future benefits from it? it isn’t just a test? that is amazing
That’s right. After a whole bunch of sessions my brain should be better trained to handle stress and anxiety, at least that’s the plan. Fingers crossed!
wow i want some of that! lol i would love to hear about how it goes for you if you wouldn’t mind!
No worries … I’ll be writing about it very regularly. Right now I have a splitting headache, and i wonder if it is related. I’ll ask him tomorrow.
sorry about the headache they suck! it would be interesting to know if it is from that…I hope you feel better soon!
That really is amazing. So happy for you!
Bravo Ash!!! I can completely relate to the feeling of being anxious for so long you didn’t even know what calm was like. I have experienced this same sort of feeling after acupuncture sessions. Sadly the calm seems to only last a few hours, but still it’s something, right?
I’ve done neurofeedback before too. It’s strange, isn’t it? However unlike you, i was doing it under the supervision of someone who wasn’t even licensed and ultimately my “therapy” with him was actually retraumatizing. Another story for another time. But I know how weird it is to have the goop put on your head and have the wires attached to you and seeing the lines on the screen and all that. I’m just so thrilled to hear that it was an overall positive experience for you. You definitely deserve that. Smiles all around 😀
Sorry sorry sorry I called you the wrong name! Ugh. I’m so exhausted, I got mixed up on my posts. Please forgive me. Another blog I follow is Ash. That is just my tired and scattered mind making a mess of things. I’m so sorry. but everything I said still applies. My deepest apologies!
That’s quite alright! 🙂 I thought you coined a new phrase, “Bravo Ash!” Lol!
Haha yeah exactly! 🙂
I get what you mean about acupuncture. It works for me, but only for 24-48 hours. I swear, if large loads of money every fall on my head I think I’ll get my acupuncturist on retainer! 🙂
Wow this sounds really interesting. I’ve never heard of this before! Do you have to pay for it or is it on healthcare (I’m not sure where you’re from!)
I had never heard of it either. I live in the states, and Doc is an approved provider as a psychiatrist in my health insurance plan. So far I’ve only paid my copay of $20 per session. We’ll see what happens when he bills the insurance. I’m already approved for 10 sessions upfront with him, so, hopefully, it is not an issue.
Oh right, I’m not sure how the insurance works, but $20 per session doesn’t sound too bad if it’s helping. Good luck and long may it continue!
Fascinating stuff B. Thanks so much for sharing xx
Wow! I didn’t even know they had such a thing! It’s good you’re being so proactive, and facing this head-on. My PTSD wasn’t at the level yours is. I feel a bit guilty even saying I was diagnosed with it 9 years ago. I guess I’ve come a long way since then… my day to day turned into 9 years. So that’s a good thing. Yours will eventually get there too. I’m proud of you for facing it head on. You are an amazing person!