Neurofeedback update: Done. (Kinda.)

Most of what I write about my head is private, but sometimes there are things worth sharing with the larger world.

Monday will be my last neurofeedback session.

I have been doing NFB twice a week without a missed appointment for any reason since last October 12, almost a year. There have been no vacations, and no exceptions of any kind.

When I say “last session” the meaning is both conditional and hopeful. The strategy my practitioner uses is to continue until the client either gets significant symptom relief or can no longer tolerate the treatment. I’m in that second category.

In that case, the treatment is stopped for two months or so to let the side effects, which have been the dominant experience, fade out. At this point the benefits — whatever they may be — can be assessed. There’s a range of results from “Thanks, I feel better, bye!” through “Some things have improved and I would like to improve other things that are still bugging me” to “I feel somewhat better but we need to keep going with this.”

I’m apprehensive about this for obvious reasons. What’s going to be there when the bandages are removed? However there’s not a damned thing I can do about it other than try to relax and maintain a hopeful attitude. In any case I’ll be delighted to be done with the stress and side effects, which are very debilitating.

Apparently many NFB practitioners deny that there are painful effects. Based on my own experience that’s a huge mistake, and I would urge anyone going into serious therapeutic neurofeedback to carefully consider how bad a long period of aggravated and newly induced mental illness might be. I’ve not enjoyed the last year at all, and my career and some relationships have been permanently affected.

It’s entirely worth it to me if the result is good enough, since my alternatives were not looking very good. If you’re dealing with the neuropsychiatric results of a head injury, if you have disabling ADD-like symptoms that do not budge with other approaches, or if you have emotional problems that are life-threateningly severe and inexplicably resistant to conventional medical and psychotherapeutic treatment, then neurofeedback may be worth investigating. If your life is worth living despite your issues, this may not be for you.

I hope to report some good result by the end of the year.