Depression is a mental health disorder categorized by a low mood or loss of interest in activities that causes significant impairment in daily life. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.
There are many different types of depression. Forms of depression include:
Major depressive disorder or clinical depression must have at least five symptoms of depression that least for two weeks or longer to be diagnosed with major depressive disorder.
Another type of depression is persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia. People with persistent depressive disorder have a low, dark, or sad mood on most days and at least two additional symptoms of depression (including sleep problems (too much or too little), low energy or fatigue, low self-esteem, poor appetite or overeating, poor concentration or difficulty making decisions, and feelings of hopelessness) lasting two years or more. In children and teens, persistent depressive disorder may be diagnosed if symptoms of irritability or depression persist for a year or more.
Depression can be difficult to manage, and often requires long-term or even lifelong care. There are several ways to treat depression including the most common approaches, talk therapy (or psychotherapy) and medication management.
Neurofeedback is different from talk therapy and medication management as the change starts in the body, particularly in the limbic system of the brain. As brain function is normalized, and the nervous system is regulated, stress in the body is reduced. This major system change has a positive cascading effect on emotions and thoughts. For more information on how neurofeedback creates change in the brain please read our article How Neurofeedback Effectively Treats Anxiety and more information on the differences between neurofeedback and other treatment including psychotherapy and pharmceutical interventions please see The Benefits of Infraslow Neurofeedback Training.
We take a holistic approach to treating depression with neurofeedback. Often, clients come to us out of a desire for alternative forms of treatment that may include a focus on diet, exercise, psychotherapy, and neurofeedback. At NFSNY we work with each individual to develop a treatment plan that is customized and based on a quantitative brain map (QEEG). Moreover, we offer several different types of neurofeedback to treat depression, including Infraslow and sLORETA. These forms of neurofeedback can activate mood-regulating areas of cortex and enhance functional connectivity.
We provide a uniquely individual approach to treating depression symptoms that is rooted in a quantitative brain map (QEEG) and neurofeedback. In addition, our clinicians are all licensed mental health providers with ample training and experience working with depression. We can provide psychotherapy in conjunction with neurofeedback, and often we provide in-session interventions such as guided meditation, guided breathwork, as well as biofeedback such as HRV training.
I love this practice, it has been extremely helpful in many ways. I have been going through so many challenges in my life and i have been in and out of different therapy. With everything i have been through in my life i believe that Mark Smith and Neurofeedback have been the only things that have truly worked. Mark is a very funny, lovable enthusiastic person with an outstanding personality. Anyone would be lucky to work with him and his practice.
I have known Mark Smith as a clinician and instructor for fifteen years. He is open, candid, and professionally dynamic. An intensely knowledgeable practitioner, he has managed to develop a unique form of treatment and neurofeedback training that has been shown to achieve splendid results. He is intellectually honest and persistently refines his knowledge and techniques. His willingness to work with clients with complicated and chronic problems that other professionals have been unable to help is a testament to his dedication, determination, and compassion.
Neurofeedback has been a life-changing journey for me. I’ve had sleep problems since I was a kid, and for the first time in two decades, they finally feel manageable. Additionally, it’s reduced my overall anxiety to a staggering degree, and I’ve felt my overall alertness and creativity go up. Grateful for Mark, Noel, and Leila’s support.
I have only been performing ISF training for a few months, but I can say it is my personal and clinical opinion that this is probably the most powerful intervention ever known. With ISF, I have been working with people who thought they were beyond hope. They are getting significantly better, and finally getting back into the life they deserve. Mark Smith used the word “glücklich” in the ISF workshop, meaning that feeling of total euphoria, peace and happiness that sometimes comes upon someone during the training. I have not had this happen during my own ISF training, however I have lived this feeling in a very clinical way for the last few months because I am helping people in ways that I never dreamt possible. Each day I witness miracles. I have seen people that have been so depressed that they were frequently admitted to the hospital for suicidality. Now they're happy and going back to work or school. Clients with balance problems and mobility issues are walking again. A couple of my clients had asthma that interfered with their lives and sports performance, and now the asthma is gone. Other clients have had horrible gastric intestinal issues to the point where their lives revolved around accessing the bathroom or taking medications just to have normal bodily functions. These people have minimal gastric intestinal issues now. Two of my young clients have had horrific development trauma and are now playing and dancing like other children do. I spent thirteen years working in an inpatient psychiatric unit and saw some of the most dysregulated brains imaginable. Now I have some of these people in my private practice and they are getting better. I would not believe any of this unless I would have seen it on first-hand basis. It just doesn’t seem possible. On a personal note, my daughter had three concussions a few years ago. She spent a couple of years in bed and thought her life was beyond hope, then we discovered neurofeedback. She has had many sessions of surface neurofeedback training (both one channel and four channel Z score) and got her life back, but her gastric intestinal issues, temperature regulation, asthma, and sleep issues still lingered. Since she has been optimized through ISF, she is sleeping well, does not have asthma, and is eating foods that she was never able to eat before. Her GI functioning is fairly normal. I don't know that I can actually find the right words to express my feelings about ISF. Each day I experience “glücklich” because I witness miracles happening in the lives of others. I am very blessed to be providing this amazing treatment. Thank you Mark and all the others who have made ISF possible. We are changing the world, one client at a time. Rhonda Mateer Ross, Brain Advances BCN, LCSW, MED
In my opinion, Mark Smith and his staff should be the first call for treatment of ADD, ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety, trauma and migraines. He is kind and patient, not to mention very well trained and overall a great clinician. I have used Mark as a resource several times in my own practice. If you are in or near the city and have any interest or questions regarding neurofeedback, I would highly recommend reaching out to Mark before you go anywhere else.