In today’s highly competitive conditions, mental health problems are no longer an unusual issue encountered and experienced by Malaysians. 

Statistic of mental health problems among adults and children according to the National Health Morbidity Survey 2015 :

0%
Mental health problem among adults
0%
Mental health problem among child

Source: Ministry of Health Malaysia, 2015

The impact of mental health disorders are not confined to the patients themselves but can extend into their social networks which would negatively affect their relationships with others. Hence, it is vital for mental health patients to seek professional assistance in order to retain their capability to lead a healthy and satisfying life.

Today, a new scientifically-proven treatment, known as clinical neurofeedback training is available to tackle a wide range of psychological disorders (Hammer, Colbert, Brown, Ilioi, 2011; Hammond, 2005; Kubik et al, 2016; Marzbani, Marateb & Mansourian, 2016; van der Kolk et al, 2016). Unlike conventional methods such as the application of medication or drugs, or electroconvulsive therapy, clinical neurofeedback training can minimize any potential negative side effects such as sleepiness, nausea, dizziness and so on. 

Meanwhile, even though clinical neurofeedback training does not make diagnosis based on one’s condition, it has proven to be effective in reducing symptoms of psychological disorders and its effects are found to be long-lasting (Ali, Mahmud & Samaneh, 2015; Choi et al, 2011; Harris, Lambie & Hundley, 2018; Panisch & Hai, 2018).

The following are a list of mental health disorders which could be alleviated and treated by clinical neurofeedback training:

What is mood disorder?
Mood disorders are a category of disorder which involve serious changes of mood.

The most common example of mood disorder is major depressive disorder, which is characterized by a long-lasting and intense feeling of sadness.

How does it affect patients with mood disorders:

  • Tend to experience a low level of self-esteem,
  • Mood swings,
  • Loss of interest in activities that they once enjoyed.
  • In some cases, patients with mood disorders also possess suicidal ideation and attempt suicide.

From a neuropsychological perspective, mood disorders could be due to overly high or low brainwave activities in certain areas of the brain.

How did Neurofeedback help in this issue?

In the New Mind Brain Health Centre, mood-stabilizing protocols will be customized to clients with mood disorders and train their brain to adopt a new, desired brainwave pattern.

What is Anxiety Disorders?

Anxiety disorders are a category of disorders which is characterized by persistent, intense and excessive worry or fear about upcoming situations.

The psychological disorders which fall under this umbrella term are Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Agoraphobia, Panic Disorder, Selective Mutism, Separation Anxiety Disorder and so on.

Sypmtoms of patients with anxiety disorders:

  • nervousness during situations that trigger their fear.
  • Patients may experience increased heartbeat,
  • Irritable bowel condition
  • Inability to concentrate on a task.

Severe symptoms of anxiety disorders:

  • Will impede the daily functioning of patients
  • Result in far-reaching consequences toward their lives, such as losing their jobs, impairing their social network and so on.

How did Neurofeedback help in this issue?

In the New Mind Brain Health Centre, relaxing protocols might be customized to clients with anxiety disorders according to their condition. The relaxing protocols are used to reduce tense-related brainwave ratio in certain parts of the brain that are associated with the insecure feeling of worry and fear.

What is Neurodevelopment Disorders?
Neurodevelopmental disorders are a category of disorders which is characterized by the delay and difficulty in the acquisition of skills in a vast range of developmental areas such as motor, social, language, and cognition.

In simpler words, the atypical brain development which causes patients to encounter certain deficits in life.

The disorders that fall under this category is:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),
  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),
  • Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and
  • Specific Learning Disorder (SLD).

The onset of the neurodevelopmental disorder normally takes place during childhood or prior to the puberty stage of an individual.

How did Neurofeedback help in this issue?

In the New Mind Brain Health Centre, training protocols will be customized according to the symptoms as well as the brainwave patterns of every single individual. For example, a calming protocol is customized to clients with a high tendency of impulsivity and compulsivity (ADHD-like symptoms).

On the other hand, an attention-boosting protocol is set for the client to increase attention span (ADD-like symptoms).

What is Trauma-related Disorders?
Trauma-related disorders involve exposure towards traumatic and stressful events.

The development of trauma is commonly associated with their experience of being :

  • Abused,
  • Losing a loved one,
  • Witnessing a traumatic event (e.g. collapse of a building or murder),
  • Being diagnosed with a severe disease and so on.

The psychological disorders which fall under this category are:

  • Acute-Stress Disorder,
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Adjust Disorder.

Patients with trauma-related disorders may experience abnormally high level of stress or anxiety when they are in situations which are similar to the traumatic events that had been encountered before.

How does it effect the patient?

  • They may isolate themselves
  • Avoid being in situations which could potentially trigger their unpleasant experiences.

How did Neurofeedback help in this issue?

In the New Mind Brain Health Centre, neurofeedback training will aim to reduce the sensitivity of the brain and enlighten the brain to be more in control of the negative feelings and emotions triggered by their traumatic experiences.

For this, we target the specific part of the brain and rectify the brainwave ratio for that particular part of the brain to alleviate the impact of the trauma towards the daily functioning of clients.

What is Insomnia?

Insomnia is a kind of sleep disorder which is primarily characterized by the difficulty of falling asleep as well as staying asleep.

How does insomnia affect a person?

Insomnia is a serious problem which can result in huge impacts on the individual’s daily functioning.

  • An individual may be easily agitated due to the irritating sleep pattern experienced during the night before.
  • Cognitive functions such as decision making,
  • attention span as well as reasoning skills of the individual with insomnia also tends to be impeded due to their fatigued brain.

How did Neurofeedback help in this issue?
In the New Mind Brain Health Centre, the calming and relaxing protocols might be implemented to pertain to the condition of the clients. The primary aim of these two protocols is to train the brain to adapt to a relaxed brainwave pattern which helps the individual to attain deep sleep during the night.

Apart from alleviating and treating the symptoms of the mentioned psychological disorders, clinical neurofeedback training also could be used for optimizing one’s brain functions. For example, an effective learning protocol might be designed and applied for students who would like to improve their memory span and information processing speed for better academic performances. 

Meanwhile, the activation and calming protocols could be used for workers to achieve peak performance in work by improving the sensory processing speed and reducing symptoms that affect productivity respectively. In short, clinical neurofeedback training does not only provide an alternative for psychological disorder patients, but it is also applicable in optimizing one’s brain function for greater performance in different domains of life.

Last but not least, clinical neurofeedback training offered in the New Mind Brain Health Centre does not subscribe to the principle of “one system fits all”. This means that we provide customized and personalized clinical neurofeedback training according to one’s condition and needs in order to trigger substantial improvements.

Written by Hiro Koo

For more information, kindly call the New Mind Brain Health Centre at +6016-715 4419 or email us at newmindcentre@gmail.com

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  • Choi, S. W., Chi, S. E., Chung, S. Y., Kim, J. W., Ahn, C. Y, Kim, H. T. (2011) Is alpha wave neurofeedbacke effective with randomized clinical trials in depression? A pilot study. In Neuropsychobiology, 63(1), 43-51. doi:10.1159/000322290.
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