Concussions and Neurofeedback



Neurofeedback for Concussions

By Siegfried Othmer, PhD

On the occasion of the release of the film ‘Concussion‘ it is only appropriate that we add our voice to those that have already been raised on this issue. The reason is that neurofeedback is really the only remedy currently available for concussions. The plain truth of the matter is that the medical cupboard has always been bare when it came to concussions, and that remains true to this day.

There are the usual remedies on offer for symptom suppression—for headaches, nausea, dizziness, and edema. But these do not address the underlying issue. When it comes right down to it, the only recovery mechanism we know of for concussions is self-recovery. And it is even true that all we can do with neurofeedback is to facilitate and accelerate that process.

Neurofeedback is not anything that is done to the brain. Rather, it simply illuminates the path for the brain to find its way to its own recovery. It is best thought of as a rehabilitation technique—-as brain rehabilitation in this case. The difference between this and physical rehabilitation is that the brain does all the work! We are simply providing it with information. Another model for neurofeedback is brain exercise. But again, the trainee is not doing the heavy lifting here. It is the brain that is doing the work.

Concussions have been successfully remediated with neurofeedback since 1975. That this is still not generally known is of course scandalous, but then so is the fact that the entire topic of concussions has been off the agenda within medicine for the entire twentieth century. Medical professionals do not like to talk about conditions where no medical remedies are available.

This disagreeable fact is shaping the discussion even now. After all, when we use the term concussion we are referring to a condition where ultimate recovery is typically expected, even if we have no choice but to wait for it. But concussions are really only a subset of a much larger class of conditions labelled minor traumatic brain injury, by which is meant all those cases of head trauma where there has been no skull fracture. That actually covers a whole range of conditions that would never be labelled a mere concussion.

These can leave people permanently dysfunctional, and after the usual period of ‘self-recovery’ that might take up to eighteen months, they are deemed to be in a stable state and no further help is on offer. After all, there is nothing one can do…! There is, however, neurofeedback, and even after decades of dysfunction, function may still be recovered. The capacity for functional recovery is never lost.

Let me be utterly clear here: We are not talking about subtle change at the margins. We are talking about global functional recovery. We have ourselves worked with someone who was functionally blind after a head injury, having nothing more than blurry tunnel vision, and after seventeen sessions vision was restored to the point where the person could drive again. We have taken a stroke victim from the point where they were on crutches to where they were skiing once again. This transpired after all medical care and all other rehabilitation efforts had ceased.

The effectiveness of neurofeedback in facilitating recovery for minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been a fact for forty years now, and it has been totally ignored by the field of medicine. This scandal is only eclipsed by the even worse scandal that the field of medicine has been in denial about the entire business of so-called minor traumatic brain injury.

Consider the PBS Frontline program “League of Denial” that first aired two years ago (and is being re-broadcast presently). The denial of the issue of head trauma is being blamed on the NFL, when in fact they were backed up in their stance at every step of the way by their medical advisers! If the NFL was in denial, then so were the medical authorities advising them. It was not the NFL that ruined the career of Dr. Bennet Omalu for discovering the physical evidence for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It was the medical brain trust.

Consider also the fact that the medical field was caught entirely flat-footed by the flood of cases of blast injury out of Iraq. In many of these cases, there had been no direct brain insult. And yet all the dysfunctions associated with minor brain injury presented themselves. Was there really no precedent for this? Of course there was! After all, we had been driving automobiles for a hundred years already. In the US we encounter more than a million cases of minor traumatic brain injury per year, a much larger caseload than was now presenting itself within the military.

The difference was that the automobile injuries were all individual cases that could be dismissed one at a time. The military presented a very different kind of problem. Cases were now arriving in droves. The matter could not be ignored quite so easily.

Throughout our collective experience with the automobile there had been countless of cases where the severity of the complaints seemed out of line with the severity of the original brain insult.
“But the airbag didn’t even deploy.”
“But you didn’t even lose consciousness.”
“But you were able to drive home after the accident.”

Doctors did what came naturally. They took issue with what the patient was reporting. Their complaints were simply dismissed. Of course the docs were very much encouraged in this course by insurance company lawyers.

They also had their own evidence, or rather a lack thereof. And this turns out to be a crucial part of the story. Matters were caught on the cusp of the structure/function dichotomy. For decades now we have had CT scans that allowed us to take a look at the brain. Problem was, these tended not to support the claims in most cases of minor traumatic brain injury. There was no structural injury—hence there was no medical issue! People were sent home with all of their complaints. Whatever they were, they were not a medical issue.

This lack of supportive evidence from brain imagery solidified the position that minor traumatic brain injury was not a medical problem, by and large. This posture fit hand-in-glove with the insurance companies who would otherwise be stuck with potentially large payouts.

In the neurofeedback field, we had been seeing the evidence of functional injury all along in the course of tracking EEG measures through the training process. And if the brainwave activity was wildly irregular at the outset, there was an obvious tendency for it to approach typical values with the training. Insurance companies moved heaven and earth to discredit the new evidence, because if neurofeedback could actually be helpful, then ethically it had to be made available to head-injured people. The best way to discredit neurofeedback was to call the evidence into question—the same process to which Dr. Bennet Omalu was subjected.

The failure mechanism involved in minor traumatic injury was plainly the “scrambling of the brainwaves,” to quote the pungent metaphor of former NBA player and basketball commentator Bill Walton. The loss was in the functional domain, and is presently modeled in terms of alterations of functional connectivity. These leave no evidence in CT scans. After all, CT scans cannot tell the difference between a living brain and a dead one. How could they possibly tell the difference between a functional and a dysfunctional one? Nevertheless, it suited the purpose of the moment to deny the new evidence. We had a pact of the devil between medicine and insurance company lawyers, just as there was such a pact between medicine and the NFL.

Insurance companies have had yet one other ace up their sleeves. It is to argue that the injury is not so much due to the event at issue, but rather to the fact that the victim was bringing a vulnerable brain to the incident. The victim was already vulnerable, and now just wants to blame everything on this particular brain insult in order to obtain recovery. They call these ‘egg-shell’ cases.

In fact, the insurance companies nailed it! It is indeed impossible to explain the severity of injury and the subsequent rate of recovery, or lack thereof, until the person’s prior history is taken into account. To resort to Bill Walton’s metaphor again, these people came to the critical incident with brainwaves that were already scrambled. Functional connectivity was already compromised at some level. There is absolutely no doubt that this holds true. The best predictor of recovery is the history of the patient prior to the injury. Many of them had histories of earlier trauma—psychological or physical, and it did not matter much which one. Both succeed in ‘scrambling the brainwaves.’ Nevertheless, it was this particular injury that sent this particular patient over the cliff into obvious dysfunction.

So where are we presently? We are just where we started:
There is only one remedy for the persistent symptoms of minor traumatic brain injury, and it is neurofeedback.
But if we take the lesson of prior vulnerability to its logical conclusion, we should be offering neurofeedback to all those who are trying to function with scrambled brainwaves throughout their lives, even well before a minor head injury makes that deficit obvious by making it even worse. People need training in resilience, and the method is neurofeedback. Who would benefit? Well, just about all of us, frankly.



Posted on December 27, 2015 and filed under Head Injury.

How Do You Measure Success?

This article was written by a colleague of mine, Dr. Peggy Steele.

How do you measure success? First, perhaps a definition of success would be appropriate. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, success includes not only the achievement of wealth, respect or fame but also the desired result of an attempt. In today’s popular culture of fame and fortune, the focus tends to be on achieving wealth and fame.

It is interesting, though, that some of the most “successful” entrepreneurs did not include those aspects when asked about their ideas on success:

Richard Branson, Virgin, says, “The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.”
Sara Blakely, Spanx founder, believes that you have to try. If you don’t try, then you fail. If you try, you succeed.
Steve Jobs, of Apple fame, says that the key to success for entrepreneurs is “perseverance.”
Tori Burch, Tori Burch fashions, reminds people that “there are many, many steps on the road to success.”
Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX, explains that he likes “to be involved in things that change the world.”

Did you notice that these views about success have more to do with what it takes to achieve it? These entrepreneurs focused more on their attempts to gain a desired result. Perhaps success then is not the outcome but the process.

So what is your definition of success? Let us help you find it.

Posted on July 24, 2015 .

A Five-Step Approach to Reducing Migraines

Have Migraines? Try these approaches. This article was written by a professor of mine in graduate school, Dr. Debora Khoshaba.


It may seem strange that an article on migraines is appearing on a psychology publication page. But, the effects of migraines on mental health and behavior make this neurological disorder an important consideration in diagnostic evaluation of psychotherapy patients. Migraines can negatively affect stability of mood, relationship, sleep and parenting behavior, and lifestyle habits that contribute to mental health. Skilled psychological clinicians strongly consider the role that migraines may play in the presenting symptoms of a psychotherapy patient.

I got to recognize the effects of migraines way back in childhood, as my mother, brothers, sisters and I suffer from them. Indeed, suffer is the word most migraineur’s use to describe the debilitating effects of their symptoms. Migraines can be so painful that it can lead a person under the throes of pain to say, “Please, someone put me out of my misery!

When my siblings and I were young, there was no specific medical treatment for migraines. Migraineur’s had to just wait the migraine out. This was usually a two to three day period of lying in bed in a darkened room and only getting up to vomit. I can recall many days that my mother would drag herself out of bed with a migraine to prepare our lunches for school and for her to go to work. What a trooper she was. But, by noon, she was so ill that my father would have to bring her home. Vomiting often relieved the pain and stopped the migraine. But, like all migraineur’s know too well, this respite does not last long, as another migraine is sure to appear several days later.

My siblings and I knew to keep very quiet, when my mother had a migraine. The house felt like a morgue, at such times. Back then, migraines took important chunks of time out of a person’s life. Workdays cut short, less quality time with family, canceled outings and vacations spent in bed all characterized a migraineur’s life. Also, you never knew when they were coming or how hard they would hit you. It is easy to see why people called them migraine attacks

It was also common for migraineur’s to be prescribed antidepressants, like Elavil (A tricyclic psychiatric medication) that did little to treat the neurological basis of the migraine and also worsened the migraine and caused it to ricochet into a new migraine episode.

Thank goodness the medical, nutrition, psychological and sport sciences have come a long way in understanding the nature and triggers of a migraine headache.

What is a Migraine?

Migraines affect about one in ten people worldwide, with women getting it about 3 to 4 times more often than men. It is a debilitating neurological disorder that alters the normal way the arteries, nerves and capillaries (blood vessels) usually work. Migraines do not result from a nervous personality condition; rather, people have a genetic predisposition for migraines. That is—they are genetically predisposed to a nervous system that has a specific way of responding to changes affecting their bodies.

Migraines run in families. Research has found at least three genetic mutations that are linked to an increased risk of migraine in the general population (Medical News Today) and four genes that predispose people to migraines without the symptom of aura; visual, sensory, motor or verbal disturbances that are distinct signs that a migraine is about to happen (Migraine Gene Found By Scientist Inspired By Her Own Illness, MNT, 2013).


Inflammation of blood vessels

Although science can describe a pattern of neurological changes in the body’s blood vessels that result in a migraine, the roots of a migraine vary, so they are referred to as triggers rather than due to a single cause. A change of weather, shift in hormones, sensitivities to certain food and drink, inadequate sleep, eating too much or too little in one sitting, or skipping meals altogether, a strong odor, light or sound, environmental allergies, pollutants and irritants, and emotional stress can precipitate a migraine attack. These migraine triggers activate the release of histamine from the nerve fibers that are coiled around the brain’s arteries and veins that narrow and constrict these blood vessels beyond their normal size. Vascular constriction activates the release of the enzyme Nitric Oxide (NO) that expands the size of the brain’s blood vessels so that we don’t stroke out. It is the expansion of the arteries and veins that actually causes the brain inflammation and the arterial pain that we feel in our temples. This entire process stresses the body to the point that sets off a fight-or-flight stress response in us, which makes us nauseous, causes diarrhea and vomiting, delays stomach emptying and food absorption and decreases blood flow and circulation (leading to symptoms of cold hands and feet and sensitivity to light and sound) (Medical News Today, Nov. 2013).

But, even more debilitating to our physical health and behavior is that expanded blood vessels cause our brain to dysfunction. The parts of the brain depend upon the right amount of chemicals, blood sugar and oxygen to carry out their operations. This requires that the brain and body’s blood vessels have just the right amount of tension (not to little or too much) so they can act like a pump and carry essential nourishments to the brain. But, the enlarged blood vessels of a migraine attack do not permit them to carry what is needed for the brain parts to operate and interact with each other, so that problems of reasoning, information processing, mood, and behavior result.

I always knew when I was about to get a bad migraine, because my speech would start to slur (an aura sign that is verbal). I’d stop processing information, become irritable, emotional and teary-eyed. A migraine is so debilitating to thinking, reasoning, visual and auditory processing of information, and mood stability that it can seem like one is having a mini-stroke (Trans-ischemic attack or TIA).

For some time, scientists thought migraines did little harm to the long-term integrity of the brain. But, recently, researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark found a link between migraines and brain lesions, silent abnormalities, and brain volume, especially in people who have migraine with an auraas part of their symptoms. They have a 68% increased risk of white matter brain lesions, compared with a 34% risk such brain lesions in migraineur’s without auras. Thesestroke-like, infarct-like abnormalities in the brain (areas of the brain in which tissue is dead) showed a disruption in blood flow to the brain (blood flow decrease increased by 44% in migraineur’s with auras as compared to those without). Additionally, brain volume changes were more prevalent in both groups of migraineur’s (with and without aura) than in a non-migraine population.

These studies show that we migraineur’s need to do all we can to lower the frequency of our migraines by understanding our triggers.

Reducing Migraines:

A Five-Step Approach

Fortunately there’s much you can do to reduce the number of migraines that you have. But, you have to become your own scientist and investigate the triggers of your migraines. Identifying what triggers a migraine is an important first step in preventing future attacks.

1. Food and Environmental Sensitivities:

Diet: The neurotransmitter called histamine plays an important role in migraine activation. Food, drink, and environmental toxins to which a person is allergic to can trigger high histamine levels in the brain and body that starts the migraine process. Numerous studies evaluating the relationship between histamine and migraine show that “histamine and other immune responses are part of the body’s response system to a perceived threat from the environment and how the brain responds to this threat is at the heart of migraine” (Stanford University Blog on Migraines and Headaches).

Migraine triggers activate the release of histamine from the nerve fibers that are coiled around the brain’s arteries and blood vessels that constrict the blood vessels beyond their normal size. This activates the release of the enzyme Nitric Oxide (NO) that is responsible for biochemically expanding the size of these blood vessels so that we don’t stroke out. It is the expansion of the arteries and veins that causes the brain inflammation and the pain that we feel. Researchers have been able to show the importance of histamine to the migraine process, by inducing headaches in migraine and non-migraine sufferers through histamine dosing (Link between Allergies and Migraines).

Getting to know the food, drink, and environmental pollutants, toxins and other irritants that you are sensitive to can significantly help you to lower the frequency of your migraines.

Sugar: There is a relationship between sugar intake, blood sugar levels and some migraine attacks. It has to do with the close relationship between the blood sugar hormones (glucose and insulin) and the enzyme Nitric Oxide (NO) that causes changes in the vascular system. Rises in blood sugar level through ingestion of too much sugar, or sugar released through the body due to fight or flight, causes the blood sugar storing hormone, insulin, to store the excess sugar in our bodies so that we do not stroke. It’s this storing process that activates Nitric Oxide that over-expands the blood vessels to the point of a migraine. Quick rises in blood sugar by eating too much sugar or too much food can result in a migraine through this process. But, low blood sugar can also result in a migraine. When blood sugar drops too low our bodies try to help us by stimulating the release of excitatory chemicals through the body so that we can think and function. This can cause a fight or flight stress response that activates the migraine process.

To better manage a migraine, it’s best to keep blood sugar at normal levels throughout the day. Migraineur’s often address the problem of blood sugar and their migraines by using the Glycemic Index to evaluate how much sugar is in the food and liquid they consume. Diets that emphasize moderation in daily intake of sugar and carbohydrates are excellent in this regard (The Carbohydrate Addict’s DietDr. Mark Hyman, The Blood Sugar Solution Diet and Mayo Clinic on Blood Sugar, Diet and the Glycemic Index).

2. Sleep: Lack of sleep or poor sleep habits can trigger migraines and also cause them to become more frequent. Being deprived of REM sleep (stage of deep sleep in which we dream) changes how key proteins involved in the pain process are expressed. It seems that the lack of REM sleep raises the levels of these proteins that arouse the nervous system and cause pain (WebMD, Lack of Sleep Triggers Migraine Proteins).

3. Exercise: There are numerous health benefits that come with regular exercise. “Regular physical activity is shown to improve our health and to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and obesity.” It also improves sleep and reduces stress. But, some people who are prone to migraine find that strenuous exercise can bring on a migraine attack and start to think of exercise as a trigger. (Fact Sheet on Exercise and Migraine; The Migraine Trust).

Don’t give up on exercise. Just choose the type of exercise that doesn’t overly stress your body and produce a migraine. For example, if you choose yoga, you may want to avoid the Bikram form of it to avoid high heat temperatures that can over-stress your biology.

4. Psychotherapy: Therapists can help us to manage aspects of our lifestyle that are triggers for a migraine, especially relevant here are health psychologists and cognitive-behavior therapists. They train you in body awareness and stress management techniques that help you to become more aware of your migraine triggers. Behavioral therapists can also help you to construct a program for eliminating migraine triggers and for measure outcomes of your efforts (Migraines: Can Therapy Help?).

5. Medication: Today, there are medications that are solely used to treat migraines. These medications (Imitrex, Zomig, Maxalt) treat the affected blood vessels that result in a migraine. That is, they restore the blood vessels to normal size. These new medications are so much better than over the counter medications that only block pain receptors and do little to return the blood vessels to normal size and function.

If you are a migraineur, you have to keep in mind that your nervous system is sensitive to changes. But, if you follow through on some of these recommendations, you can reduce the number of migraines you have and bring more balance and well being into your life. From time to time, you’ll get a migraine. But, you’ll have far more control over them than before. I know, for example, if I eat popcorn or dairy, especially two days in a row, I will definitely get a migraine. I have learned about the foods that trigger my migraines and know how to control their onset by when and how much I will indulge in that food.

Posted on July 24, 2015 and filed under Anxiety, Depression, Sleep, Migraines.

A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love

An excellent article written by one of my professors, Dr. Debora Khoshaba.

Self-love is a psychological concept that includes a set of attitudes and actions that are vital to your whole being. It’s become such a popular idea that many see the lack of self-love as the reason for many personal problems, especially those that involve romantic love. I’m sure you have said, or heard someone say to you, recently: “You have to love yourself more?” “Why don’t you love yourself?” “If you only loved yourself more, you would choose better friends and loversor you’d leave that employer who treats you so poorly.”

All you need is (self) love is the message, here. But, just because the idea of self-love has become part of everyday language, don’t mistake it as a trivial concept. Self-love is just as important to your personal growth, as better hygiene and health habits was to the flourishing of cultures worldwide. The more you love yourself, the better your self-confidence and self-esteem. If you don’t love yourself enough, you might not protect yourself in ways that are vital to your welfare and growth. You may let other people take advantage of you, or not stick up for yourself, when needed. You may stay too long in romantic relationships or jobs that are bad for you. Or, you may eat poorly, drink too much, or indulge in other habits that are bad for your health.

Self-love helps you to decide for, rather than against, your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is a healthy expression of narcissism. A healthy amount of love for ourselves that leads us to protect ourselves against harm and to choose experiences that grow rather than debilitate us. But, don’t mistake this form of self-love as pathological narcissism that describes a serious personality disorder. Healthy and pathological narcissism are different ends of the self-love phenomenon.

So, what should you start to do to bring more healthy self-love into your life? Should you get a beauty makeover or buy a new set of clothing? Or, can a new relationship make you love yourself more? The answer to all of these questions is no. Although they feel good and are gratifying, you can’t grow in self-love through these types of activities. Since, self-love is not simply a state of feeling good.

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support your physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature you.

When you act in ways that expand self-love, you begin to: accept your weaknesses and strengths, have less need to explain away your short-comings, have compassion for yourself, as a human being struggling to grow in purpose and meaning, are more centered in your life purpose and values, and expect that you will get fulfillment through your own efforts.

The Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love that follows shows you how to do this.

1.  Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want authentically. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge rather than on what others want for them.

2.  Act on what you need, rather than what you want. You show self-love when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

3.  Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through growth promoting activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interaction.

4.  Set boundaries. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love and activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually or just simply express poorly who you are.

5.  Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemiesthat I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of people who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My command to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.

6.  Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. Even if you aim at living a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. To feel good about ourselves, we like to know where we are going and if we are accomplishing what we set out to do.

7.  Forgive yourself. Oh, we humans can be so hard on ourselves. I guess the downside of taking responsibility for our actions is recognition of where we went wrong along the way. The risk here is to punish ourselves for not knowing better or knowing and proceeding anyway. A part of self-love is accepting your humanness and that to be human means you are not perfect. You can’t grow unless you learn from your failures as well as your successes.

If you choose just one or two of these self-love actions to work on, you will begin to accept and love yourself more. Just imagine how much you’ll appreciate you when you exercise these seven-steps to self-love in your life. Although the saying that you have to love yourself before another person can truly love you is true. It’s also true that it takes self-love to allow and encourage other people to love themselves in the same way.

Thus, the more self-love you have, the better prepared you are for healthy intimate relating. You will, also, start to attract people and circumstances to you that support the health of your heart, mind, and spirit.

Posted on July 24, 2015 and filed under Depression.

Tips for Better Sleep

Insomnia can be short- term or long- term.  Transient insomnia (short- term) is very common and is a normal reaction to a stressful event.  Once the stressful event has passed, the insomnia goes away and your usual sleep pattern returns.  Chronic insomnia refers to a sleep problem that has lasted for six months or more.  This type of insomnia requires some intervention.  

The following is a list of do’s and don’ts that can help you establish a good sleep pattern:


  1. Go to bed at the same time every day.

  2. Get up from bed the same time every day.

  3. Get regular exercise every day, preferably in the morning.  Research has shown that regular exercise (aerobic and stretching) improves restful sleep.  But do not exercise within six hours of your bedtime.

  4. Avoid napping during the day. If you must take a nap, do so in the morning or early afternoon and nap for no more than one hour.  Taking extended naps or napping in the late afternoon will make it very difficult, if not impossible, to fall asleep at night.  

  5. Use a relaxation exercise just before going to bed. I have hand-outs on progressive relaxation and breathing exercises that are usually provided to clients.  Additionally, gentle stretching exercises can reduce muscle tension at bedtime.

  6. Keep your feet and hands warm.  If necessary, wear socks to bed.  


  1. Go to bed after midnight.  Many people get their “second wind” after midnight and will have difficulty falling asleep.

  2. Engage in stimulating activity just before bed.  Avoid discussing emotional issues or getting into arguments prior to going to bed.  

  3. Again, do not exercise just before going to bed.  

Sometimes, through using inappropriate coping strategies, insomnia can cause more insomnia.  Giving up on your regular exercise routine and resorting to taking naps because you are tired will only make your sleeping problem worse.  Establish a regular routine and stick to it.  It may be difficult at first, but once you have done it for several days to a week it will become easier.  

Posted on July 16, 2015 and filed under Sleep, Depression, Anxiety.

Depression Around the Holidays

I feel sad and depressed around the holidays. What can I do to feel better?

Frequent origins of depression around the holidays include interactions with others, financial strain and physical burdens. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve depressive symptoms; it’s not just good for you physically. Find positive ways of remembering loved ones; celebrate the good memories instead of ruminating that they’re no longer around. If you find yourself withdrawing from activities you once found pleasurable, force yourself to do them again. This is one of the best ways to break the downward spiral of depression. Don’t turn to alcohol or other drugs for relief. While in the short term substances tend to make a person feel better, difficulties aren’t addressed.

Posted on July 15, 2015 and filed under Depression.