When a person is in a state of depression, and any other mental illness that has depression included, one of the things happening in the brain is brain wave activity is moving at slower pace – firing at a lower frequency.
The response to early childhood trauma, or trauma of any kind really, is often an excess of low frequency activity in the brain.
This preponderance of slow moving brain wave activity results in less information being able to process. Thus even muscle tone is affected by the brain not being able to send enough messages to keep the body firm. This is why you will see a lax expression on a depressed person’s face. As well as less color, due to less circulation.
Additionally, these slow moving waves attract a type of daydreaming mental state within which time simply disappears and the opportunity to take care of tasks goes with it.
There’s more to depression of course, but I can say from personal experience – having been a person that suffered from extreme depression before doing neurofeedback – that even the act of wearing underwear was more than I could handle. So I reduced all necessary tasks to only the ones needed in order to survive.
There are things that can make a difference. Neurofeedback can make a difference. Neurofeedback is a wonderful tool for finding those lower frequencies and encouraging them to speed up appropriately. However, at this very moment regardless of what tools you have at your disposal, simply understanding what is happening in the depressed brain can make a difference. Note that your habits show you how you’re operating. (For example: Falling in love a lot in order to increase dopamine in the reward center, effectively speeding up brain wave activity.)
Pay attention to responses and reactions. Pay attention to habits and feelings associated with them, while keeping this information at the forefront. Notice. Assess. Be thoughtful. Then make intentional changes or choices. This will make a difference.
If you are unable to find something that is making a positive difference for the depression in your life, whether it is yours or a loved ones, begin with understanding the brain and body. Validate the challenge by knowing it is real; brain wave activity is affecting you. Make intentional shifts in that activity by paying attention to reactions and changes. Chew ice, tap your toes, talk in a sing song voice. Pay attention, be curious, and be patient.
And, as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions. Don’t even hesitate.
Your brain is part of my world and I want to help you in order to help me. 😉
~Dr. Lynette Louise aka “The Brain Broad