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Thoughts from the Brain of Dr. Mitch

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Posted by Sadarpsych on July 28, 2014

EEG Biofeedback/Neurofeedback vs Medication

EEG Biofeedback (or Neurofeedback) versus Medication:

For a comparison of neurofeedback vs medication for ADHD, you can look here.

EEG biofeedback is said to be an alternative to medication.  The following are some thoughts on what that means, and some pros and cons of each approach.

How does one change their brain? The brain is seen as being involved in what we experience, what we do, think and feel.  If you want to change any of these things, you need to change your brain.  How does one change your brain?  The brain works via an electrical-chemical process.  Signalswithin neurons are electrical.  Connections between neurons are actually gaps called synapses.  In order to cross the gap to another neuron, the electrical signal changes to a chemical (a neurotransmitter), and floats across to the next neuron.  The signal is changed back to an electrical signal as it travels through the neuron, until it reaches another synapse, where it changes to a chemical again.  The brain is constantly firing off electrical and chemical signals in order to do its thing.  So, to change the brain one needs to change its chemical or electrical activity. (more…)

Posted by Sadarpsych on April 15, 2014

ADHD Basics

Forms of ADHD

There is possible confusion and misunderstanding regarding the terms ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).  ADD is an old term that has been replaced in the official diagnostic language by ADHD.  But ADHD can “officially” come in four forms:  ADHD-combined type; ADHD-predominately inattentive type; ADHD-predominately hyperactive-impulsive type; and, ADHD Not Otherwise Specified.  People in the field recognize  that individuals with ADHD can also have difficulty with organization, difficulty completing tasks, problems with working memory, and problems with various, so-called executive functions.  Further confusing the picture is that attention/concentration can be adversely affected by many things, such as anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, etc. (more…)

Posted by Sadarpsych on April 15, 2014

New Ideas About Pain

How We Understand Pain

Previous theories about pain are being challenged by new technology and research.  The previous idea about pain involved terms like: “pain receptors”, “pain nerves” or “pain pathways”.  The idea was that there were nerves all throughout our bodies and, when one of these was stressed or triggered, a message of pain was sent to the brain.  This idea always had some problems because it could not explain certain occurrences.  For example, we know that the amount of pain we experience does not necessarily relate to the amount of tissue damage.  Then there is the phenomenon of phantom limb pain, where a body part gets severed from the body, but the person still experiences pain in the absent body part.  And, of course, people with chronic pain grow tired of hearing that all the tests indicate there is nothing physically wrong, but yet they continue to experience pain.  There are numerous other examples, but I think you get the idea. (more…)