With summer approaching, the longer days and warmer temps help most of us feel better compared with the rest of the year. This is much unlike spring, which tends to be the toughest season for those experiencing depressive symptoms, especially in regions with distinct seasons.
With spring giving way to summer, what do many adults struggling with ADHD, depression, anxiety or a combination do now that times are better? I see a good number who become interested in taking a medication holiday. This is also true for children whose caregivers want them to “take a break” from their medications.
Maybe this is due to the unpleasant medication side effects they’ve lived with the past nine months or so. Despite their side effects, they may have feared that going off of those medicines would be even worse than staying on them. The approaching summer, however, makes them bolder than before.
An Ever-Increasing Push Towards a Minimalist Medication Approach
A growing number of general and mental health practitioners are more minimalist when it comes to medication use for their clients and patients these days.
By all means, they want to accommodate you if a medication helps to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. On the other hand, they’re more sensitive to the fact that you should only be on medications if you absolutely need them.
An increasing number of children and adults are looking for a medication-free alternative to managing their mental health disorders as well. This could be due to unpleasant side effects they experience or simply because they aren’t thrilled by the idea of long-term medication use.
Medication Holidays, Withdrawal, and Planning Ahead
If you’re considering a medication holiday this summer, it’s always smart to discuss your intentions with your prescriber first. Withdrawal symptoms can last for weeks in some cases. Slowly lowering your medication dosage over time will prevent more severe withdrawal symptoms and ensure a greater chance of success.
What do you do once you feel your medication withdrawal side effects have waned? It’s a good idea to look ahead. The feel-good days of summer go quickly and transition into colder days with less daylight and fewer opportunities to get outdoors.
Will you go back on your medication after the summer’s end? Or, do you hope to go off of your meds for good? The choice is ultimately yours but how you’re feeling will likely dictate what decision you make. The good news is that you have more choices than simply meds or no meds. That’s where neurofeedback training can help.
From Medication Holiday to Neurofeedback Training?
DCNE is now offering Brain Maps, which are qEEGs, that show us the brain wave activity. From this we can determine more accurately how to use the neurofeedback so you get the best result. DCNE is one of the only clinics in DC offering in house Brain Maps.
Neurofeedback training can help to ensure that your medication holiday is a success. It’s a medication-free training process that teaches your brain to be better regulated, improving your mental health symptoms in the process.
Side effects associated with this training tend to be very short-lived and the results achieved are long-lasting. That said, neurofeedback takes time. You’ll usually need between 12 and 15 sessions before you start to notice an improvement. Although some people start to notice the difference right away.
For that reason, planning ahead is crucial. Neurofeedback could be your answer to avoiding going back on your medications at the end of your medication holiday. However, starting this training at the end of your medication holiday or when your mental wellness has started to dip again isn’t the best approach.
By starting neurofeedback early this summer, you’ll give yourself the greatest possibility of saying goodbye to your meds for good. Those on-and-off ups and downs when it comes to meds are tough on your mind and body. They can also cause significant stress on you personally and your family.
If you’d like to find out more about what neurofeedback can do for you in relation to your medication holiday and beyond, feel free to get in touch with us. You can also book an appointment with The Washington, D.C. Center for Neurocognitive Excellence at your convenience.