As 2022 draws to a close I want to reflect and recap a bit on our family's progress. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year, so much so that frankly I don't even know where to begin! Or how to include all the positives without writing a book!
Nora (7) continues to surprise me! She's completed twelve Neurofeedback sessions over the past three months and I continue to notice improvements in her behavior and mental state. Nora is taking more initiative at home, doing more for herself. In months past she would hesitate, usually asking for my assistance. For example, she is now quick to take her medications each evening, even without me prompting her, and she brushes her teeth all on her own without me present most nights. In the past we really struggled with her being alone, even at home, she just wouldn't leave my side, so her venturing to her bathroom on her own is huge! Good days for Nora just now far outweigh bad. Overall she's happier, less moody, less reactive to her younger sister... Not that the girls don't still fight and argue as siblings do, but it's so much easier now to redirect Nora, and for her to calm down when she does become upset.
School drop-off is now much smoother for Nora, and me! She no longer clings to me, doesn't cry or even get sad when the morning bell rings. Nora hugs me goodbye and lines up with her class! Her focus is much improved too, enabling her to meet with her online tutor for 50 minutes with no breaks! Four months ago she was definitely taking two to three breaks during each zoom session. And just yesterday our sitter (a first grade teacher in Cedar Falls) commended on Nora's memory, shocked how well Nora performed in several games they played together. Nora's memory isn't something I ever remember as being stellar in the past.
Improved sleep has been a game changer for our entire family with both the girls sleeping through the night almost everyday during the past month. My Oura activity tracker continues to register dramatic increases in deep and REM sleep as compared to three months ago before I started brain training with NeurOptimal® Neurofeedback.
From an adult perspective, I'm personally up to fifteen Neurofeedback sessions since the start of October, so three months, and guess what?? I'm off all my medications! Yep, no longer taking any of my three anxiety medications or Lexapro for depression. I'm thrilled as I really struggled with some unpleasant side-effects. My motivation is still soaring, and I'm still off caffeine as well. It's so amazing not having that afternoon dip in energy I used to experience. I'm so much more productive, finding myself randomly cleaning, like rearranging the fridge when I can't find what I need. Three months ago, no way would I have done that! And I'm actually excited to reorganize our Christmas storage while I'm taking down our tree later this week.
From a parenting perspective, Neurofeedback has been extremely helpful for me. I don't feel myself slowing loosing my cool anymore. I don't blow up in fits of anger anymore. I don't even really care when the girls get water all over the bathroom floor anymore. I realize what it is, spilled water, and move on.
Nadia (6) hasn't completed quite as many sessions, she's only at eight, but I still see a lot of improvements. Nadia's emotional outbursts have been one of our biggest struggles in months past, right up there with her OCD, but more on that in a minute. Both girls are on quite a few supplements and medications, a few which can tend to make them pretty emotional. One supplement in particular, for biofilms, I've been trying to increase for two years, but Nadia's moods would crash whenever her dose was increased even a tiny bit. Well, I don't know what changed other than Neurofeedback, but in the past month I was able to double Nadia's dose with really only a minimal negative impact on mood.
Nadia still struggles with OCD but during the past month I was able to decrease her dose of Prozac by one-forth and so far I haven't noticed any change in symptoms. I should reiterate here... I'm not anti-medication. I relied on them for years, sometimes they are necessary, but Nadia started on Prozac at five years-old. And there isn't a ton of research on long-term usage of Prozac on super young brains. So the less I can have her on, the better, in my opinion. (Always work with your prescribing physician when changing medications.)
This post is becoming a book, so let me wrap this up with a quick update on The Mended Mind. We have a site in downtown Cedar Falls. I've been frantically trying to order furniture and such, so slowly it's coming along. I really hope to move clients out of my home and into that space within the next week or two, fingers crossed. Oh, and we have a sign, so maybe clients will actually be able to find us!
Lastly though, please, if you're struggling with any mental health related symptoms, or know someone who is, reach out. I'd love to chat with you and see if Neurofeedback is something that might be able to improve your quality of life.