Good results with Neuroptimal, but…

…only for a few seconds in a month.

I’m more or less a depressed person. More than a year ago I started to use Neuroptimal. After only 4 sessions I had half a day without depression and fear. I never felt so happy in my life. I can’t really describe it. Since then, this feeling comes around once a month for a few seconds.

Meanwhile I have my own Neuroptimal bundle and I do sessions twice a week. (Ok, I do sleep away quite often). So far I have 73 sessions. Apart from this, I couldn’t feel any effects. Because the feeling is so good once a month, I think it was worth to buy. I can imagine, what my brain is able to perform.

Because I’d love to see longer lasting result, I’m looking for advice. My consultant and Zengar only say, we can’t predict what the brain does with the information. I know I can’t change the setting of the Neuroptimal system, but possibly I can change the circumstances for my brain, so that the effect last longer than a couple of seconds a month.

Does anyone had similar effects?

What could I change or add? (do more sessions a week, changing antidepressants, other neurofeedback techniques in addition, food supplements)

Or should I stop using it and do the stuff discussed here in the forum. (TAGSync, classic neurofeedback, 40 years of Zen). Because I had good results in neurofeedback, I do believe it could change my life. (at least in addition to CBT and antidepressants).

What is probably the closest to neuroptimal?

Any other opinions?




  • hzahza ✭✭

    @frei945, I'm reluctant to say too much about things that I haven't tried, and Neuropitmal is one of those approaches. Like 40YOZ, it's one of those things I'd like to try if I had no concerns about money (I'd do 40YOZ as often as they allowed if price weren't an object), but the one-size-fits-all approach to neurofeedback is something that instantly engages my inner skeptic. With NO, it seems that you mostly only hear from the people who really love it or have only started using it. I don't notice a lot of feedback like yours from people who've done it for an extended period who aren't blown away by their results.

    First off, I like your attitude that seeing any positive result from NO is an indication of what's possible if you just find that right modality--I think you're right. I wouldn't suggest giving up on it altogether just yet. First of all, twice a week is significant given that you've been doing it for over a year, but at the same time 3x is afaik more standard for people who pay for clinical nfb by the session, so that might be something to try. Also, doesn't NO have at least 2 modes of training? I know they have their own proprietary method, but from what I've read from others here, there are still at least a couple of options, right? Maybe sticking to one at an accelerated (3x/week) pace might give you different results that you can compare.

    One other very important thing to remember about nfb is that it's therapy, not magic. Therapy requires, in addition to diligent practice, a supportive environment. What else are you doing with your time when you're not doing NO? Sleeping in is one thing if you're having trouble facing the day, but it might also be preventing you from other activities like exercise that might help your overall sense of well-being.

    You mention medication. Can't tell you a thing about that except that you should be careful to tell whoever's prescribing it to you that you're pursuing nfb so that you can both be vigilant about noticing changing needs in your dosage if/as they arise. I expect that would apply for trying new antidepressants as well.

    Finally, I'm not sure what you mean by "classic nfb," unless you mean qEEG-based clinical sessions--this isn't something you can realistically pursue on your own at home unless you really have a lot of time (and gobs of money to get access to the normative databases) to devote to it. If, otoh, you mean the Brain-Trainer approach of home-based EEG training with their preferred equipment and designs, that's the only modality I can give my endorsement from personal experience. I've read and been captivated by the stories about TAGSync here probably at least as much as anybody, but I put a good deal of time (and the basic financial investment) into it and have been really disappointed. will at least return your emails (promptly!) until your problem is resolved, and in the long term, they seem to resolve just about every problem I've seen them handle in their support forum. I don't like saying negative stuff, so I'll leave the implied contrast with TAGsync to stand on its own.

    I think it might be worth your while to look into HEG training, probably through since I think Bulletproof doesn't have it in their shopping portal anymore (and I don't know offhand any other particular supplier offering a decent level of customer support), and afaik the alternatives are a good deal more expensive. HEG has a number of short-term effects, but over a longer term there might be additional benefits as you increase function in the prefrontal cortex, which controls a number of executive functions. I don't mean to suggest that it's a magic bullet for your depression issues--and I wouldn't even suggest that such a thing exists, although it seems like you might be searching for one--but rather that instead of looking for one thing to pour your time and attention (and dollars) into, a cross-training approach might be a good way not only to increase your results, but increase your exposure to potentially helpful things while ruling out the ones that don't work so well.

    I hope some of this is helpful to you. It's hard to offer specific advice when you're talking about something as global as depression, but at least it's clear that you're determined to keep working until you've found a way to overcome it. And I swear to god I don't work for I've spent a few years kicking around here in brain hacking and a lot more years with self-improvement generally, and they literally on a very short list of companies for whom I have unreservedly positive feedback.

  • Thanks for your long answer. After your answer an a talk to some people, i thought why not try them all. So I made a list of the things (with the most promising outcomes for depression.), i want to try while I do the exercises learned from cbt and neuroptimal. Some people spend a lot of money to build a house to be happy, I spend my money to this kind of stuff to be happy:-) So my list looks like this. (sorting by price and time needed)

    CDB Oil
    Neurofeedback with qeeg
    Alpha 1 Training (because they have an location in europe)

    So I ordered a tdsc-device and after a week a have experienced great results. Not as far as neuroptimal, but all the time.

    For me it is almost criminal to people with depression not to treat with tDCS...non of the professional staff here in Switzerland I went to, did know it.



  • @frei945 What montage were you using with the tDCS? My own personal experience was that tDCS didn't do anything other than give me an itchy head. Great to hear it worked for you, though.

  • frei945frei945
    edited May 2017

    I use the montage 1 as described in this blog post:

    Once I tried number 2, but I had a terrible head ache the day after, so i stopped using this montage.

    After 3 weeks of using it, it is as great as on the first day. my social anxiety has gone. the depressive thought are less serious, so it is easy to do the stuff learned in cbt. The first time in my life, i believe depression is curable.

    I'm going to see a professional tdcs person, because a want to know if i'm on the right track and a want to know more about this.

    Further I will do efforts that more depressed people can have a try on this. I still can't belief I dealt 30 year with depression, spent 1000 of hours and dollars, and than there is a device witch costs 99 $ and 20 minutes of time and has by far the biggest influence to my life.

  • I would add that just getting an assessment done via the brain trainer approach (look in their web directory for a trainer near you) or a clinic that does neurofeedback can be very valuable. You will get a lot of info on what inside your brain is going on that is associated with this depression (the primary symptom). I was blown away about my own brain, and it really helped complete the picture to my struggles. The first person that saw my brain map, said two things, 1) did you have a significant head injury as a kid ? (yes), 2) THIS is a traumatized brain!. I have been training for a few weeks. First an SMR protocol and an Alpha Synch protocol, and now the famous Sebern Fisher protocol to calm the amygdala at the FPO2 site. My amygdala shows all the classic signs from Fishers book from significant early child hood trauma (massive spikes in delta waves in the 0- 6 hz band) - within the first training session the spikes in my delta waves from the Amygdala got lower and lower throughout the training sessions as did the overall trend. This is just one of many issues I intend to train. Looking at whats going on in there can be helpful!

  • I went to a neuro scientist last week. he said I should stay with tDCS. he made a qEEG and some other tests. he will tomorrow tell me the results. I'm really looking forward to it.

  • How was your results?

  • The qEEG had too much delta waves, which stands for sleep and daydreaming. I believed this issue was a result of the depression. The doctor believes this is a reason for the depressing thoughts. So we tested a few drugs to make me more awake during day. Starting with Ritalin going over to Modafilin, which helped on some days. Meanwhile I take 60 mg Vyvanse (in Europa called Elvanse). Apart from a few side-effects, it is by far the best stuff I’ve ever had. I’m in a very good mood most of the time. Together with tDCS, which is still very helpful for anxiety related issues, the first time a feel something like life pleasure for more than half a day. There is still not all well, but my life is on a much different level. I hope I can hold it like this. I still do neuroptimal neurofeedback and will talk to my neuro scientist about other neurofeedback protocols.

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