There are two systems that govern how our brains operate, electrical and chemical, and they engage in an elaborate dance to determine how we interact with the world. How we work with those two systems is the subject of this fascinating article by Adrian Van Deusen.
Impacting the chemical system by rebalancing chemicals through the use of medications can quickly and powerfully affect function. Unfortunately, the effects only last as long as the drugs are taken and there can be unpleasant or dangerous side effects. But they can solve an immediate crisis.
Rebalancing the electrical system, through the use of interventions like neurofeedback, can also impact function but in a permanent way. The effects don’t wear off like a dosage, and there are no dangerous side effects. Unfortunately this can take time, which can be in short supply in a crisis.
This article describes a place where both approaches have their place, medications for short term acute relief, like Ritalin for ADD or Xanax for anxiety, and electrical state management training like neurofeedback for a long term solution.