In search of a deeper solution
- Hypnotherapy (combined with CBT techniques) is now widely accepted as being very effective at treating depression.
- Not only can it boost the way we think of ourselves, but it can also address the causes of depression in the first place, allowing a more complete solution to be found.
- Anti-depressants can be very effective at stabilising mood (and are recommended for the major depressive disorders) but they do not address the source of the depression. For some, the anti-depressants help to lift their mood and motivation enough to leave their troubles behind them, but sadly for most this is not the case and depression is something that will recur throughout their lives.
A Swift Solution
- Most sufferers of depression find the motivation required for long treatments very hard to come by. Hence, for them, the shorter the treatment is, the better. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) is recognised as very effective with depression and it addresses long term changes in how we think. However the treatment itself is also relatively long. Hypnotherapy combined with CBT techniques is usually more swift and effective. Because of this it is more likely to be concluded successfully by someone running low on motivation.
- Hypnotherapy also has the advantage of being able to swiftly address and reprocess the origins of the depressive disorder by going back to those events using age regression techniques. It is common to hear nowadays that 'depression is caused by chemical imbalance in the mind'. That pills are the solution. However, life does sometimes throw great difficulties at us and it is obvious that e.g., grief or loss, chronic pain, substance dependency, phobias etc, all cause profound low mood. It may seem a bit 'chicken and egg' but usually the persistent low mood causes the chemical imbalance in the first place and ultimately depression follows if the sources are not addressed.
A Complete Solution
- The hypnotherapy treatment classically combines addressing the sources of the depression, breaking negative thought cycles, regaining a sense of control and rebuilding self-worth and self-belief.
- Hypnotherapy can also be very useful for inducing relaxation, reducing distraction, maximising concentration, encouraging new thinking, amplifying experiences, and providing access to subconscious thought processes.
Major or Severe Depression.
If you think you are suffering from these (see symptoms below) you should consult your GP for treatment as soon as possible. Also, seek help from relatives or friends, regardless of any pride that might be 'at stake'. Depression is a serious condition, but it is also a natural response to excess pressure and is extremely common. 12% of people in the UK will seek treatment for it at some point in their lives.
Once under control, hypnotherapy can then be of benefit in treating the underlying causes, coming off your anti-depressants, and preventing future recurrence of depressive episodes.
The typical symptoms of 'Major Depression' are:
- Sad, depressed mood
- Loss of interest & pleasure in normal activities
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Major change in activity level (either lethargic or agitated)
- Major change in appetite (weight gain or weight loss)
- Loss of energy, great fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt, self-blame, self-reproach
- Difficulty in concentration, thinking and decisiveness
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
Some of the typical symptoms of 'Bipolar Disorder' (previously called 'manic depression') are:
- Increase in activity level
- Unusual talkativeness, rapid speech
- 'Racing thoughts'
- Need less than usual amount of sleep
- Inflated self-esteem; belief that you have special talents, abilities and powers
- Attention easily distracted
- Indulgence in excessive pleasurable but 'self-destructive' activities
*Required disclaimer: Results, symptoms and treatment may vary from person to person, all individual cases are taken on merit.
Depending on the client and situation typical methods of treatment for the milder forms of depression might be:
- Hypnotic Suggestion
First to give your self-esteem a massive boost. Then to destroy negative thoughts before they arise (by changing the automatic negativising of the subconscious mind into automatic positive interpretations). i.e. all those negative automatic thoughts become good ones.
These can be used to identify which key thought processes create the most trouble and what would be a more productive way to think about them. These new insights can then be learned powerfully and swiftly using hypnotic suggestion rather than the traditional CBT route (which requires a great deal of effort as you have to systematically change the way you think about yourself and events).
- Symbolic Imagery in trance
These techniques are generally excellent for handling past emotional experiences, and reducing feelings of guilt, anger, blame, loss, fears, anxieties, etc.
- Hypnotic regression
This is usually an excellent and very relaxed way to safely revisit traumatic or disturbing events that may lie at the heart of your troubles. With relaxed, closer attention (in trance), new insights and better perspectives may reveal themselves, that allow you to deal more thoroughly with what has happened and enable you to move on positively.
This varies from person to person but on average clients with depression work with me for 8 to 10 sessions.