Depression and Hypnotherapy
12th July, 20120 Comments
When experiencing depression it can feel as if there is nothing that will make a positive difference. This is not true. The very decision to do something is a significant one. When you are eventually over this period in your life, you may even look back on it as a "useful wakeup call" which signified that something needed to change. Depression is not your fault. It is experienced by millions of "normal" people.
Here are just a few statistics:
- 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem.
- Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain .
- Women are more likely to seek treatment for a mental health problem, however, suicides rates show that British men are three times more likely to die by suicide than British women.
- About 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time.
- Depression affects 1 in 5 older people
So what exactly is depression?
The word depression is somewhat overused in every day conversations. Often people say they are depressed when they are merely feeling a bit fed up. Depression is more than the "normal feelings" created by the usual ups and downs of everyday life. If your "low moods" interfere with your life or simply never seem to go away, or if they reoccur over and over, it could be a sign that you're depressed.
Mild depression may not prevent you from leading a normal life, it may just make everything that bit more of a struggle. Things you used to enjoy may no longer seem worthwhile. At its most severe, depression can be life-threatening, because people may become suicidal. Various forms of depression exists and therefore diagnosis is best left to properly qualified medical professionals; e.g. Your GP. Hypnotherapy and coaching can be used effectively alongside conventional medical interventions such as antidepressants. It may be a good idea to see a hypnotherapist or coach "as well as" rather than instead of seeing your doctor.
How do I know if I am depressed?
There are many ways in which depression shows itself. You may not at first realise what's going on because the issues may appear to be more physical.
E.g. sleeping problems, lacking energy, unexplained weight gain or loss, unexplained aches and pains, loss of libido.
Some typical symptoms of depression are; feeling anxious or agitated, excessive use of alcohol or other substance abuse, being irritable or impatient, difficulty remembering things, inability to concentrate or make decisions, feelings of low self esteem or a lack of confidence, feeling disconnected or helpless, experiencing lots of negative emotions such as guilt, shame, or anger.
Depression and Anxiety
People who are depressed are often very anxious. And vice versa. People who experience anxiety are often depressed. (These are known as co-morbid conditions) It's not clear whether the anxiety leads into the depression or whether the depression causes the anxiety.
What is the cause of depression?
This may not be a straightforward questions as often there isn't one single cause. It varies from individual to individual but depression is usually the result of a combination of factors. It is unclear if depression is inherited but is does seem as if some of us are more prone to depression than others. This could be because of our genes, our life experiences or family background.
Our past experiences do have an effect on how we feel about ourselves in the present, and if those feelings are very negative, they can be the start of a downward spiral. In many cases, the first time someone becomes depressed, it's triggered by a traumatic life event, such as being made redundant, breaking up with a partner, etc.
People who are depressed exhibit changes to the chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) in the brain. It's not clear if this is a cause or an effect of depression.
Are there things I can do to help myself?
You have already started by reading this far! Doing some research and increasing your awareness will help you to face up to what is going. You can then make a decision about seeking professional help.
It is believed that just 20 minutes a day of physical activity can stimulate chemicals in the brain, (endorphins), which can help you feel better.
Healthy eating is also important. Don't be tempted to use alcohol or other drugs as a quick fix. These can actually make depression worse.
Although there are no instant cures, it is possible to break free from depression. When you are depressed, you may well not feeling motivated enough address the issues that need it. However, if you do seek the right support you can recover.
How hypnotherapy can help
Hypnotherapy may help identify the causes and origins of the depression. Once this occurs people often describe is as "a weight being lifted" or a "light going on". Hypnotherapy can also help you recognise any patterns of negative thinking you may be caught up in. Depression can obscure rational, realistic thinking, making everything in life appear awful, all the time. Hypnotherapy can help you replace old thinking patterns with more useful ones. A professional hypnotherapist with experience of working with people to overcome depression will help you; to understand the impact of your past, to focus on the present in order to work towards the future you desire.
21st Century depression
Some people believe that contributing factors to depression in 21st century are things like; total information overload, being available 24 / 7 via email, text, social media etc, the constant unrelenting diet of doom and gloom fed to us via the media. And generally not having any time or space to unwind, truly deeply relax and undertake valuable mental processing.
Time spent in hypnosis with a professional hypnotherapist can help. Hypnotherapists look at people as a whole, rather than just treating symptoms. We can spend much more time with you than a GP can. Hypnotherapy works with both the conscious and the unconscious mind in order to you achieve the results you want.
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