What is depression?

Depression is more than feeling miserable or exhausted. We all feel down from time to time, but depression causes a deeper misery that may last weeks or months.


Hurtfully, friends and family may try to convince a sufferer that depression is a shortcoming or something you can overcome by "getting a hold of yourself". These misguided critics think of depression as insignificant. Some even dismiss it altogether and do not accept that it is a disabling condition. They are wrong. Depression is a genuine ailment with extremely challenging symptoms.

Fortunately, such unhelpful attitudes are becoming less common. With the correct treatment and support, sufferers can make a full recovery from depression and enjoy a life free from its debilitating misery.

How can I tell if I have depression?

The illness influences sufferers in various ways. You might feel a sense of enduring misery and sadness, lose enthusiasm for things you usually enjoy or even experience a sense of nervousness, anxiety, and impending catastrophe.

There can be physical sensations as well. For example, feeling continually drained, having periods of insomnia, under or over-eating, feeling a loss of sex drive, and bodily discomfort.

The effects of depression are serious. You may feel a sense of hopelessness and this, in turn, can lead to self-destructive thoughts. At its worst, depression causes such a strong sense that life is not worth living that a sufferer contemplates suicide.

Stress, misery, or uneasiness can trouble a sufferer during work and social situations to such an extent that they begin to isolate themselves. In short, persistent melancholy, a low state of mind, sentiments of sadness, low confidence, absence of energy, and disrupted sleep may indicate depressive illness.

Your GP can help, as can a qualified therapist. It is best not to delay. The sooner you see a specialist, the sooner you can be on the road to recovery.

What causes depression?

Sometimes there is a trigger for the illness. For example;

  • the loss of a loved one
  • ill health
  • the end of a relationship
  • redundancy
  • issues at work
  • having a child

If you have relatives with depression, this can indicate a greater risk of developing the illness yourself, but it is important to be aware that you can become clinically depressed for no easily identifiable reason.

If you do suffer from the illness, then you are in good company. Many of the most successful and creative people in history experienced periods of depression. Studies show that young and old alike, about one out of every 10 people, will experience depression at some point in their life. And that figure may be a drastic underestimate as some sufferers, through a mistaken sense of self-consciousness, fail to seek help or do not acknowledge the condition.

There is strong evidence that children and young people across the UK are increasingly subject to depression, too.

How can I recover from depression?

Treatment can include a blend of life changes, talking therapy, and prescription medicine. As hypnotherapy is a complementary therapy, it works well to enhance the effects of any anti-antidepressants a GP prescribes.

Hypnotherapy helps sufferers make positive life changes, for example, getting more exercise, cutting back on alcohol, socialising, quitting smoking, or eating in a healthy and nutritious way. In solution-focused hypnotherapy, we encourage in the sufferer a greater awareness of what is going right in their lives and foster a creative, optimistic way to approach life’s challenges.

By helping you visualise what you want to achieve, alleviating stress, encouraging more restful sleep, and empowering positive steps towards a brighter future, hypnotherapy will help you leave depression behind.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bristol BS9 & BS8
Written by Jon Creffield, online therapy available - (HPD, DSFH, DHP, MNCH (Reg.) AfSFH)
Bristol BS9 & BS8

Jon Creffield (HPD, DHP, DSFH) is a CNHC registered solution focused hypnotherapist specialised in using relaxation, guided imagery and metaphor to help clients achieve life-enhancing changes. He is a member of the National Council For Hypnotherapy and the Association For Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

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