How Hypnotherapy Helps Managing Depression
By Caroline G. Silvestre BSc MSc MHS
How Hypnotherapy Helps Managing Depression
By Caroline G. Silvestre BSc MSc MHS
Hypnotherapy can help breaking the cycle that maintains depression
According to data from WHO (World Health Organisation), the prevalence of depressive disorders in the UK in 2015 was 4.5%, meaning almost one in twenty people suffers from some form of depressive disorder.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, it is the most common mental health condition globally, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective therapy alternatives available.
Doctors frequently prescribe medication, talking therapy and behaviour changes to treat the symptoms of depression.
Studies have shown that the most effective treatments involve a mix of medication, talking therapies, and major life changes such as increased physical activity, job or career changes, and so on.
The following are indications of depression to be aware of:
You could notice that you are easily agitated, cry often, or are numb to everything. Talking to someone about your feelings is the first and most effective step toward feeling better.
The following are some types of depression:
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) – This is a kind of depression that strikes at specific year periods.
Dysthymia is a moderate depression that lasts more than two years and is also known as chronic depression or persistent depressive disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a psychological condition with tremendous lows and highs (manic episodes).
Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy, and Postnatal depression (PND) is a depression that occurs after the birth of a child. It mainly affects the mother, but it can also impact fathers.
Identifying causes is complicated as numerous factors may be in effect. However, the following elements are linked to depression in some way or another.
Trauma, abuse, loss, or growing up in an unstable home can increase the chances of developing depression.
A specific incident might cause depression, such as a relationship breakdown, bereavement, retirement, job redundancy, loss of income, etc. Moving country, getting married or divorced, and having children leave home are major life transitions that can lead to depression.
Problems with mental or physical health
A variety of mental health issues can cause depression. Anxiety, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are just a few conditions frequently associated with depression. Conditions that cause chronic pain are most linked to depression.
According to research, if a family member suffers from depression, you are more likely to develop depression. It might be due to learned behaviours, or it could be due to genetic and biological factors.
Alcohol and other substances
Alcohol is a depressant in itself, while it can also result in dehydration which further affects cognitive ability. Drugs can affect mood and cognition, whether legal or illegal, so always read the labels and discuss any symptoms of using drugs with your doctor. Some antihistamines, for example, are known to lead to psychological changes.
Sleep, nutrition, and physical exercise impact are known to affect mood. Often simple lifestyle changes can lead to significant mental health improvements.
Hypnotherapy is a powerful tool for improving depressive symptoms when used with another treatment such as medication or Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Studies have shown that hypnosis is effective in treating depression. Another study showed that combining hypnosis with another treatment, such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), is more effective than either treatment alone.
“Depression often has a cause, and when the cause is found, released, and transformed, the depression lifts,” explains Wendi Friesen, CHT, a certified clinical hypnotherapist in Boulder, Colorado. “Hypnosis uses the ability of the brain to create new neural pathways and connect to the new experiences imagined vividly in hypnosis. We ask the person to return to a time when they felt the same emotions. In that way, hypnotherapy helps find the root cause of depression. It is different from re-experiencing a trauma,” Friesen adds, because you are experiencing it as an observer, in a controlled environment, with support.
Imaginative people who are readily immersed in books or movies, enjoy adventure, and are intellectually curious are normally very fast at benefiting from hypnosis.
Hypnosis requires a “curious” approach, where we are willing to try and experience something new and beneficial. It is a natural state of mind we often experience without realising it. It is not mind-control. We are fully aware of everything, only much more relaxed and calm, enabling us to reach a heightened state of clarity and focus.
In Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy, we first work to identify the maintaining factors of depression: habits, environment, family, health, and so on.
We will also work to disrupt negative thought patterns and challenge limiting beliefs, moving on from past hurts and resentment, resolving inner conflict, and working on acceptance and compassion.
There is scientific evidence that hypnotherapy has many advantages in treating anxiety and depression. So, if you or someone you know suffers from any of these mental health issues, consider trying hypnosis. Hypnotherapy is entirely safe and natural, addressing the issue from a cognitive-behavioural angle with long-lasting improvements.
Depression is a mysterious friend. It has followed me for a while before it had a name, and a definition I could recognise.
I was a bubbly child and never had any trouble at school, and kept smiling through any crisis, blessed as children are. Any little thing was good enough for me, I never felt any lacking from anyone, I had enough food, I had my siblings, and friends.
But the transition to teenage years – when you start realising what is happening around you – was thought. That was when feelings of shame, guilt, and trauma took hold of me. I no longer could be the happy creature I once was.
Years of medication followed, and unsuccessful therapies. I was lucky I had people around who helped me get through life and its toughest times. I had considered ending my suffering many times, only did not want to cause suffering to those who love me.
In my late thirties, a hypnosis session help me pass a driving test. I was hooked: what else can this do? Many good things, it turns out.
Hypnotherapy does NOT cure depression, though. Nothing does, it is not a virus or infection to be “cured”. It is a natural response from the nervous system – a freeze response – that tells us to hide and stay put in the face of danger.
The problem is that it turns into a cycle – thoughts and beliefs become emotions, emotions become depression, depression becomes more thoughts… and so on. Hypnotherapy can help your body break the cycle so life can be more interesting – but if your body tends to go into freezing mode you will always need to look after yourself and seek help as much as possible, breaking the cycle of shame and guilt and worthlessness as soon as it begins.
A Meta-Analysis of Hypnotic Interventions for Depression Symptoms: High Hopes for Hypnosis?
Milling LS, Valentine KE, McCarley HS, LoStimolo LM. Am J Clin Hypn. 2019 Jan;61(3):227-243. DOI: 10.1080/00029157.2018.1489777. PMID: 34874235.
The Efficacy Of Hypnosis As A Treatment For Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis.
Valentine KE, Milling LS, Clark LJ, Moriarty CL. J Clin Exp Hypn. 2019 Jul-Sep;67(3):336-363. DOI: 10.1080/00207144.2019.1613863. PMID: 31251710.
Hypnosis as an adjunct to cognitive-behavioural psychotherapy: A meta-analysis.
Kirsch, I., Montgomery, G., & Sapirstein, G. (1995).
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63(2), 214-220.
“Why Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?”
“What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy?”
“How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work?”
I am Caroline G. Silvestre (BSc MSc Dip GMBPsS MHS), and I am a certified Hypnotherapist.
I decided to pursue this career after discovering the positive power of Hypnosis on psychological health.
I suffered from Depression, and all its concomitant issues, for twenty years, until I found a method that worked.
Now I want to help as many people as possible find a reason to live.
I offer discounts for those on low income, so please get in touch if you feel you need help.