Depression

Here’s what James from Crawley says about his experience, “After working with Shaun, I have been able to get strong clarity on the direction of my personal and on my professional life.  I not only now have a more fulfilling lifestyle, but also feel better able to set more realistic and achievable goals.  Shaun has helped me develop a new found strength in taking on difficult challenges and professional relationships.  I would recommend working with Shaun to propel yourself or your business in the right direction.”

Depression is the most common mental health problem worldwide.  More than half of us will at some time experience symptoms of depression severe enough to affect our life.  People with depression usually first present at their GP with various complaints which the GP will hopefully recognise as symptoms of depression.  The GP may either offer medication or refer elsewhere.  The cost of depression to the NHS is huge. Moreover, depression can be life threatening.  Of the 5000 people who commit suicide every year in the UK, most will have been depressed.  Lots of treatments can be very successful and Hypnotherapy is no exception.

Psychologist

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Someone with depression may display any of the symptoms below or even a combination of symptoms:

Mood changes – feeling sad or numb a great deal of the time.  Anxiety and increased irritability may also be present.

Thinking changes – such as difficulties in concentration or making decisions or even remembering things.  Typically, depressed people think in a negative way, seeing themselves as inadequate, unattractive or even as bad, finding their environment as unfulfilling and their future as bleak.  They often have unhelpful styles of thinking such as jumping to negative conclusions or attributing negative events to themselves.  Thoughts that life is not worth living can occur, which normally go away when their depression improves.

Physical changes – they might have difficulty sleeping properly, waking up in the early hours and not being able to get back to sleep again.  Reduced appetite and weight loss are common, although the opposite can occur also.  A person’s sex drive and ability to enjoy their usual interests and activities are also commonly reduced.  People with depression often complain of aches and pains, excessive tiredness and of feeling slowed down in their thinking and movement.

Behaviour changes – because of their loss in interests and enjoyment, people with depression often become inactive and unwilling to engage in their usual activities.  They may find work and social activities difficult or impossible.

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?

There is no one single cause of depression.  Several factors can contribute to the onset of the illness.  Depression does appear to run in some families and therefore some individuals might have genetic vulnerability.  Others are vulnerable because of the environment in which they live.  For example, those who have difficulties with raising young children or those who are isolated and do not have support from others are much more at risk of developing depression.  Vulnerability to depression also comes from having suffered difficult childhood experiences such as abuse, bullying or loss.  In addition, depression can occur as a reaction to a major negative life event such as a relationship break up, loss of a job or loss of a loved one.

DIFFERENT TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION

Most treatments for depression involve either talking to a counsellor or a therapist, these are called psychological treatments.  A medical doctor might prescribe drugs such as anti depressants.  The combination of medication and psychological treatments appear to have the best results for those with severe depression, but milder cases might only need a series of talking therapies to clear the issues.  The main disadvantage of medication is the rather unpleasant side effects.  These vary from individual to individual and might even decrease over time.  Hypnotherapy could be very effective in the treatment of depression and, of course, has the added benefit of being side effect free (other than a great feeling of being more relaxed).


HOW CAN HYPNOTHERAPY HELP?

Some of the treatment aims of Hypnotherapy for depression are:

1.  To help re-establish previous activity levels.  Depressed people might have stopped engaging in activities that used to give them pleasure or a sense of competence.  Hypnotherapy aims to restart these gradually as a way of improving mood.

2.  When people with depression have stopped meeting with friends or when social contacts are avoided, Hypnotherapy can help to reinstate previous levels of social functioning.

3.  Hypnotherapy aims to help people learn how to correct the negative style of thinking which maintains their low mood.  Here at the Hypnotherapy Specialists we have several different methods that will aim to gradually restore  a more balanced and helpful style of thinking.