I once heard someone describe depression as feeling “like I had no past and no future.” In a very general sense, depression describes a wide variety of emotions and physical responses or behaviors. Since these are destructive emotions or behaviors, we can conclude that they originate in the Middle Mind or the subconscious. As a result, hypnotherapy offers successful, non-pharmaceutical means of coping with and overcoming depression.
Depression has a number of indicators: persistent feelings of sadness, despondency, emptiness, or hopelessness. Many experience periods of angry outbursts. Typically, the depressed person loses interest in things that normally would cause pleasure, such as engaging in a hobby, eating a favorite meal, or enjoying romantic activities. Various forms of sleep disorders, such as insomnia, often accompany depression. A depressed person often feels tired and lifeless, lacking energy. There may be a lack of appetite and weight loss, or conversely, there may be continued cravings and weight gain. Some may experience heightened anxiety and restlessness. Everything seems to be in slow motion to the depressed person, from thinking to physical movements. They may experience trouble with focus, and in severe cases, they may have recurrent thoughts of death and suicide. Continued depression can eventually lead to physical problems that will exacerbate the depression.
Everyone experiences some episodes of depression in their lives. The death of a loved one, going through a divorce, or even something like moving can cause periods of depression as life’s routines are disturbed, questions about life and existence impinge upon our daily lives, or we are confronted with a physical injury or other health issue. These forms of depression can be alleviated in hypnotherapy, but this section deals primarily with the long-term persistent depression that begins to impact relationships, employment, school, and more.
The Middle Mind or subconscious holds the key to depression since we know that we cannot simply rationalize our way out of those overwhelming emotions. Some programming of the subconscious is contributing to these various symptoms; therefore, we know that improvement can occur through hypnotherapy. A simple scan through the table of contents of this book shows that hypnotherapy can address nearly every manifestation of depression. Therefore, if we have an accumulated bundle of these symptoms, treatment through hypnotherapy can be used to unpack and address each condition. In many cases, the depression is not the cause of the symptom, but rather the identified symptom is actually the cause of the depression. For instance, a person suffering from a sleep disorder like insomnia will over time begin to experience elements of depression, from despondency to tiredness to anger. The person who is well overweight is persistently hit with clothes that fit too tightly, photographs that disappoint, and the lack of pleasure in a number of otherwise enjoyable activities. Overweight people always have some element of depression, some more than others. Depression can eventually become so serious, adversely impacting so many areas, that sufferers contemplate self-harm or suicide.
Before going for medically prescribed antidepressants, those experiencing depression need to see a hypnotherapist. Within hypnotherapy sessions, therapists will seek to understand the depressed client, unearth all the symptoms, and explore all the possible causes. As the cornerstone of the therapy, hypnosis is used to find the base issues that are making it impossible for the clients to “think” their way out of the condition. As with most hypnotherapy, there will be a focus on helping clients learn to automatically relax and avoid the stresses of their condition. Therapists will also seek to strengthen clients’ confidence and create positive self-views. With the ability to break down the various elements of the depression, the causes and the responses, therapists can help clients see their circumstances more objectively, understand what they are dealing with, and change their behavioral responses. The transformation can be quick, leading to long-term, permanent changes.
Because hypnotherapy offers such a broad application to a client's needs, it is something that certainly should be considered by any person grappling with symptoms of depression.