Hypnotherapy for depression

Depressed WomanOur Hypnotherapist at HMH Therapy, Heather, has an excellent grounding in depression having obtained a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Glasgow University.  She has undertaken several additional specialist training courses on dealing with depression and the use of Hypnotherapy with depressed clients, so you can be well assured that you are in safe hands.  Heather has also been lucky enough to have undertaken further specialist training in depression with David Kato of the Bristol Hypnotherapy Clinic, obtaining her Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Symptoms of Depression

The symptoms of depression can be complex and vary widely between people.  But as a general rule, if you are depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in the things you used to enjoy.

The symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life.

Please check the list below from the NHS Choices website and if you experience some of these symptoms for most of the day, every day for more than two weeks, then you could well be suffering from depression.  It is unlikely that you will have all the symptoms listed.

Psychological symptoms include:

  • continuous low mood or sadness
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • having low self-esteem
  • feeling tearful
  • feeling guilt-ridden
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • having no motivation or interest in things
  • finding it difficult to make decisions
  • not getting any enjoyment out of life
  • having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • feeling anxious or worried

Physical symptoms include:

  • moving or speaking more slowly than usual
  • change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
  • constipation
  • unexplained aches and pains
  • lack of energy or lack of interest in sex
  • changes to your menstrual cycle
  • disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)

Social symptoms include:

  • not doing well at work
  • taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
  • neglecting your hobbies and interests
  • having difficulties in your home and family life

Depression can come on gradually and so it can be difficult to notice that something is wrong.  Many people continue to try to cope with their symptoms without realising they are depressed.  It can take a friend or family member to suggest that something is wrong.

Depression is often categorised into 3 groups as detailed below:

  • Mild depression has some impact on your daily life
  • Moderate depression has a significant impact on your daily life
  • Severe depression makes it almost impossible to get through daily life.  A few people with severe depression may develop psychotic symptoms.

It is always prudent to consult with your GP if you think that you are suffering from depression.

Grief and depression

Depressed ManIt can be hard to distinguish between grief and depression.  They share many of the same characteristics, but there are important differences between them.  Grief is an entirely natural response to a loss, while depression has a more evasive nature.  People who are grieving find their feelings of loss and sadness come and go, but they’re still able to enjoy things and look forward to the future.

In contrast, people who are depressed have a constant feeling of sadness.  They don’t enjoy anything and find it hard to be positive about the future.
Read more about grief and how it differs from depression.

How can Hypnotherapy help?

The recognised therapy for depression is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).  However, at HMH Therapy our hypnotherapist, Heather, uses a combination of Hypnotherapy and CBT which can be very powerful indeed.  Studies show that using a combination of hypnosis and CBT shows greater therapeutic outcomes than drug therapy alone.  This is termed as brief therapy, and may take between 4 and 7 sessions.  Clinical hypnosis and CBT provide different ways of thinking and feeling regarding depressive negative thoughts and feelings.
CBT provides the ability to think and feel differently and be able to use good strategies with the assistance of hypnotherapy and a good therapist.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is well established in treating depression, and when integrated with hypnosis, provides positive outcomes within the brief therapy framework of hypnosis.  Our Hypnotherapist works with each client as an individual to plan a course of action to change these dysfunctional beliefs and maladaptive ways of thinking and to provide better coping skills and strategies for the immediate and long term future, using CBT.
The fact is, its your thoughts that create your feelings and behaviours.  You can change the vicious circle and downward negative spiral.  Remember, it is your mind and it is at work 24/7, so get the very best from it.

It would be both wise and pertinent to consult with your GP to eliminate any medical problems before commencing treatment with our hypnotherapist.