Depression is perhaps the most common psychological disorder today and is often a significant factor in the break up of relationships, career problems and lack of motivation. Approximately one in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health problem at any one time throughout the year, with depression being one of the most common problems. Sufferers of depression will often turn in on themselves and refuse to engage with others, pushing away friends and loved ones. People with depression usually also have a general feeling of despair or an inability to see how their situation could change for the better.
Depression often starts so gradually that we do not realise anything is wrong but over time notice that we start to withdraw more and more from everyday situations. It can be difficult to explain how we are feeling to others, leading to a sense of frustration and isolation. Sometimes we may become overwhelmed with emotion, or even feel emotionless, which may lead to a breakdown in relationships with partners, family and friends. If depression is untreated it can have a significant effect on our health, finances, work and relationships.
Severity can range from our being almost totally dysfunctional to our having just a few symptoms, which may include:
- Negative thinking, negative forecasting or negative introspection
- Sleep problems
- Low energy levels
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of pleasure or interest in usual activities
- Difficulties in thinking and concentrating
- Lack of clear focus
Depressed people often look glassy-eyed and report feeling disconnected from the real world. A feeling of unreality or ‘derealisation’ is often described by those who may be suffering with depression. This may result in the person being very inwardly focused, ruminating on the contents of their imaginations and creating hopeless or fearful scenarios about the past, present, and future.
Depression can be made worse, or even caused, by drug or other substance abuse, including alcohol or cigarette smoking, leading to an overall feeling of a loss of control.
How hypnotherapy can help
However bad depression may be, it is a disorder which responds well to hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy for depression has a dramatically lower rate of relapse than with anti-depressants alone and is now considered the most effective therapy, even in severe cases, enabling us to focus on solving problems and to engage fully in life again.
Symptoms of depression can be dealt with specifically, including insomnia, eating disorders and lack of concentration. However, long lasting results come from removing the depression itself. The source of all depression is anxiety which is caused by negative thinking over the events of our lives or by imagining what may come. By focusing on how our lives will be when we are not depressed, we create the circumstances necessary for change to be made. Treatment includes rest and relaxation to give us time away from the exhausting effects of depression. The more relaxed we are, the more we can engage the intellectual mind and create the change necessary to live life the way we want to live it.