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Does hypnotherapy work for depression?

Updated: Mar 23



A relatively new discovery shows why depression messes with your sleep, energy levels, and emotions and why hypnotherapy is one of the best courses of treatment to start feeling better as soon as possible. Below we will look at what depression is and does hypnotherapy work for depression?

Symptoms of Depression Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Restless sleep

  • Excess sleepiness

  • Emotional outbursts

  • Mood swings

  • Apathy

  • Lack of concentration

  • Excessive crying

  • A loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities

  • A decreased or increased appetite

  • Low energy

  • Feelings of worthlessness, lack of hope or guilt

  • Difficult thinking straight

  • General discontent

  • Repeated thoughts about suicide.

Hypnosis Treatment for Depression Depression is a condition that may be caused by your response to negative events in your life. Research shows that if you take things personally, take negative events as affecting all areas of your life, and assume that setbacks will last forever, then you are more likely to experience depression. These are cases of black and white thinking. Essentially, this means that learning to challenge your patterns of thinking and taking back control of your life can greatly improve your situation. As well, it can reduce your depressive symptoms and prevent them from recurring in the future. You may not be able to change your circumstances, but you can change how you react to them. If you are suffering with depression, you may feel deflated or flat. Yet, you actually have raised levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This means that you are in a state of high emotional arousal which is akin to a kind of negative trance state. When your emotions are high, you can’t think rationally. This explains why you can’t concentrate well, focus, or sometimes struggle to make seemingly simple decisions.

Why Does High Emotional Arousal Happen?

When you are in the cycle of depression, you may spend a lot of time worrying about the future or feeling guilty about past events. You may feel upset about an event that happened recently or years ago. You might scare yourself with ‘what if?’ scenarios. For example, you may worry about losing your job or your home without a real reason. You may feel beaten down by chronic pain or anger. You may also be dealing with anxiety, which frequently goes hand-in-hand with depression. And in addition to this, you may tend toward negative thinking patterns. This takes a huge amount of energy and can make you feel miserable and exhausted. Further, if you're suffering with depression you probably wake up feeling exhausted. This contributes to a lack of motivation. It makes it hard for you to get out of bed in the morning.

Why do you wake up feeling exhausted? Research has shown that when a person dreams at night, it is believed that they discharge unexpressed emotions from the previous day. For example, you may still feel upset from a fight between you and your spouse earlier that day. But you keep it to yourself. However, when you dream, these emotions may surface as anger or sadness etc. Since dreams tend to be metaphoric, you may get angry/sad at something or someone in your dream. Research suggests that people with depression dream more than non-depressed people. For people with depression, this distorts the balance between restorative slow-wave sleep and energy-burning dream sleep. A lot of energy goes toward dreaming. Consequently, you wake up feeling fatigued and unmotivated.



Hypnosis Treatment for Depression

Antidepressant drugs are frequently prescribed to raise the feel-good chemicals in the brain. However, they don’t address the underlying circumstances or thinking patterns causing depression. Depression tends to be related to unmet emotional needs or unresolved trauma. The Nu-Vera Approach which integrates clinical hypnotherapy techniques for depression, focuses on helping people with depression find healthy ways to meet their emotional needs and help them release any emotional trauma - which is why this approach is so successful. People with depression need help challenging/resolving negative thoughts and feelings. Treatment should aim to help them focus on more realistic outcomes and futures, as well as to bring purpose and meaning back into their lives. This purpose or meaning may be found through exercise, team sports, volunteer work, learning something new, interacting with old friends, or making new friends. These activities help them meet their emotional needs in a healthy and satisfying way. In addition, learning simple relaxation techniques can help them reduce chronic worrying and decrease their heightened stress levels. If the depression is due to post-traumatic stress, it may also be necessary to stop the traumatic memory from continuing to interfere with their present life. The rewind technique, a simple and non-invasive hypnosis for depression method of de-traumatisation, achieves this relatively quickly. Ideally, a hypnotherapy treatment for depression should focus on resolving any uncomfortable feelings and emphasising the future, learning to change unhelpful and negative thinking patterns, taking back control, and finding activities that provide meaning and purpose. That way, a person experiencing depression can begin to recover and look toward the future with hope.

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