Debbie's Hypnotherapy Blogs
Hypnotherapy and Depression
Depression is a mood disorder and it’s much more common than you’d think. In fact MIND, the mental health charity, believes that around one in four people in the UK will suffer depression every year. Despite this, it’s much misunderstood, is often seen signal of personal weakness, and not everyone who experiences it recognises what they’re going through.
How do I know if I'm depressed?
Although depression ranges from mild to severe, it's more than feeling 'down' or 'sad' for a few days. It's one of those conditions which affects each of us differently, but you might have depression if you
- feel hopeless ('what's the point?') or deeply unhappy
- can't be bothered to do things you used to enjoy
- feel tearful or find yourself crying for no specific reason
- feel tired or listless a lot
- find concentrating on things more difficult than usual
- change your behaviour patterns around food, sleep, sex,
- think about self-harm, death or suicide
People who are depressed often experience stress or anxiety as well.
What can I do about my depression?
The first thing is to go see your GP.
In my experience a lot of people avoid doing this because they worry about not being taken seriously, or don’t feel their problems are 'bad enough', worry that the only option they'll be offered is pills, or just can’t find the energy to get to the appointment. Despite this, you really need to go.
Enlist the help of a friend or relative to go with you if it helps, but go. Depression is a varied condition which needs medical expertise to diagnose, and some of the symptoms can be due to other causes such as hormone imbalances which would need a medical intervention.
Doctors also have more tools than simply handing out pills. They can refer you for counselling and offer many other methods of support.
Lifestyle changes will often help, such as getting more exercise and 'me time', and cutting down on alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods.
Hypnotherapy and depression
As you might have seen elsewhere on this site, hypnotherapy can offer support with many of the changes your GP might ask you to make as part of treating your depression.
- it can teach you relaxation techniques for regular use
- it can support you as you quit or reduce your smoking
- it can support you as you change to healthier food choices
- it can help you find the motivation to exercise more regularly
- it can teach you techniques to deal with negative thinking and worrying
Some therapists, such as myself, are also trained in counselling and other techniques to use with the depression itself.
A quick word of warning
The Advertising Standards Agency expresses concerns that people with depression might be discouraged from seeing their GP if they see a hypnotherapist. They also say that hypnotherapists should only work with serious illnesses (including depression) under the guidance of someone who is medically trained. This is why if you want to see me about your depression I will ask you to get a referral from your GP first.
Debbie Waller is a professional hypnotherapist, specialising in stress, anxiety and related issues. She also offers EMDR which is used for trauma, PTSD, phobias and OCD and publishes hypnotherapy-for-ibs.co.uk for those interested in using hypnotherapy to relieve the symptoms of irritbale bowel syndrome.
Debbie owns a multi accredited hypnotherapy school, Yorkshire Hypnotherapy Training and offers further training for qualified therapists via CPD Expert. She is the author of Their Worlds, Your Words, editor and contributor to the online magazine Hypnotherapy Training & Practitioner, and co-author of The Hypnotherapy Handbook.
For more information on any of these services, phone 01977 678593.