Curing the Curse of Depression and Anxiety- Could Hypnotherapy Help You?

April 14, 2013

Depressed girl

Image Credit: Coralie

‘Snap out of it’, ‘pull yourself together’, ‘look on the bright side’…all common but misguided words of advice from well meaning friends and family once you’ve mustered up the courage to let them know you’re suffering with depression or anxiety. If only it were that simple eh. It is not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to also suffer from depression and vice versa. Almost half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder. Experiencing constant anxiety leads to feelings of hopelessness and misery which undermines a person’s ability to cope with everyday life leading to depression. Although it probably feels like it, you are not alone. Many people suffer silently and secretly. According to statistics released by the NHS about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will experience a severe episode of depression at some point in their lives and it is a growing problem. The World Health Organisation predicts that within 20 years depression will affect more people than any other health problem. Unfortunately during depression the natural desire to make your self feel better in the present often leads you to do precisely those things which perpetuate and even exacerbate the problem. For example, avoidance tactics such as the person with agoraphobia staying at home to prevent the possibility of an anxiety attack. This allows the illness to control you. The simple act of seeking treatment can enable you to begin regaining that control.

What Does Hypnotherapy Do to Help?

It was reported in the press recently that in 2011 more than 43 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were handed out but instead of improving the situation the report shows that the side effects of these pills can actually make depression worse. Pills don’t address the fact that depression tends to recur once a person has suffered it once, it recurs because they become stuck in a pattern of negative thought, and this negative thinking links a person’s self esteem with events outside of their control. To make permanent changes the root of your negative thinking need to be addressed, to do this you need to tackle the deep inner causes buried at the back of your mind, in other words your subconscious. Whilst you are in a state of deep relaxation you are more open to suggestion and the use of your unfettered imagination whilst you are under hypnosis can help you cement the behaviour changes necessary to free you from negative thoughts. General life stresses and how we deal with them are major factors in determining who will suffer from depression. A life event doesn’t necessarily have to be unpleasant to result in anxiety or depression. For example, marriage, moving home or the birth of a child can all trigger anxiety and depression. Certain memories or pent up emotions that have been pushed to the back of your mind can subconsciously inform your reactions to such events. Hypnotherapy can help in how you formulate responses to general life stresses and help you in overcoming anxiety by helping you learn how to halt excessive worry and fear in its tracks before it spirals out of control.

Is There Any Real Evidence that it Works?

In 2007 the first controlled comparison of hypnotherapy for the treatment of depression was carried out by the University of Calgary in Canada. It concluded that it was effective in producing a significant reduction in depression, anxiety and feelings of hopelessness in the participants of the study. Since then hypnotherapy has fast gained the recognition and approval of the medical establishment. In 2012 it was reported that although there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ treatment for depressive disorders, cognitive hypnotherapy, that is hypnosis combined with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), offers the best solution for long term, successful treatment. Hypnotherapy is scientifically recognised as a comprehensive and evidence based treatment for clinical depression. This empirical evidence suggests that hypnosis treatment can help cure anxiety and depression by empowering you with depression fighting techniques to combat the negative feelings that are often at the root of this common and debilitating illness. It can help you realise your own power to create your own solutions to the problems life will inevitably throw at you. It is fast and effective and, unlike medication, has zero side effects. It is not dangerous and cannot make a person do something they do not want to do. By addressing the underlying problems rather than attempting to mask them hypnotherapy provides the tools to help you deal with any future difficulties thus assisting recovery and preventing depression and anxiety recurring. It can help you keep things in perspective and not worry about the things you can’t control.