Follow @cindy_locherMost of us experience certain periods in our lives when things are not going right for us that make us feel “blue.” Normally, these feelings will come to pass and we will be our old selves again and get on with our lives, but unfortunately some people are not able to overcome these feelings and may feel depressed for a much longer period. It is estimated that about 20% of us suffer from various kinds of depression at any given time, it usually manifests itself in this percentage in the developed countries and among the younger generation.
It seems all too often that a family member or friend will give the diagnosis that “You are depressed.” What many people don’t realize is that depression comes in many more forms than just moping around the house. Truly honest self-reflection is your best initial guide to determining if you have depression. However, all the manifestations of depression lead to a root cause which, I believe, is that Life is a “problem.”
Let me explain this idea a little further. Without problems life is too certain. If we have certainty, very soon we need uncertainty – different people have different types of uncertainty they enjoy, but that’s what keeps life interesting. Uncertainty is where we get our excitement from – it’s what keeps us anticipating what might happen tomorrow. It’s a delicate balance and one lots of people struggle with. Once we feel our problem is a disaster and out of our hands, our life seems to reflect that and everything becomes a disaster.
However, if we feel the problems we are facing are a challenge we are capable of facing, life becomes an exciting ride.
Types of Depression
Depression cannot be defined specifically, its symptoms vary from case to case. The type of depression that is most difficult to deal with is clinical depression, since there is no known cause for it and it develops from internal factors within the person themselves and not from any external catalyst.
Reactive depression on the other hand is caused by external factors. This kind of depression may happen when a person experiences anxieties or loses something. Alcoholism can also result in bringing on reactive depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is one that happens when a person experiences the symptoms of depression during the same time of the year. It comes with strong desire to sleep and an increase in appetite. The moods of the people who are suffering with this type of depression are known to be affected by a lack of sunlight.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression vary greatly in their severity. Typically, a person experiences sleep disturbances due to negative thoughts. Others may lose their appetite, whilst some people have a strong urge to eat more. They will also experience a loss in their interests and any enjoyment in their usual activities.
The feelings of shame, guilt, anger or resentment are usually felt, the sufferer will be overwhelmed with hopelessness and they may lose their capacity to evaluate themselves.
Causes of Depression
A person’s vulnerability to depression is often associated with their parents. The development of depression can often be traced back to various childhood experiences like deprivation, loss of a parent, conflicts between parents or being overprotected. Hypnosis can help with depression by changing how we feel about our past.
Life events such as bereavement, divorce, loss of a job, marriage and childbirth may also lead to depression. Physical illness like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, stroke and others can also result in depression as well.
Hypnotherapy and Depression
There are many ways to use hypnosis in treating depression including building positive expectations to counter hopelessness, reframing emotion-laden memories, enhancing perceptual flexibility, instilling better coping skills, and increasing self- esteem and self-efficacy. Both hypnosis and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) are effective tools for changing how the mind access information and therefore how you feel. While hypnosis can’t change your past, it can change how you feel about it.
Thankfully hypnosis can be useful in helping depression. The way hypnosis works is by sending your mind into a subtle yet deep subconscious state. When you’re in this state you’re more open and prone to suggestion than you are normally. It’s by manipulating this state of the subconscious, and placing suggestions that are more likely to make the symptoms of depression easier to handle, that you’ll be able to help treat this state.
Of course hypnosis is not without its skeptics. After a decade of practice, believe me I understand that! Some people will claim that hypnosis essentially is just a placebo effect, that you will something to happen enough and it does. This is pretty much essentially what hypnosis is! It is about making your mind believe in something enough so that it becomes a reality, and if the results of such a thing can be demonstrated to cause so much benefit for so many people, then obviously the processes of hypnosis do work.
5 Ways Hypnosis Helps with Depression
1. It helps you reach the subconscious.
By definition, hypnosis reaches the subconscious mind, which is responsible for 90% of the mind’s processing. This is where memories and beliefs are created and stored, and where all emotions are generated. So, for any issue involving emotional responses to ideas or memories, the subconscious mind must be involved.
Dr. Milton Erickson, the father of modern hypnotherapy, said that all people’s problems stem from a mind that is “out of rapport with itself.” Meaning that you can desire something with your conscious mind but get the opposite feelings and behavior from the subconscious, because of programming that it accepted at some point. Therefore, the conscious mind must be set aside and the subconscious mind engaged in making these changes. No sense in continuing to talk to the conscious mind—there you are just “preaching to the choir.”
Once the subconscious mind is reached, then we can proceed with…
2. Identifying the “unfinished business”.
People often have what Dr. Fritz Perls called “unfinished business” with whatever has been lost, be it a loved one, a job, or a home. These unresolved feelings, such as resentments, regrets, blame, anger, guilt,
jealousy, and fear are stored in the body and must be released as soon after the triggering event as possible. Otherwise they become deeply buried beneath the numbness created by the anti-depressant drugs, the addictive behavior, and the concurrent repression that occurs when trauma and grief go untreated. Clinical hypnotherapy works for depression because it removes the underlying basis of depression and completes the unfinished business that otherwise continues to recycle as self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
There is a very excellent book, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die, by Karol K. Truman that explains this process well. Truly getting in touch with unresolved feelings is work that is done at the subconscious level.Medication treats symptoms; hypnosis treats causes. Click To Tweet
3. It helps you complete the “unfinished business” and the mind/brain
can then organize that information differently, in a way that releases
you from the struggle.
With hypnosis, the stored memories and emotions can be put in a new light, causing the mind to gain perspective through a number of techniques. Sometimes when the mind accesses the material that is causing the issue, it spontaneously bridges the original “conclusion” that caused the depression or other symptom with newer wisdom and information, releasing the symptoms at that moment.
When the subconscious and conscious mind are able to form a bridge to thisinformation, clients report a lifting of the fog of depression and other symptoms and find themselves “feeling like their old self again.”
4. It helps you replace past trauma with wisdom and perspective.
With each healing session of hypnosis, fearful or depressive thoughts are “vented out” and intentionally replaced with beneficial and positive thoughts and perspectives. Because the subconscious mind learns so efficiently in hypnosis, the new, preferred perspectives and attitudes quickly become coded into your beliefs and behaviors at that level of the “doer” mind, the subconscious.
5. The power of hypnosis creates long-term improvement.
Once you “release and replace” old, negative feelings and programming at the subconscious level, you have an increased feeling of self esteem and self empowerment. Because the truth is that all hypnosis IS self hypnosis, and your mind creates the positive changes. Once you have cleared out those negatives you can use hypnosis to make other beneficial changes that will help you to start on that “upward spiral” of physical, mental and emotional health. Hypnosis can be very helpful in correcting sleep patterns, increasing confidence, motivation, creating healthier ways of eating andmore.
All of this combines to give you the best set of tools to live your best life, and to start to reach into your bank of pure potential.
Give it a chance, and using hypnosis for depression will do wonders for you. This psychological state that you enter into can effectively rid you of a number of ailments that you may have, and treating depression is definitely possible. Like with all things, patience is a necessity, and you’ll need to willingly guide yourself into these deep, euphoric, relaxing and ultimately blissful states of calmness that your mind and body experience as a result of hypnosis. This calm is derived from the your mind finally being able to relax itself after thinking about things so much each and every day.
So don’t worry, and don’t feel depressed or stressed. Give self hypnosis a go, and your depression may just surprisingly be minimized, and who knows, it may even go away. I’m not saying that you’ll come across a depression cure, but I am saying that you will come across a way that you can easily manage it.
Some of the HypnosisFirst self hypnosis downloads that are designed to help with the aspects of depression addressed in this article are Transform Your Past, Self Acceptance and Live in the Present Moment. Taking time for yourself is helpful, too. Giving yourself time to relax and clear your mind can change neurochemicals and actually change how you feel. Two to try: Deepest Relaxation and the Stop Overwhelm Meditation. Both of these sessions are particularly helpful when both depression and anxiety are present, which can often be the case.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you haven’t tried hypnosis for depression, I encourage you to give it a try. It has been helpful for many of my clients and family members.
Remember: Love yourself for who you are.
Cindy Locher, BCH