Are you depressed? If so, hypnotherapy could help.
New figures reveal that 5.1 million people, almost one in ten of the population, are now formally diagnosed as suffering from depression. It’s a terrible indictment of our society when depression is now the nation’s most common illness.
I use hypnotherapy for depression in Reading every single week. It’s a major part of my case-load and I also help clients in Thame, Oxford, Holborn, Clerkenwell and Wallingford who are going through what is possibly the darkest period of their lives.
If you’re here because you feel as though you may be depressed then please keep reading. You can learn to let go of this feeling and you can move past it. It needn’t be a life-sentence. I’m here to help you!
Have a read and see if you fit the criteria…
Perhaps you’re reading this post with a vague idea that you might be suffering from depression. You may already have a formal diagnosis, Perhaps the following criteria might help you decide. Please be certain that the following checklist does not constitute a formal diagnosis. If you think you may be suffering from depression then please do go and see your GP for confirmation.
Diagnostic criteria for depression (DSM V)
The DSM is the manual used by psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. It can be quite controversial at times but it’s a good reference when investigating whether a certain person may or may not have a certain condition. These are the criteria by which depression is identified:
‘The patient will have experienced depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least 2 weeks and at least five of the following symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day’
So, you will need to have felt depressed for at least a fortnight and this depressed feeling will lead you to lose interest in life and have a negative effect on your ability to cope.
Have a look through the following criteria to see whether r not you match up to the DSM V’s diagnostic criteria for depression.
If you feel as if you do then the next step is to go to see your GP. Depression can become a life-threatening condition and it’s important to act. Please don’t leave it to worsen. Trying to bully or browbeat yourself into feeling better hasn’t worked so far and it never will.
Your GP will propose certain approaches. It’s for you to decide whether or not to go along with them. Whether you do or don’t, it’s best to make these decisions from an educated standpoint. Find out what help is available and whether or not you wish to accept what the NHS has to offer.
You may need to be experiencing at least five of the following symptoms to be diagnosed with depression
- That mood could be sadness. It could be numbness. It could be a general sense of emotional malaise. It could alternate between several negative emotions. Anxiety can co-exist with depression too. If you’re feeling down more than is reasonably expected of the average person and if it lasts for most of the day then this could be depression.
2. Diminished interest or pleasure in all or most activities.
This is called ‘anhedonia’ and is what happens when you just can’t be bothered anymore, even with interests and passions which once thrilled and excited you. Sex loses its appeal. Everything feels a chore. The worst thing is that this withdrawal from life only worsens depression. It becomes a negative spiral.
3.Significant unintentional weight loss or gain.
People can come to neglect themselves and fail to eat regularly. This could lead to weight loss and ill health. Others may neglect themselves in that they reach for the most convenient food, which is often the sweetest or fattiest, or begin to turn to food for comfort. The weight piles on and this will often worsen self-esteem and thus accelerate the slide into depression.
4.Insomnia or sleeping too much.
Excessive levels of cortisol and adrenaline can render sleep more difficult and depressed people will commonly find night-time difficult, as they are forced to focus inwards and often worry themselves into insomnia. Alternatively, depression can be incredibly draining and sleep can seem as an escape from unwanted feelings.
5.Agitation or psychomotor retardation noticed by others.
Depressed people who experience anxiety will often appear visibly agitated. Trembling, shaking, heightened social anxiety can all be visible to others around them.
Those whose depression leaves them feeling purely miserable or numb can feel as if they are moving in a fog, through treacle, and their movements can be visibly slower and more lethargic than usual.
6.Fatigue or loss of energy.
Depression can be exhausting. Any consequent self-neglect, the disruption of normal routines, the sense of purposelessness, can add to this sense of lethargic ennui.
7.Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt.
People who feel confident in their own selves don’t tend to get depressed. The sense of worthlessness, however, can be overwhelming and all-consuming. Depressed people can feel guilty about being depressed ‘I shouldn’t feel this way. What have I got to be depressed about?’ or focus upon some aspect of their past which they now feel is a terribly enormous source of shame and guilt.
Stress is the enemy of thought. Fight or flight responses cause our cerebral cortex to divert its energy to muscles and the amygdala, that part of our brain responsible for instant reflexes. Furthermore, the increased self doubt of depression leaves us less confident in our choices.
9.Recurrent thoughts of death or self harm.
Self harm, for some, is a way of dealing with the emotional pain of depression. That part of our brain responsible for emotional pain also deals with the physical kind. Causing ourselves physical pain can detract from unwanted emotions. It’s not a real solution, of course, but it can become a habit or compulsion.
Ending it all, of course, can be tempting when we feel as if this feeling will never come to an end. It will come to an end, however, and if you feel this way then please book in to see your GP without delay. You could also call me. We’d discuss how hypnotherapy could help you and you could feel better simply for having been in touch with somebody willing and able to help you.
If you haven’t already, go and see your GP!
- If you think that you come close to matching these criteria for depression then don’t delay: go and see your GP! If you already have seen a GP and have found their talking therapy provision to be unhelpful (or you’d rather come to me) then pick up the ‘phone and call as soon as possible. Help is available and I’d be glad to speak with you to explain how hypnotherapy may be of use to you.
Will they just put me on pills? I don’t want pills?
Medication is not the cure for many forms of depression but it may be helpful. If this is the first time you’ve been depressed and it’s all down to a single incident (divorce, redundancy, bereavement, or suchlike) them medication could help you as you process things.
With more complex forms of depression (an abusive childhood, for example), medication can take the edge off things whilst therapy helps you to resolve the long term causes of the problem.
Anti-depressants aren’t a cure-all but they can be helpful. If you feel drowsy, zombified or suchlike, go back to your GP. They could adjust the dose or recommend a new form of medication.
Medication isn’t a wonder-cure but please don’t reject it out of hand. You won’t need to be on it forever.
Talking therapies (hypnotherapy is one of those) combined with medication is the most effective solution to depression. If you’re feeling depressed then the help of a well-qualified therapist can prove invaluable in helping you to break free from the prison of depression.
The NHS’ provision of talking therapy isn’t yet sufficient
The NHS is taking the talking therapies more seriously these days. More is being invested but it’s quite simply not enough. It’s also a pity that the NHS’ provision of counselling is almost exclusively reliant upon CBT. CBT may work well with some clients but it isn’t for everybody.
Waiting lists, furthermore, can be up to nine months in some parts of the UK. This can leave patients reliant on medication and alone.
It’s also a pity that more private therapists aren’t willing to see clients on low incomes for reduced fees. There really can’t be many therapists who are so heavily booked that they cannot spare some time, each week, for those whose circumstances leave them unable to pay full fees of £50+ per session.
I believe that those who can help have a social responsibility to do so. It is for this reason that I offer reduced fees for those on low incomes. I trained as a hypno-psychotherapist in order to help people and I would hate to think that people continue to suffer simply because nobody in their locality is willing to see them at a price which they can afford to pay.
If you’d like some help then here’s the next step to take.
Please call me if you would like some help in overcoming your depression. I can be called on 07786 123736 / 01183 280284 / 01865 600970. You could also email me: firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form below.
I offer warm, professional and effective hypnotherapy in Reading, Oxford, Thame, London and Wallingford. I have helped many people to escape depression through hypnotherapy. Perhaps you could be next. I look forward to hearing from you and I assure you that those who can bring themselves to call will be those who will succeed in making a full recovery.