Depression is a complex condition that can be diagnosed in many different ways. The DSM-V, the manual used by the medical and psychiatric professions to diagnose different conditions, lists several different types of depression, including Major depression, Bipolar Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, substance induced mood disorder, mood disorder due to a general medical condition, and mood disorder not otherwise specified. Added to this are complications that depression is often cyclical and chronic, meaning that sometimes we feel low and sometimes we feel fine, and these cycles can be days, months or years apart.
Another complication of depression is that symptoms mimic those of loss or grief, and because we experience loss in so many ways throughout our lives (loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, loss of status, of career, of friends, etc.) then we can often mistake our normal process of working through grief, for a diagnosis of depression.
Depression is common, and so common that we could almost say that it is part of the normal human experience, and we do need to recognise that there may well be times in our lives when things have been hard and it is right that we are responding to these times with feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, lack of energy and motivation and feeling that there’s little point in the things that we are doing.
In fact, having a purpose in life and feeling that there is meaning in what we do are important drivers towards our own contentment and satisfaction in life.
Hypnotherapy has a credible and growing evidence base for working with depression thanks to major academic researchers such as Michael Yapko and Assen Alladin. Both have recognised the support that can be offered to clients experiencing depression using hypnotherapy and hypnosis techniques.
Hypnosis can help us to search for and find the meaning in our lives and to motivate ourselves to move forward, and deal with obstacles along the way.
In my own practice, I have often found that these obstacles are our own – such as feeling anxious about being judged by others, and by dealing with this anxiety the depression lessens considerably. I also help clients to identify and challenge perceptions and beliefs that might not be helpful or wholly realistic, and this approach is very well evidenced and is part of the general philosophy of CBT and its related therapies.
If you would like to discuss how hypnotherapy may be able to help you to manage your experience of depression, feel free to contact me.