What is depression?
Sadness or downswings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.
Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or men in particular may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless.
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
Are you depressed?
If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.
- you can’t sleep or you sleep too much
- you can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- you feel hopeless and helpless
- you can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try
- you have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating
- you are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
- you’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behavior
- you have thoughts that life is not worth living (seek help immediately if this is the case)
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that’s when it’s time to seek help.
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Often these symptoms will be treated with drugs prescribed by a doctor. Anti-depressants, sleep medication, and perhaps a diet will be prescribed. These treatment methods, of course, are aimed at symptom relief but don’t get down to treating the underlying cause of the depression. If the depressed person goes to a counselor, they will talk about the feelings which may help for a while. Other therapists may try relaxation techniques combined with positive affirmations. There is a basic reason why these common responses to depression don’t really work: they do not address or resolve the deeper underlying causes of depression.
HOW DOES CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY TREAT DEPRESSION?
- During hypnosis, we pacify the conscious mind and stimulate the subconscious mind, communicating directly with the part of the mind that controls the autonomic nervous system, emotion, memory, imagination, and creativity,
- When depression is triggered by a loss, individuals often have “unfinished business” with whatever has been lost, be it a loved one, a job, or a home. These unresolved feelings, such as resentment, regret, blame, anger, guilt, jealousy, and fear are stored in the body.
- With hypnosis, we can access the deepest level of these traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions and release them from the mind and body.
- Clinical hypnotherapy removes the underlying basis for depression because it completes the unfinished business that otherwise continues to present itself as self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors.
- The individual can also use hypnosis to identify and address any physiological basis for depression, replace negative habit patterns and treat any residual symptoms of depression.
In as little as one hypnotherapy session, you will begin to notice:
- Improved mood and more positive thoughts
- Better concentration
- Increased energy, motivation and libido
- Healthier eating and sleeping patterns
- Fewer headaches, body aches and pains
If emptiness and despair have taken hold of your life and won’t go away, contact me for a free consultation. No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better.