Research shows that millions of Americans of all ages will experience, have experienced, or are experiencing depression. Depression often occurs as a reaction to a traumatic and usually life-changing event.
Sometimes the individual may not know the direct cause of their depression, while other times the depression is a direct result of some incident. When dealing with depression, many people find themselves feeling constantly down, anxious, disinterested in many activities, and completely withdrawn from others and life. It is hard to deal with depression on one’s own, even with counseling or some therapy.
Many individuals do not want to use medication in favor of other treatments, but their symptoms show no sign of improvement. For those who need treatment but want to try something more natural, there is hypnosis, or hypnotherapy.
Depression and the Mind
Physically, depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. When one is depressed, it is because the brain is producing lower levels of dopamine and serotonin, also known as the “feel good” hormones.
Without these hormones to regulate one’s mood, one could become stuck in a vicious circle of low energy and sadness that feels insurmountable. In essence, fighting and managing depression is really “mind over matter,” but many individuals need the help of professionals and effective treatment plans to combat their depressive feelings.
How Hypnosis Can Help
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a practice that utilizes guided relaxation, heightened concentration and focused attention in order to induce a heightened mental state of awareness that can be referred to as a trance.
While in this trance, the patient is more open to suggestion and the hypnotherapist is able to alter their behavior and reactions. Hypnosis is meant to help the person focus their attention on certain thoughts and acts that may help get to the bottom of their condition or health problem.
Usually described as a psychotherapy, or counseling therapy, due to the hypnotic state needed to really explore the patient’s inner thoughts and feelings, hypnosis is a treatment that can help to unlock memories, thoughts and feelings the patient may have suppressed. When used for treating depression, hypnosis can be use in one of two ways:
In suggestion therapy, the patient is made susceptible to responding to suggestions. It is most effective on bad habits and compulsive actions such as smoking, nail biting, or even bodily pains.
Analysis is used to illuminate one’s inner psychological being and identify a root or some cause of their present disorder. This is most effective for traumatic memories, events, or feelings that have stayed with the person locked away in their minds while influencing their feelings and actions.
Hypnosis and Modern Medicine
In most cases of depression, drugs and modern medicinal treatments are the most effective. When patients struggling with depression visit their physician, psychiatrist, or counselor, they may be encouraged to try taking medication alongside other alternative treatments such s hypnotherapy.
While in some cases hypnotherapy can effectively unlock traumatic events and memories that are underlying present-day symptoms, this treatment may not always yield such promising results. This is why it is often most effective when paired with other treatment plans.
Most alternative medicines complement modern medicines, giving the patient more control over their condition and the treatment they choose.
The Pros and Cons of Hypnosis for Depression
The biggest pro of hypnotherapy is how safe it is. This treatment is completely natural and mainly deals with the patient’s own mental power to get to the bottom of their chronic depression.
Due to this aspect, many people like the idea of treating themselves without drugs and doing it “on their own.” Hypnosis is also very versatile because it is able to not only treat depression but the other conditions that are often present with a depression diagnosis:
Chronic Sleep Problems
Aches and pains throughout the body
Hypnosis does, however, come with some risks. In some cases, patients developed false memories, or confabulations. This can actually be more distressing and cause mental problems if left untreated.
Other risks include: headaches, anxiety, and even dizziness following the hypnosis procedure, but these usually subside after the session.
How To Proceed
Those who feel at the end of their rope with depression are not alone. It may seem as if there is nowhere else to turn but there are many options open. Hypnosis offers the safe, natural treatment they desire that can garner real results.
It is best to consult a physician before making any big decisions in order to accurately define and assess one’s problems. In some cases, hypnosis has actually worsened the condition, so it is important to find out whether or not this treatment is best for any one individual before taking action.
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