What is Depression?
Did you know that approximately one in four people will experience a mental health problem within the next year? Depression is probably one of the first things people think of when you mention mental health. And there’s good reason for that. According to statistics published by the charity Mind, 3.3 out of every 100 people last year suffered from it. This quote from the Mind website tells you a bit more about what depression is:
As anyone that has suffered from depression will tell you, it isn’t “just a low mood” and it’s definitely not something that you can “just snap out of” – if they could, believe me, they would! I have suffered from depression myself in the past and it’s a thoroughly unpleasant experience. There are thousands of descriptions of depression by all sorts of different people but the common theme is that it is utterly inescapable. For me it was like being in a deep dark pit where you could see a tiny bright light at the entrance, but it was like having a ladder that didn’t reach that far. You know where you want to be, and you know all sorts of things that could help, but nothing is enough.
But how can you get out of that “pit”?
For me, the thing that helped everything else become “enough” was antidepressants. They helped to support my body in having enough of the “happy” neurotransmitter Serotonin that I could function properly again until such a point that I was in a much better frame of mind mentally and so my brain was producing enough of it again itself.
A lot of people don’t want to take antidepressants, for many reasons, but a big one is because of potential side effects and withdrawal. I’ll be honest, I didn’t like them much myself, for the first fortnight or so I could barely stay awake and, when I was coming off them a year later, I felt thoroughly peculiar. However, the important bit was in between, the bit where, when they were working, I could finally cope with day-to-day life again, and then, gradually, not just cope with it, but begin to feel normal again and then start to enjoy life again.
How does Hypnotherapy help?
I didn’t know much about Hypnotherapy back then, but if I did, I’d have probably used that to help too. Hypnotherapy isn’t about telling you to “not be depressed” – after all you’re fed up of telling yourself that, plus anyone that doesn’t understand it telling you that too, right? Hypnotherapy uses a combination of things to help but they generally fall under two categories. The first is to uncover and resolve any event or trauma that may have triggered the depression, so that it no longer becomes a trigger. The second is to gently nudge your mind into recognising more and more positive things – because this helps the brain generate more of the positive neurotransmitters, such as Serotonin, Dopamine and Oxytocin, that help you feel better, more positive and more loved.
I would never tell you to stop taking any antidepressants you may be on – those need to be slowly reduced, with supervision of your GP. However I would hope to get you to the point where you can comfortably have that conversation with them because you feel able to do so. If you would like to know more about what I can offer, please contact me.