Are you looking for help with depression? Maybe I can help you!
If you want an effective treatment for depression and really don't want to take medication, then hypnotherapy may just be what you are looking for! If so, I hope the information below will give you both some insight about your options and a little more information about depression.
It is important, for people who suffer from depression, to know that it most often responds very well to treatments like hypnotherapy! The chances of a successful outcome are often quite high too. But it is equally important to know and understand more about the different types and causes of depression! The term "depression" is used almost universally to describe the terrible feelings that accompany this condition. However, that is a rather anomalous view because it is anything but one condition! Truth be told, there are many types of depression and each can present with some similar or different symptoms. Also, in many clients I see, "with depression" there hasn't actually been a proper medical diagnosis. As such, it's a little unclear with the self-diagnosed variety of client, what type or even if they have depression? Sometimes it's just a mood disorder, others just a consequence of and feelings related to an anxiety disorder (mostly the self-diagnosed category). However, it's worth noting that everyone with this condition will experience anxiety and stress symptoms.
Some examples of depression types are:
Major Depression (major depressive disorder)
Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
Persistent Depressive Disorder (present for 2 years or more)
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
Bipolar Disorder (formerly manic depressive disorder)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Cyclothymia (similar to but not as severe as bipolar/major depression
Hopefully, this explains why you just cannot treat someone who says, "I have depression," as if it were just one uniform condition? Equally, it is important to gather as much of their life history as is practicably possible or available. Available you say? Yes, it is not uncommon for people to have blanks in their history. Some causes for this are unknown and some parts of their life may have been suppressed (consciously) or repressed (subconsciously). The latter is a form of mental protection, wherein the brain withholds or hides memories that are deemed harmful. It does this by burying them deep in our unconscious, a form of deceitful neurological ablation! Seemingly gone but not actually and when they do eventually surface, the intent is survival, the outcome, well . . . ?
While I've had a lot of success treating clients with many types of depression, one must not overlook the seriousness of this condition! It is an inescapable fact that depression is a serious mental health condition and it is becoming more prevalent with each passing generation. Which should, in and of itself, be telling us something of concern about our society or the world we now live in? How safe do we feel, with the everyday bombardment of negative news we are fed; how safe is your world?
Generally speaking, the civilised world is in quite a good condition, a condition that has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years. Humans, unfortunately, have a predilection to make things better but in doing so, they often overlook the value of time. It takes an awfully long time to make societal improvements but very little time to make them worse! The bigger problem, I feel, is that those that are doing the "fixing" are often the very last people we would choose to do so! Now, remember, I did say generally speaking. One could argue until the cows come home about climate change but that's not a world problem, that's an "us" problem! One could argue about the inequality of society, that is also an "us" problem! And many of our everyday issues are a consequence of the "I want it now" culture that has evolved with the rise of technology. The aim of my therapy service is to help each client separate the chaff from the wheat, a variant of Pareto 20/80 principles for life! You may be thinking, what has all this got to do with depression? The informed answer is, a lot!
For this reason, therapists need to be better informed about, the nature, probable causes and progression of this serious condition. They also need to know how, and why, any of it relates to their client, before making any generalised statements on how it can be treated. Each depression is a combination of many factors, some of which are unique to the client themselves and the particular way their life evolved from birth. So, in an effort to help clients overcome this condition, I have been studying the human brain for many years now. The brain as a functional whole, actually consists of many parts, e.g. two hemispheres, with 4 lobes per hemisphere - plus the cerebellum and brainstem (hindbrain). There are also cortical areas (the crinkly outer layer), as well as subcortical areas, many of which are a part of the emotional systems. These emotional systems, are directly linked to anxiety, stress and depressive experiences. However, they also extend to the higher cortical regions, e.g. frontal, parietal, occipital lobes and many subcortical regions. This adds layers of complexity to the ways in which our cognitive and emotional brain's act and interact. Depressions is somewhat a byproduct of these inter and intra-reactions. Kordinian Brodmann, Identified some 52 (Broddman) areas, most of which have many divisions. Essentially, the brain is not a single item as such, it is a series of interconnected brain areas, which are related, interrelated and intrarelated.
In a general sense, depression can be usefully put into two categories, with each subdivided into degrees of intensity, e.g. 1 (mild) 10 (severe). While it is true that both types involve some form of imbalance or dysregulation of certain brain regions, they do so for different reasons or causes. The first type is the type that occurs as a result of a major life event. For example, the loss of a loved one, a relationship break-up, losing your home, maybe through debt or being retrenched etc. The second type, more typically, involves an event that disrupts the normal workings of the brain. While it's possible both types can occur at the same time, which may generally make the condition difficult to treat, it is still treatable, so there's always hope!
Things that can cause this are (but not limited to):
- some kind of brain injury (a knock or a fall, punch, heading a football etc.)
- a psychotic illness, causing or including a psychotic depression (hallucination and/or delusion)
- brain disease, tumours, meningitis, TIA, stroke etc.
- viral or bacterial infection (as well as in the body/organs, dental or nasal problems have also been linked)
- autoimmune diseases
- mineral or vitamin deficiency
- genetic factors
So, adopting an attitude that all depression is equal, as in a psychological/mental condition, is naive to the extreme. As is the idea that one type of treatment will work for everyone. Some therapists (including hypnotherapists) believe there's a one type fits all treatment. Others believe all you have to do is to focus on the future and by default ignore the past. Some have actually said, "the whole world has got it wrong," an over generalisation if ever I heard one! Obviously taking a view that treating depression with medication doesn't deal with the problem or its root cause. By default implying, that you have to get to that root cause (which is deemed to be psychological), in order to effectively treat depression. A rather arrogant and disrespectful point of view for anyone, even more so coming from a therapist! In many cases, the 'root cause' isn't that obvious, if at all. Also, because anxiety and depression are progressive disorders, there often isn't just one 'root cause' but rather a succession of cumulative events. Hence why it can be a complex condition to treat.
Of course, there is a small amount of truth in the views other therapists quote. This is because, for some client's, future posturing can work, as can treating the psychological event that caused the depression (the root cause). However, what you cannot afford to do, is to make an assumption, based on ignorance, on how to treat the client in front of you. You have to perform an exhaustive investigation into the probable, likely or definitive cause(s) of their depression (assuming it has been clinically diagnosed)! For the client whose past is identified as most definitely/probably involved (a root cause), there is often value in some type of regression therapy. And for those, where there is evidence of brain trauma, illness or disease, a very different methodology of hypnotherapeutic intervention is needed! Medication could also justifiably be indicated as being a good option! Not necessarily in isolation but rather in tandem with hypnotherapy.
Therefore, one of the most important steps in treating depression is to first get to know the client by doing a thorough and detailed case history. You simply cannot second guess the nature of such a serious medical condition as a major depressive disorder or any of its variants. Nor can you assume, that what worked for one client, will work for every client. Equally, you cannot concur with many of the assumptions that abound, some of these assumptions I cover below. Each treatment is often as unique as each client and discovering all that takes a little while. Essentially it evolves over a few sessions with some therapeutic interventions are added along the way. So, what evolves is a progressive and incremental form of healing that often begins to slowly unfold.
Taking an informed view:
As I have said, depression is a treatable condition although mostly, these days, it is treated with medication, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. However, many people look for treatments that don't involve medication, e.g. homoeopathic treatments, using natural products like herbs or plant extracts etc. Or maybe something that doesn't involve taking any products or medication, like psychotherapy or seeing a psychologist. The facts are, that every one of these treatments, has had its successes but we have to see the pros and cons. The one common downside of all these alternatives (side effects excluded), is they usually take quite a long time to work. There is, however, one exception to this time factor anomaly in the treatment of depression, which I mentioned above, and that is hypnotherapy.
Once again I mention, that over the years I have had many successful outcomes for clients with depressive type illnesses. And while it shouldn't surprise me, it always does, when a client says, "I've tried everything else, hypnotherapy is my last hope." I often reflect and think, if only they knew, that hypnotherapy should have been their first choice, not their last hope! This by no means attempts to demean or devalue the very good work of the above-mentioned methods. After all, they all trained extensively and have a belief in what they do, some with empirical proof of the efficacy of their treatment regime. But having had many clients who have been successfully treated, some in weeks, I am convinced hypnotherapy is one of the fastest and most effective methods. And, other than a happier life, there are no known unpleasant side effects with hypnosis!
So, when I treat a client for depression in my Singapore clinic, I get as full and proper an understanding of their condition before we start. This includes its duration, intensity, how it affects their life, as well as that of those around them, e.g. loved ones, colleagues, friends etc. And to make their choice of a therapist as easy as possible, I provide a 1-hour free consultation. During which, we touch on the nature, course and progression of the condition as well as a demonstration of hypnosis. After all, to fully understand what hypnosis is, what it feels like etc. you actually need to experience it. From there, assuming you enjoyed the experience and derived some insight into its inner workings, you will feel more confident in moving forward into treatment proper.