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The future of hypnotherapy as a treatment for depression

03:12pm, 29/07/14

CheetahAccording to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, one in five people will experience depression at some point in their lives. Despite the prevalence of the illness and campaigns such as Time to Change, there remains a reluctance in society to talk about mental health, which can leave depressed people feeling alienated and confused about possible treatments.

Depression has a huge range of causes, from chemical imbalance to a triggering event in an individual’s life such as bereavement. Sometimes the illness just develops gradually into a feeling of constant low mood. As a result, there is no “one size fits all” treatment. Antidepressants are often prescribed to reduce the symptoms of depression and help sufferers to function better in daily life. However, medication cannot treat the underlying causes of the illness, hence why it is often used in conjunction with other treatments on the way to recovery. The most common treatments for depression are counselling and CBT. However, hypnotherapy is now gaining status as a viable alternative therapy.

Why try hypnotherapy?

You may want to try hypnotherapy if you have suffered from long-term depression, and other treatments have not been effective. Actress Hetty Baynes spent years trying various therapies and medications until she turned to hypnotherapy as a last resort and found it changed her outlook on life entirely.

Antidepressants can have side effects or require you to change your diet in order for them to work. Medication can be extremely effective in treating depression, but if you’re not finding it helpful you may want to consider hypnotherapy instead. Hypnotherapy can treat both the symptoms and the causes of the illness as it reaches into the subconscious, which controls the emotions which cause depression.

Waiting lists for NHS treatment can be very long, and if you find your treatment is unsuitable you may be put back at the bottom of the list. Good hypnotherapy clinics usually offer a no-commitment consultation for a one-off fee, so you can quickly decide whether you want to go further with your treatment.

Accessing hypnotherapy

You must talk to your doctor if you are thinking of pursuing hypnotherapy as it is not always an appropriate treatment for mental health issues, particularly if you have hallucinations or delusions.

In some cases, hypnotherapy may be available through the NHS depending on the services in your area, but this is not guaranteed. Local mental health organisations may also be able to help you find a hypnotherapist and subsidise costs if you are on a low income.

When choosing a private hypnotherapist, make sure they are properly qualified. You can search for a CNHC-registered hypnotherapist here.

At present, there is still a lot of research to be done into hypnotherapy as a treatment for depression. However, many patients have had positive experiences and for long-term sufferers who have had no success with conventional treatments, it may be a game-changer. It is also helpful to know what happens in a typical hypnotherapy session, so you can make an informed choice.

(Photo by Tambako)

Disclaimer: with all hypnotherapy, results and the number of sessions required may vary from individual to individual.

© 2015 Don Ely, all rights reserved . last update: 23/11/17