Everybody experiences a change in mood from time to time. We all feel down and have experienced the “blues” occasionally depending on what is going on in our lives. Maybe something didn’t go your way, or you had a hard day at the office? Most of us bounce back and can shake it off. Depression is different. Depression is a real condition that can last for very long periods of time. Many people living with depression tend to dismiss their symptoms and carry on. How is depression different from the “blues”? How can hypnotherapy help you with depression?
It is estimated that about 10% of Canadians will experience some form of depression over the course of their lives. This represents roughly 3.5 million Canadians which is significant and cannot be ignored. Many people suffering from depression ignore their symptoms and avoid seeking help because of the stigma associated with it. Fear of being judged is a huge challenge and more education is needed in order to overcome the shame of seeking professional help. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. People with a family history may be at a higher risk of developing depression. Common symptoms include feelings of guilt, hopelessness, pessimism, helplessness, worthlessness, fatigue, decreased energy, difficulty concentrating or remembering details and making decisions. If you feel like you may be suffering from a form of depression it is important to reach out and seek the right help. Speak with your family physician about your symptoms and they will be able to point you in the right direction in order to get the help you need.
How Do You Define An “Umbrella Term” Like Depression?
Depression comes in many shapes, forms and sizes. One very common form is major depressive disorder, that can last for very long periods of time if left untreated. Symptoms can last for at least 2 weeks (sometime longer) where you can feel sad, lack of hope, and lack focus on your daily tasks. Major depressive disorder has a significant impact on your daily life. People have trouble getting out of bed, going to work, maintaining relationships etc. Fortunately, with the right help all of these symptoms can be overcome and you can get yourself back on track to your most fulfilling life.
Seasonal depression is another form that can affect between 3-5% of Canadians. During the winter months Canada experiences far less natural daylight and this can have an adverse effect on many people. People need natural daylight to stimulate their pineal gland. This gland regulates and produces melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that help modulate sleep patterns and natural (circadian) body rhythms. During the winter months, the pineal gland can be under stimulated and may leads to forms of seasonal depression.
Postpartum depression is another very real form of depression. After a mother gives birth, her hormone levels may decrease significantly which can result in depression. Depending on the mother these feelings of depression can last weeks, months, or sometimes even years. Current theories believe that postpartum depression can be caused by a rapid shift in various female hormones.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help You With Depression
Hypnotherapy is a very effective tool at managing many different forms of depression. Although it does in no way completely replace other forms of treatment that you should be seeking to properly manage your symptoms. It should be looked as a very positive addition to your “tool box” on your journey to recovery. That being said, the hypnotherapy treatment protocol for depression is significantly longer and would take more sessions to have a lasting effect. Sometimes, hypnotherapy can have lasting effects in as little as 3-6 sessions. This is not the case with depression and it is important that there is a deep understanding and commitment to the process in order to get any benefit out of it. Your hypnotherapist is 100% committed to getting you better, but the same commitment is required from the client for a successful outcome. Hypnotherapy is a very positive and effective process that can make permanent changes at a deep subconscious level. We work together with your counselor, physician and support groups to get you back on track to your best life.
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Written By: Sebastian Di Cesare PhD, CHt - a research scientist & practicing Clinical Hypnotherapist based in Vancouver, Canada.