It is important, for people who suffer from depression, to know that it often responds very well to treatments like hypnotherapy and success rates are quite often very high. But it is equally important to understand more about the different types and causes of depression! While the term "depression" is used universally to describe this condition, it is anything but one condition!
While I have had much success in treating clients, in Singapore, with depression by using hypnotherapy and other methodologies, we must not overlook the seriousness of this illness! The truth is, that depression is a serious mental health condition and worse than that, it is becoming more and more prevalent with each passing generation; which should in and of itself, be telling us something about our society or the world we now live in?
For this reason, therapists, in general, need to avail themselves of the nature, causes and progression of this serious condition and how that relates to their client, ahead of making any generalised statements on how it can be treated. Each case of depression is a combination of many factors, some of which are unique to the individual client themselves and the particular way their life evolved from birth.
In that context, 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. Things that can cause this are (but not limited to):
- some kind of brain injury (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
It is also possible to have both types occurring at the same time, to varying degrees, and while generally more difficult to treat, it is still treatable, so there is always hope!
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 is a one type fits all treatment or all you have to do is to focus on the future and by default ignore the past. Others have actually said, "the whole world has got it wrong!" Implying that treating depression with medication doesn't deal with the problem or its root cause and that you have to get to that root cause (which is deemed to be psychological), in order to effectively treat depression. Of course, there is a small amount of truth in these views because for some 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 on how to treat the client in front of you, unless you have performed an exhaustive investigation into the probable, likely or definitive cause(s) of their depression! For people whose past most definitely was involved (a root cause), there can be 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!
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. 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 as unique as each client and discovering all that takes a little while, essentially it evolves over a few sessions but some therapeutic interventions are added along the way; so, a kind of progressive and incremental healing slowly unfolds.
Understanding the problem!
In order to treat Depression successfully, one needs to have a good understanding of depression, in general, as well as to understand the client in front of you. That is simply because there is no standard model of depression and the nature of the illness is intrinsically entwined into the nature and life of each client!
As I have said, depression is a treatable condition although mostly it is treated with medication, sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. However, many people are nowadays looking for treatments that do not involve medication, for example, homoeopathic treatments, using natural products, e.g, 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 and perhaps the one common downside (side effects excluded), is, they usually take quite a long time to work, as in, the time taken to effect a cure! 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 depression 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 have all trained extensively and all have a belief in what they do as well as some empirical proof of the efficacy of their treatment regime. But having had many clients who have been successfully treated, some in a matter of weeks, I am convinced that hypnotherapy is one of the fastest and most effective methods of all that I know of. And, other than a happier life, there are no side effects with hypnosis!
So, whenever I see a client looking for a treatment for their depression, here in my Singapore clinic, I go to great lengths to get a full and proper understanding of their condition, its duration, intensity and how it affects their own life, as well as that of those around them, e.g. loved ones, colleagues, friends etc. And to make their choice of 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 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.