SSRI’s, the modern anti-depressants have been available on the NHS since the 1990’s but year on year there has been a notable rise in the number of prescriptions written for them….Staggering rise in prescribing of antidepressants.
It would seem that depression is becoming an epidemic and although recommendations are that SSRI’s work most effectively when used alongside a talking therapy it is increasingly harder for the NHS to offer talking therapies since there are long waiting lists for these appointments. So what complimentary therapies are there available to help support someone experiencing depression?
The therapies of choice generally offered by the NHS include CBT and Counselling. As a hypnotherapist it is unfortunate to see that hypnotherapy for stress is not as widely recognized as a viable alternative for treating depression since it has many unique features that can be a powerful support when used alongside anti-depressant medication.
Anti-depressants are said to work by altering the brain chemistry. Hypnosis also alters the balance of the brain chemistry but the client will naturally alter it themselves under the guidance of the therapist by using one’s own natural ability to create the changes in mood and experience they desire. Altering out brain chemistry may sound on the surface a bit drastic but we are continually doing this each and every moment of our lives. The aim is to be able to give ourselves more choice in the quality of our lives and experiences and become able to generate these changes oneself.
If this were possible by using our cognitive mind then we would all be able to reason our way out of any uncomfortable psychological thinking loop and no longer need any medical or psychotherapeutic help. Unfortunately it is not that simple and when we imagine a new experience or thought, different neural pathways in the brain connect and light up triggering, beyond our conscious awareness a chemical change in the body and brain that relates to and alters the quality of our experience emotionally. However a pill does not know your life history or what feelings you maybe experiencing at any particular moment in time so it has to use a scatter gun” approach which can be hit or miss or even according to recent reports cause more depression than you started off with!.. anti-depressants may be worsening depression not treating it.
A skilled hypnotherapist will aim to help the client adjust their conscious and unconscious state of mind in such a way that their perception of life can radically change for the better. The skilled professional therapist will also have the techniques and strategies available that help alleviate any emotional difficulties around past patterns and experiences. This will then leave the client in a much better place to adjust their internal and external experiences so that the chemistry of the brain will realign itself to a balance where life can become a much more positive experience than previously experienced.
Many hypnotherapists will also have some knowledge of counselling, and CBT skills and other powerful strategies. For instance I have certificates in psychotherapy and counselling and knowledge of many other psychotherapeutic practices as I know many of my colleagues do. This makes available a wide range of therapeutic options to help tailor the treatment to each client’s individual needs.
Advice on medication is strictly between doctor and patient. However it is my understanding that these days the medical profession will rarely suggest anyone stay on antidepressants for the long term. Medication can be a valuable prop to help us get on with life when things are tough and we have nowhere else to turn, but it will never be able to resolve one’s personal underlying issues and generate a change in your mindset that is genuinely of your own making.
For more information please call or email and I will be happy to help and discuss any issues with you.
“You have changed my life and gave me the tools to cope and carry on making those changes” ST (After 3 sessions having suffered chronic depression for 25 years.)