Mental health issues are finally gaining wider awareness and understanding generally. But just because the conversation is expanding, there is still a long way to go – and many people still suffering in silence. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common conditions, and while the link between them might not be obvious at first, they are different sides of the same coin.
What’s the difference?
Depression tends to focus on ruminating on the past, frequently accompanied by an inability to find meaning in the present; whilst anxiety tends to manifest as worrying about the future. Both conditions can be exhausting to the extent that they impact upon the most vital elements of a healthy life – such as sleep, diet, and interpersonal relationships.
People suffering with depression need to be taught to accept and work with ambiguous circumstances, as well as to search for and focus on meaning in their life. Learning to relax with uncertainty also benefits those with anxiety; as does learning ways to dial down the hyper-vigilance that if left unchecked, can result in extreme manifestations such as panic attacks, agoraphobia, or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can also arise as a consequence.
What do they have in common?
Both conditions have stress at their root. This is a state we experience when there is a mismatch between perceived demands and our perceived ability to cope. Stress can also be defined as an adaptive physical response to change in the environment. The stress response evolved to protect us, enabling humans to deal with life threatening dangers such as being confronted with a wild animal. Such situations required action – hence the activation of the stress response to fight, flight, or freeze.
Our brains have not evolved as swiftly as our modern lives have, therefore this stress response to demanding situations is still with us. We all experience stress in different ways depending upon our personality type and past conditioning. Exercise can help flush out stress hormones, but it is better to deal with the cause rather than the symptom, and learn better coping strategies. Likewise, learning to recognise depressive thinking styles (such as all-or-nothing thinking, and catastrophising) can empower us to challenge them when they arise.
So how does hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy is different from any other form of therapy because of the way in which the therapy part happens while one is in hypnosis – itself a natural focused state of absorption. It is a very effective combination of a trance-like altered state of mind with deep relaxation, which allows the chosen therapy to be even more effective. Therapies can include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), suggestion therapy, regression, ego states therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or hypnoanalysis to name just some examples.
Hypnosis allows you to enter a state of deep relaxation, which in itself is a very useful therapy for managing stress. It also allows one to become calm and focused, as all parts of the mind work together and concentrate on solving the problem at hand; and therefore make the most effective use of the chosen therapy as it is applied. All parts of the mind work in harmony for the good of the whole being.
Are there any other benefits?
Hypnotherapy is a proven method for overcoming both anxiety and depression; as well as being positive, rewarding, safe, and gentle. Someone who has undergone hypnosis will not only learn to manage their symptoms but will have more confidence, increased self esteem, and a clearer and more positive perspective on life. Hypnosis calms the nerves, the mind, and the whole body; while alleviating the stress and anxiety that an individual may experience. It is a fascinating process that explores the resources of the subconscious mind – and the beliefs, behaviours, and thinking patterns of the individual become more positive and empowered as a consequence.
Under hypnosis, an individual can both visualise and feel themselves free from anxiety or depression. Hypnotherapy will allow you to live a richer and more rewarding life without these conditions stopping you from reaching your goals. You can try it out right now with these downloads for anxiety or these downloads for depression. However, if you prefer therapy focused on your individual personality and circumstances, I am a fully qualified hypnotherapist who has undertaken specialist training in both anxiety and depression, and have helped many of my clients overcome these conditions (see my success stories). I am based in Canterbury, Kent and Peckham, London SE15; and also offer online sessions, wherever in the world you may be. Please feel welcome to call me on 07947 475721 for a free no-obligation 15 minute phone consultation – you don’t need to suffer in silence.