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Can hypnotherapy help with depression?

By Leah Jung

Now a topic of discussion everywhere from social media to sixth forms, there was a time when depression was the medical condition that dared not speak its name.

Although there is still undoubtedly some stigma attached to admitting you suffer with depression or are being treated for it, we as a society have come a long way in recognising that it’s a medical condition just like any other.

Given the fact that one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind every year in England but only a third of those receive treatment for it (, perhaps we need to be talking about it even more.

Like many other mental disorders, there is no “best way” to treat depression. Some find that medication does the job; others need professional psychological help.

Hypnotherapy can certainly help with depression; but before I go into why and whether it’s right for you, let’s look at what depression is and whether there are other methods which might help.

Am I depressed? What is depression?

The NHS doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to defining depression. Its website states: ‘Some people think depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. They're wrong – it is a real illness with real symptoms. Depression is not a sign of weakness or something you can “snap out of” by “pulling yourself together”’.

The site goes on to say that suffering with depression doesn’t have to be a lifelong state of affairs – most people go on to make a full recovery.

Symptoms of depression range from feeling generally unhappy on a regular basis, to physical symptoms such as always feeling tired, having a reduced or negligible appetite or sex drive and struggling to sleep.

If you’re suffering from mild depression, you’re likely to be feeling consistently low-spirited, while if you’re severely depressed then you might be entertaining regular thoughts of suicide.

While we would urge you to take depression seriously and not feel ashamed to be suffering, do be aware that most of us get stressed and anxious during tough times. Try not to convince yourself you’re depressed if you’re not.

Are there any self-help strategies to help with depression?

Yes. Depression can be a vicious circle – you feel depressed so you stop doing certain things, which in turn cause you to feel even more depressed. And so it goes on.

The first step to dealing with depression is by being aware that you’re struggling, because only then can you start addressing the issues.

Not all of these methods will work for everyone, but the chances are that everyone will find something that helps in some way, even if it needs to be supplemented with something else.

  • Have a conversation with someone you trust

  • Try peer support – visit the SANE and CALM websites

  • Take a course at one of the recovery colleges run by MIND

  • Try mindfulness

  • Do your best to care for your hygiene – showering, cleaning your teeth and getting dressed can make more of a difference than you’d think

  • Spend time in nature – get outdoors and go for a walk

Causes of depression: Why am I feeling so miserable?

People become depressed for all manner of reasons. There might be a number of different factors which combine to create a state of depression: your partner leaves you, you lose your job, you suffer a bereavement.

Perhaps you’ve just had a baby or you have a family history of depression. Some women are more prone to suffer depression after pregnancy and if your mum, dad or one of your brothers or sisters suffered with depression then the chances are you might too.

The most important thing to remember is that whatever the cause, depression can be treated; the most important thing is to find the treatment that’s right for you.

Can hypnotherapy help with depression?

Hypnotherapy has long been established as a proven method to help with depression.

That doesn’t mean it will work for everyone; there is no set “cure” for depression and if you’re reading this and desperately trying to find a way to feel better, I can’t promise that it will work.

What I can say is that it works for a great many people, so there’s no reason why it won’t work for you.

One of the reasons hypnotherapy helps with depression is because it looks at the reasons behind depression, which can differ wildly from person to person. For some, depression will be rooted in a traumatic childhood memory or experience; for another it might be an unexpressed emotion; for another it might be a false belief in who you are or who you’re not.

Hypnotherapy will help you address those issues and get on with your life; in many cases not just dealing with the depression but also completely transforming the way you see yourself.

Is hypnotherapy a complementary therapy or can it work alone?

In the main, clinical hypnotherapy is considered a complementary therapy, to be used alongside medication or with a group of psychotherapy techniques for people suffering with depression.

While medication and other treatments can successfully address the symptoms of depression, hypnotherapy can tackle its root causes to great effect.

If you are struggling with depression and would like to talk about how hypnotherapy might work for you, please do get in touch and we’ll have a chat.

I’m also a mental health first aider and can direct you in the right direction to get additional help if needed.

Drop me an email ( and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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