Can Hypnotherapy Cure Depression? Debunking Common Myths
To know whether something is curable, the first step is to know what that something is. Unfortunately, there are many theories about the cause of depression. However nothing solid yet. The likelihood is that there are multiple reasons that people experience feelings of depression. For many people, depression comes and goes. There isn’t a definitive cure, but there are many ways to manage depression, so you live a happy, healthy life. Some common myths about hypnosis and hypnotherapy make it appear the perfect cure for depression. In this article, I’ll debunk some myths and give you the reasons that hypnotherapy is beneficial for depression.
Hypnosis is not the therapy.
My article here goes into more detail about why hypnosis is not a standalone treatment. When you use hypnosis, your mind and body unite. You can focus internally with less external interference. Like meditation, this is a soothing state of mind in which you feel in control of your thoughts and reactions. Ideally, you’ll use self-hypnosis or meditation daily as part of your wellness routine. However, in a therapeutic setting, a hypnotherapist uses hypnosis to enhance other therapeutic tools or increase your concentration so you can work introspectively at a deeper level. Depending on how your depression presents, your hypnotherapists will use hypnosis to help you manage the symptoms. You’ll learn ways to use self-hypnosis or meditation at home to refresh and re-energise you when life feels too much.
Hypnosis does not rewire your brain.
Oh, if it were so easy! There are high expectations of hypnosis, as the tool to rewire brains. Your brain continually changes shape in response to how you use it. The more you use a messaging pathway, the stronger it’ll become, the less you use it, the weaker. Although the brain isn’t a muscle, it changes in a similar way. Therefore, you have the power to train your brain, strengthening pathways that benefit you and weakening those that don’t. This requires commitment to a process. There are different ways to do this. For example, CBT is a form of brain training in which you note your worthless or harmless thoughts, craft replacement thoughts, and actively notice and replace throughout your day.
Your brain behaves in the same way when you imagine something as it does when you do the same thing. By using your imagination in hypnosis, you’ll strengthen the process. In your hypnotherapy sessions, your hypnotherapist will help you imagine yourself the way you want to be in hypnosis. You’ll take the strong image home with you, in your mind, and have it there to reiterate in your practice at home.
Hypnosis is not sleep.
The word sleep is regularly used in hypnosis stage shows. The hypnotist will command their subject to “sleep” with the click of their fingers. Hypnosis is not a sleep state. Hypnosis is a state of mind we all slip in and out of throughout the day. Research shows changes in the brain during hypnosis, but it’s a regular state of internal focus. Depression causes sleep disruption for many people. Although people with depression tend to sleep more, some people find they cannot sleep. Hypnosis, in combination with mindfulness practices, will help you sleep, as you learn how to keep your mind in the present moment. You’ll have the tools to bring your mind away from anxious thinking, so you focus on one thing, which will help you drift into sleep when you go to bed.
The Hypnotist is not in Control.
Much like sleep, hypnosis stage shows give the impression the hypnotist is in control of their subject. This is not the case on stage or in a therapeutic setting. A hypnotist cannot force you to do anything against your will. Although hypnosis generates a state of focused attention and suggestibility, the subject always has the power to accept or reject the suggestions. In addition, someone does not need to use hypnosis to accept suggestions – the power of advertising is evidence enough for this. When in hypnosis, you have complete control to reject suggestions. Therefore, you’ll not behave in a way which is outside of your moral or ethical boundaries. However, if you feel willing to participate in the process and set an intention, with your therapist to achieve predefined goals, you can use the hypnotic state to enhance any suggestion work. Depression often renders people hopeless. If you cannot see a way out, you might let your hypnotherapist lead you, in hypnosis, to an imaginary place where you see yourself thriving. This will help you regain hope for your future.
Much like any other treatment, hypnosis is not a magic cure for depression. However, there is the possibility that it’s the tool which will help you regain some control of your life. With techniques to manage some symptoms of depression, you can find a life you enjoy.