Depression is a debilitating human condition and a common cause of suffering worldwide. This elicits a sense of urgency for mental health professionals to meet this challenge of the treatment of depression.
In 1999, The World Health Organisation (WHO), issued a proclamation regarding the prevalence of depression. Depression is currently the world’s fourth most debilitating human condition, after heart disease, cancer and traffic accidents. The WHO predicted that by the year 2020, less than two decades hence, depression will have risen to become the second most common cause of human suffering worldwide.
This may be a surprise to many as this is a disorder well known to healthcare professionals across the globe. There are many so called ‘miracle drugs’ often in the news, and so shouldn’t the rate of depression be on the decrease? Well, unfortunately according latest statistics in the UK and USA, it is actually on the rise in every age group.
In his excellent book ‘Treating Depression With Hypnosis’, Doctor Michael Yapko PhD, says “Hypnosis is not a type of therapy like psychoanalysis or behaviour therapy. Instead, it is a procedure that can be used to facilitate therapy. Because it is not a treatment in and of itself, training in hypnosis is not sufficient for the conduct of therapy”. Hypnosis is, in my opinion the vital procedure that allows my clients to focus fully and without distraction upon the therapeutic strategies I apply in treatment sessions. This, of course, requires thorough training and experience in hypnoanalysis and psychotherapeutic techniques.
Dr Yapko reached two powerful and empowering conclusions in his work. Firstly that people suffering with depression need to be taught to accept and work with ambiguous circumstances in life, and secondly to search for and focus on a meaning for their life.
This is such sage advice. I find continually that clients presenting with depression at any level are struggling with the vagueness of life and its meaning for them. Life is ambiguous in that we don’t really have the answers for most of life’s most challenging questions and this can leave anyone a little dizzy thinking about it, let alone looking for answers to give meaning to their existence. In the masterful work of the late Dr Victor E. Frankle, this need for a meaning in life is made very clear. More than this it is shown how the how, is very less important than the why in life.
In his book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ Victor Frankle says “Life does not mean something vague, but something very real and very concrete, just as life’s tasks are very real and concrete. They form man’s destiny, which is different and unique for each individual”. Having survived the Nazi Concentration camps of world war two, Victor Frankle is well qualified to make such profound statements. If you are suffering from any level of depression, I recommend a reading of this short but empowering book.
Modern Clinical Hypnotherapy is producing good results for many individuals suffering with depression. This is not an easy or instant fix, but fairly early progress can be made with the individual who is truly wanting to overcome this life restricting condition.
I’m optimistic about the results we will continue to see from treating depression with clinical hypnotherapy as a part of a balanced treatment regime.