Cognitive Hypnotherapy For Depression - How Effective Is It?

In my last blog I wrote all about the evidence for the anti-depressant effect of exercise on those with clinical depression (you can read that here: Depression: Does aerobic exercise have anti-depressant effects?). The overall conclusions suggest that, with depression, it makes sense to include some active exercise components in your treatment plan.

In this post I'm going to be looking at the effectiveness of cognitive hypnotherapy to help reduce symptoms of depression. Hypnotherapy can help in many ways with the psychological aspects of depression, including motivation and tackling rumination, anxiety and worry.

We are going to be looking at a study that compared the effects of cognitive behavioural therapy (a well established treatment for depression) with clinical hypnotherapy to empirically investigate the additive effect of hypnosis in the management of chronic depression. 

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Depression: Does aerobic exercise have anti-depressant effects?

It's no secret, if you have read through some of these blogs, that exercise forms one of the main pillars of how I organise my life. In the past this was solely running focused and these days it incorporates several bootcamps a week with some short running. Exercise is important to me and boosts my sense of physical fitness and mental health.

Funnily enough when I was younger I hated exercise (I blame cross country in the rain at school). I had no interest in it and I was overweight, which put me off it even more because of the increased perceived effort required. Later life showed that once you find something that you enjoy and that makes you feel better in yourself then you can turn it around and find that you benefit from habitually exercising. Or as someone put it to me recently (a non-exerciser), I'm one of those weirdos who really enjoys exercising.

My own personal experience has been that exercise boosts my mental health. When there is a lot going on or an element of stress or worry in life then a good bootcamp or run helps me to process it and cope with it and emerge feeling mentally stronger.  

And it isn't just me who has found that exercise benefits mental health. There is a growing body of research that supports this and in this article I'll be looking at a couple of research reviews that tell us a lot about how exercise can benefit people with depression.

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Depression, Anti-Depressants & Mental Health - Do The Tablets Actually Work?

It's a debate that has gone on as long as anti-depressants have been available: Do they actually work or is it all down to the placebo effect? In my professional circles, social media has long been littered with those who are advocates of anti-depressants in the treatment of depression (often those who are or who have found personal benefits from them) and those who can only be described as opponents of them (often from a philosophical or anti-big-pharma standpoint). 

I've worked with hundreds of people with depression (and anxiety). Some chose not to start taking anti-depressants; of course they are entirely within their rights to make this decision and to pursue other sources of effective help. Some people who come to me are taking anti-depressants and noticing no change from taking them or report they are finding them only partially helping to ease their symptoms and so are seeking additional support. And of course there will be others who are prescribed anti-depressants and who find them completely helpful and so don't require any other therapeutic help.

My view, which I can state upfront, is that it is up to each individual to make the decision that suits them best. When someone comes to work with me, they may or may not be taking anti-depressants, yet either way we work with their individual situation, thoughts and feelings to make progress. Following this progress, my client can then go back to their doctor to discuss the possibility of gradually coming off the tablets if they wish to do so (and with the full co-operation, advice and review of their doctor). 

Sadly there are also still too many therapists (of many types) who seek to impose their own views upon clients and who, despite not being doctors or knowing the person's medical history, still suggest to them they should stop taking the tablets (usually with the advice to seek treatment from that therapist). In my view, this is both unprofessional and unethical and should be a big, bright waving red flag if you ever hear such assertions.

Anyway, I digress slightly as the main focus of this article is the recent study that has found that anti-depressants are more effective than placebos at reducing symptoms of acute depression in adults.

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Loving Life and Enjoying Happiness

If you are currently stuck feeling depressed, low and anxious, then the thought of loving life and enjoying happiness may seem  long way off for you.

Yet, by changing thoughts, feelings, emotions and beliefs, it is possible to start feeling better, enjoying happiness and moving forward in your life again.

In this latest video testimonial, Jodie describes how she came to see me because she felt low and depressed. Now she is enjoying being happy and loving her life again. Discover what she said about her hypnotherapy sessions in the video below.

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Blue Monday - the most depressing day of the year?

Blue Monday, often touted as being the most depressing day of the year, has become something of an annual talking point and this year has been marked for Monday, January 16.

And whilst the 'January blues' is a common post-Christmas slump and back into the usual routine kind of thing, Blue Monday itself is a bit of a facily. In fact, there is no such thing as Blue Monday let alone an official most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday itself goes back to a holiday company PR campaign).

Yet whether you decide you want to buy into Blue Monday, or you are just struggling with the January blues or you just don't feel as happy as you would like to, then what can you actually do about it?

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Clinical Depression and depression symptoms can mean that instead of being your usual self and able to function normally, you struggle with feelings of dispair, dread and anxiety. You may have stopped doing a lot of the things you were doing when you felt better, yet you can feel more exhausted and drained.

With all your confidence, motivation and energy replaced with clinical depression symptoms, the impacts can negatively ripple into every part of your life including your work, relationships, socially and more.

And whilst antidepressant medication prescriptions continue to soar in adults and children, could it be that in fact there is another way to find that hope, optimism and lightness you currently only remember as a distant memory?

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Recently I’ve been working with a large number of clients who suffer with depression. Perhaps the main thing they had in common was how long they had felt that way and suffered with their depression.

Because we can never know exactly what is going on in someone else’s head, it can be quite common for people with depression to do a good job of keeping it from those close to them - on the outside they can come across as doing fine yet inside they are struggling.

According to research (1), people with even mild mental illnesses are more likely to

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