Emotions are the driving force behind everything we do. What we feel, not what we think, is the determinating factor behind most of our decisions, intentions, motivations, actions and reactions. Emotions are what keeps us alive, both individually and as a species. They keep us from danger. The igniting of fear prevents us from falling off cliffs or getting hit by traffic. Emotions are what makes us fall in love and form families. They guide our thinking and decision making every day of our lives. Emotions are at the heart of our existence, they shape our judgements and determine our personality. Without them, it would be impossible to exist. Learning to access the driving force responsible for our emotions enables us to bring balance, peace, joy and serenity back into our lives.
Clinical Depression and Depressive Disorder
While most of us have experienced feeling sad, unhappy, unmotivated and down at one time or another in our lives, clinical depression is a mood disorder in which the feelings of sadness, grief, hopelessness, helplessness, lack of energy, loss of interest, anger or frustration persist and interfere with day-to-day life.
Depression affects the way we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us. Problems and situations tend to appear overwhelming and solutions out of reach.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of depression and depressive disorder include: sadness, feelings of unhappiness, hopelessness, helplessness, fatigue, lack of energy, lack of motivation, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements, loss of interest in activities, discouragement, lack of purpose, feelings of worthlessness, low self-image, self-hate, guilt, tendency to fixate on past failures, self blame, change in the quality or quantity of sleep (insomnia or excessive sleeping), reduced sex drive, difficulty concentrating, indecisiveness, distractibility, restlessness, frustration, irritability, anger, tendency to become withdrawn or isolated, changes in appetite often leading to weight gain or weight loss, unexplained physical problems such as back pain or headaches, thoughts of death or suicide.
Treatments for Depression
Mainstream treatments for depression principally consist in prescription medications (antidepressants) and talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Prescription medications can, in some cases, offer a degree of relief from symptoms of depression or anxiety. What they do not do is address the specific cause at the root of these conditions. Prescription medications are designed to address, mask and diminish the symptoms of a condition. Left unaddressed, the root cause remains active. Being able to correctly address and resolve the cause at the root of our feelings of depression or anxiety enables lasting remission from emotional distress.
Antidepressants are also often linked to long list of side-effects including nausea, dry mouth, dizziness, increased sweating, constipation, fatigue, appetite and weight changes, insomnia, abnormal dreams, irritability, blurred vision, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo, decreased sex drive and sexual problems. Some of them report occasionally compounding depression and leading to suicidal thoughts or behaviors, anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, hostility, aggressiveness, restlessness and unusual changes in behavior, including engaging in dangerous activities. Rare side-effects also include mental changes, confusion, hallucinations, changes in blood pressure and heart rate, cardiac arrhythmia, fever, shivering, shakiness, agitation, seizures and coma.
Psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy allow us to gain better understanding of the functioning of our mind, along the course of our path, on a conscious level of the mind. Hypnotherapy brings that understanding to the subconscious, the core center of our feelings and emotions. The creative part of our mind, the subconscious determines our emotional state, life-long habits, automatic patterns and behaviors.
Understanding the Scope and Boundaries of Clinical Hypnotherapy
As clinical hypnotherapists, we only work on diagnosed conditions under the supervision of, and in close cooperation with medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurse practitioners and social workers. We require a physician's authorization prior to initiating work on diagnosed conditions. Working in close cooperation with your medical team enables us to ensure your progress in an optimal manner.
Addressing Anxiety & Depression with Clinical Hypnotherapy
Our emotions are there for a reason. They act as a flag, a signal, letting us know a specific wound below the surface needs to be understood, addressed and resolved. Hypnotherapy enables us to track negative emotions back to their root cause, their source, the reason they became a part of our experience of life.
Being able to bring to light the underlying causes responsible for depression and anxiety enables us to reach the emotional fabric on a subconscious level of the mind. By dissolving misperceptions and restoring our truth, we are able to bring resolution to the wounds of our past and finally regain our wellness, balance and peace of mind.
Physician's Authorization and Supervision
Please note a physician's written authorization is required prior to initiating work on diagnosed conditions. If you are currently taking prescription medications for depression or anxiety, do not stop or reduce your dosage without your doctor's approval.
As clinical hypnotherapists, we work in close cooperation with your medical team. Your continued progress is monitored by your doctor. This enables us to provide you with optimal results.
© GMB ~ Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Genvièv Martin-Bernard is a Forensic and Clinical Hypnotherapist who consults locally, nationally and internationally. A published author, she serves as Vice-President of the Oregon Hypnotherapy Association and is a professional member of the National Guild of Hypnotists.