Is hypnotherapy more effective at healing than drugs? As a long term sufferer of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem I had tried many different tools to try and improve before arriving at hypnotherapy . I had tried CBT, exercise, citalopram, EFT, breathing exercises, meditation, travelling and more! All of these techniques made things easier but they did not cure the feelings and thoughts that were maybe quietened but never dealt with.
After suffering for many years with depression and anxiety it could be said that things that happened to us in our past that hurt can cause other problems to occur in our present moment.
To continue living we sometimes put memories and moments to the back of our minds (literally, within our subconscious) in order to continue living, but in order to heal we really need to deal with the pain we have experienced and in some instances totally forgotten about!
Dealing with things that were either very difficult, traumatic, unjust or a loss to us in life tend to stay with us and affect our current way of being.
The past can be painful but hypnotherapy can heal your hurts
We all go through difficult times in life and sometimes what we experience in life can have a detrimental effect on our well being in the present. We keep thinking about a moment in time when we made a bad decision or experienced something that made us feel a negative emotion. That moment in time can keep us from moving forward and living a fulfilling life.
Hypnotherapy can sometimes reveal past pains and experiences in life that we had totally forgotten about but comes to the forefront when under hypnosis you are activating your subconcious mind, a bit like the hard drive of your supercomputer…
What is it like to be under hypnosis?
When you are put under hypnosis your hypnotist should explain what is about to happen and that you will be increasing your brain wave frequency and give you an increased sense of peace.
Your brain has four different brain wave states: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. While you are reading this article, you are in the state of beta. You are alert and able to concentrate on this article. The beta state is normal wakening state. Alpha state is a relaxed state. You are able to access creativity and visualization. Theta state is a deeper state of relaxation; this is a common state of hypnosis and meditation.
Contrary to what people think you NEVER fall asleep or are unconscious of what is going on around you. You are not being controlled, you remain fully in control of your actions and experience.
Although in a very deep relaxed state, similar to that when you are asleep if you were asleep you would not be able to communicate with your therapist.
It is true to say that when in hypnosis your consciousness doesn’t dilute at all, in fact it increases to make you even more aware of your surroundings than when awake with your eyes open and opens your subconscious so you can access forgotten memories that have affected your mental well being of today.
When I was in hypnosis I felt a sense of relaxation and peace that I had not felt for a while as the hypnotist guided me through my minds eye, experiences of the past and thoughts of the past I had and how I could alter them to a different way of being of the past all through my subconscious mind.
What was my hypnosis experience like?
When under hypnosis I could see vividly in my mind’s eye situations and times that continued to haunt me to my present day. Things that I had reacted badly to, even as far back as when I was 7 or gone wrong in my life and not dealt with correctly when it happened.
Yes, it was emotional at times, bringing back past hurts but it helped me understand why I thought about certain situations the way I did and it reduced the pain that came with those thoughts and memories.
Trapped emotions can lead to problems
If you don’t deal with your memories and painful emotions that are connected to experiences properly it can cause several mental problems such as depression and anxiety or blockages.
Hypnosis allows you to, in a controlled environment, release your past hurts to begin to find your way to recovery again. You may not realise that you have experienced in the past has affected you so much and makes you react to situations in certain ways.
What is the subconscious?
…the totality of mental processes of which the individual is not aware unreportable mental activities.
If our conscious mind processed all the information that we see every day we would likely collapse into a quivering wreck.
I like to use the metaphor that the subconscious mind is a super hard drive, a place to store all information we process throughout our live.
Some of these files are stored away so far down in our hard drive they almost become lost, a bit like a hidden trojan virus lurking in the background without our knowledge ready to take down the whole computer and steal our important data.
Have you ever experienced doing things without thinking about it such as touch typing, driving somewhere without realising how you got there, or you smell a familiar smell that takes you back to a time that links the smell to a period of time in your past?
This is all your subconscious mind in action.
Hypnosis allows you to tap into the subconscious hard drive and allows you to start finding the files that are corrupt, activate your anti-virus software, understand why you feel the way you do in your present situation and begin to eradicate your past thoughts and emotions that are holding you back.
This might bring up things that you had forgotten about and didn’t realise just how painful it had been to your present. Those memories and emotions MUST be dealt with as although sometimes painful, once you have solved the problem of the past you can begin to move on.
Is hypnotherapy more effective at healing than drugs?
Both have a place in the healing process and each of our individual cases are different. When I began my healing process and I was feeling quite suicidal my only cure at that stage was 40mg of citalopram and lots and lots of sleep and support from my family. As the chemicals worked their way into my system it did give me that little bit of courage to start to move forward and rebalance the chemicals in my brain.
I see antidepressant tablets as a necessary starting point to depression as it helps you function to a basic level of normality but it doesn’t cure you, it just masks your underlying problem.
Hypnotherapy, unlike drugs such as Citalopram can get to the core of the issue that is causing the depressive and negative mindset whereas Citalopram rebalances your chemical imbalance in your brain making the depressive feelings happen,
- Antidepressants work by balancing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that affect mood and emotions. These depression medicines can help improve your mood, help you sleep better, and increase your appetite and concentration.
it by adjusting your chemical balance in your brain, it is something that is unnatural for our body and not dealing with the mental issue. directly.
Drugs do have a place and are useful for some people, we are all unqiue and believe certain things work better than others.
Some people may need them more than others and feel some sort of comfort from having a tablet, feeling it is healing you. At first when I was in a very bad place it was right for me, it gave almost instant relief but I knew it wasn’t going to heal my emotions and feelings.
That is where I believe Hypnotherapy is one tool that could really help in finding the core root of your emotional and mental anguish. My only disappointment on hypnotherapy is the cost of it as it is not a cheap therapy. A person needing at least 5 sessions will cost anything between £500/$750 to £700/$1000.
Have you experienced hypnotherapy? What are you views on it? What else works for you when you were on the road to healing from depression? Please comment below