We all feel low from time to time. Often this will quickly ease and we’ll go back to feeling like our usual selves. For some people, however, this low mood persists and affects everyday life.
Depression is a mental health condition that causes you to feel low for a prolonged period of time. You may struggle to carry out day-to-day activities and lose interest in activities that you used to find enjoyable.
Depression is common and is the predominant mental health problem worldwide, followed by anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Thankfully, though, there are many treatment options available.
What is depression?
Depression is when you have a low mood for a long time, making it difficult for you to carry out your usual everyday activities. The condition can affect you in different ways and may be mild, severe or somewhere in-between. The level of severity will depend on how much depression is interfering with your life.
Signs of depression
There are a number of different symptoms and signs of depression, you may not have all of them. The signs of depression to be aware of are:
• a low mood, feeling sad and/or angry
• lacking in energy
• losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy
• difficulty concentrating
• feeling tired more easily
• low self-confidence
• different sleeping habits (difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual)
• different eating habits (eating more or less than usual)
• feeling guilty or that you are worthlessYou may find you’re easily irritated or have a sense of being numb to everything. You may lose interest in sex and have thoughts of self-harm or even suicide. Talking to someone about how you feel is the first step and the best way to start to feel better
Why am I depressed?The causes of depression will differ from person to person. Often the reasons are complex and there may be multiple factors at play. Some of the most common causes however include:
Childhood experiences – Certain experiences in your childhood can make you more vulnerable to depression as an adult. You may have experienced trauma, abuse, bereavement or even had an unstable family environment. All of these situations can affect your mental health and make it more likely for you to experience depression.
Life events – In some cases, depression can be triggered by a particular event. You may have ended a relationship, lost someone close to you or lost your job. Major life changes like moving, getting married and changing jobs can lead to depression, too.
Mental or physical health problems – Sometimes other mental health conditions can cause depression. Anxiety, eating disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are some of the most commonly linked conditions. If you struggle with your physical health or if you have chronic pain, you may also find this affects your mood and triggers depression.
Genetic factors – Research has found that if a member of your family has depression, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself. This could be linked to genetic and biological factors, or it may be down to learnt behaviours.
Substance abuse – Drinking or taking drugs may feel like a good way to feel better, but they can often make your mental health worse.
Lifestyle – Certain lifestyle changes can affect your mood, including how much you sleep, what you eat and how much physical activity you get. While these factors alone won’t cause depression, they can make you more likely to develop it.
Other causes – Some medication side-effects include depression and some physical health problems (such as hormone issues) can cause depression. Always be sure to visit your doctor to get a diagnosis and to check for underlying causes.
Hypnotherapy for depression
One treatment option to manage and overcome depression is hypnotherapy. This approach works on a subconscious level, using techniques to identify and address the root causes while offering positive suggestions to break negative thinking patterns.
Rather than treat the symptoms of depression, hypnotherapy aims to tackle what triggers lead to your depression so you can unpick it and move on.
Hypnotherapy works for depression because it targets the underlying basis of depression, and completes the “unfinished business” that otherwise continues to recycle as self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviours. With hypnotherapy, the person can go down deeper to their traumatic experiences, memories and stored emotions, which means they can quickly release them from the mind and body.
When the root cause of your depression has been addressed, suggestion techniques can be used to encourage a more positive mindset. These suggestions can help with low energy, sleeping difficulties and help you feel more like your usual self