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As depression becomes increasingly common, interest in alternative treatments such as hypnosis for depression is also on the rise. If you’re interested in undergoing hypnosis for depression, the most important first step is to talk with your physician. A trained medical professional can help diagnose the source of your depression first rather than simply treating it as a symptom. For example, if the source of your depression is hypothyroidism, then hypnosis would not be the appropriate initial treatment.
One of the first most noticeable benefits of using hypnosis for depression is the relaxation that results from being in a hypnotic state. Hypnosis requires that the patient be physically relaxed, so soothing music and a comfortable environment are used to facilitate relaxation. The deep relaxation encouraged by hypnotherapy can be especially beneficial in soothing anxiety, which many people with depression also suffer from.
The fact that hypnosis is physically non-invasive is another benefit that people find appealing. Even acupuncture, which is considered a fairly alternative treatment in the western world, is still physically invasive, involving the administration of needles to various points on the body. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), also known as “shock treatment” is severely physically invasive compared to hypnosis, as it involves inducing seizures in patients to stimulate areas of the brain. Cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) and Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) are also physically invasive forms of treatment for depression compared to hypnosis.
The lack of physical side effects resulting from hypnosis for depression is a huge benefit, especially when compared to the numerous potential side effects of anti-depressant medications. Some of the potential side effects of anti-depressants include: loss of libido, fatigue, weight gain, disturbing dreams, nausea, and night sweats, among others. Hypnotherapy also lacks the withdrawal symptoms of anti-depressants, which can include vomiting, headaches and a “zapping” sensation in the brain, known as “brain shocks” or “brain shivers.”
While the price of hypnosis for depression varies, the overall cost per session is less likely to increase over time compared to anti-depressants. Patients who are prescribed anti-depressants can form a tolerance to their medication over time, prompting their physicians to prescribe a higher dosage of the drug or a complementary anti-depressant, which increases drug costs. Psychotherapy can be an extremely expensive form of treatment for depression as well, and can carry longer waiting lists than clinicians that offer hypnosis for depression.
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