Do you know that 10 September is the World Suicide Prevention Day? Well, now you do. As dark as it may sound, we do need to address the grim reality in hope to reduce the suicide rate world-wide. With suicide linking closely to mental health, this time we’d like to observe more into one of the most promising cure for some mental illness, that is, hypnotherapy and how it can be used to prevent extreme anxiety and suicidal tendencies
What exactly is Hyphnotherapy? It is the use of hyphnosis to treat phisical or phisilogical conditions. Hyphnosis is the state of focus concentration which a person becomes less aware of his or her surroundings. It uses guided relaxation, intense concetration and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance. The person’s attention is so focused while in this state that anything going around this person is temporary blocked or ignored.
Hypnotherapy is usually considered an aid to psychotherapy (counseling) rather than a treatment in itself. It helps with psychotherapy because the hypnotic state allows people to enter a deep state of relaxation that can bettet to allow them to eplore painful thoughts, feelings and memoriesthat might be hidden from their conscious minds. In addition, enables people to perceive some things differently such as blocking an awareness of pain.
Hypnosis as a mental health therapy
Hypnosis is one of the oldest form of psychotherapy in the western world and it may also be the most misunderstood. Although long assosiated with performers, all true hypnosis is by defination self hypnosis. In spite of the prevailing myth, nobody can be hypnotized against his or her will. Instead, hypnosis is generally induced by focusing attention on positive mental imagery.
When to consider hypnosis
A number of hypnotic techniques exist, combining relaxation with imagery. People who undergo hypnosis may achieve a trancelike state, similar to what happens when they daydream or meditate. But hypnosis is actually a heightened state of concentration. The aim is to focus the mind to eliminate the distractions and make someone more open to suggestions such as those who promote the aims of treatment.
The American Medical Association approved hypnosis as therapy in 1958 and the American Psychiatric Association followed in 1961. Since then, reviews had provided evidence about when this therapy is effective.
In the year 2000, a meta-analysis was published concluded that hypnosis offered moderate to major relief for many types of pain. And a 2003 analysis founf that hypnosis at many times more effective than other pain relief methods.
Hypnosis may be used as an adjunct to various types of sedation during surgery. A 1999 review concluded that hypnosis combined with sedation may also reduce length of stay in the hospital by speeding recovery. A 2007 study found that women who were hypnotized before undergoing a breast biopsy or lumpectomy required less sedation during the procedure and experienced less pain, nausea and emotional distress afterwards.
Studies also reports that hypnosis can be effective for alleviating pain caused by chronic tension headaches and migraine headaches.
Hypnosis also helps to alleviate anxiety. It has been studied most as a treatment for anxiety related to surgery. Many studies had reported that hypnosis reduced anxiety levels and lowered blood pressure in patients before surgery and enhanced recovery afterward by shortening hospital stays and reducing complications like nausea and vomiting.
As study reveals, patients who underwent hypnosis received suggestions of well-being before surgery. Upon entering the operating room, their anxiety levels were reported 56% lower than before they got bypnotized. Patients in comparison group who received the normal pre-surgical standard of care, reported a 47% increase in anxiety.
People with suicidal ideation often are just labeled depressed by family doctors and sent on their way with the latest anti-depressant. Applying hypnotherapy to suicidal ideation starts with beginning treating by identifying the symptoms and feelings and then proceeding to where and when it began. Seeking the origin of the depression may lead us back to a recent devastating loss, failure or rejection.
The danger period for suicide in men is in between age 25 and 65 years and according to the World Health Organisation, depression is the number one leading disability in the world with the an estimated 350 million people globally suffering from it. Men are three times more likely to complete suicide than women, with depression normally being the major factor.
People regulary band the word ‘depression’ about freely like “oh I am depressed because I can’t afford that new pair of shoes” or “I feel so depressed that I can’t go on a holiday”. These are the same people who will tell you they are “dying of flu” when all they have is a head cold or that they are “literally starving” because they haven’t eaten in four hours.
Depression is a very real, debilitating condition and if you genuinely have it you will know. Some use the analogy of having a dark cloud hanging over them. Others say it’s like having a big black dog following them around. We’ve all experienced days where there is an unusual stillness about the day, almost as if the world has stopped revolving and everything seems muffled and somehow unreal. It feels like there is something missing but you can not put your finger on it so just go out about your day as usual until it passes or the wind gathers up and the birds starts singing again.
Living with depression means everyday feels like that. There is a sense of complete hopelessness, like continually treading water never getting on the edge or touching the bottom. There is a feeling of detachment from even those closest to you. Life is futile and you see no point in carrying on. Many will do nothing about it. They carry on throughout their lives with a false smile forever on their face while crying in the inside forever, fantasising about their life coming to a welcoming end.
There can be many signs or none at all. For some, they cry out for help hoping someone will listen and help them. They may talk about killing themselves or that they feel useless or burden, that they feel trapped. They may drink more, abuse drugs, sleep eratically and deliberately isolate themsleves from family and friends not wanting to go out or mix with other people. They may start getting their affairs in order or start giving away personal belongings.
However, for some there is no prior warning, no signs, no indications they were ever even slightly unhappy. They are normally described as the ‘life and soul of the party’ sort of guy. Only afterwards do those closest to the suicide victims start recalling the odd incident and piece together their last few weeks or months and then they see the signs they so easily missed.
Depression is normally slow growing, a continuum that gradually creeps up on the person before becoming all-consuming. Sometimes they don’t even know the root cause which makes them then feel guilty of having this feelings. For some people, they appear to have it all, success-money-a loving family- but when you are depressed those things are just not enough.
A common belief is that if they won the lottery it would solve all their problems and they would automatically be happy. Or maybe if they were thinner or prettier all their problems and unhappiness will melt away. However, change has to come from the inside. Material wealth and cosmetically enhanced imagery or dieting make no difference to a person’s level of well being and happiness. For some people the psychological scars run more deeper than any physical ones. In oreder for them to accept the physical change on the outside they first have to address how they feel on the inside.
There are many medications available to treat depression and episodic sadness, however many of these have side-effects. Some of which can make the patient feel worse before they feel better. Ironically side-effects listed with the medication will often include “may have suicidal thoughts”. Although drugs like anti-depressants can help lift the person out of depression, thay do not tackle the underlying cause. However, it is important that advice and support is sought medical or otherwise as soon as depression is suspected.
A safe and effective way to combat depression is with hypnotherapy. Hypnosis can be used to successfully challenge the mental anguish and inner fight the person has with their mood and feelings of hopelessness. A good therapist will guide the person on a journey to a time when they feel uplifted; a time when they felt living was worthwhile and to a time when they were in a much better frame of mind.
The whole process of hypnotherapy from beginning to end is beneficial to the person with depression. First, they are in a nice, relaxing environment. No pressure is put on them to disclose any memories or feelings that leave them uncomfortable. Much of the therapy can be carried out content free.
The hypnotherapist will respect the pace they want to go at and sometimes just lying back relaxing, having someone to talk to can begin the process of recovery. For some people memories are what cause their depression. Something from the past that either happened to them or someone close to them can leave them spiraling downwards. The memory is constantly played over and over again in their minds. It starts to consume them until it fully encompasses them. Worst case scenarios are thought out or how things might have turned out differently or that absolutely nothing could have been done that could have changed the course of actions leaving them feeling inadequate.
In this case, the therapist will work on how to change the feelings associated with the memories using the techniques proven to change one’s mindset. The memories will remain but how you feel towards them will be totally different as you will be emotionally removed from them.
If you are undergoing this kind of therapy in your country and yet you can’t say no to a work trip or a family holiday to this little island called Bali, just make sure to bring a copy of your medical records and resume the therapy in our Hydro Medical Clinics. Our team of professional therapists are always ready to help you feel your best.