Freud believed that depression was anger turned inward. He believed that this anger stemmed from childhood trauma and unresolved conflicts that were hiding under many layers of defensive mechanisms such as denial.
You'll find that anger often accompanies depression because the person feels trapped and victimized by their own inadequacies. This leads to self-contempt and obsessive critical thinking. As guilt and negative thoughts fill their minds, pessimism, the dark cloud of gloom, hopelessness, and worthlessness, hangs over their head colouring everything in life. The future looks bleak.
The dark cloud of doom
Research shows that depression eliminates the vibrancy of naturally occurring colours. Depression can literally change the way a person sees the world! Dr. Emmanual Bubl evaluated 40 patients suffering from depression. 20 were taking antidepressant medications and 20 were not. 40 healthy patients were studied as a control. They found a significant decrease in the retinal sensitivity of depressed patients, even patients taking medication.
John came to see me for weight loss. At 50 years of age, he had 100 pounds of excess weight on his frame. He also had a heart condition brought on by a virus contracted in his twenties. His medical condition required multiple prescription medications including not one, but two, antidepressants.
While there were multiple factors contributing to John’s issue, regression revealed that the bulk of his weight was anger. As he released the pent-up rage from the past the pounds began to let go. Other changes were occurring as well. Estranged family members suddenly reconnected with him. They wondered why they had lost touch.
When John attended a family reunion, he fully expected to have to ‘grin and bear it.’ This time, however, John actually had fun! John was becoming more aware. He was literally starting to see things differently. For example, on his walk to the mall at lunch each day he began to notice shops he had never seen before. ‘Have they been there all along?’ he wondered.
Indeed, the most obvious things had been invisible to John. While driving he was acutely aware of the fall leaves. Colours seemed sharper and brighter. This so perplexed him that he mentioned it to his psychiatrist. When the psychiatrist asked what he might be doing different, John admitted that he had been seeing a hypnotherapist for weight loss.
The psychiatrist said, “Keep going. The depression is lifting.”
What You Need to Know
Depressed individuals tend to have poor nutrition and get little exercise. They are prone to alcohol or drugs use. Weight gain or loss is commonly associated with depression. As are drug and alcohol use, chronic pain or illness. When guilt and shame are chronic, so are feelings of unworthiness, worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness.
We call this ‘depression.’ This type of depression is considered the common cold of emotional states. It can involve sadness, unhappiness, and a discouraged mood.
Other symptoms of depression include:
- feeling that nothing is fun anymore
- feeling deprived of pleasure
- feeling that everything is boring.
- feeling disinterested in sex.
Any stressful event can trigger depression. Common situational triggers for depression include any major loss in a person’s life. For example, death of a loved one – spouse, parent, child, friend, pet.
Pain following an accident appears to magnify and persist if a person also suffers from depression. At its extreme, depression can express as suicidal thoughts or preoccupation with death.
Any life crisis including loss of a job, separation or divorce, prison term, personal injury. Loss of mobility or chronic pain can trigger depression. Children of divorce are particularly susceptible to depression.
Changes in sleep patterns are also common. Depression is often associated with too little or too much sleep. Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. For example, waking at 3:00 am and then finding it difficult to fall back to sleep.
Poor sleep patterns result in fatigue. Feeling drained of energy or fatigue is a common complaint. With fatigue comes difficulty concentrating or remembering things. As does feeling irritated or agitated much more quickly.
Fatigue also decreases immune function. it exacerbates chronic pain, e.g., Fibromyalgia, arthritis, degenerative disk disease, headaches, TMJ, tendonitis, etc. These are just a few of the conditions that clients will seek out the help of a regression hypnosis practitioner to resolve.
Signs of Transformation
Just as many of us "catch a cold", from time to time, most people experience bouts of depression. When it lingers, however, there's a deeper issue calling for resolution. There can be multiple factors contributing to a client's depression but it may just be that Freud was right. Depression may just be a problem of unresolved anger. If so, helping your clients to release the pent-up anger will reduce the stress they've been carrying around inside.
As this happens the dark cloud of doom will begin to dissolve away. Your clients will begin to notice the light at the end of the tunnel as they begin to enjoy:
- More restorative sleep
- More energy and vitality with which to enjoy life
- More fun and social engagement
- More loving thoughts and feelings toward self and others
- Improved immune function
- Liberation from physical symptoms like excess weight, chronic pain, etc.