Suggestion in the treatment of depression

Am J Clin Hypn. 2013 Jan;55(3):221-9. doi: 10.1080/00029157.2012.738613.


Meta-analyses consistently reveal that most of the response to antidepressant treatment can be obtained by placebo, and the difference between response to the drug and the response to any treatment is not clinically significant for most individuals diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Furthermore, the best predictor of antidepressant efficacy is the response to placebo during the so-called placebo run-in period. It can also be shown that a significant portion of the placebo effect is expectancy. These data thus indicate that suggestion is a central factor in treating depression. Therefore, the use of hypnosis, which is based on suggestion, as a treatment adjunct can be expected to enhance treatment outcome.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Hypnosis / methods
  • Placebo Effect
  • Placebos
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suggestion*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Placebos