Childline’s suicide help calls up 15% in a year

A total of 22,456 sessions were given to children in the UK thinking about taking their own life – up from 19,481 the year before, the charity Childline reported, but the helpline says it can answer only three out of every four calls and urgently needs more volunteers.

Childline founder and president Dame Esther Rantzen told the BBC it was vital to find out why so many young people are feeling so desperate.

“When Childline launched over 30 years ago, I remember children usually felt suicidal because they were being hurt by someone. Now young people tell us they are overwhelmed by mental health issues taking them to the brink of suicide. We must discover why so many of our young people feel so isolated they turn to Childline, because they believe no one else cares about them.”

The BBC said Childline’s statistics for the past year showed that 72% of the calls handled were from girls and 13,456 sessions were about anxiety issues. Figures showed that more than 2,000 contacts were with young people who had already taken steps to end their lives, such as writing a note, giving meaningful items away or even planning their death.

The BBC quoted a former Childline caller who said “To get to my school I had to cross a railway bridge and I would just stand there and think ‘I could just jump off’. It felt overwhelming and like I was alone. I just felt so, so low, I couldn’t see a way out.”

The girl, now 18, said she was self-harming when she was 11 and first thought about taking her own life when she was 13.

“I didn’t want to tell my parents because I thought they would be worried and disappointed or not understand.”
She said it was essential to speak to someone about your feelings and problems, adding that ‘talking to someone who’s not in the problem, who you know is not going to judge you or worry – because my main problem was ‘I don’t want my parents to worry, there’s so much stress’ – and just knowing that you’re not alone and that it’s not your fault’ was helpful.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has than 1,800 qualified therapists across the UK who will listen and treat people who see them about anxiety-related issues and the national body adds the can ‘assess your anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship’.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you. Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily.

“People who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

Helping with mental health issues like stress, anxiety, lack of confidence or self-esteem is something which clinical hypnotherapy can do effectively and the need for help seems stronger now than before.

New data from the NSPCC shows one in six Childline counselling sessions is now about serious mental health issues. Those aged 12 to 15 made up a third of sessions, with girls almost seven times more likely to seek help than boys.

For clinical hypnotherapy help, contact a therapist from the NCH near you by clicking here to access their directory.

Hypnotherapy can help in Stoptober campaign

Breaking addictions and beating unwanted habits like smoking is not easy on your own which is why an event like ‘Stoptober’ is good as there is support out there to help smokers overcome their nicotine addiction and end that nasty habit.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) supports campaigns like Stoptober and its clinical hypnotherapists across the UK are experienced in helping people stop smoking – one of hypnotherapy’s better success stories.

Stoptober 2017 is to support the use of e-cigarettes for the first time, despite warnings from health experts and new television adverts launched by Public Health England (PHE) encourage smokers to use e-cigarettes, also known as vapes, to overcome their addiction, the Evening Standard reports.

Speaking for the NCH, Richard Lepper said: “While the NCH supports anyone who finds a way to stop smoking, it seems as if swapping one device for another does not address the long-term health implications. Hypnosis from a trained and qualified practitioner with experience and success in this field would address both the desire to stop smoking (cigarettes and vapes) and provide a solution that meets the needs of the individual.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued guidance expressing caution about the risks and benefits of vaping. Nice said: “The draft guideline does not list e-cigarettes as recommended aids to stop smoking however it does say that advice should be offered on their use.” Nice advised that patients should be told that ‘there is currently little evidence on their long term benefits or harms’.

According to the NHS, 1.5 million people have taken part in Stoptober since it launched in 2011, many of them receiving free one-on-one support from a medical professional via the NHS. It adds that vaping has since become the most popular method of stopping smoking, with 53% of people using e-cigarettes to try and quit.

The campaign says that by not smoking for the 28 days the campaign runs, smokers are more likely to quit for good and that there are three benefits – being healthy, saving money and protecting one’s family.

However, hypnotherapy can be even quicker and more effective. The NCH says that it might only take a one-session treatment of around 90 minutes as smoking is a habit that you can give up for good, so the therapist may use what is known as aversion techniques which will put you off having another cigarette.

Smoking, says the NCH, is a problem behaviour or an unwanted habit or addiction, ‘something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about’.

But, adds the NCH, the good news is that you are in control and you can change how you react to certain situations, and protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind.

“You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can. The reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with your subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made that support your goals quickly and efficiently.”

Lepper added: “As much as 90% of smoking is mental as nicotine leaves the body in days yet the subconscious mind holds onto the desire to smoke for longer. Hypnotherapy is an effective method for ceasing smoking and if this what you really want to do that it is incredibly successful.”

If you wish to stop smoking, contact one of the more than 1,800 qualified NCH therapists across the UK by clicking here and entering your postcode where applicable. It will be life-changing experience.

Obesity levels among the young raise concern

There is growing concern about global child and teenage obesity levels which have risen 10 times in the last 40 years, the latest research shows, meaning that 124 million boys and girls around the globe are too fat and they are likely to become obese adults, putting them at risk of serious health problems, say experts.

The analysis, published in the Lancet, is the largest of its kind and looks at obesity trends in over 200 countries. In the UK, one in every 10 young people aged five to 19, is obese. Researchers from the World Obesity Forum also warn that the global cost of treating ill health caused by obesity will exceed £920bn every year from 2025.

Although child obesity rates appear to be stabilising in many high-income European countries including the UK, reports the BBC, they are accelerating at an alarming rate in many other parts of the world.

Lead researcher Prof Majid Ezzati from Imperial College London says the wide availability and promotion of cheap, fattening food is one of the main drivers. The researchers found that, that if current world trends continue, ‘obese’ will soon be more common than ‘underweight’ and the number of underweight girls and boys worldwide has been decreasing since a peak in the year 2000.

In 2016, 192m young people were underweight – still significantly more than the number of young people who were obese, but that looks set to change. Globally, in 2016 an additional 213m young people were overweight although still below the threshold for obesity.

Co-researcher Dr Harry Rutter, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “This is a huge problem that will get worse. Even skinny people are heavier than they would have been ten years ago. We have not become more weak-willed, lazy or greedy. The reality is the world around us is changing.”

Dr Fiona Bull from the World Health Organization called for tough action to crack down on ‘calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food’ and promote more physical activity.

Fad diets have been proven over the years not to work and the combination of portion control, the right foods and exercise seems to be the best route and achieving this mix can be done through clinical hypnotherapy, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy.

The professional association is the biggest in the UK and has more than 1,800 fully trained and qualified therapists on its register who can help young people and teens overcome their problems in this regard.

Says the NCH: “Managing weight loss is one of the most effective results of hypnotherapy. Rather than just reducing calories that you are likely to put on again in the longer term, hypnosis gets you in touch with the reasons why you unconsciously eat.

“If you are the type of person that struggles to stop after a small piece of chocolate and feels compelled to finish the packet then a hypnotherapist can help you understand why and help you create new healthy self-management techniques.”

The NCH adds that as well as stopping compulsive eating, hypnosis can increase the motivation for exercise and can also help people reduce portion sizes so they lose weight healthily, steadily and for the long term.

Over eating can be a physical condition or it can be an unwanted behaviour which, adds the NCH, can be treated effectively with hypnotherapy as the therapist will ask about when you eat, what you eat, what triggers you to reach for food when you are not hungry, or how often you unconsciously polish off a packet of biscuits and avoid doing exercise.

“The therapist will then put together a programme of treatment that will motivate you to exercise more and eat less. Hypnotherapy for weight loss is about changing your habit with food for the rest of your life, so unlike crash diets it changes the root of your compulsive eating or lack of interest in exercise so you are free to enjoy the rest of your life – eating and exercising sensibly without having to think about it.”

To contact an NCH therapist near you, simply click here to access the NCH directory and follow the instructions.

Beat the bullies with hypnotherapy

Being on the receiving end of bullying can have a devastating effect on one’s mental health, leading to anxiety, stress and even severe depression and, while a recent survey suggests the anxiety and depression caused by childhood bullying decreases over time, it is important to seek help for bullying.

The University College London study of 11,000 twins found anxiety problems were still present two years on, but had disappeared after five years, the BBC reported. But it added that ‘minimising the effects of bullying’ in schools was very important. Psychiatrists said bullying could have serious effects on young people’s mental health for a long time.

By surveying more than 11,000 twins at the age of 11, 14 and 16, researchers were able to look at the associations between bullying and mental health. They said bullying was only partly to blame for the mental health problems experienced by bullied children but could cause anxiety, depression, hyperactivity and other behavioural problems.

And the researchers, writing in JAMA Psychiatry, said the results showed the potential for resilience in children exposed to bullying.

Study author Jean-Baptiste Pingault, from the division of psychology and language sciences at UCL, said the findings offered a message of hope.

Bullying certainly causes suffering, but the impact on mental health decreases over time, so children are able to recover in the medium term,” he said. “In addition to interventions aimed at stopping bullying from happening, we should also support children who have been bullied by supporting resilience processes on their path to recovery.”

One way to treat mental health issues like stress and anxiety, as well as addressing self-esteem issues which might be brought about by bullying, is through clinical hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has more than 1,800 therapists across the UK who can offer help.

The NCH is the largest not-for-profit professional organisation for clinical hypnotherapy in the UK and all therapists on its register are highly-trained, qualified and insured. Many specialise in dealing with children and all are competent in treating stress and anxiety issues.

Lending a sympathetic ear, the hypnotherapist will listen to the concerns of the client, in this case the person being bullied, and will discuss with them how they feel then and how they would like to feel in that environment if not bullied.

The therapist will then work with the person to reach their goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal.

After sessions with a hypnotherapist you may feel more confident; more relaxed in situations that have previously challenged you,” says the NCH, adding that after a few sessions of hypnotherapy, people tend to be more relaxed and more confident – even in an environment which was previously challenging.

Reacting to the survey, Bernadka Dubicka, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said there were many reasons why young people developed mental health difficulties, and schools had a role to play.

Children and young people needed access to specialist mental health professions who could provide the right services to meet their needs, she said.

Online gambling addiction growing

There has been a huge increase in the number of people struggling with online gambling addiction and the National Problem Gambling Clinic (NPGC) said while 24% of its patients struggled with mobile gambling in 2012-13, this rose to 63% in 2016-17.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act by the NPGC, show 63% of patients said they struggled with mobile gambling, 59% struggled with fixed odds betting terminals and 59% struggled with sports betting in bookmakers, the BBC reported.

The figures also show that 6% of patients reported a problem with bingo.

Software companies are now said to be working on apps to block gambling sites from the phones of problem gamblers while the Remote Gambling Association said it encouraged responsible gambling.

A total of 632 gambling addicts were referred to the NHS clinic in 2012-13. This rose to 778 in 2016-17.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it expected the gambling sector to do more on player protection.

“There is clearly more work needed in this area,” the spokesperson said. “We are currently undertaking a review of the gambling sector that includes looking at social responsibility measures across the industry, including protections around gambling advertising.”

The average waiting list for treatment at the NPGC is five months, but the figures show some patients were facing a wait of nearly a year.

Treating addictions, whether these are smoking, drug use or gambling, can be effectively done with clinical hypnotherapy and the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has more than 1,800 therapists across the UK who can help addicts seeking help.

An addiction or unwanted habit, says the NCH, is a ‘problem behaviour’ which hypnosis can break and overcome.

“If you have an unwanted habit or behaviour, it may often feel as if you are out of control, that there is someone else or something inside of you that is making you do this,” says the NCH. “It’s as if there’s a ‘little voice’ that always tells you to do something when you don’t want to do it. But that little voice is part of you and is part of your protection system.

“As a species we evolved to survive and thrive so our subconscious, the heart of our being, is always creating mechanisms that support this. However, sometimes things get distorted and what your subconscious thinks is a protection mechanism becomes an unwanted habit that causes you upset rather than allowing you to survive and thrive.”

The NCH says the reason why hypnotherapy works so rapidly with bad habits and behaviours is because it works directly with the subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made quickly and efficiently.

Depending on what you are seeing the therapist for, adds the NCH, they will assess your habit and write a treatment plan for you based on a range of different techniques. Each hypnotherapist will work with you differently.

“Your hypnotherapist will then assess your commitment to the treatment, as the desire to stop the behaviour or change the behaviour must come from you.”

Anti-gambling campaigner Tony Franklin, a recovering addict, would bet thousands of pounds from his mobile phone on casino apps.

“Once you get a gambling account, you can access it from your mobile, from your tablet, anywhere. There’s no escape from it,” he told the BBC. “I was in a management meeting and I was gambling £1,000 a time on a roulette spin on one number.”

He said the government needed to ensure companies check whether customers can afford their bets.

“It is time for the government to wake up,” he said. “We’ve tried self-regulation since the 2005 Gambling Act. It’s clearly not working. Just like the banking industry needs to lend responsibly, gambling companies need to have a responsibility to ensure people play responsibly.”

Mental health problems on the increase in the UK

With Prime Minister Theresa May expected to announce plans to improve mental health care soon, evidence by an NHS Digital study shows that young people are particularly susceptible to mental health issues while one in five women and one in eight men report having a common mental illness.

The study also shows that, at any one time, a sixth of the population in England aged 16 to 64 have a mental health problem. It also shows that 21st Century life is taking its toll on some people, reports the BBC. Economic uncertainty, social media, the influence of the media and rising expectations of what life should be like have all been suggested as possible causes.

Referring to young people in England, the NHS Digital study shows that one in 10 children aged between 5 and 16 have a diagnosable mental condition while 50% of all mental health issues are established by age 14. By age 24, 75% of all mental health problems are established.

Experts agreed the figures were shocking and psychiatrists and mental health campaigners are increasingly raising questions about whether social media increases peer-group pressure and online bullying. The economic uncertainty of the past decade has particularly affected the young, too, making it harder to get on the career ladder.

The government established the first set of waiting time targets for the NHS in England in 2016. They mean the health service should be providing access to talking therapies within 18 weeks and treatment for those experiencing their first episode of psychosis within two weeks for at least half of people.

But drugs are still the most common form of treatment. The number of medicines dispensed for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Many people suffer from stress and anxiety, brought upon them by modern life’s demands, says the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the largest professional body for clinical hypnotherapy in the UK with more than 1,800 qualified therapists on its register.

If not treated adequately, adds the NCH, anxiety and stress can lead to further mental issues which can have a severe impact on the lives of those with issues as well as those around them.

Says the NCH: “Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated, and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this. The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or ‘fight-or-flight’.

“This is primal response that protects you against threats in your environment, so if danger is present your body triggers a rush of blood to your arms and legs so that you can fight or run away. It is an adrenaline response that causes your heart to beat faster, pumping oxygen around your body to those parts that need it to protect you. You may feel as if you are on high alert as well, unable to calm down or relax, your mind may race unable to focus or quieten down.”

To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety, says the NCH, adding that it is important to reduced stress and anxiety and this can be achieved without resorting to anti-depressant drugs, through clinical hypnotherapy, where therapists can help people who are ready to explore ways of freeing themselves from anxiety and living a fulfilled and happy life.

As NHS Digital pointed out, the number of medicines dispensed for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic attacks has more than doubled in the past 10 years.

Whether it is family or friends, neighbours or work colleagues, the chances are we all know someone who is affected and putting them in touch with an NCH therapist could be a life-changing opportunity.

Social media and anxiety concerns for young people

The impact of social media on the mental health of people aged 14-24 has been revealed in a study by the Royal Society for Public Health and Instagram was rated as the worst social media platform with issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image being mentioned by those polled.

The poll asked 1,479 people aged 14-24 to score popular apps on these issues and, based on these ratings, YouTube was considered to have the most positive impact on mental health, followed by Twitter and then Facebook. Snapchat and Instagram were given the lowest scores overall.

The RSPH study says social platforms should flag up heavy social media use and identify users with mental health issues.

Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH, said: “It is interesting to see Instagram and Snapchat ranking as the worst for mental health and well-being – both platforms are very image-focused and it appears they may be driving feelings of inadequacy and anxiety in young people.”

Instagram said keeping the platform a safe and supportive place for young people was a top priority. Michelle Napchan, Instagram head of policy, told the BBC: “Keeping Instagram a safe and supportive place, where people feel comfortable expressing themselves, is our top priority – particularly when it comes to young people.

“Every day people use Instagram to share their own mental health journey and get support from the community. For those struggling with mental health issues, we want them to be able to access support on Instagram when and where they need it.”

About 90% of young people use social media – more than any other age group – says the RSPH, adding that rates of anxiety and depression in the UK have increased by 70% in the last 25 years.

Supporting this, the National Council for Hypnotherapy says modern society and social media place great demands and responsibilities on people and their time, adding that about one in seven suffer from stress or anxiety at any time in the UK. While some people manage, more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well being.

With more than 1,800 qualified clinical hypnotherapists across the UK, the NCH can offer help and non-invasive treatment to those who want to rid their lives of stress, anxiety and other similar issues.

An NCH hypnotherapist can help assess a person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety whether it is a situation, a physical issue, a past experience or a relationship. Then they will work with that person to establish a goal as to how they wish to feel, be, and things they would chose to do if free of anxiety.

“They will then work with you to reach your goals using a range of different techniques. Every therapist may use slightly different techniques, but working towards the same goal,” says the NCH, adding that, after hypnotherapy sessions people often feel more confident and more relaxed in situations that have previously been challenging.
“Many people say that they are calmer and that they have more clarity of thought – able to make decisions more easily. Those who have experienced side effects of anxiety such as insomnia, find that they are sleeping much better and as a result are able to work more effectively.”

Commenting on the RSPH survey, Tom Madders, from mental health charity YoungMinds, said: “Increasing safety within social media platforms is an important step and one we urge Instagram and other sites to act upon. But it’s also important to recognise that simply ‘protecting’ young people from particular content types can never be the whole solution.”

Alleviating anxiety issues with therapy

Oscar-winning actress Emma Stone has revealed she started therapy for anxiety when she was just seven years old and, she told The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, she ‘benefited in a big way from therapy’.

Stone, Academy Award winner for her role in La La Land, said acting made her feel less anxious and said, as a child, she believed she would never be able to leave her native Arizona, but by age 15 she was able to move to Hollywood.

I was a very, very anxious child and I had a lot of panic attacks. I benefited in a big way from therapy – I started it at seven
.
“Acting and improvisation helped me so much,” she said adding that she managed her anxiety through ‘great therapists and great cognitive behavioural tools’.

Stone joins stars like actress Jennifer Lawrence and singers Adele and Taylor Swift in admitting to suffering from anxiety.

Adele has said of her fear of performing: “I have anxiety attacks, constant panicking on stage, my heart feels like it’s going to explode because I never feel like I’m going to deliver, ever.”

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, with more than 1,800 fully-trained therapists across the UK on its register, says treating anxiety issues is becoming more common and adds that over-anxiety can lead to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and wellbeing.

Anxiety is a fear or concern that is exaggerated, and is out of proportion to the situation, although sometimes it may not feel like this,” says the NCH. “The symptoms of anxiety correlate with the stress response or ‘fight-or-flight’. This is primal response that protects you against threats in your environment. You may feel as if you are on high alert as well, unable to calm down or relax, your mind may race unable to focus or quieten down.”

While it is a normal part of the human protection system to experience this fight-or-flight response, says the NCH, this is only when there is real and present danger. To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety.

It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work. There can also be anxiety without knowing what is causing it, a general feeling of anxiety known as ‘free floating’ anxiety.”

But, in sessions with a clinical hypnotherapist, the therapist can help assess the anxiety, identify its root and then work with the anxiety sufferer in setting and reaching a goal of how the person would like to be if free of anxiety. By using a range of different techniques the therapist will then work with the person to achieve this goal.

It is that easy and if you want to be free of anxiety, contact an NCH therapist near you by accessing the NCH directory here.

And, remember, there’s no shame in suffering from anxiety. Many people do, even stars like Adele, Robbie Williams and many more.

Coping with mental health issues through hypnotherapy

A recent study shows that an overwhelming number of teachers in the UK have suffered either physically or mentally because of their jobs, and the research, commissioned by the charity Education Support Partnership, indicated 75% of teaching staff in schools and colleges experienced symptoms stemming from their work.

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks were among the conditions cited.

This is even worse than an earlier survey which showed that 62% of the UK’s working population was affected by stress and other mental health issues.

Pran Patel, a physics teacher at Mark Hall Academy in Harlow, told the BBC: “Teaching is the best job in the world and the reason for that is I change lives every single day and get paid for it. However, there are unnecessary challenges that are put on teachers day in, day out.

“The sheer amount of workload has had an impact on my mental health. I have suffered from bouts of depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. It’s nothing I’m ashamed of. It’s just an illness that affects many of us.”

He said that increasing levels of marking, admin and exam targets have led to some teachers working 12-hour days and now the Department for Education said it was addressing issues raised by teachers.

The challenges posed by a career in teaching are having an impact on recruitment, said head teacher Sean Maher from Richard Challoner School in South-West London.

He said there were fewer people entering the profession and that central government was not doing enough to help.

Referring to the survey on the UK’s working population, Louise Aston, Wellbeing Director for Business in the Community, said: “Alarmingly, our comprehensive survey of workplace mental health suggests that many companies are failing employees who suffer from poor mental health.

“It is clear that thousands of employees are suffering in silence, feeling unable to share their experiences at work. When they do reach out for support, many are met with an inadequate response. We must end this injustice.”

Dealing with mental health issues like stress, anxiety and similar concerns is become gm ore common for clinical hypnotherapists who are members of the National Council for Hypnotherapy and, says the national body, while some people can manage with the stresses their work and modern society put on them, ‘more and more people are showing signs of over-anxiety, which leads to stress, which can make a significant impact on the quality of life and well-being’.

The benefits of sessions with a hypnotherapist include feeling more confident. More relaxed in previously stressful situations and a feeling of calmness and clarity of thought. This, adds the NCH, is achieved through the therapist and client working together to achieve mutually decided goals aimed at reducing anxiety and stress.

“It’s as if hypnotherapy unlocks the potential you have to break free of negative thought patterns, and to react more positively and more confidently to situations in your life that may have previously made you anxious,” says the NCH.

There are NCH-registered therapists who have special offers to businesses for stress reduction schemes at work. It is worth talking to your employer or to a local hypnotherapist to see if that this is a possibility.

To contact your nearest NCH-registered therapist, simply click here.

Hypnotherapy can conquer bad habits like gambling

According to the UK’s Gambling Commission, some students have run up gambling debts of £10,000 or more and the organisation is concerned about the impact gambling is having on undergraduates.

Director Ben Haden told the BBC the commission wants universities to provide the same level of information and support about the risks from gambling as they do for drugs, alcohol and safe sex.

Haden added: “Clearly with the raft of new students heading to uni at this time of year we should do more for the student population.”

He told the BBC the Commission had appointed research agency YouthSight to conduct an online survey of 1,000 people and results suggested that three out of five students had gambled in the four weeks before they responded to the August survey.

Furthermore, one in eight undergraduates surveyed said they had missed lectures or seminars because of gambling. If the results were reflected across the UK, the Gambling Commission said that more than 100,000 students may be in some gambling debt.

The NHS says the anticipation and thrill of gambling creates a natural high that can become addictive and that there may be as many as 593,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain.

The internet has made gambling more accessible and problem gamblers are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, anxiety, stress and depression.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy, the largest not-for-profit professional organisation for hypnotherapists in the UK, says treating problems like stress, anxiety and low-self esteem is common for therapists but addictions can be effectively treated through hypnotherapy too.

An unwanted habit or addiction is something you feel you have no control over which affects your life and the lives of those you care about,” says the NCH. “Habits such as overeating or smoking are the most common, but there are many other behaviours that affect people’s lives, make them unhappy or cause a risk to their health and the health of those around them.”

But, adds the NCH: “The good news is that you are in control, you can change how you react to certain situations, and you can protect yourself in ways that are healthy and which allow you succeed and grow stronger in body and mind. You just need to know how to change it, and to believe you can.”

Hypnotherapy works rapidly with bad habits and behaviours because it works directly with the subconscious, bypassing the critical mind and getting to the root of the issue so that changes can be made quickly and efficiently.

Says the NCH: “Depending on what you are seeing the therapist for, they will assess your habit and write a treatment plan for you based on a range of different techniques. Each hypnotherapist will work with you differently. Your hypnotherapist will then assess your commitment to the treatment, as the desire to stop the behaviour or change the behaviour must come from you.”

National gambling help charity Gamcare says it dealt with more than 46,000 calls last year to its helpline, of which 78% were gamblers and 28% under the age of 25, adding that a total of 40% of callers had been gambling for less than four years.

It is not too late to seek help to break the habit. Contact an NCH therapist near you by clicking here to access their directory.