Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Hypnosis
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how do you know if you have it?
Firstly, the Mayo Clinic describes Post Traumatic Stress or PTSD as: a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Most people relate PTSD to military personnel who’ve witnessed horrific events or have become severely injured, or someone who has been the victim of a violent crime.
Truth is, depending on your personality, you could be suffering from post-traumatic stress and not even know it.
We’re all built differently in our emotions and the way we handle the stresses of life. Some people can be first responders at an accident or scene of violence and mayhem and it doesn’t affect them negatively in the way it does some others. Some can be surgeons, or even handle mangled dead bodies, while others still, can fight fires and save people’s lives.
On the other hand, some of us will faint at the sight of our own cut finger while we’re cooking dinner. Everyone’s stress threshold is different based on our beliefs, our personality type and what we’ve been exposed to.
I’ve experienced the exasperation of a good friend having a complete shut down over a bad car accident or even witnessing a car accident that they were not even involved in. They had months of unexplained uneasiness, anxiety and insomnia and an immediate desire to avoid certain driving situations. We could define this behavior as a symptom of post-traumatic stress.
I’ve even known people who handle themselves fantastically in an emergency situation, able to see clearly, think and move quickly, bark out orders and save people’s lives. Once the situation calms down though, they have difficulty getting out of bed or moving through their normal daily activities. It’s almost as if a complete “shut down” of the nervous system takes place.
In some cases the symptoms of post-traumatic stress may take years to appear. Some of our clients have developed unexplainable anxiety in certain situations, which have never happened before. During their hypnosis session, we discover that something happened in their childhood that caused them to experience trauma. For example, the death of a beloved pet or family member, or verbal or physical abuse in the home. Alcoholic parents can also affect some children in a way that causes extreme anxiety later in life. PTSD may appear when a similar situation occurs as an adult, activating the stress and anxiety.
So how do you know if you’re suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress and not just ordinary anxiety? We all get nervous from time to time, in certain or unknown situations. But true anxiety may cause you to feel overwhelmed, anxious, unable to think clearly, unable to sleep and even eat.
Here are the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as described by WebMD: Symptoms of PTSD often are grouped into four main categories, including:
Reliving: People with PTSD repeatedly relive the ordeal through thoughts and memories of the trauma. These may include flashbacks, hallucinations, and nightmares. They also may feel great distress when certain things remind them of the trauma, such as the anniversary date of the event.
Avoiding: The person may avoid people, places, thoughts, or situations that may remind him or her of the trauma. This can lead to feelings of detachment and isolation from family and friends, as well as a loss of interest in activities that the person once enjoyed.
Increased arousal: These include excessive emotions; problems relating to others, including feeling or showing affection; difficulty falling or staying asleep; irritability; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; and being "jumpy" or easily startled. The person may also suffer physical symptoms, such as increased blood pressure and heart rate, rapid breathing, muscle tension, nausea, and diarrhea.
Negative Cognitions and Mood: This refers to thoughts and feelings related to blame, estrangement, and memories of the traumatic event.
Young children with PTSD may suffer from delayed development in areas such as toilet training, motor skills, and language.
Ordinary anxiety from normal life situations would not cause you to have hallucinations and the extreme level of detachment or excessive emotions caused by PTSD.
The beautiful thing is that both ordinary anxiety and PTSD can be treated by using hypnosis.
Hypnosis directed by a qualified Hypno-Therapist can help to relieve the subconscious memories associated with the experience. Powerful behavioral tools such as Neuro-Linguistic Programming may help to reframe the experience in a different light, thereby diffusing the powerful emotions that are attached to it.
During our program to help PTSD sufferers, we also do exercises to discover what triggers the response so we can release the past and move forward with confidence and peace of mind. We’ve discovered through these powerful processes that our clients will begin sleeping better, feel more rested and spend less time feeling anxious or worried about an impending panic attack, because they have the tools to change their state of mind and therefore their emotional response.
Hypnosis works and is the quickest and most effective tool for overcoming any emotional, psychological and sometimes even physical challenge. If you’re wondering if you’re suffering from anxiety, or PTSD, have any of the symptoms described above, give us a call for a confidential consultation. Imagine how relieved you will be when you wake up feeling refreshed and stop worrying about how to get through another day. We may have the answer for you to finally move forward with your life in a positive and productive way.