How Hypnotherapy Can Help With PTSD
Even though there’s a better awareness of mental health conditions nowadays, people suffering from mental health problems often have trouble accessing services and can feel dismayed when the only solution they’re offered is medication, and lots of it.
It’s little wonder then that some people turn to other types of therapy when they feel like they’ve lost faith in the health system to give them answers.
Hypnotherapy might not spring to mind when you think about treatments for mental health conditions, but there’s evidence that it might be an effective form of therapy for some problems, especially PTSD.
A 2008 study which was carried out on a group of subjects suffering from combat-related PTSD found that hypnotherapy reduced PTSD symptoms, improved sleep, and reduced intrusive thoughts and the inclination to rely on avoidance behaviours. Further studies agreed and went on to say that the effects of hypnotherapy were long-lasting for sufferers.
Not only that, hypnotherapy has been endorsed as an effective therapy by The British Medical Council, the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association.
What is PTSD?
As we go through life, any of us can experience something that is frightening and traumatic, whether it’s being in a car crash or an accident, or being the victim of a crime. Just witnessing these is enough to cause PTSD. This is why emergency services personnel and armed forces personnel are more likely than most to suffer from PTSD. They have to deal with things every day that many of us wouldn’t see in a lifetime. With time and the right help, many people can recover from these experiences, but those that don’t can go onto suffer for many months or even years. But anyone can suffer from PTSD, it’s not the preserve of the military or emergency services. Ordinary people get caught up in tragedies like the Manchester Arena bombing or Grenfell Tower. “ Ordinary People Suffer too”.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of PTSD usually start within 6 months of a traumatic incident. Sufferers can feel depressed, anxious, angry, and even guilty that they survived. There are some other symptoms that occur with PTSD including:
Flashbacks & nightmares
Sufferers relive the traumatic incident, over and over again, either as flashbacks or in nightmares. These can be so vivid, and the person will feel the same fear, hear the same sounds, and even smell the same smells as they did in that terrible moment. Normal everyday things can trigger these flashbacks, so for example, a soldier caught up in an explosion can experience flashbacks if they hear loud noises like a car back-firing.
Trying to avoid dealing with trauma
Because it’s so traumatic to relive the incident constantly, sufferers might try to either distract themselves by focusing on work, or avoid places and people that remind them of it. Their feelings can become so painful that they try to convince themselves that they feel nothing at all, and shut out the people close to them.
Being on edge all of the time
People with PTSD are always on edge because they’re constantly looking out for danger. They won’t be able to relax and will find it hard to sleep. As well as this they’ll likely have:
muscle aches and pains
overreliance on drugs and alcohol to deal with their pain
Why does PTSD often go unnoticed?
People often struggle to talk about uncomfortable feelings or upsetting events, and fear they’ll be thought of as being weak or ‘crazy.’ This is especially true for men. If people with PTSD do make it as far as their Doctor’s surgery, they’ll often talk about the symptoms that are easier to discuss, like sleep problems or headaches.
How can hypnotherapy help?
Hypnotherapy can reduce the anxiety and fear around the traumatic event and help people feel more in control by reprogramming the subconscious mind to respond in a different way to triggers. It can also help sufferers visualise a happier future and give them confidence that their mind can heal itself.
What have you got to lose?
If you suffer from PTSD and feel like despite treatment, you’re not any further forward, why not try hypnotherapy? I treat every client with empathy and understanding, and my number one aim is to show you that you deserve to live a happy life, without suffering.
Contact me to book a consultation. What have you got to lose?