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Hypnosis for PTSD

PTSD can cause many problems, people usually try everything they can think of that is conventional (main stream) to get help with the PTSD then and only then will they start to look for more unconventional approaches like hypnosis for PTSD. Below, I will explain what PTSD is the different PTSD types the symptoms, events that cause PTSD and how you develop PTSD problems, the relevant statistics, and diagnosis. Then I will go over the different treatments available and finally how hypnosis for PTSD can help eliminate your PTSD problems.

Blue Stones Saying Relax, Body, Soul with Flower in Background
Blue Stones Saying Relax, Body, Soul with Flower in Background

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a group of stress reactions that can develop after we witness or experience a traumatic event, such as death, serious injury or sexual violence, war or torture, or disasters such as bushfires or floods to ourselves or to others. PTSD can happen after we've been through one traumatic event or after repeated exposure to trauma. Sometimes PTSD can develop after hearing details about devastating and traumatic events many times, like the experience of some emergency workers.
Risk factors for developing PTSD include a past history of trauma, previous mental health problems, and ongoing stressful life events after the trauma and an absence of social support.

Different Types of PTSD

There are a few different types of PTSD that people can be categorised as having, but in the end, the symptoms are similar for all.

  • Preschool
  • Dissociative
  • Delayed onset
  • Complex

Preschool

As children (less than 6 years old) witness and live through traumatic events, they also experience emotionally distressing symptoms after the event, just as with adults.

Dissociative

Persistent or recurrent disassociated from events or symptoms. Disassociated means that someone is experiencing something as if they are an observer of themselves, observing from outside of their body, and sensing as if things around you are not real, almost as if you are unfamiliar and disconnected from the world around you.

Delayed Onset

Although people with this particular type of PTSD, do meet the necessary criteria for PTSD, the symptoms are not fully met until at least six months after the traumatic event. A person could experience the onset of the symptoms immediately, however, the full symptoms would not have been met until after that six-month mark.

Complex

Sometimes people can experience isolated, acute instances of trauma such as a horrific car accident or being robbed at gunpoint, for example. These would be considered acute because they are not likely to become recurring experiences. There are other types of traumatic events that can be more recurring, such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, or childhood neglect. The person would experience the event again and again over the course of time. When people have experienced this type of more chronic trauma, it’s sometimes referred to as complex PTSD.

Traumatic Events That Cause PTSD

People have different reactions to trauma, given their personal life experience, experience of past trauma, history of other mental health issues, and the specific impacts of the traumatic event. Most of us will experience at least one traumatic event in our lives.

Direct and Indirect Exposure

Direct

When we've experienced a personal trauma or witnessed a traumatic event directly participating in that experience or being an onlooker.

Indirect

When we hear or learn about a traumatic event like reading it in a paper or watching it on a television news broadcast.

Potentially Traumatic Events

  • War
  • Natural Disasters like earthquakes, bushfires, floods and cyclones
  • Car or plane crashes
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Torture
  • Being held captive
  • A sudden death of a loved one 
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical attack
  • Being threatened with a gun, knife or other Weapon
  • Domestic violence or abuse
  • Childhood physical or emotional abuse
  • Distressing home or workplace accidents
  • Seeing someone being killed or badly injured
  • Repeated exposure to the details of extreme Traumatic events, like how news repeats things repeatedly.

Symptoms of PTSD

You may experience a range of symptoms and they will vary from one person to another. Below is a range of symptoms that you may experience with your PTSD.

Emotional Symptoms of PTSD

  • Angry
  • Sad
  • Anxious
  • Guilt
  • Resentment
  • Resentment
  • Shame
  • Useless
  • Not good enough
  • Worthless
  • Unlovable
  • Lost
  • Helpless
  • Trapped
  • Confused
  • Lonely
  • Isolated
  • Failure
  • Exhausted
  • Hopeless
  • Numb
  • Empty

Other Symptoms of PTSD

Although there are many people who will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime, many will not develop PTSD. There are certain symptoms that someone needs to be experiencing in order for them to be accurately diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD symptoms are divided into four separate clusters.

Re-Experiencing

  • Frequent upsetting thoughts or memories of a traumatic event
  • Having recurrent nightmares
  • Flashbacks feeling as though the event were happening again
  • Severe feelings of distress and reactions when reminded of the event
  • Physically symptoms, such as increased heart rate or sweating, when reminded of the event

Avoidance

  • Making an effort to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event
  • Avoid places or people that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Keeping yourself busy to distract yourself from thinking of the traumatic event

Hyperarousal

  • Having a difficult time falling or staying asleep
  • Feeling more irritable or having violent or angry outbursts
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling constantly on guard alert to danger
  • Being jumpy or easily startled
  • Reckless behaviour

Negative Thoughts and Beliefs

  • Difficult to remember parts of the traumatic event
  • A loss of interest in fun activities
  • Feeling distant or disconnected from others
  • Unable to enjoy things you used to find pleasurable
  • Feeling as though your life may be cut short
  • Blaming yourself or others for the event or its aftermath
  • Feeling very down or numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, horror or anger

Many of these symptoms are an extreme version of our body's natural response to stress. Understanding our body's natural response to threat and danger, known as the fight-or-flight response, can help us better understand the symptoms of PTSD.

Impact on Our Family Social Life and Work

After we’ve been through a trauma, we all react differently. We might start to be very irritable or angry, which can be hard on our family. We might feel despair, emotional numbing, or a sense of isolation and loneliness. PTSD can affect a person’s ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. A person with PTSD can often seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories.

For some people, it might make it hard to get to work. While sometimes people throw themselves into doing too much work to try to distract themselves from their feelings.

Some people with PTSD become very alert for danger and become overprotective with their children and relatives. They may stop them from taking part in family life or ignore offers of help. This can lead to a loved one’s feeling shut out.

It is important to remember that these behaviours are part of the problem. People with PTSD need the support of family and friends, but may not think that they need help.

It is normal for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems at the same time. Up to 80 percent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems most commonly, depression, anxiety, and alcohol or other substance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or have developed after the onset of PTSD.

Current Statistics

Around 12 percent of Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime. Serious accidents are one of the leading causes of PTSD in Australia.

800,000 Australians suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at any given time, making it the second most common mental health disorder.

About 25% of people who are exposed to traumatic events develop PTSD.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age.

Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men.

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The Myths

Myth

Everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event.

Reality

Not everyone with PTSD has experienced direct trauma. Some people develop PTSD after a family or friend experiences trauma. The death of a loved one can also lead to PTSD.

Myth

Time heals all wounds.

Reality

PTSD can take years to develop. Childhood trauma may still affect adults, many years after the traumatic event happened.

Myth

Only soldiers get PTSD.

Reality

While war veterans are at a higher risk of PTSD than the general population, PTSD can affect anybody who has been through a traumatic event.

Myth

People with PTSD are weak and need to get over it.

Reality

People with PTSD live with a mental illness. They cannot snap out of it without treatment. Their behaviour is a function of illness, not weakness.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD is caused by the brain laying down memories in the wrong place. During the traumatic event, it’s as if the brain gets overwhelmed. The memories get filed in the immediate action part of the brain, instead of the normal place.

Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event gets PTSD. In people who don't, it’s thought that the brain gradually comes to terms with the memories and they are no longer as vivid. They have processed the emotions from the event and they are mild compared to people with PTSD.

For people with PTSD, these memories are as distressing and immediate as when the event first happened.

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences trauma differently. An event which is traumatising for one person may not be too distressing for another person. Everyone has a different capacity for trauma, which is informed by a combination of risk factors including neurobiology, past experiences and genetics.

As a Hypnotherapist I Have a Different Take on PTSD

In my experience as a hypnotherapist helping people through using hypnotherapy for PTSD with their PTSD problems over the years I have discovered the underlying reasons for these problems are emotions; fear initially, then other emotions like anger, depression, useless, etc. They have anchored very strong emotions to the trauma that keeps them reliving it or it causing problems in their life while other memories don’t get laid down with such strong emotion so they don’t cause any problem.

So lets explore how this works in more detail first I will cover the basics then I will go into more detail around the basics and how it works in real-life.

So all the things mentioned above can trigger you into being anxious; However, it’s not that simple. We store our emotions in our bodies and are anchored to our memories. So over time as you have more and more memories or experiences of being anxious, you store these emotions in your body anchored to your memories and you accumulate them.

So imagine emotions are not on or off they are on a scale of say 1–10 so when you’re young your anxiety level is low say a 1 and as you get older and accumulate more memories of anxiety that level goes up to say 3, 6, 7 etc till it reaches a point where you really feel anxious. The level at which this happens differs from person to person.

So all the things mentioned above have the potential to create a feeling of anxiety that gets stored in the body anchored to your memories and if you have enough of these events, you will get really anxious. Sometimes it may only take one event, but normally it’s usually and accumulation of events that will trigger off anxiety. Now this applies to all emotions you experience not just anxiety.

Autopilot and Being a Robot

Another factor to take into consideration is 99% of what we do is automatic and subconscious we learn how to do something we practice doing it then we automate it once we automate it, it is no longer under our conscious control so we are essentially a robot; We are half asleep. So every body is half asleep and sleepwalking, and they are just a robot.

So in one event or over time after many traumas we anchor emotions to the events at a subconscious level and because we experience emotions and our thoughts subconsciously we don’t really have control over them so we have automated the PTSD symptoms at a subconscious level. Next as we continue to relive the trauma in our mind going back to the memories we anchor even more emotions and thoughts to them and the emotional intensity anchored to them keeps increasing.

Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with PTSD, you need not have all these symptoms. In fact, rarely does a person with PTSD experience all the symptoms listed above. To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, you only need a certain number of symptoms from each cluster.

Additional requirements for the diagnosis also need to be assessed, such as how you initially responded to the traumatic event, how long you've been experiencing your symptoms and the extent to which those symptoms interfere with your life.

Treatments for PTSD Excluding Hypnosis Therapy for PTSD

  • Counselling
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Exposure therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Psychotherapy
  • MDMA-Assisted Therapy
  • Ketamine infusion
  • Virtual Reality Exposure
  • Acupuncture
  • Medications

Treatments for PTSD That Don’t Help

  • debriefing a traumatic event in detail in the immediate hours or days after the event
  • pretending nothing is wrong or hoping symptoms will go away by themselves
  • drinking alcohol or using drugs
  • isolating yourself from other people

How Can Hypnotherapy for PTSD Eliminate Your PTSD?

Hypnosis PTSD therapy that is designed to work with emotions and eliminate emotions is very effective in eliminating PTSD problems.

However, most hypnotherapy approaches don’t work to eliminate PTSD problems in this way most hypnotherapists work by introducing suggestions into your subconscious mind to change your thoughts and hence your behaviours, so it can work great with behaviour problems but not emotions. Unfortunately, most hypnotherapists are taught this behavioural suggestion type of hypnosis.

Fortunately, I am trained in how to work with emotions, more importantly how to remove them, and this is the key to eliminating PTSD problems.

I have been working with clients for years helping them eliminate their PTSD problems by using hypnosis therapy for PTSD and other neuro-hypnotic re-patterning techniques.

This is achieved by removing or disconnecting the emotions from your memories; Remember, you store your emotions in your body anchored to your memories. So using these techniques, we can make your memories emotionless.

So we will remove all emotions that trigger your PTSD problems like anxiety, anger, sad, worthless, etc.

At the end of my hypnotherapy sessions as a test I get the client to go back to all their bad memories and try to get any old emotions associated with them back, but hey cannot get any emotion associated with these memories, they just feel blank or neutral. I also will get them to test a variety of contexts in their life such as work, self, relationships, future, etc. But all of these different contexts and memories are the same they just feel blank or neutral.

Finally, I will get them to go back to all the times they can remember having the PTSD problems and they won’t be able to get any of the old emotions, physical sensations from those memories. This means they will not automatically go into their old automatic emotions and behaviours from the past because we have broken the old patterns.


So at the end of the hypnosis for PTSD session, these clients will no longer have the PTSD problem.

Enquire Now for Hypnosis PTSD Therapy

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