Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Hypnotherapy for PTSD in Dundee

It is inevitable that throughout our lives we will all experience our fair share of stresses, strains and difficult situations. For most of us, recovery from these events will be a natural process which occurs over time, without the need for further help. For others however, certain traumatic and frightening events can trigger a reaction which can last for a period of months, or even years.

 

This reaction is known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD for short, a condition which manifests both physically and psychologically and is thought to occur in approximately 30% of individuals who experience traumatic events.

 

PTSD explained

The term PTSD is used to describe a range of symptoms which occur following on from involvement in a traumatic event. These events are considered to be both beyond our control, and outside of our normal human experiences. The event itself could be anything from witnessing a road traffic accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack, through to being the victim of a mugging, or witnessing harrowing scenes whilst serving in the armed forces.

 

Whether you are present during a traumatic event, a witness, or a direct victim, the intense distress and helplessness you felt in the midst of that situation can have a deep and long lasting psychological effect and can trigger a series of symptoms which can seriously impact your life.

 

In some individuals the symptoms will develop very shortly after the event, but for others the onset may be delayed by a number of months, or even years after the trauma first occurred.

 

 

Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD will usually occur after an individual has been involved in, or has witnessed a traumatic event such as a serious road traffic accident, a natural disaster, being held hostage, a violent death, military combat, a sexual assault, or another situation in which an individual feels extreme fear, and or helplessness.

 

After events such as these, PTSD will usually develop fairly quickly, though for some (below15%), the development of symptoms will be delayed by a period of weeks, months, or sometimes years.

 

Symptoms will vary from person to person, but often involve the sufferer ‘reliving’ the event to some extent through a combination of flashbacks and nightmares. Re-experiencing the trauma can lead to sleep problems, concentration difficulties, feelings of isolation and depression and a variety of additional symptoms.

 

Some of the key symptoms of PTSD are outlined below:

 

Re-experiencing parts of the trauma

 

It is quite common for individuals with PTSD to relive parts of the event through vivid flashbacks and nightmares. It may be that something in everyday life such as a sound or image has triggered this response, or this may occur for no identifiable reason. Flashbacks, intrusive images, thoughts and nightmares can be extremely distressing for sufferers as they can make them feel as though the event is happening all over again, even if only for a brief moment.

 

Hypervigilance

 

Often, sufferers find that after a traumatic event they remain constantly alert and vigilant to potentially threatening events, and are extremely anxious and easily startled.

 

This ‘hypervigilance’ can also come coupled with irritability, angry outbursts, aggressive behaviour, sleep problems and concentration difficulties.

 

Avoiding memories

 

Reliving a traumatic experience is extremely upsetting, so understandably some sufferers attempt to avoid anything and anyone which may trigger a response. Sufferers sometimes believe that feeling nothing at all is better than the negative and upsetting feelings they keep experiencing so will try to numb themselves emotionally.

 

Avoiding situations, people, conversation, activities and thoughts that directly relate to the trauma or are a reminder of the trauma is a common reaction.

 

Sufferers often try to keep themselves busy so that they don’t have time to think about the trauma and thus it becomes easier to repress those very difficult memories. Many sufferers will develop an extremely pessimistic outlook to life, losing interest in activates they once used to enjoy, disregarding the idea of making plans for the future, finding it difficult to keep or form close relationships and generally detaching themselves on both a physical and emotional level from others.

 

Additional symptoms

 

Other common symptoms and indicators of the condition include inexplicable physical symptoms such as severe headaches, dizzy spells, upset stomach, sweating, the shakes and chest pains, as well as mental health problems such as depression, phobias and anxiety. PTSD is a mental health condition in itself and the symptoms and side effects experienced can result in a breakdown of personal relationships and work relationships which can lead to further distress and upset.

 

Hypnotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder

As well as undergoing the treatment recommended by your health care provider, many sufferers also find that hypnotherapy treatment is beneficial.

 

The aim of hypnotherapy is to unlock stored emotion so that the trauma can be revisited and explored from a different perspective.

 

In most cases I will tend to use cognitive hypnotherapy or analytical hypnotherapy, both of which function on a deeper level than suggestion hypnotherapy and are able to work with the subconscious mind so that negative beliefs which were built up during the trauma can be explored and alleviated.

 

I will treat you and your problems with sensitivity and understanding and will discuss and explain any decisions regarding your treatment plan with you thoroughly before treatment begins or any changes are implemented.

 

If you would like to find out more about how hypnotherapy could help you to over come post-traumatic stress disorder please call me or get in touch via the Contact page.