Millions of Americans struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder. This condition is one that affects you both physically and psychologically and can lead to years of problems and distress. Many people with PTSD try counseling, medication, and even different therapies in order to help them cope with the traumas that haunt them.
These options may work for some, but there are many others who still cannot find peace with their symptoms, which is why they turn to alternative medications and treatments to bring them relief.
Hypnosis is one treatment that may be able to help those suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder and all the condition entails.
What Causes Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
There is no initial cause of PTSD because the complete list of what stresses and traumatizes people is wide and varied. These events could be seemingly benign, or obviously serious, but there is no telling what could cause someone to develop this disorder.
There are, however, some key events found through extensive research and anecdotal accounts that can trigger this disorder in most individuals.
These include the following:
Sudden Death(s) in the Family
War/Time in Actionable Service
Sudden Unexpected Changes in Life (i.e. divorces, loss of a job, a natural disaster, loss of property, etc)
In addition to these causes there are many more cases, scenarios, and situations that could lead to a diagnosis of PTSD. The main point to remember is that sudden events that affect one’s life negatively could lead to this disorder.
Some people can develop PTSD later in life due to events that happened in childhood. Other people may be suffering from repressed memories that are presenting themselves through actions and behaviors that could be destructive to one’s life. If you feel as if you may be suffering from this disorder, it is important to consult your doctor for a professional opinion.
What Hypnosis Does
Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a treatment that focuses on the mind and psychological influences. Research suggests that this alternative treatment could alleviate the symptoms and difficulties of PTSD through focused mindfulness, controlled suggestions, and calming exercises.
The biggest concern of PTSD is the way it affects the mind and focus and how those, in turn, affect the emotions and actions of an individual. Many with PTSD are unable to cope with their lives following their traumatic event which can sometimes result in self-harm, drug or alcohol abuse, and even suicide.
Hypnotherapists may be able to aid PTSD before it reaches this level of severity so that people can heal in spite of their conditions.
How Hypnosis Works
Through guided relaxation, heightened concentration, and focused attention, hypnosis will induce a heightened state of awareness also known as a trance.
When in this trance, individuals are more open to suggestion and feel more relaxed, allowing the hypnotherapist to alter the patient’s behavior and reactions. In theory, this could help individuals change their reactions to the particular memories that cause them stress and discomfort.
Hypnosis works best when administered by a professional hypnotherapist. There is, however, a self-hypnosis option that some individuals can try. This is executed by practicing mindfulness and meditation in order to take the focus off of the traumatic event and place it on something else.
Though this works for some, it is best to visit a professional until you are comfortable with the procedure.
Hypnosis As Complementary Treatment
PTSD is a very serious disorder, which is why hypnosis may not be the best single option to try out. Many people dealing with severe psychological problems may not be the best candidates for hypnosis as this treatment may cause even more stress, suicidal thoughts, and the creation of false thoughts and memories.
At best, when used to treat PTSD, hypnosis should be used as a complementary medicine instead of as the main treatment.
Most individuals with PTSD find help and solace from some medications and other prescribed treatments. When used in conjunction with hypnotherapy, individuals could see a lot of progress and improvement in their condition.
Check With a Physician First
It is imperative that you speak with your physician and psychiatrist before engaging in hypnotherapy. Due to the severity the consequences of this treatment, you shouldn’t try this if not encouraged by your doctor.
While hypnotherapy is both safe and natural, it is an imperfect science due to its deep involvement with the mind.
Those suffering with PTSD may already be suffering from a chemical imbalance, and hypnosis could potentially make it worse. Speak with your doctor to create a balanced treatment plan that will not harm you or worsen your symptoms.