Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder, which can develop after being involved in traumatic events. Of course, feeling fear when facing a scary situation is entirely normal. In fact, this fear is essential to our survival. It triggers reactions in the body which aim to save our life if threatened.
Most people will experience a number of reactions after facing trauma, though will typically recover a short while after the event. For some people, however, these symptoms do not ease. They may feel frightened and stressed, and have flashbacks long afterwards. It’s when these symptoms do not disappear and start to hinder everyday life that PTSD may be diagnosed.
The most common symptom of PTSD is reliving the triggering event. Re-experiencing typically occurs in the form of vivid flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive and distressing images, and physical sensations, such as pain, sweating and nausea. Some people will constantly experience negative thoughts about the event, asking themselves questions over and over again.
Another key symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is actively trying to avoid any reminders of the trauma. This may mean avoiding certain people or places which are reminders of the event, or talking to anyone about the experience.
Other people may try to cope with how they’re feeling by trying to switch off completely. Not feeling anything sometimes seems like the easier option. This is known as emotional numbing. Emotional numbing can result in the person becoming isolated and withdrawn. They lose enjoyment in the things they once enjoyed.
PTSD can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and difficulty relaxing. This symptom of more of a state of mind; people may be constantly aware of danger and threat, and be easily startled. This is known as hyperarousal. Hyperarousal can lead to increased irritability, sleeping problems, anger and difficulty concentrating.
Some people have found hypnotherapy a helpful tool to cope better with PTSD. Hypnotherapy is an effective way to process troublesome memories of trauma. Trauma can cause a person to disconnect from their own internal sense of safety. So, the sooner the emotions are managed, the sooner the person will recover. Hypnotherapy can help you cope with the trauma and learn how to regain a sense of control and normality in your life. Hypnotherapy accesses your unconscious and changes the negative thoughts that are holding you back. Using the power of suggestion, hypnotherapy works to promote positive change. The suggestions used will depend on your symptoms and what you wish to gain from your sessions. I will tailor techniques to you, helping you to manage symptoms and recognise potential triggers, as well as changing the way you react towards them.