What’s your trauma?
It’s not a catchy expression, but it seems everyone nowadays has experienced something horrific. From school shootings to the opioid epidemic to returning from war, PTSD is at least diagnosed more often—if not more common.
And it’s not an easy thing to treat. There are a host of medications someone has to take together to treat their personal symptoms.
Not a medication person or want to get off your meds faster? You may want to try hypnosis for PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
We hear the abbreviation PTSD thrown around a lot, especially as it pertains to veterans. But what does it mean to have that diagnosis? What happens to someone when they experience PTSD symptoms?
Like everything in medicine, it’s different for each patient. But there are commonalities between the symptoms and what leads someone to develop the mental illness.
To “get” PTSD, a person needs to experience trauma. We see it with veterans a lot because war is a traumatic experience through and through.
Imagine if you had killed people because it was your job, Don’t you think their faces would haunt you? Pretty traumatic.
But it doesn’t have to be a life or death trauma. Car crashes can trigger PTSD, same with abusive relationships or seeing someone else have a trauma. Anything that has a large negative impact on your life can spike PTSD.
What Are the Symptoms?
There are a host of symptoms with PTSD, all of which depend on the severity. A lot of untreated PTSD patients get flashbacks, which are essentially a state of psychosis.
Psychosis, in the medical field, is when someone can’t tell “fantasy” from reality. But these people aren’t imagining a fantasy world with unicorns.
Usually, they’re flashing back to the traumatic situation they experienced. A lot of veterans will all of a sudden find themselves back in a war zone—at least in their minds.
Which isn’t to say it’s not very real to them. Every time they have a flashback, it’s like re-experiencing the trauma. Very harmful to their mental health and to the well-being of those around them.
Other people don’t get flashbacks, but they have negative invasive thoughts. The event may have triggered a change in self-confidence or the way they view their self-worth.
Someone that comes out of an abusive relationship often gets back into a new one because their previous partner made them believe they aren’t worthy of healthy love.
The feelings of self-worth and confidence can be linked to others as well. Someone might think, “I can’t trust anyone”, even though that person hasn’t done anything to deserve that sentiment.
Further, still, there are physical symptoms of PTSD. Shaking, headaches, panic attacks, even stomach aches and digestion issues can be caused by general PTSD stress.
Hypnosis for PTSD: How Can It Help?
When it comes to science, there are studies that show hypnosis is just as good at treating PTSD as other methods, such as other types of therapy.
Treating PTSD with medication is difficult because of the range of symptoms. If people choose to go on medications, it’s like three or four different pills.
Anti-psychotics are often used to treat PTSD, and they have some nasty side effects.
Hypnosis can help patients work through trauma so they don’t need the medication as much or for as long. We never encourage going off of medication unless you speak to your doctor about it.
But we do recommend seeking out a plan for getting off the medication.
What Is Hypnotherapy Treatment Like?
When you work through a traumatic situation with a licensed professional, they can do things like titration. Titration is where you slowly feel or work through a tiny bit of the traumatic episode.
The hypnotherapist will lead you in and out of this in a safe way and space.
Another way hypnotherapy treats PTSD is by using relaxing recordings or meditations. These are things you practice together then the therapist gives you a recording to take home.
You’ve seen this before, though it’s usually presented in a blithe way—like someone who’s trying to quit smoking in a movie listens to old school tapes in their car of quit-smoking hypnosis.
It’s the same idea, but without the Hollywood spin. Your therapist will create a recording just for you if that’s something they deem necessary as part of your treatment plan.
The brain is a complicated organ, so what you think is causing your PTSD may not be the true root. The true root of it may be something you experienced as a child you didn’t even realize was traumatic.
A hypnotist can lead you back through your past and help identify any traumatic experiences that have built up to where you are now.
They can also work with you on identifying triggers of your symptoms. To go back to the veteran example, many returned soldiers can’t hear fireworks because it reminds them of gunshots.
A hypnotist can help you realize what triggers a reaction and come up with a plan on how to approach and or avoid those situations.
Eventually, the goal is to get someone to a place where their triggers no longer cause a PTSD reaction. You can achieve this through guided hypnosis or by using hypnosis and cognitive behavioral therapy in combination.
Getting Started with Hypnotist Richard Barker
Are you interested in seeing if hypnosis for PTSD will work for you and your symptoms? Richard Barker has decades of experience helping people work through their subconscious.
The subconscious mind is a tricky and not well-understood thing. There are very few people who know how to access it, and hypnotists are some of them.