Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

We hear so much nowadays of the profound effect that conflict and high intensity operations has on our servicemen and women.  We also hear of the similar effect experienced by members of our emergency services. However, not everyone experiencing a traumatic event will have PTSD.  There is still much to learn about PTSD and the reasons behind why some people will have it and yet others won’t.  The chances of having PTSD can be lessened through a number of ways which include how prepared you might be, how good at fighting or indeed running away you are, past experience, support from others and of course the availability of many different forms of therapy.

Psychologists are quick to claim ownership for diagnosis and successful treatments but, rather suspiciously (especially to some Coaches), they will also be just as quick to tell you that PTSD is a relatively new area of Psychology.  A  scary thought in itself when you stop to consider all those old time films you might have watched PTSDof soldiers suffering ‘shell shock’ in the first and second world wars, as well as the vast amount of work the Americans completed decades ago following the Vietnam War.  In fact, one of the first descriptions of PTSD was in 490BC when Herodotus described an Athenian soldier going blind after witnessing the death of a fellow soldier…  I guess they don’t have all the answers after all. 

I don’t claim to have any more answers than anyone else, only to be absolutely non-judgemental and to put the ‘diagnosis’ to one side for a moment in order to tailor an effective and bespoke treatment plan.  There’s no need for labels really, only a need to be listened to and understood.

It’s widely accepted that PTSD develops in response to events that are threatening to life, witnessing threatening or deadly events and/or hearing of violence to or the unexpected or violent death of those close to you.  Believe it or not, there’s even a list of what is officially considered ‘traumatic’, but I’ll not waste time with that because it really depends on so many other factors too.

Someone with PTSD might experience flashbacks or reoccurring memories.  They might avoid things that remind them of the trauma or even be in a constant state of something called ‘hyper-arousal’.  Before too long these symptoms start to affect other areas of life like the job or relationships.

Why is Hypnotherapy so effective for the treatment of PTSD?

People who suffer from PTSD often experience a fast heartbeat, cold sweats, shallow or rapid breathing, palpitations and jumpiness.  This can all lead to sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunction and difficulties in concentrating.  In general, it can all lead to a reduced quality of life and will even restrict ability to function day to day.  Someone with PTSD might even swing from periods of over activity to periods of exhaustion as their bodies suffer the effects of constantly being on guard and alert.  Reminders of the trauma they suffered may appear suddenly, causing instant panic and possible flashbacks.  They become fearful, not only of the trauma itself but of their own reactions to it.  It’s a big list, but all have one thing in common – the actual physical response to a way of thinking and it is here that Hypnotherapy and Hypnocoaching can help tremendously. 

You see, once the thinking behind a feeling is identified it can be worked on and this will automatically change behaviours associated with that feeling.  Hypnotherapy is really effective in working on that thinking pattern in a focused and concentrated way leading to significant changes in behaviour from the first session.

Recognise any of this in yourself or others?  Please do get in touch, we can help.