Hypnotherapy For PTSD
Making Life Less Bumpy
And A Little More peaceful!
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe mental health condition that is most often a consequence of a significant traumatic event(s) or a series of smaller ones, sometimes apparently insignificant, repeated over and over (cumulative trauma). Most often these repetitive events occur during our early developmental years when we were a child. More significant events like battles in war or armed conflicts, or even a terrorist attack, e.g. 9/11 or the Bali and Sri Lankan bombings can cause PTSD in isolation, i.e. irrespective of there being any other life truama but they can also stimulate the latent memories of a childhood event, as mentioned above, This release of latent childhood experience can exacerbate the trauma for some people, a kind of double whammy effect if you will. However, in one report I read, 1 in 47 combat troops fall victim to PTSD, which suggests something unique about how certain people experience negative experiences, as opposed to it being specifically event related. Of course, if it were purely event-related, then most, if not all people would develop PTSD also!
In the hours, months and years following the initial sensory stimulus, the brain goes through varying processes of memory consolidation (neural encoding of the new experience) and reconsolidation (neural updating of existing coding). Now the brain's defensive mechanisms are primed to activate the stress response when subjected to the same or similar sensory stimuli. Up to this point, this all occurs subconsciously but soon after, maybe as long as 40 milliseconds, cognitive systems create a conscious awareness that activates the visulisation of the terrifying memories of the traumatic experience. The visualisation creates negative feedback loops that strengthen the intensity of the memories and the longevity of the condition. To the sufferer, it is akin to being mentally transported back to the traumatic terrifying event, it's literally like reliving the trauma of that day. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts and behaviours about the event. Occasionally excessive violence or rage can come about, and also extreme introversion or withdrawal can manifest as well.
Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If your symptoms get worse, i.e. last for months or even years, and, interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reducing symptoms and improving function. And Hypnotherapy has an excellent record of the neural realignment necessary to regain a better awareness of a life worth living. I start treatment of PTSD by attempting to remove the levels of everyday ambient anxiety, anxiety that is often not connected to the trauma but rather, one that serves to keep the brain in a perpetual state of readiness, This state is referred to as hyperarousal and is experienced by everyone who has an anxiety disorder. So, before treating the brain's maladapted memories of a past traumatic event, it is necessary to stabilise the brain, with reference to a person's current life experience; some of which may also need adjustment. In essence, there is a need for a paradigm shift in their experience of life and living.
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