Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a condition that manifests both physically and psychologically, and is thought to occur in approximately 30% of individuals who experience traumatic events. The term PTSD is used to describe a range of symptoms that occur following on from involvement in a traumatic event. These events are considered to be both beyond our control, and outside of our normal human experiences. Symptoms will vary from person to person, but often involve the sufferer ‘reliving’ the event to some extent through a combination of flashbacks and nightmares.

Re-experiencing the trauma can lead to:

  • Sleep problems
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Feelings of isolation and depression
  • Severe headaches
  • Dizzy spells
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Chest pains
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Anxiety

In some individuals the symptoms will develop very shortly after the event, but for others the onset may be delayed by a number of months, or even years after the trauma first occurred. The severity and persistence of these symptoms will vary greatly from person to person. For some sufferers, symptoms will be interspersed with periods of remission and for others they will be constant and acute enough to considerably impact on the quality of their life. Hypnotherapy is a form of talk therapy that involves focusing on the traumatic experience in a bid to help you think differently about it. Though it is not possible to forget about the event entirely, psychotherapy helps individuals to reach a stage where they feel safer and more in control of their feelings.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that works on the premise that the way we think determines how we respond to these thoughts. For PTSD is aimed at teaching sufferers ways to help them modify negative thought patterns so they are able to gain control of their fear. CBT combined with hypnosis is found to be much more effective because it is influencing the deeper subconscious mind rather than just the conscious mind.

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