In 2010, Nodar Kumaritashvili, a Georgian luger died from a crash during his final training at Whistler Sliding Center. While it’s already six years since his passing, the paramedic who tried to save him is still on the process of setting himself free from the traumatic event. The death of the athlete has led to the paramedic’s long battle with suicide and addiction. When left untreated, PTSD can disrupt one’s life and relationships and lead to more serious consequences including self-harm. Published by Hypnosis in London on 28 March, 2016, written by Malminder Gill.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of psychiatric disorder that occurs after a highly-stressful event. It can also happen after witnessing life-threatening events like war, natural disaster, or accidents. It is estimated that about 44.7 million people worldwide are struggling with PTSD. In contrary to what many believed, PTSD is more common in women than men, with 1 in 9 women develops this disorder.
People with PTSD exhibit re-experiencing, avoidance/numbing, or arousal symptoms. Re-experiencing symptoms are those that involve emotional or physical reactions when the event is recalled. A person exhibits the avoidance/numbing symptoms when they try to avoid situations that remind them of the particular event and when they isolate themselves or detach themselves from emotions towards other people. People exhibiting arousal symptoms constantly feel alert after the event. This usually leads to sleep disturbance, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Why Some Are More Vulnerable Than Others
Typically, victims of traumatic events return to their normal lives after being given some time off. However, there are people whose stress reactions last longer and hence, develop psychiatric disorders like PTSD.
There are several factors that can affect one’s vulnerability to PTSD. In one study, it shows that a person’s sensitivity to stress is affected by variations in the gene coding for a2b-adrenoreceptor. After exposing the subjects to violent movie scenes and having their brain response monitored by functional magnetic resonance imaging, it was found out that those who carry a common variation in the a2b-adrenoreceptor have higher amygdala activity in response to stress. Amygdala is part of the brain responsible for detecting threats and in processing and expressing emotions.
Those who have a common variation in the a2b-adrenoreceptor are also shown to have more connectivity between the amygdala and other parts of the brain. This increase in connection leads to heightened response to stress.
Researchers have also found out that those with PTSD are usually those people who are more cautious and have reduced blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Hypnotherapy As PTSD Therapy
Those who have PTSD are referred to therapists. Some of the existing treatments for PTSD include anti-depressants like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy can be used for individuals with PTSD as it unlocks memories and emotions attached to the traumatic event. It is an accepted practice for PTSD as it can get into the person’s subconscious.
When done well, hypnosis can be an effective therapy for those with PTSD as it helps individuals look at the event in a different way. Through accessing the dissociated traumatic memories and restructuring them positively, it allows individuals to look at the event in a broader perspective.
Studies have shown that when hypnotherapy is combined with cognitive behavioral therapy, it helps reduce the re-experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
Hypnotherapy can also go deeper and get into the remote memories of a person that may have also triggered the development of PTSD.
At Hypnotherapy London, I do guided hypnosis for different client’s issues including anxiety and panic attacks. When combined with coaching, this guided hypnosis can help you feel calmer and eventually, reduces your PTSD symptoms.
Several clients have already benefited from hypnotherapy. If you’re suffering from PTSD, you, too, can benefit from it.