Hypnotherapy For Panic Disorder
“A large herd of elephants in Central Africa ran in collective terror when they heard the sound of an airplane. Each elephant transferred their panic to each other. But the absence of journalists made the terror die down!” –Bertrand Russell
We are not elephants; we have journalists! In our daily life, we are bound to face many disturbing issues and their exaggerated versions of it in Media. As social beings, we tend to feel for almost everything that happens around us, which is often enough to make us panic stricken. I remember speaking to a friend of mine who Googled on a small discoloration that appeared on her cheek. To her shock, she found numerous results ranging from vitamin deficiency to cancer. She recollected feeling a severe pain in the forehead accompanied by a chocking sensation in her chest. It was her first experience with panic attack. It was found that she was suffering from Nosophobia(an irrational yet profound fear of a specific disease). It took almost a month of therapy to convince her that it was just an allergic reaction created by the new foundation she bought!
Certain people think dangerously, feel dangerously, live dangerously and sometimes even die by unknown reasons. Like Charlotte Bronte once said, we must never let our mind feel exhausted, because that feeling itself is death. Mental health is as important as physical health because an unhealthy mind is the symptom of a dying body. Panic affects you like slow poison, the more you ignore it, the stronger it gets. For certain people, reading this much is enough to make them panic stricken! You should never ignore the symptoms of panic disorder such as frequent worry, panic attacks, nervousness, stress etc. Because, to negotiate one’s way adroitly through stormy times, one must possess three things:
- Good health(both mental and physical)
- Comforting thoughts(including dreams)
- Good mental disposition or self confidence
There are a variety of unconventional products and practices to treat both medical and health conditions. These techniques are known by the name CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). As the name indicates, these techniques are considered complementary to the mainstream treatment options, such as medication or psychotherapy. Muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga and mindfulness meditation are some of the methods associated with CAM. Among these methods hypnotherapy is the most popular method used to treat anxiety and mood disorders.
The Importance Of Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy, also known as hypnosis, is used to guide a person from a panicky or dazed condition to a calmer, centered state. The person’s attention is so focused that while in this state anything going on around the person is either blocked or ignored. With the help of a trained therapist the person is asked to focus on specific thoughts, memories or tasks. The hypnotic state allows people to explore painful thoughts and memories that they might have hidden from their conscious minds. Hypnotherapy is also used to restore confidence in people who are suffering from panic disorder. This disorder may be the result of traumatic experiences of a life threatening illness, rape or other forms of violence, death of dear ones or even due to silly reasons. Hypnotherapy helps the patient to recognize the negative aspect of the present crisis and to clear it by finding images of strength already filed in their memory banks. It helps a person to develop self-confidence, overcome negative thinking, and manage troublesome sensations. In addition to this, it can help in treating co-occurring conditions like sleep disorders, phobias, depression, headaches and migraines, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and crisis dreaming.
Dreams can become the core of our ability to assimilate major changes in our life. When a person has nightmares; it is actually a cry for resolution. It is an indication that there is something that lays unsettled in their mind. The therapist monitors the sleeper during the dream state and wakes up the dreamer before the end and asks the dreamer to recall the dream. Hypnotherapy helps to change hurtful dreams to positive. It include seven stages:
- recalling past dreams
- keeping a dream diary and video records of the client dreaming
- keeping a chart of brain waves while monitoring the sleeper during a dream
- Identifying the bad dreams
- Recognizing the bad aspects of the dreams
- Changing negative aspects of the dreams into positive to restore confidence in the patient
- Stopping bad dreams from coming back.
Getting Treated With Hypnotherapy
This technique also proves very effective in managing diverse health concerns like stress, skin conditions, lack of self-confidence, weight loss, addiction, low self-concept (ideas about one’s own image) grief, and smoking cessation. Therapy experience varies from person to person. Atypical hypnotherapy session consists of several stages. First the hypnotist guides the patient to a relaxed state. The client should be calm yet alert during the session. Then the hypnotist draws their attention towards the panic issues they would like to settle. The hypnotist then, through repeated use of dialogues which serves to incite, support or promote tries to fish the person out of the crisis. Encouraging lines like “you are no more stressed”, or affirmations of positive behavior like “whenever you feel nervous, you will pause, breathe and sense energized” are used in between. After offering optimistic suggestions like these, the client will be guided back to his normal state. The session ends by discussing the experience, feedback, reactions, progress and insights. The duration of sessions vary according to circumstances, but usually it lasts for about one to one and a half hours. The prime aim of hypnosis is to help the client in getting past their phobias and to find ways to remain calm in feared circumstances.
Hypnotherapy is used in two ways: Suggestion Therapy and Patient Psychoanalysis. Suggestion therapy make the patients able to respond to suggestions which would help them change awkward behaviors like nail biting or to change their perceptions and sensations. Psychoanalysis on the other hand, helps to find the psychological root of the disorder, so it can be easily handled during therapy. Both systems use the hypnotic state of the patient to explore the unconscious.
What Is Self Hypnosis?
Self-hypnosis (also known as auto-hypnosis) refer to a self-induced hypnotic state. Hypnotherapy treatment process often involves making the patient practice self-hypnosis which helps the client to handle situations in their life without depending on the therapist for everything. This permits the patient to use these methods on his or her own in an ongoing way which would help to improve the overall treatment process. It amplifies the effects of hypnotherapy by:
- teaching relaxation
- enhancing access to unconscious processes and self-suggestion,
- identifying distortive cognitions
- To facilitate divergent thinking experience.
Hypnotherapy has been found to be very effective for treating neurotic disorders like panic attack, which is considered as a severe anxiety disorder characterized by frequent panic attacks and behavioral issues.
Many people have reservations regarding hypnotherapy, fearing that they will lose control over their minds and actions. These concerns are excusable considering how often hypnotherapy has been misinterpreted in media as to make people believe in conscientious stupidities. Despite such wild and silly connotations, hypnotherapy cannot transform you into something you don’t want to be. Rather, it helps you develop self-awareness and overcome unwanted anxieties. Hypnotherapy is done by a certified or licensed hypnotist or qualified mental health professional. With the help of online resources like National Board for Certified Clinical Therapists (NBCCH), The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH), and The American Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (AAPH) it is easy to locate qualified hypnotists.
Studies prove that hypnotherapy can ease a person from mental distress and can make someone control their worries, fear or anxiety. The symptoms of panic disorder are easily handled in a hypnotic session. Once the client has reached the relaxed state, the hypnotist may ask the person to focus on their panic attacks. Then they will talk about the physical sensations, emotions and cognition connected with their attacks such as chest pain, shivering, twitching and fear. Then the hypnotist will talk in a soothing voice repeating affirmative suggestions like, “you will be alright”, You are in command of your stress” etc. Hypnotherapy is also used for the treatment of agoraphobia, a fear of having panic attacks under restrictive circumstances, including crowds or while driving. It is an anxiety disorder that develops in a person after one or two panic attacks, which ultimately make them fearful of places and situations that they think is likely to cause helplessness, nervousness or embarrassment. Agoraphobia is a common condition for people who suffer from panic attacks. Hypnotherapy allows the person to remain calm even while facing these fears. While considering therapy for panic related issues, it is crucial to discuss your concerns with a physician or mental health expert. Only a qualified mental health specialist can provide you with an accurate diagnosis because hypnotherapy is not appropriate for everyone. For people with mental conditions like active substance abuse, psychotic disorders and dissociative disorders, hypnosis might be a wrong choice. Otherwise hypnotherapy is the most simple and effective way possible to treat panic disorder. Life is like a salad, you eat what you put into it. It is essential to choose healthy. Think positive, live positive.