Post Trauma Anxiety or Post Trauma Stress is a disorder that develops after someone has lived through a shocking, frightening or traumatic experience. Symptoms include anxiety, sleep issues and depression or people may become isolated, volatile or turn to harmful substances such as alcohol for relief.
Other symptoms of post trauma anxiety include intrusive emotions or flashbacks, avoidance of triggering situations, hyper-sensitivity to specific stimuli, negativity and numbness. For the sufferer these flashbacks or triggered emotions can be just as distressing as the original event. For loved ones it is upsetting and difficult to see someone suffering with this, so it is important the person is encouraged to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Through hypnotherapy I help clients deal with trauma in a safe space. Some of the ways hypnotherapy helps with trauma anxiety are:
The person may refuse to discuss the event or visit associated places. They may also avoid certain people that remind them of the stressful incident, even if the other person is only trying to help. They may attempt to avoid emotions altogether, displaying a strange distance or numbness. Avoidance is a short-term, ineffective solution. During hypnotherapy a person can be opened up to these emotions or fears gradually, in a safe reassuring space and helped to deal with them effectively.
Hyper-arousal is a term used to describe a constant state-of-being similar to a ‘fight-or-flight’ response. It’s a feeling of being on-edge or over-emotional and may lead to people seeming distracted or jumpy. This is one of the main symptoms that can contribute to disturbed sleep, which leads to tiredness making the symptoms even more difficult to deal with. Relaxation techniques and mindfulness exercises can help.
Many people don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family about these type of events for fear of burdening or upsetting them. Therapy helps them process feelings without worrying about the reaction of other people. Sometimes feelings of guilt, shame or anger prevent people talking with anyone but a neutral professional. Hypnotherapy also helps them face their fears in a safe way, knowing at any time they can withdraw and relax.
An experienced therapist helps sufferers take a rational view of their situation. Overly emotional reactions can be hard to control but careful restructuring of thought patterns can encourage a healthier response. Together we question the accuracy of negative thoughts and beliefs and whether fears are helpful to their future well-being.
Working through the effects of a trauma is an important step to recovery. Closure comes only after we face up to a situation, how difficult it was for us and how much it may have changed us. Once this is done, then we can begin to realign our beliefs and find happiness again. These events often change us, but they don’t have to mean an end to our happiness.
If you would like to learn more about this issue and how I can help, please do get in touch.