Anxiety and Hypnotherapy
Anxiety and panic attacks have increased over the last twenty years, and over the last few years, I have treated a great number of people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Many of them are or have been teachers—both primary and secondary–solicitors, and members of the armed forces.
Many individuals who first experience these attacks go to their GPs to ask for help and advice. Often, they are given antidepressant medication to control the effects of the attacks; however, this does not solve the problem and, if anything, it does not help the person because it takes away control from the individual—control that he or she desperately needs.
Psychotherapy, used in conjunction with hypnotherapy, is extremely powerful: this treatment approach can be used to help people suffering from anxiety with or without panic attacks. The combined approach, often known as integrative psychotherapy, works as follows. The psychotherapy is used in order to support individuals and help them to work through the traumas that are responsible for the attacks, while the hypnosis accelerates the healing process and helps individuals to lessen the effects of the attacks.
During a panic attack, clients can experience the following effects: rapid breathing, breathlessness, light headedness, flashing lights, feeling faint, sick, feeling hot or flushed, increased heart rate, hyper-awareness, anger, feeling of the loss of control and being outside one’s self amongst other symptoms.
Often, individuals feel anxious while travelling—by car, bus, train or on a plane—or in large crowds. Clients get worked up about these problems and this only makes them worse, and this can also lead to avoidance behaviour.
Where do I Go to Seek Treatment
Many individuals go to see a hypnotist to get support. Some think that he can wae a magic wand and everything will be better; however, it is important to go to a trained psychotherapist: he or she will be able to guide you through the anxiety slowly and in your own time, and will then be able to help you come to terms with the issue and help you alleviate your attacks.
Integrative psychotherapy is also powerful in the treatment of phobic disorders which may be associated, or inextricably interconnected with the anxiety.
Anxiety disorders, according to DSM IV (1994), may be considered under the following major six categories:
1 Panic Disorder (with and without agoraphobia)
2 Specific Phobia (replacing Simple Phobia)
3 Social Phobia
4 Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
5 Generalised Anxiety Disorder
6 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
For more information on this please see our published article on anxiety and sleep disorders.