Imagine: Something that feels like you are having a heart attack, but aren’t, but you don’t know that! Rapid breathing which makes the pain in your chest worse, black spots in front of your eyes, people looking at you (or you feel that they are) and then not knowing what to do about it.
Thousands upon thousands of people suffer with this every day, with a wide range of causes from (post-traumatic stress disorder) PTSD to depression, and so many others have no clue how debilitating panic attacks are.
Hypnotherapy has been helping people with these symptoms for years now, and although they seem very physical while they are happening, the causes for them are normally psychological. People who suffer with them are often under great amounts of stress when a panic attack happens, but the worst part about them is they also don’t have to be under great amounts of stress, one smell, sound or memory could trigger one in a second.
The hypnotherapist can use regression to find the initial sensitising event or (ISE) and guides the client through it, allowing them to see it from the correct perspective. What many people are unaware of is over time, the brain can add details to a memory that are absolutely nothing to do with the initial event!
For instance, a client is playing on the swings as a child on a warm summers day, while a storm is building somewhere in the distance. A crack of thunder is heard - still sunny, still warm the client is not bothered about it until they are called in by their Mum, and all of a sudden something that was just a noise in the background becomes something to be worried about. If asked to describe the situation while not in a hypnotic trance, the client may well remember it to be “dark and foreboding” and when in a trance, they relay that it is sunny, showing that the brain has changed or added to the memory to suit the feeling that came from being called in, or maybe because it would have been darker in the house or because “electric storms are dangerous” - obviously this is just an example, but highlights how the brain can change things and make them far more scary than they actually were.
Sometimes the realisation that the event causing the problem wasn’t as bad as remembered is enough to stop the panic attacks for that reason, of course, there may well be a number of factors causing them and this would need to be thoroughly investigated by the hypnotherapist.
This is just one way hypnotherapy can help with panic attacks.
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About Karen Lee
Karen Lee has always had an interest in helping others help themselves, after two years online voluntary work in a group she set up herself, she is now a qualified hypnotherapist, EMDR specialist and is studying to achieve a BSc hons degree in psychology, looking to become a psychologist in the next few years.