How do we recognise PTSD and treat it

When I joined the forces as a young spotty 16 year old it was an adventure from day one. From staging on in combat situations to going out and sharing all those life experiences with your fellow soldiers. In time it just became a way of life.

During my times as a soldier I witnessed many situations and some I don’t want to remember, but my biggest regret was not having the understanding to identify PTSD in my fellow friends.

During the First World War it was referred to as "shell shock"; as "war neurosis" during WWII; and as "combat stress reaction" during the Vietnam War. In the 1980s the term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was introduced - the term we still use today and now understand so much better.

PTSD occurs when we witness a traumatic event, this event is then played over and over again causing countless flashbacks and horrific times for the individual itself, the person experiencing these events can seem totally helpless and full of fear. PTSD is a potentially severe and long-term mental health problem that can impede your ability to live your life to the full. People experiencing it can feel anxious for years after the trauma, whether or not they suffered a physical injury as well.

Once you have diagnosed PTSD it does not mean it’s a cure, it’s the start!

To date I have worked with many ex-soldiers suffering from long standing PTSD. The most simplistic way to explain PTSD is by imagining the mind is like a receptionist - it has an in, out and pending tray, images come in, we normally process and filter out, however some pend and that’s when our therapeutic approach comes into play.

Hypnosis with eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) has proven to be highly effective. After completing EMDR your hypnotherapist may illicit a light trance which allows them to work on the part of the mind where awareness is created. This provides positive and calming post-hypnotic suggestions to give the client better coping skills and in time remove those fearful images and thoughts.

Hypnosis is kind, forgiving and allows healing.

Please understand PTSD, it may save a life.

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