PTSD, what is it and can PTSD Hypnotherapy Help?

Over the years, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), has had many names from Shell Shock used during the first World War to Combat Stress Reaction (CSR) or battle fatigue, used later on in World War II.  But what is PTSD and can PTSD hypnotherapy help those with it?

What we now refer to as PTSD, has been known to exist, albeit under many different names, since ancient times.  UK researchers have found evidence of ancient soldiers suffering from PTSD from 3000 years ago, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that PTSD was first recognised as a psychological disorder.  Before this it was viewed as a sign of weakness, and during the war soldiers were executed for it, following refusal to return to the front. But what is PTSD?

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after witnessing or experiencing a life-threatening, shocking or scary event, such as military combat, a serious accident, a natural disaster, terrorist incident, a physical or sexual assault.  Some experiences can also lead to developing PTSD, such as the sudden death of a loved one.

After experiencing a traumatic event, it’s natural to be affected and experience some level of distress and symptoms of trauma.  Everyone will take their own time to calm down, cope and process the event they experienced before starting to feel better.  For some though, they don’t start to feel better and the symptoms don’t go away and if symptoms are still present for longer than a month and having an impact on daily living, PTSD may be diagnosed.

What are the Symptoms of PTSD?

The symptoms of PTSD can be classified into 3 different kinds of symptoms:

Re-experiencing symptoms – these symptoms involve reliving the traumatic event in some shape or form, everyone is different, for some it may involve recurrent and intrusive recollections of the event, for others in the form of ‘flashbacks’ where they relive the incident as if they are back in that scenario again.  Memories could also be triggered by a traumatic reminder; the individual see’s or hears something associated with the event e.g a combat veteran hearing a car backfire.

Avoidance and numbing symptoms – involve avoiding places, people, anything that could trigger memories of the event.  Numbing symptoms may involve feeling detached from their emotions and could find it difficult to express emotions towards others.

Arousal Symptoms – involve feeling constantly alert or ‘on edge’, which can cause difficulty sleeping, feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger, and a difficultly in concentrating.

Everyone is different, some people will experience symptoms straight after the event, whilst others may not get them until months or years later.  For PTSD to be diagnosed, these symptoms must have occurred for at least a month and be having a significant adverse effect on the persons daily functioning or be causing them considerable distress.

It’s also quite common for those suffering with PTSD to be experiencing other conditions, like depression, anxiety and substance abuse along with feelings of hopelessness, shame and despair.

The good news is there is help out there and PTSD hypnotherapy could help.

Who Can Get PTSD?

Worried Businessman Running Stress Pressured Lost Concept

Anyone can get PTSD at any age.  According to PTSD UK 1 in 2 of us will experience some sort of trauma in our lives and around 20% of us who do, could go onto to develop PTSD.  So most of us, after experiencing some sort of trauma, will experience short term symptoms of distress which goes away on its own and not develop into PTSD.

There are certain things that can increase the likelihood of experiencing PTSD, being injured during the event or experiencing a long lasting or very intense traumatic event are all contributing factors, along with age and gender; woman are more likely to get PTSD compared with men.  Post traumatic stress can also be cumulative, the more traumatic experiences we find ourselves in, the more likely we are to experience PTSD at some point.

What happens after the event also has a role to play, social support has been shown to make developing PTSD less likely, where as stress can make it more likely.

Can PTSD Hypnotherapy Help?

PTSD is essentially a mistake in our memory filing system caused by a traumatic event, the experience overwhelms the brain and the memory of the experience isn’t processed properly.  When we experience a traumatic event, the brain doesn’t believe processing and understanding that event is essential in that precise moment, it’s more concerned about keeping you safe and getting you ready to flee for your life or fight whatever you are facing, it can process the event later.  This means, a memory for the event hasn’t been created in the normal way.  Later on, when the threat has passed and it comes to process the event, it can cause great distress i.e re-experiencing symptoms because the brain hasn’t processed the event as a memory yet and so it feels like you are reliving the scenario again.

PTSD hypnotherapy can help you process the memory and help release you of the triggers associated with the event.  PTSD hypnotherapy can also help you feel less ‘on edge’, and help you be the person you want to be more of, who you were before the experience occurred.

PTSD Hypnotherapy in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Eye

PTSD is not a sign of weakness, but a psychological disorder that can happen to anyone at any stage of their life, it’s estimated 1 in 10 people develop PTSD (  Most people who experience a traumatic event wont go onto to develop PTSD but out of those who do, evidence suggests, 70% don’t seek any professional help (

This is a very brief overview of what PTSD is, if you would like to know more or would like a free consultation with me at Elizabeth Donegan Cognitive Hypnotherapy, to see how PTSD Hypnotherapy in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Eye could help you, get in touch and we can have a conversation about how I can help you, regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with PTSD or not.


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