Hypnosis for Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Life can be stressful, but some worry more than is reasonable. Usually those people don't realize that excessive worry is an anxiety symptom. They think they just have trouble sleeping, or are stressed because of their job, marriage or family. People with anxiety tend to second-guess themselves and often obsess about what others think of them. They are unduly afraid of making a mistake, or offending someone; and they generally have trouble relaxing.
People who grew up in a home with alcohol and/or drug abuse often have anxiety. Similarly, excessive yelling or criticism in childhood may result in anxiety. At the extremes, those who experienced physical and/or sexual abuse often have lifelong anxiety.
Irrational fears (phobias) are also symptoms of anxiety. Claustrophobia--or fear of enclosed places--is common. These people have trouble in elevators, airplanes, crowds, and confined spaces. There are other kinds of phobias too, although most people that suffer with them don't think of them as anxiety. They just try to avoid the trigger as much as possible.
Men and women with social anxiety avoid social situations--for some, even talking with co-workers or family members can provoke anxiety. Being single and talking to an attractive dating prospect can be a challenge. If they can't avoid it, their brain may freeze and not be able to find words to say. Speaking in work meetings or doing presentations can also trigger those with this type of anxiety.
Some anxiety patients are afraid to drive on our freeways. Others freak out when caught in traffic. Sometimes driving anxiety is the result of a car accident, but not always.
People with anxiety tend to have insomnia. They can't shut off their thoughts. They worry about the future, and regret what they said or did. They second-guess their words and actions, and often wish they could go back and do things differently. People with insomnia toss and turn.
The experience is very frustrating. While most people fall asleep within fifteen minutes, those with insomnia may need 1-3 hours (or more) to finally fall asleep. At the extremes, some may need 4-5 hours to fall asleep, and on some nights can't fall asleep at all.
It's understandable they would be desperate to try a method or substance that might help quiet their mind so they can sleep. I've had patients who were abusing alcohol or drugs that started their habit as a means to fall asleep! Sometimes those substances help them relax and sleep, but if they get up in the middle of the night, they have difficulty falling back asleep. Prescription sleep medications may help, but long-term use can result in serious health consequences. They are designed for occasional use only. (Check with your doctor.)
About 10% of American adults have chronic insomnia. It may result in a lack of energy, a decreased ability to focus, cognitive impairment and overall fatigue. This reduces the quality of their life and may put them in danger. The NHTSA estimates that in 2017, drowsy driving was responsible for 91,000 crashes and at least 1,000 deaths.
The good news is that insomnia is just anxiety at night. Fortunately, hypnotherapy is a very powerful sleep aid. When the anxiety levels are turned down, sleep comes naturally. The effectiveness of hypnosis to alleviate anxiety and insomnia have been demonstrated through medical research.
Extreme anxiety reactions are called panic attacks. These could be triggered by a phobia, social situation, having to present at school or for work, by getting caught in traffic, walking alone on a dark street, and sometimes for seemingly no reason.
Panic attacks tend to happen in situations that cause anxiety for that person, but they are more powerful and harder to hide. The heart races, breathing speeds up, hands may sweat, and the mind gets foggy. There may also be chest pains, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea, feeling weak, faint or dizzy.
Some people with anxiety may never have a panic attack, while others I've treated had one or more panic attacks each week! About 6 million American adults have panic attacks, and women are twice as likely to have them as men.
Whether a patient has generalized anxiety, insomnia, phobias, test-taking anxiety, or panic attacks--I've found hypnotherapy to be the most effective treatment. Of course my psychological training helps with anxious patients, and most are able to make significant progress in weeks rather than the months or years needed in psychotherapy. My work enables them to do the activities that caused anxiety or panic in the past--with few or no symptoms.