Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If Homer’s Iliad was the great book of war, the Odyssey is the long journey back home and the story of recovery by those who have borne the battle.

As the father of a Marine, I cannot think of a better use of my skills as a hypnotherapist than to help veterans feel that they are finally safe back home. My son was fortunate. But many warriors have difficulty readjusting to normal life.

The natural response to war or any traumatic event is to feel sad, anxious, stressed and edgy. These feelings should diminish over time. Those with PTSD, however, can’t throttle down their “fight response” and from being on high alert. Their feeling of edginess persists.

PTSD can arise from one event or from a series of events. The symptoms can be delayed. Each deployment, each training between deployments, and each re-deployment, compounds the stress. Many combat veterans go off on re-deployment already exhausted. The constant danger and stress can be hard to turn off, even when the individual is back home in a physically safe environment.

PTSD can also result from events in our civilian life, such as being victim to a crime, witnessing a plane crash or other horrific accident or emotional trauma.

The individual can feel hopeless. They may avoid normal activities that remind them of the traumatic event. They may have difficulty getting to sleep or wake up with nightmares. They may experience relationship problems. They have a hair-trigger and become combative over trivial things.

They may feel survivor’s guilt and self-blame over things that happened on deployment. They may abuse alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism. This further diminishes their impulse control. They may think of hurting themselves or others.

If you believe someone you know may be suffering from PTSD, get them to a doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose or recommend treatment for PTSD. Working under medical referral, I can provide hypnotherapy services to help them relax, really relax. And in that relaxed and receptive state, I can apply techniques that are designed to help them get home emotionally, safe and sound.