Help for PTSD

Help For PTSD (Case Study)

It’s not only soldiers coming back from the war who suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It could happen to you or me.

PTSD is classed as an anxiety disorder. The stressor is unusually severe, outside of what we might think of as a typical human experience, and is psychologically traumatic.

The sufferer of PTSD might have been the victim of

  • a life -threatening situation
  • violence
  • assault or rape
  • mugging or robbery
  • a serious road accident
  • a traumatic birthing experienceOr, they might have
  • been held prisoner or hostage
  • suffered a severe health condition
  • witnessed another person being mutilated or killed

If PTSD occurs within six months it is considered acute, after six months it is considered delayed.

Those with PTSD may typically suffer from

  • flashbacks as they re-experience the events of the past;
  • sleep disruption or recurring nightmares about the traumatic experience;
  • intrusive compulsive thoughts that are overwhelming and cause unpleasant emotions;
  • tension;
  • difficulty in relaxing;
  • irritability and anger;
  • the inability to tolerate sudden loud noise;
  • problems with concentration;
  • memory problems;
  • stress;
  • depression;
  • loss of sexual interest;
  • feelings of isolation;
  • withdrawal from social contact.

PTSD can have a detrimental effect on self-esteem and self-worth, with anxiety and panic attacks often a daily occurrence. They symptoms might ease off for a time and come back with a vengeance, out of the blue. The effects of PTSD may also stop a person from living a normal life, from putting themselves forward or speaking up, from having a meaningful relationship, or applying for a promotion at work, or even working at all.

Case Study using BrainWorking Recursive Therapy (BWRT):

I worked with a client called Debbie (not her real name) some time ago. Debbie was in her 30's, had a great career, appeared very confident, was an excellent planner and communicator, a quick learner and was very organised.

She initially asked for help in overcoming claustrophobia and panic attacks. The initial consultation revealed that she had also suffered from a serious violent attack many years previously which still haunted her, and she had also been in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship which ended in a bitter divorce.

Debbie had suffered from anxiety and stress for many years but six months before seeing me started having panic attacks. She didn’t like lifts and this was getting to the point where she refused to go in one. Her sleep was disturbed so she didn’t feel refreshed on waking, she was having nightmares of being abducted and tortured, she was quick to anger, flying off the handle easily and using alcohol and food as a coping mechanism. This resulted in her putting on a lot of weight and she worried she may be drinking a bit too much.

Debbie had been determined to put the events of the past behind her so she pushed herself to achieve success in her career. She became a workaholic and didn’t socialise much. Although she could be assertive and “bossy” on occasions, she recently began to shy away from conflict, often becoming withdrawn or sinking into depression, but never let it be known to work colleagues. To other people she was confident and funny, but inside, Debbie was riddled with self-doubt, guilt and low self-worth. She didn’t know how she had become so successful because she believed at heart that she was not good enough, and in fact she didn’t deserve to be in the position that she was in. She was now feeling very stressed, she felt anxious with some people at work who were being passive aggressive towards her, and she was afraid she might have a panic attack. I wondered if she also suffered from Imposter Syndrome (a belief that you are really a fake and will be found out one day.)

Debbie felt she was stuck. She wanted to move forward but something was stopping her. She wanted a new relationship but was fed up with dating losers. She wanted to lose weight but knew that she was a comfort eater and used food to sooth her anxieties. She had now reached a point where she didn’t want to be the person she had become and she couldn’t see a way out of her current predicament without addressing the past. She was afraid she would always be alone, or she might suffer from some serious health problem. Although she was financially secure now, she didn’t know what might happen in the future. Debbie was living on high alert and she thought she might burn out. The flashbacks to the past were a regular occurrence.

Plan of Action
We identified several areas that needed attention. First up we needed to disable the traumas, then stop the panic attacks, treat the claustrophobia, build up her self-esteem, get rid of the Imposter Syndrome and only after that she would think about losing weight. We established some smart goals and worked together over a number of sessions.

BWRT is an excellent tool to disable the triggers that cause many emotional issues such as anxiety, anger, stress. Many of Debbie’s issues were anxiety based - PTSD, claustrophobia and panic attacks; stress and anger were also emotionally based. There was a lot of fear in her life.

PTSD can last for many years if left untreated. Trauma is like a roadblock in the mind, you try to move on, to move forward but the trauma stops you. It can be crippling, and even little things can trigger a panic attack. A sudden loud noise, an image, a song, a new relationship, a red ribbon. It could be anything that is associated in some way to a memory of a traumatic experience from the past.

Through the process of BWRT® Debbie was able to disable the traumas from her past, and relocate them to a place in her mind that was behind her, frozen in time, powerless. The fear was no longer at the edge of her awareness, ready to pounce when she least expected it. She discovered she had the ability to take back her power, to see things from a new perspective and she was no longer a victim. As a result, she was now able to stand up to the bullies at work, to speak her truth and to feel confident in her own skin. She began to respect herself in a way that she had never been able to before. She started to show herself compassion and kindness and this led to her being able to start loving herself for the first time.

Tears of Joy

Over the time we worked together, she shed some tears and she laughed out loud, and on the last session she shed tears of joy. The Traumas had been disabled and were behind her, she no longer had claustrophobia, the panic attacks had stopped, she no longer felt angry and she was building up emotional resilience. She was looking forward to a promotion at work and believed she deserved it. She wanted to meet someone new but realised she didn’t need a relationship in order to be happy. She was positive and optimistic for the future. She had changed from feeling like a victim to feeling empowered. It was as if she found her real identity, her true self, at last. Debbie may come back to see me when she is ready to lose weight but for now she is enjoying having her confidence back, she feels like she has a new identity and is free to move forward with self-love.

If you suffer from PTSD, don't be afraid to seek help. There are a lot of organisations that can help and support you. BWRT is one therapy that can help. For more information go to BWRT-Professionals
or drop me a line if you want to book a free consultation here.

Get in touch

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how hypnotherapy/BWRT/coaching works, or to arrange your free consultation. This enables us to discuss the reasons you are thinking of coming to see me, whether it could be helpful for you and whether I am the right therapist to help.

We can meet face to face in person in Milton Keynes or over Zoom on-line.

Feel free to call me on 07824 870959 if you would prefer to leave a message or speak to me first. I am happy to discuss any queries or questions you may have prior to arranging an initial appointment.

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