Anxiety can cause people to feel trapped within their own minds, tired, tense, worried and uncomfortable in their own skin. The ability to concentrate, sleep, experience pleasure or carry on a peaceful existence can be stripped away by the experience of anxiety. Unfortunately, anxiety comes in many forms and plagues hundreds of thousands of people. HYPNOSIS provides a powerful vehicle for accessing the unconscious and altering unwanted anxiety-producing thoughts, memories and images. Old associations are broken, and new, healthy thought patterns and reactions are formed helping to improve the quality of life.
There are many theories pertaining to the causes of anxiety. The common theme that runs through all of the theories is that UNCONSCIOUS FEAR plays a major role in the experience of anxiety. The situations that provoke anxiety may or may not be known to the person experiencing the anxiety. However, simply recognizing that "the sight of blood" gives me tremendous anxiety does not necessarily mean that I know WHY the sight of blood brings on these feelings. Knowing that I experience horrible anxiety when I am "out in public places" does not mean that I know WHY I react this way. Discovering the ROOT of fear can play a significant role in the treatment of anxiety. Another part of treatment is digging this root out of the unconscious and working with it in the conscious mind. Once the root of the anxiety is available for conscious examination, we can more easily begin to diffuse it.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Some people experience anxiety almost all of the time and cannot identify any particular stimuli triggering it. They are chronically stressed, worried, tense and uptight. Sleep and relaxation are very difficult, and energy levels can be very low. This pattern is sometimes labeled "GENERALIZED ANXIETY DISORDER". Although the symptoms of this disorder may not be as acute as those of some of the other anxiety disorders, GAD can sap you of your joy of living.
Many people experience bouts of ACUTE ANXIETY and PANIC REACTION (increased heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing, dizziness, confusion, fear etc.) for no APPARENT reason. Oftentimes, this can take place in public places. Because the person having the panic attack does not know why it happens or when it will happen next, the fear and anticipation of the next attack are always present.
A phobia is the fear based, habitual avoidance of ANYTHING (person, place, thing, situation etc.). The fears underlying this avoidance are HIGHLY POTENT but IRRATIONAL. The seeds of a phobia are planted when a person has a negative experience that causes pain or fear, and then begins a pattern of AVOIDANCE. This usually happens early on in life when our minds are not fully capable of mature reasoning or putting things into proper perspective. As time passes, the habit of AVOIDANCE continues, and the unconscious fear of the avoided situation becomes broader and more potent. The cycle continues slowly but surely, and ends up as a full-blown phobia. Here is a brief example of how a phobia develops: A young boy is at a birthday party. He is playing with a friendly little dog. The boy unknowingly steps on the dogs tail and the dog reacts by biting him on the leg and growling. The boy is startled and terrified. He cries for a few minutes then goes on with his business having a good time and eating birthday cake. He stays away from the dog for the rest of the day, and looks over his shoulder every now and then to make sure this "terrifying monster" is not about to attack.
As he gets older, he unconsciously continues to avoid dogs. He avoids all dogs. He eventually begins to avoid all furry animals (his mind has unconsciously GENERALIZED the fear to all furry things). He becomes terrified at the thought of being near anything that is furry and avoids this dreaded situation at all costs. He may or may not remember the initial incident at the birthday party.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
"Shell Shock" was the name given to this anxiety disorder when soldiers came back from war battles with a particular pattern of anxiety and intense fear reactions. Having been exposed to the sounds of bombs going off and guns being fired while at war, upon returning home these soldiers continued to experience terror and panic reactions to everyday sounds like a car door slamming or a balloon popping. Why is this? It is because they were about to be killed all day every day and watched people being blown apart right in front of them at the same time they heard the guns, bombs and everything else associated with the war going on. Their unconscious minds associate these sounds with the horror and threat of death and destruction. Once out of the threat of danger and back at home, ANY LOUD SOUNDS trigger these UNCONSCIOUS ASSOCIATIONS to an immediate threat of the greatest proportions. The associations are UNCONSCIOUS and AUTOMATIC. They cause the heart to race, breathing becomes rapid, terrifying thoughts are experienced and automatic self preserving reactions take place (hiding for cover, grabbing a gun, running away, etc.) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the name given to the ongoing experience of terrifying thoughts, memories and panic reactions following a terrifying event of any kind. Even though there is no longer any "real" threat, the UNCONSCIOUS mind reacts as though there is real danger any time an ASSOCIATED stimulus is experienced. Being raped, physically abused or attacked in some way are examples of "terrifying" events that can lead to PTSD. The victim may continue to experience fear, panic, anxiety and terror for years to come after such a horrible encounter.
OCD is a debilitating condition that is marked by incessant obsessive thoughts and repetitive, compulsive acts which are aimed at alleviating these thoughts and the anxiety that they produce. Sufferers of OCD ARE AWARE of the irrational nature of their condition. This makes them feel as though they are helpless prisoners trapped within their own malfunctioning minds. OCD leads to depression as a result of the inability to escape the wrath of this gripping plague. Many medications are available to correct the chemical imbalance associated with a great majority of these cases.