Anxiety Under The Microscope
What is Anxiety and How Can Curative Hypnotherapy Help?
Types of Anxiety and Supposed Causes
Given the frantic pace of life today, it is perhaps no wonder that an increasing number of us are being diagnosed with clinical anxiety. There are several forms of anxiety disorder, including Claustrophobia, Agoraphobia, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Spectrum Disorders, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Toilet Phobia, Specific/Simple Phobias, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).* Thought to be caused by a combination of factors, including chemical changes in the brain and a mixture of genetic and environmental factors, anxiety can leave us feeling drained, suffocated and, at its worst, in a state of total despair. It can also, of course, lead on to other problems, such as depression.
Stigma and Misunderstanding
Those who’ve never experienced such feelings often struggle to understand, labelling and shaming sufferers as being ‘weak’ and spewing unhelpful comments such as: “Pull yourself together” or worse, “There are people out there much worse off than you, you know.” And maybe there are, but does that in some way negate what the sufferer is feeling; change their reality in some way? Of course not! Such comments will likely only make things worse, quite possibly aggravating the anxiety and pushing the person into feelings of self-loathing and guilt. After all, a sufferer doesn’t choose to feel like they do; anxiety just is!
An all-consuming panic and irrational sense of dread suddenly and unexpectedly descend, engulfing him, crushing him, stopping him dead in his tracks. The world literally stops spinning and life itself becomes surreal as a surge of dread rushes through his veins, making his blood run cold and filling his stomach with butterflies. Legs turn to jelly and refuse to take his weight, mind racing, thoughts out of control, heart pounding in his chest, struggling to breathe; total overwhelm. And though he knows his reaction is illogical and unwarranted, this does nothing to quell the wave of terror that rises within.
But doesn’t everyone get a bit anxious sometimes?
Well, yes. Each and every one of us will experience anxiety of some kind at some point in our lives. Be it when preparing for an exam, when having to make a speech, sitting our driving test or going for a job interview; whatever the situation may be. And this is a perfectly normal and healthy emotion to experience in such circumstances. Indeed it is this ‘fight or flight’ response that has ensured human survival.
What is the ‘fight or flight’ response?
The fight or flight response is a natural, physiological reaction which occurs in direct response to a perceived threat. In order to prime the body to either fight or flee from an attacker, certain chemicals, such as adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream and blood is diverted away from other parts of the body and directed instead to our major organs; primarily the heart and muscles. All this ensures speed, strength and a boost of energy.
So how does this response help us today?
In the main, it doesn’t. Whereas in times gone by, threats would come in the form of perhaps a lion or a bear, ‘threats’ are now likely not to be ‘threats’ as such but stressors such as bereavement, divorce, losing one’s house because of not being able to meet mortgage payments or losing one’s job. However, although times have changed drastically, the response itself has not adapted. And, although the adrenaline may give us that extra kick we need to help us perform better in some situations, such as in an exam, in many ways the response could be said to be out of place and of little use to us when faced with the modern day stressors which thwart us today. And indeed, in the case of Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) the anxiety is constant and without respite and tied to no external stressor or obvious cause whatsoever.
When faced with no physical opponent to fight or flee from, we are left feeling tense and uncomfortable, a cocktail of chemicals coursing through our bloodstream, heart racing, muscles tight, yet with nowhere for that extra energy to be released or expended.
At what point does anxiety become recognised as a clinical disorder?
The word ‘anxiety’ tends to be banded about rather casually, often referring to general nervousness or unease. However, Clinical Anxiety goes much deeper. When anxiety begins to cause distress to the point where it affects a person’s ability to live a normal life for a prolonged period of time, it is recognised as a disorder. Sufferers are often plagued by constant fears and worries, which can be overwhelming and debilitating. Symptoms vary dramatically and range from nausea, dizziness, muscle tension, headaches, sleep problems, a sense of dread, feelings of panic, fear and uneasiness, shortness of breath and even heart palpitations.
How does a sufferer learn to manage their anxiety?
Well, that’s just it – they don’t have to! At least not if they choose Curative Hypnotherapy! You see, whilst standard therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Counselling of course have their place, they focus merely on symptoms; i.e. the anxious thoughts or cognitions themselves and the resultant behaviour, with a view to teaching coping strategies. And that is just what they are – coping strategies; ways to manage the problem. Curative Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, an advanced form of hypnotherapy, aims to get to the root of the patient’s problem with a view to disposing of it once and for all!
How does Curative Hypnotherapy work?
Instead of treating symptoms, as do standard or mainstream methods, Curative Hypnotherapy looks to uncover the underlying reason WHY those anxious thoughts are occurring in the first place. Most people do not react to situations, events and life in general by suffering such prolonged anxiety and all its associated uncomfortable effects. So what makes the patient different and sets them apart from everyone else? The answer can only lie in that person’s subconscious.
Each person is a unique individual and, during the course of a person’s lifetime, he will gather all sorts of information about himself and the world around him through the lens of his own unique perception. This information, whether misinformed or not goes on to be stored in that person’s subconscious. Over time, and dependent upon subsequent events in his life, this information is either confirmed or rejected and will go on to form that person’s Core Beliefs.
Rather like updating a faulty piece of code in a computer programme, by locating the Core Belief the patient holds about themselves that has caused this anxiety reaction to become necessary, this information can be reviewed and updated or corrected. As a result, the sufferer is enabled to dispose of their anxiety entirely and permanently, without ever having to struggle with or ‘manage’ their symptoms ever again!
Not only this but, whereas CBT or counselling may take many months and sometimes years to complete (the ultimate aim merely being to help the sufferer to ‘manage’ his problem) with Curative Hypnotherapy an average of around only 6 to 8 sessions is required, following which a problem which has been causing distress for many years can be completely and permanently disposed of.
Sound too good to be true?
I agree entirely! And I wouldn’t say all this if I hadn’t experienced the results first hand for myself. (See my article: From Patient To Practitioner). It is a common belief that unless medicine tastes horrible or treatment is gruelling and we undergo suffering of some kind then they cannot be effective. Yet with Curative Hypnotherapy, the complete opposite is true. Treatment is gentle and non-demanding yet highly effective in enabling a person to be free of their problem(s).
Curative Hypnotherapy treatment involves no distressing desensitisation tasks and no ‘homework’ (other than a relaxing CD to listen to in between appointments). Further, the patient will at no time be required to re-live any uncomfortable or traumatic events, nor to re-experience any associated uncomfortable emotions, since the treatment relies purely on retrieval of information from the subconscious. In any event, it is usually the case that there is actually nothing traumatic at the root of the problem, most problems being the result of some small misconception lying in the subconscious that has gone on to cause problems.
But there has to be some kind of catch… right?
Wrong! The treatment is usually of relatively short duration, non-distressing in any way yet highly effective in enabling a person to be free of their problem; for good.
© Copyright Wendy Mitcham 2016.