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Stress Related Issues

Feelings of anxiety can strike anybody and at almost any time, and it is highly likely that every person will experience these feelings at some point in their lives. There are many factors that can contribute to these feelings (or excessive feelings) of worry and stress, for example you may be anxious about an impending job interview, money worries, problems in your personal relationships or even just the day to day pressures of everyday life.

These feelings are in fact completely normal and a natural reaction to stress, however, for some people the level of worry can become so “large” or “significant” that it starts to affect their ability to get on with daily living.

Medical Research estimates that around 2% of the population will experience this as a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) at least once in their lifetime and is most likely to crop up in your mid to late twenties. Research also suggests that less men than women are affected by excessive worry problems.

GAD tends to be more long term and can affect many areas of your life leading to anxious feelings about almost anything that is happening, leading to a lack of perspective and a cycle that spirals out of control. For many sufferers it can feel like the condition is constant and that you never get a chance to really relax. 

There are numerous signs and symptoms of GAD for example:

● Feelings of living on the edge of your seat

● An Inability to rest

● An impending sense of fear or dread

● Problems Concentrating

● Being quick tempered with friends and family

● Finding minor issues irritating

● Feelings of dizziness

● Difficulties in becoming motivated

● Prickly sensations like pins and needles

● Palpitations

● Muscle Fatigue

● Dry or Sticky mouth

● Sweating excessively

● Shortness of Breath

● Stomach Cramps

● Migraines

● Sleep patterns becoming interrupted

In more significant cases it is possible for your feelings of worry to become so significant that it become a “panic” which can be very alarming. Many people who suffer from a panic issue develop a sense that the panic could become so bad that it might lead to unconsciousness or even heart failure.

Of course It is impossible to capture every condition in which excessive worry is a dominant symptom, so if you are in any doubt, then we would urge you to contact me to arrange a consultation to discuss your particular issue.

“Mild” Anxiety

If the problem that you are currently experiencing is “mild” and is due to an upcoming event such as a driving test, an important exam, a driving test and perhaps a hospital operation then this level can often be very effectively reduced using Clinical Hypnosis that can help you to feel more relaxed and in control.

Clinical Hypnosis will allow you to “tap into” the internal resources and experiences that you undoubtedly have somewhere in your mind and by helping you to visualize much more positive outcomes will also help you to become more in control.

Hypnosis is also fantastically relaxing and can really help you to “re-connect” your body and mind!

In the above scenarios we would normally recommend a session of clinical hypnosis just a few days before the event.

“Strong” Anxiety

If your problem is more significant, you’ve suffered for a long time or that it is having a detrimental effect on your life, if you are experiencing more frequent Panic Attacks and cannot understand why it is you’re feeling this way, then you would almost undoubtedly benefit from a course of Analytical Hypnosis which will help you to discover and then remove the causes of the problem and to be able to get back on with living your life.

Fears and Phobias

Fears and Phobias are so common place that almost everybody has something that they feel “funny” about, that they know is a bit irrational, but nevertheless, find causes them a problem. It could be that you have a fear of Spiders, perhaps you “need” to sleep with the light on, or perhaps you dread having to make a best man’s speech or presentation of some kind.

On the whole, people generally manage to deal with these “minor” issues and they tend not to be too damaging to a person’s life.

There are, however, many people who also find that their fear or phobia plays havoc with their lives preventing them from getting on with things, or perhaps “forcing” them to miss some great opportunity in life. For example, many people feel a bit “uncomfortable” about flying in a plane, but nevertheless, still fly and enjoy the benefits of whatever lies at the end of the plane journey, but for those who have developed a more “severe” phobia of flying they may be so phobic that they never take a foreign holiday, or turn down a promotion because it might entail inter-continental travel.

People suffering from severe Agoraphobia may never leave their homes becoming socially withdrawn and fearful.


It is important to recognize that Fears and Phobias may be mild or severe and that no two people suffer fears and phobias in the same way.

The most common Fears and Phobias that people look to Hypnotherapy to help with are:

● Spiders

● Flying

● Public Speaking

● Dentists

● Needles

● Death or Dying

● Open Spaces

● Birds or other Animals

In fact, the list of Fears and Phobias is without end as people can actually have fears or phobias about ANYTHING. (There is even a Phobia of “Phobias” called “Phobophobia”).

Why are there so many Fears and Phobias?

That’s a good question! From our point of view we recognize that the object or experience that produces the phobic response is almost always a “substitute” for some other fear or worry that we “carry” around with us. In other words we are not actually frightened of the thing itself, but having something definitive for us to “label” as the thing that causes the fear helps us to make sense of the “hidden” fear within us.

For example, people who have a Fear of Flying are, in 98% of the cases, actually afraid of being “out of control”. It’s just a lot easier to call it “Fear of Flying” than to face the fact that you have a “control” issue in your life!

So, if you regard fears and phobias from this point of view, it is relatively easy to see how almost any object or experience could feel “phobic”.

Please do not misunderstand what we are saying here, the “fear” and “anxiety” that you experience when confronted with your “phobia trigger” is REAL, it’s just that the cause of it is something else.

The possible causes of fears and phobias may be that:

1. You have actually had a very negative experience of one of the things you are phobic about and this has been “engrained” in your mind as a perfectly reasonable response. (For example, you’ve actually been involved in an aircraft crash, or bitten badly by a spider)

2. You have some “trapped” or “unresolved” emotional trauma or experience in your past and this emotion seeks some way of being expressed, so your mind finds an outlet in a fear or phobia.

3. You have developed a certain thinking “style” known as “anticipatory anxiety” and it is in fact this “pre-worrying” that causes the anxiety NOT the thing you believe you’re afraid of!

Hypnosis for Fears and Phobias

Clinical Hypnosis is probably what most people think of when they imagine going to a Hypnotherapist for help. The sessions normally involve using Hypnosis to help you to initially get into a very relaxed state.

Once in this “suggestible” state of Hypnosis we would then provide you with some carefully phrased positive suggestions and metaphors to help you to “re-frame” or think and feel differently about your fears and phobias. In most cases this has been the “standard” way of dealing with fears and phobias using Hypnosis for at least 100 years.

Analytical Hypnosis is designed to help you uncover (or recover) previously hidden or repressed experiences from your past that may be the original cause of the anxiety that you feel today and now label as your “phobia”.

By uncovering these hidden emotional experiences you will be able to make much more sense of your fears and phobias and it is our experience that following a successful course of analytical hypnotherapy that fears and phobias can be significantly reduced or even removed completely.

Depression

Often stress and worry symptoms can be part of an issue concerning a chronic or continued feeling of Depression.   We all go through spells of feeling down, but when you're depressed, you feel persistently sad for weeks or months rather than just a few days.

Some people still think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition. This is NOT correct. Depression is a real illness with real symptoms, and it's not a sign of weakness or something you can 'snap out of' by 'pulling yourself together'. However, not everybody suffering Depression is affected in the same way and this has led to it being regarded as “just poor thinking”.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, most people can make a full recovery from depression.

How do I know?

Depression affects people in many different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.

These can range from feelings of sadness and hopelessness to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy. You may feel tearful or experience Anxiety.

There can also be physical symptoms such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or a loss of sex drive.

The severity of the symptoms varies from individual to individual. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low, while at its most severe, depression can make you feel suicidal and that life is no longer worth living.

It's important to seek help from your Doctor if you think you may be depressed.

Many people wait far too long before seeking help for depression, but it's best not to delay. The sooner you see a doctor, counsellor or therapist, the sooner you can be on your way to recovery.

Sometimes there may be a trigger for your depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, or losing your job or even having a baby, can bring it on and it must be remembered that some of the “depressive” feelings experienced following the loss of a close relative are perfectly normal.

People with a family history of depression are also more likely to experience depression themselves.

But you can also become depressed for no obvious reason.

The different Types of Depression:

Clinical Depression

A major depressive episode may have occurred when symptoms last for most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks. A symptom must either be 1) depressed mood or 2) a noticeable decrease in interest or pleasure in all or most activities.

At least four (or more) additional symptoms are normally present:

● significant weight loss / weight gain or decrease / increase in appetite

● difficulty sleeping or increase in sleeping

● excessive movement or slowing down associated with mental tension                    observed by others)

● fatigue or loss of energy

● feeling worthless or excessive guilt

● difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

● repeatedly thinking about death or suicide, trying to attempt suicide or having a specific plan to commit suicide

Dysthymia

Typically a nearly constant depressed mood for at least 2 years accompanied by at least two (or more) of the following:

● decrease or increase in eating

● difficulty sleeping or increase in sleeping

● low energy or fatigue

● low self-esteem

● difficulty concentrating or making decisions

● feeling hopeless

Symptoms do not generally occur for more than about two months at a time. This form of depression is described as having persistent but less severe symptoms than a “Major Depression”.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder includes periods of mania and depression and was once known as “manic depression”. The “cycling” between these two states can be rapid or only mania may be present without any depressive episodes.

A manic episode consists of a persistent elevated or irritable mood that is extreme, which lasts for at least a week. At least three (four if only irritable mood) other features are also usually experienced:

● inflated self-esteem

● decreased need for sleep

● more talkative than normal

● experiencing racing thoughts or ideas

● easily distracted

● increase in goal-oriented activity (work, school, social life)

● excessive involvement in potentially risky pleasurable behaviour (e.g. over spending, careless sexual activity)

Symptoms can be severe enough to warrant hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others or may even include psychotic features (e.g. hallucinations, delusions).

If you have experienced any of these more “severe” symptoms, I urge you, in the first instance, to discuss the matter with your Doctor.