Hypnosis for Anxiety Disorders
People with (generalized) anxiety disorder worry constantly. They are afraid of bad events and potential catastrophes, and they may spend a lot of time thinking about potentially negative events or possibilities. People with generalized anxiety disorder react very sensitively to stimuli and situations that could represent a possible danger. In addition to behavioral therapy and medication, hypnotherapy also achieves promising results for anxiety disorder. In this article you will learn what a (generalized) anxiety disorder is and how hypnosis can help.
Anxiety Disorders Symptoms
How to recognize (generalized) anxiety disorder
Almost everyone is familiar with feelings of anxiety. Anxiety (like fear) is a vital warning signal, because it protects us from danger. However, when it goes beyond normal levels, it can be very stressful. When anxiety persists for weeks and everyday life is characterized by anxious expectations or constant fears, we are dealing with an anxiety disorder. Another good indicator is when the anxiety is accompanied by physical symptoms like perspiration, heart palpitations and overall physical tension. However, symptoms such as heart palpitations or sweating can always occur in anxious situations without an underlying anxiety disorder. Therefore it is best not to self-diagnose too early.
Physically, an anxiety disorder manifests itself as rapid heartbeat, increased perspiration or cold flashes. Some clients also describe stomach problems, muscle tension or difficulty falling asleep. A worrying experience for many is dizziness. It is a frequent reason for seeing a doctor and undergoing a series of medical examinations - usually without any findings. Symptoms like dizziness demonstrate that anxiety has a powerful effect on us physically and that it affects our bodies in a multitude of ways.
Concentration difficulties, irritability, inner tension and nervousness are some of the psychological symptoms accompanying anxiety. A type of secondary symptom arises as a sense of frustration about the inability to relax. This tends to increase pressure, stress and anxiety, since most people suffering from anxiety disorder are self-conscious and very self-aware of the cyclical thoughts in their minds. Additionally, because of a heightened awareness for the anxiety and accompanying symptoms, those affected often resort to avoidance behavior, which not only impacts their social life but also their personal life and aspirations.
A Sufferer Talks About Her Experience With Anxiety Disorders
I have often felt really helpless. Helpless and almost unable to change anything about my situation. It went so far, that at some point, I didn't even dare to go out with friends anymore. That's how big the shame was to admit that I had serious problems in my life. And there was not even an obvious reason for it, because from the outside my life was quite normal, and some people might have even said that they would like to trade places with me. But they did not know what it was like inside me. For no apparent reason, I was always preoccupied with negative thoughts and worries, which always revolved around the same topics, and led to the fact that I hardly got sleep at night. Of course, there were also fears about the future, which then contributed to the fact that I no longer dared to come out of my shell. Applying for a new job or actively taking my life into my own hands again was out of the question at that point.
Anxiety Disorder Self Test
Do I suffer from an anxiety disorder?
The following questions may be initial clues as to whether you have an anxiety disorder:
Do you often experience yourself as helpless and taken over by negative thoughts?
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms: heart palpitations, increased perspiration, freezing or cold flashes, stomach problems, dizziness, muscle tension or difficulty falling asleep?
Are you afraid of sinking into negative thoughts and do you find it difficult to look positively into the future?
Do you experience yourself as less efficient and less focused?
Do you have the impression that you withdraw or avoid certain situations?
If you can answer yes to most of these questions and feel restricted in your everyday life, you should seek medical or therapeutic advice. You may have a generalized anxiety disorder. Please note that questions are always asked broadly, so it is possible that people who are not affected by generalized anxiety disorder may also receive a positive result. Not everyone who has excessive perspiration or cold flashes suffers from generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder Facts
When does an anxiety disorder occur?
Generalized anxiety disorder tends to occur infrequently during adolescence. On average, generalized anxiety disorder begins between the ages of 35 and 45. It is important to be aware of the fact that fears and worries are a completely natural part of life. But for people who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, fears and worries are not just there every once in a while - they usually experience steady increases in their anxiety when left untreated. Hypnosis and hypnotherapy helps people face the core issues causing anxiety and break the negative cycle.
Who is affected by anxiety disorder?
Those affected describe the condition as extremely stressful: they live in constant fear or are unable to control fears. More precisely, they have difficulty regulating their thoughts and emotions. Thus they are exposed to a strong psychological and physical burden, which is also perceived as such for family and relatives. On average, more women than men suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. It is 1.5 percent of men and 2.9 percent of women. 29 percent of people develop an anxiety disorder at least once in their lifetime.
Own illustration, data source: https://de.statista.com/ Question/title: The most common mental disorders, source: study "Mental disorders in the general population," Springer Verlag
, accessed 11/13. 20
Own illustration, data source: https://de.statista.com/ Question/title: proportion of population with anxiety disorders (lifetime prevalence), source expert(s) (Kessler), survey by expert(s) (Kessler), Published by Focus, source reference Focus 14/2011, 04. 04/2011, page 86, publication date April 2011
, accessed 11/13/20
Own illustration, data source: https://de.statista. com/ Question/title: Prevalence of selected anxiety disorders among children and adolescents in Germany by gender in 2017, Source DAK, Survey by DAK, Published by DAK, Reference to source, DAK - Kinder- und Jugendreport 2019, Page 134, Publication date, November 2019
, accessed 11/13/20
Anxiety Disorder Causes
How anxiety disorders develop
The causes of generalized anxiety disorder are often rooted in childhood. People who grew up with an overprotective parent are affected particularly often. If the parents constantly worry about everything or have an anxiety issue themselves, it can happen that the children adopt this basic anxious attitude. In addition, there is a genetic predisposition. Which is to say that if an anxiety disorder has already occurred in the family of origin, the likelihood of developing the disorder is higher. An insecure parent-child bond can also lead to anxiety in adulthood.
Anxiety Disorder Consequences
What consequences can anxiety disorders have?
The longer an anxiety disorder persists and is left untreated, the greater the suffering of those affected. Confidence and overall hope can decrease, which can often cause those affected to lose themselves more and more in a vicious cycle of worry and thoughts. Many people with anxiety disorder are afraid that the anxiety disorder can have a negative impact on different areas of life - and this is justified. This is why it is so important to seek support early on. Since there is often a social withdrawal from family and friends, it is difficult for many to seek help in their immediate environment. There are various support centers that you can visit, including therapeutic practices. Hypnotherapy can be an effective tool to break out of this negative cycle.
Psychosocial, physical and economic consequences
Feelings of helplessness and social withdrawal from family and friends
Depression and other anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and somatic symptom disorders, may develop as a result of the anxiety disorder
Increased mental and physical health risks due to self-medicating with alcohol or other substances
Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Secondary Conditions
Anxiety, worrying and fearful states are experienced very intensely for people with generalized anxiety disorder. Without the ability to control these fears and worries, those affected by anxiety disorders experience themselves as helpless and at the mercy of others. In addition, untreated anxiety tends to build up and become more intense. When generalized anxiety disorder is left untreated for longer periods, other mental conditions often form: depression, panic disorders and somatic symptom disorders. It is not uncommon to use medication or alcohol as a so-called self-therapy to allow oneself "breaks" from the fears and worries, which often leads to additional complications and health issues.
Anxiety Disorders or Depression?
Anxiety disorders and depression can be confused
While people suffering from anxiety disorders tend to describe physical tension, worries and fears, people in depressive phases focus on feeling weighed down or dejected. In depressive phases, self-doubt, negative thoughts and worries also occur, but they tend to be directed at the past. This demonstrates that mental health conditions are often intertwined: people with depression can also get trapped in negative thought patterns and develop anxiety - and anxiety disorders, in turn, can lead to depression.
Generalized anxiety disorder can lead to depression when left untreated
An untreated and persistent anxiety disorder has a tendency to intensify and become chronic. At this stage, professional treatment should be sought to break the negative cycle and prevent the anxiety disorder from leading to depression or other mental health conditions.
Anxiety Disorders - Hypnosis Treatment
Treat anxiety disorders with hypnotherapy
For generalized anxiety disorder, cognitive behavioral therapy in combination with drug treatment has proven effective. However, other therapeutic methods, such as hypnotherapy, can also be effective in treating anxiety. The main goal of hypnotherapy is to develop a more positive and realistic attitude towards life. Problems, worries and fears are part of life, but people without these types of mental burdens can detach themselves from them and do not allow them to dominate their life.
Hypnosis can uncover and treat deep-seated fears
Hypnosis allows the client to enter a deep state of relaxation and begin treatment at the point where their anxiety originates: the subconscious mind. In generalized anxiety disorder, life is fear-focused, and this makes the affected person vulnerable on a psychological and subconscious level. It also leads to increased mismatches between the mental and physical feelings. Hypnosis helps to establish a healthy connection to the body, emotions and thoughts. It also helps in regulating our thoughts and feelings more effectively. The foundation of hypnotherapy is built on reaching certain states (such as deep relaxation and hypnotic trance) which manage to break the stressful thought loops and blockages. Hypnosis can access subconscious experiences and beliefs, help us visualize them, and take them into a waking conscious state. During hypnosis, the therapist and client usually simulate the anxiety-provoking situation and then alter the client’s perception of the situation to dissolve the blockages and thought patterns on the spot. Even if this approach makes you uncomfortable at first, you can feel safe and guided during hypnosis. If the hypnosis and hypnotherapy is successful, you will notice the first changes after a short time and the symptoms will dissolve bit by bit.