I’m Monika Drozd, advanced clinical hypnotherapist at Smoke Free Lady and I used to suffer from nyctophobia.
Nyctophobia is characterized by a fear of darkness and I suffered from this for most of my life, around 20 years. This intensified in my late twenties and was accompanied by panic attacks at least 2 to 3 times a week. During the night I was grounded to my bed and even the smallest movement was dangerous, as it disturbed the silence that I thought was essential for my safety. These thoughts were completely unjustified. Trying to explain to my closest friends was almost impossible as they see me as a normally strong and independent person. Stepping out of bed, even when I had real physiological need such as needing to go to the bathroom, was impossible. I tried to ignore it for a very long time. Every morning when the sun came up, I just chose to forget about last night and hoped that the nightmares would not come back. And so I continued to be disappointed every night when none of these hopes came true. If anything, it only became worse. It affected every aspect of my life. My family and friends had enough of me waking them up every night asking if I could stay with them till morning. I was late for work everyday and my performance declined. My energy levels depleted and I had real difficulties with concentration. I even had a problem with my skin and hair. On a few occasions I even ended up in the Accident and Emergency services as I thought that I had had a heart attack. It was very embarrassing, especially when my desire to be truly independent was so strong.
However, I was also a smoker and when I successfully quit with hypnotherapy I thought that maybe this can also help me get rid of my fears. I was not wrong!
It took 5 hypnotherapy sessions and I actually got my life back!
I was amazed. The first results happened after my third session. I could not believe it - I was testing the results every night! I could now go to the toilet and even walk around the house without switching any light. I even went to my garden in the middle of the night, where I have a massive willow tree that dances in the wind, and I was just laughing from pure relief and happiness!
Because of my phobia, I had very few positive thoughts about the future. Now, I look forward to every day and every night!
This life long experience has helped me enormously to form special therapeutic relationships with my clients, as I can fully understand their fears and strength of their emotions.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER IN SILENCE ANY MORE!”
Palpitation, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, a feeling of choking, chest pain or discomfort, nausea or abdominal distress, dizziness or lightheadedness, de-realization or de-personalization, cold or hot flushes, fear of loosing control or “going crazy”, fear of dying and paresthesias. Do any of these sound familiar?
Panic attacks can occur in the context of ANY anxiety disorders. The attack has a sudden onset and builds to a peak rapidly, and is often accompanied by a sense of imminent danger or impending doom and an urge to escape. And, all of these somatic and cognitive demonstrations usually occur in an ABSENCE of any real danger.
We had already mentioned Specific Phobia, which is characterized by a clinically significant anxiety as a result of exposure to a specific feared object or situation. The list of specific phobias is endless. Just to prove it, Professor Murray (1997) reported a case of a three-year-old girl who developed a Popeye phobia after seeing the character on TV. Seeing the Popeye cartoon, combined with fright, resulted in the immediate association, Popeye Equals Fear. As a result she developed bronchitis, which got worse when she attended school. Why? There was a boy at school who had slippers with a picture of Popeye on them, and this triggered her extreme reaction.
There is also Social Phobia. Symptoms are abnormal anxiety provoked by exposure to certain types of social or performance situations. Both specific and social phobia can lead to avoidance behavior.
Agoraphobia is most common of all phobias and occurs predominantly in women. While this phobia is commonly defined as a fear of open spaces, the primary fear is leaving the safety and security of home and/or companions. The fear of being in public is the secondary fear. It often centers on a fear of finding oneself in a situation from which escape is difficult, or where help is unavailable, in the case of panic attacks and the avoidance of stimuli.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is characterized by obsession (which causes marked anxiety and distress) or by compulsions (which serve to neutralize anxiety).
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder refers to a person’s re-experiencing of an extremely traumatic event accompanied by symptoms of increased arousal and by the avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when one suffers from at least 6 months persistent and excessive anxiety and worry.
Many scientific theories have been proposed as to why we develop anxiety disorders. Many researchers point towards specific traumatic experiences in our earlier life that trigger strong emotions that in turn create problems for us in our later lives. However, as the problems develop and as the years go by, the reason for our fears and anxieties become unsupported.
Using advanced ‘regression hypnotherapy’ we are able to take you back to those traumatic events.
Do not worry - you do not have to go through the event again if it is too painful. Instead, we focus on feelings that are present just AFTER the event. The difference is that you can look at those emotions and situations from the perspective of the person that you are NOW, and therefore you begin to realise that there is no longer any need to feel NOW as you did THEN.
The therapy takes on average 5 sessions, which are spread across 4 weeks. In the case of agoraphobia, we would arrange home visits.
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Your life no longer needs to be ruled by your phobia or any other anxiety disorder.
American Psychiatric Association (2000) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC.
Murray, I. (1997) Popeye phobia was no laughing matter. The Times, 4 August, 3.
Your guide to hypnosis
The deep trance, the remarkable sleep, the powerful healing, the unexplained force, a supernatural power - all these are just a sample of explanations from my clients and other professionals, of what makes up hypnosis and hypnotherapy.
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