If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you may be suffering from PTSD. What is the cause?
When we experience a sudden unexpected threat to our well-being, or even to those around us, the brain is traumatised and goes into overdrive focusing on the threat. The most classic cases tend to be as a result of physical and sexual assaults, burglaries, car accidents; witnessing others being harmed; being in a disaster or war zone.
After the stressful event is over, the brain tries to overcompensate so that you never experience a repeat of such intense distress. It does this by becoming hyper-vigilant about similar threats in the future. Its ‘alarm’ button can get stuck. For instance, if you have been assaulted by a man with a beard, your brain will ‘red flag’ any bearded men you come into contact with, regardless of how well you know them and how safe you used to feel. As far as your brain is concerned, it no longer trusts the association of ‘men with beards’ and is not taking any chances.
PTSD is often missed because it it masked by depression, since untreated PTSD usually slips into depression.
Unfortunately there is a high degree of ignorance in diagnosing and providing the correct treatment for trauma and PTSD. Often these conditions are bracketed with anxiety and depression so instead of being referred to a therapist who can help de-traumatise a person, patients are instead prescribed medicine or ineffective talk therapies. However, medication does not address the underlying causes of trauma. Furthermore, talking therapies can actually make things worse by reliving the trauma in the patients’ mind, inadvertently reinforcing it. Ideally, a ‘mechanistic’ type therapy should be applied to ‘de-traumatise’ the underlying trauma. With the correct help, this can take as little as 1-2 sessions. Mona Hansen employs a variety of highly effective de-traumatising techniques including clinical hypnosis and the Rewind Technique she mastered at The Human Givens College in London perform powerful, fast and lasting treatments for PTSD.