Agoraphobia and Panic
1. I suffer from panic disorder along with agoraphobia. I believe hypnosis will help me but how can I find someone who knows how to do this properly? There are a lot hypnotherapists out there, but who can I trust with my problem?
2. Dear Del, I've seen various psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors since I was 17. Over the years I've been diagnosed with panic disorders, Bi-Polar, Obsessive/Compulsive, Post Traumatic Stress, anxiety attacks, and a few phobias. The last psychiatrist, one that I feel was correct, diagnosed me as suffering from Obsessive/Compulsive and Post Traumatic Stress disorders. I usually can't go outside of my home with my husband without feeling anxious, so we stay at home and watch movies, talk, or read. Why can't I go anywhere without feeling anxious? Can hypnotherapy help me? Does it wear off after a certain amount of time? How many sessions would be needed before there were any noticeable effects? And, would I consciously note the effects?
Thanks for writing to me about this problem. Hypnosis is extremely helpful with any kind of phobia. It can help you conquer your fears in a surprisingly short time. Locate a hypnotherapist near you who specializes in going to the source of your fears, and knows what to do with them when they "get there." The only thing you can do is call around and ask if they are experienced in working with phobias. I'm not a great believer in labels; diagnoses, which vary from person to person, can be helpful in feeling that you aren't alone, but not if you begin to feel "locked in" by categories given to you and your condition. Hypnosis, properly used, can help you a tremendous amount with your self-esteem. It can empower you. It can alleviate a lot of your anxiety. The best type of hypnotherapist for the types of problems you are having, I feel, would be someone who is also a counselor. Don't let anyone stop you from getting the help you need. Talk therapy alone, or drugs, can't get at the heart of these types of things. By the way, your hypnotherapist should also be someone who knows how to get to the root cause of an issue, and knows what to do with it.