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3183999 tn?1344649018
My therapist is trying hypnotherapy - would love to hear you all weigh in!
Hi Everyone,

I am a 38 year old wife, mother of three, and the program coordinator for my church.  I also have a panic disorder with agoraphobia - I had my first panic attack when I was about 21 years old.

Over the years, I have been on dozens of medication combinations, been to years of therapy, and have gone from being completely home-bound (WITH a safe person HERE) to being able to ride 400 miles with my husband and kids for vacation.  I am currently somewhere in the middle.  I do NOT drive, with the exception of my kids' elementary school (which is 3 blocks away) and my job (which is also about 3 blocks away).  I can ride with my husband to my parents' house in a town which connects with our city - that is a new accomplishment that I achieved about a month ago after 6 YEARS of needing my MOTHER to come and get me.

SO - that is a bit about my history and my current condition in a nutshell.  I am now working with a new therapist.  He is AMAZING...I can be 100% honest and open with him, he works with my husband on his own issues (it sure ain't always easy living with me lol!) as well as us as a couple, and he is offering a new approach than anything I have tried before.

At our last session he did hypnotherapy with me for the first time.  It was NOT what I expected, but I think it has been helpful.  I was fully aware the whole time - he had me focus on things in my OWN arsenal to help me begin to overcome my avoidance behaviors and anticipatory anxiety.  I felt myself intensely relaxed and saw a little black dot that I kind of followed deeper.  It was scary for a few moments as I felt a bit of that dissociation that comes with the worst of the worst panic attacks.  But I feel safe with John (the therapist) so I went with it.

That was a couple of weeks ago - but I am not sure if the session really helped me change my thinking.  I have had my panic disorder for so flippin' long and done so much talk therapy and explored so many medications with my psychiatrist that I know better than to expect any kind of "quick fix".  However, I am just wondering what I CAN expect from hypnotherapy if I continue with it.  I would really appreciate hearing experiences from others who have tried it - I am open to hearing the good, the bad, and the ugly!!

Thank you!!!
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3 Answers
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1701959 tn?1399378594
I am sorry you have suffered with this, it is such a nasty disorder. I have also lived with panic and anxiety for approx 14 years, started when I was around 19 years old or so. Such a very scary and hard time.

I do think hypnotherapy can help.  I often refer back to it when I am in a situation that makes me nervous. I will flip my mind back to that time and place and allow it to take me where I feel safe. I also like therapy that includes guided imagery. That is so amazingly peaceful.

Do you know what made you regress from being able to go on a long vacation to not being able to do that now?

I take Zoloft and have for years. I do also have Xanax on hand for severe panic moments. It has also helped very much as well as having a support network to help me get through :)
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3183999 tn?1344649018
Hello,

Thank you for your kind words and your input on the hypnotherapy!!

My panic disorder has fluctuated over the years after significant life changes...moving, having a baby (especially after my first - I did fine with my second and third), etc..., as well as with the seasons (I don't do well in the winter when there is not as much daylight).

Right now I am on the move FORWARD again, but I am worried about the days getting shorter again...I am trying not to focus on that right now :).

Thank you again...I didn't have any frame of reference for the hypnotherapy and really wanted to hear about the experiences of others!!

BTW - does your panic disorder/agoraphobia lead to any limitations right now?  If so, do you tell people?  My avoidance behaviors are so obvious that I HAVE to be open about it - not being able to drive or ride far affects how I interact with others.  But I have had to deal with some very negative assumptions about my "mental health" because of my openness.  It's not always the best trade-off.
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3455166 tn?1347510733
Hello,

Hmmm, one thing about hypnotherapy is that it is effective, but it requires successive sessions. Since hypnosis is a natural thing, you do it yourself as well and reserve some everyday to practice it. It works for me, and I thought I had the worst of anxiety, but I've come pretty far in a couple of months just by doing relaxation exercises, and getting aerobic exercise as well. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy works wonders from what I have read.

Best wishes, keep on moving foward and it will pass!
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