Reclaiming your life after assault #metoo

If you’ve been on any form of social media in the last few weeks you will undoubtedly have seen a multitude of women coming forward as victims of sexual assault after the hashtag #metoo went viral.

The Twitter thread was started in the wake of The New York Times’ exposé alleging sexual abuse and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.

As of Sunday night, #MeToo has been used more than 21 million times on Facebook, giving sense of the magnitude of the problem and serving as a reminder that this is not just a problem for Hollywood and the casting couch, this is an issue which affects all of us at every level of society.

If you have been involved in a sexual assault situation it is possible that you will have long term mental health issues because of the experience.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition which develops after someone has been involved in, or witnessed, a serious trauma such as a sexual assault. In some people PTSD develops soon after the trauma; however, in some cases the symptoms first develop several months, or even years, after the trauma, perhaps as a response to the incident being recalled by media attention such as is happening now.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

Up to 4 in 5 people with PTSD also have other mental health problems; for example, depression, persistent anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, drug or alcohol abuse.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) says it is a normal part of the human protection system to experience a fight-or-flight response when there is real and present danger.

Counselling is often mooted as the treatment for PTSD with medication in some adult instances. Hypnotherapy, too, has a success rate in treating this disorder.

“To experience prolonged flight-or-flight creates feelings of anxiety and stress,” says the NCH. “It is often rooted in a previous experience that triggered fear or in a general anxiety and worry about your situation at home or at work.”

While anti-depressant drugs are often prescribed to help sufferers of PTSD, clinical hypnotherapy is one of the therapies recommended to treat the disorder and it has the advantage of being quick and non-invasive.

During a hypnotherapy session, the therapist can help assess the person’s anxiety, identifying the root of stress or anxiety.  Through this process sufferers can come to terms with their trauma and gain a sense of control over their fear. By using a range of techniques, the client can learn to rewire their responses whenever they encounter a trigger.

The National Council for Hypnotherapy has registered members all across the UK who are able to work with you to reduce the symptoms of PTSD.





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