Depending upon who you are and what you’ve experienced, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD can affect anyone. That said, those with the highest rate are veterans returning home from the horrors of war. For many of these men and women, the stress and anxiety triggered by flashbacks lead to violence, addiction, and in extreme situations, suicide. And although therapy can be helpful, the truth is relief from trauma necessitates entry into one’s unconscious where a person can re-connect to valuable resources that can help one to heal.
Justin George pens this recent St. Petersburg Times post on Pat Myers, an 85 year-old World War II veteran who uses a self hypnosis meditation to bring relief to his anxiety and depression, two symptoms caused by his PTSD. Having undergone years of counseling, shock therapy, and prescription drugs, Myers found that by practicing breathing exercises and using creative visualization he could bring new perspective to his condition. He only wishes that he had found it sooner.
For 15 years, he was treated for depression at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. He thought about driving into a tree and killing himself. He rode his bike on the Gandy Bridge against traffic. He was committed six times.
Doctors gave him shock therapy and prescribed drugs. He sat through group counseling sessions. A VA doctor finally suggested hypnosis.
So Myers found a book, Self Hypnosis for a Better Life, by William W. Hewitt. It urged him to take deep breaths and focus on all the negative energy draining out of him. In his mind, he went to the beach, stuck his toes into warm sand and waded into an ocean of faith and courage.
The book instructed him to forgive those who have wronged him and shut a door to the past, tossing the key into the waves.
The next day, something strange happened. He watched a World War II program on television without getting upset or having to change the channel. Myers couldn’t believe it. He watched another one, to test himself. He got through that one, too.
He knew he couldn’t keep this a secret.
Read more on Myers and how he uses self hypnosis meditation to relieve his PTSD symptoms here.