Happy St. Patty’s Day. This is Amber back with another installment of information from Hoosier Hypnosis.
We’ve been busy helping people with our services. We’ve also been working hard to make them even more available to everyone. Along that line, we are happy to announce that I am joining the hypnotist team. Part of the reason we have been absent is to allow time for training and my certification in January. I am looking forward to both continuing writing these posts and working with all of our wonderful clients.
I often wonder how different so many of our lives might have been without hypnosis. I often think, what could have gone differently had I known about this sooner? While many of these instances are related to my own personal trials, there are others in which I wish I could have helped those that I knew. People struggling with things that I may, or may not, have been able to help them with.
This time of year in particular, I tend to think of a particular alcoholic friend of mine who struggled with addiction for years. I remember attempting to stop his St. Patty’s day binge nearly every year we were in college together. As I watched him loose his chosen family, his education, and his health, I always wished that I could help him.
Knowing what I know now, I found myself wondering could I have helped him.
The truth is, it depends.
Alcoholism is a hard thing to beat, or more accurately manage. It never goes away. It is never cured in the classical sense of the word. And it takes a lot of work and avoidance of the substance to make it work. It takes support and determination. It takes willpower. Even those who choose to enter treatment often struggle to stay on the wagon. Even those with the best support can struggle.
I know, this may make it sound hopeless, but I promise it isn’t. Even this can be overcome. The struggle is in understanding why its so hard to stay on the wagon. Something that while we often address it, we may be doing so inadequately.
What Makes It Harder to Quit?
The biggest thing that people often miss when asking why someone falls off the wagon, is what was the precipitating event? We often would rather just blame and say “Oh, he’s just an alchololic.” Or “He’s just weak willed.”
Neither of these are entirely true.
We often forget that as with any addiction, there are often underlying issues that caused the addiction in the first place. We forget that these people are humans with feelings and struggles. And that while these struggles and feelings do not excuse their behavior, it can explain it. And if it can be explained it can be treated. It simply must be taken care of appropriately.
Often with many of our clients, I find that there are underlying issues. Sometimes Depression is caused by anxiety or vice versa. Often stress is a precursor to smoking and anxiety is a struggle in many weight loss clients. In fact, most of the people I’ve spoken to who struggled with some issue that a past hypnotist failed to address, it was because an underlying issue wasn’t taken care of. And with 6.2% of the adult population suffering from alcohol abuse disorders, that’s something we need to understand.
Underlying issues for Alcoholics
Everyone deals with stress differently. Some can manage it with exercise. Others with books or binge watching (probably also not good for your health). Others internalize it and let it build up until it manifests itself in unhealthy ways. Alcoholics initially turn to alcohol until they seek help.
While there are a varity of ways to deal with stress many people struggle to find productive ways to deal with it. If this is your underlying issue hypnosis an help. We have an entire page dedicated to how it can help overcome issues with stress. Though it is not often the first thing hypnosis is used to treat, it is something that I am finding more and more common as I begin working with clients myself.
Bad characters and places
We all have friends that uplift us and friends that bring us down to the gutter. When I talk about gutter friends, I’m not talking about dirty jokes or the like, I’m taking about people who get you into trouble. We’ve all had these friends. Some of us have removed them from our lives. An alcoholic with this issue will likely benefit from hypnosis, but will still have some hard decisions to make regarding those friends.
We can help you rewire your habits so that you are more likely to make better choices, but ultimately, you still have to actually make those choices. And changing our relationships with others is hard.
And the same can be true of places that uplift you or bring you down. Bars are likely not a good choice for those attempting to avoid alcohol. While AA, church, or any other substitute social program may be more uplifting, you still have to make your choices carefully. Otherwise you risk substituting one bad behavior for another.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) notes that 20 percent of people dealing with social anxiety disorder suffer from some form of alcohol abuse or dependence. Even worse that that already dismal statistic is the fact that a recent study at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine showed that excessive drinking can lead to a rewiring of the brain. This rewiring can actually make someone more susceptible to the development of anxiety problems.
By drinking to overcome anxiety you could be making it worse. In addition, alchol increases your risk for a traumatic event that could lead to PTSD, which can also cause anxiety. Regardless, UNC’s study further shows that there is a connection between alcohol and anxiety on a molecular level. The good news being that hypnosis can definitely help you, if this is your underlying struggle to overcome your addiction.
According to addictioncenters.com alcoholism and depression are also closely related. Many turn to alcohol to escape with as many as 30-40% of alcoholics suffering from some form of depressive disorder. Unfortunately, it often has the opposite effect. See, as a depressant, alcohol slows down the body which slows down how quickly the hormones causing your depression can leave your system. So drinking to avoid your depression only makes it last longer.
IN addition, it has been shown to increase the severity of the depressive episode, likelihood, frequency, and severity of suicidal thoughts. Alcohol use also creates other problems which lead to stress, which ultimately lead to more depression and maybe some anxiety. What started as an innocent escape becomes a vicious downward spiral that can be extremely hard to break.
Alcoholism can also cause depression. Prolonged abuse can drastically change the brain, as well as impact many other chemical balances in the body. This is particularly true of the brain’s neurotransmitters, which send electric and chemical impulses and control a great deal of the body and mind’s functioning. These systemic changes can cause depression.
But there is hope…this St. Patty’s Day
I always believe that there is hope to treat and manage anything. Not always with hypnosis, but in this case, definitely with hypnosis. Hypnosis can be used to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety. We can help you make changes to your behaviors and thought patterns with the ultimate goal of creating a healthier you.
Knowing why and what your underlying situations are, is always helpful in overcoming your struggles. Make sure that whatever treatment you seek, you take a bit of time to recognize those things that can make it that much harder to quit. None of us want you or anyone else to fall off the wagon this St. Patty’s Day. And ultimately, if you need that extra little mental boost, know that Hoosier Hypnosis is always here to help.
For more information on hypnosis and alcoholism please check out the alcohol page on our website. You can also call us anytime for more information and a consultation on how we might be able to help you.