Alcoholism causes millions of deaths each year and is an incredibly dangerous condition, and it’s not an easy hurdle to clear. Those who drink excessively eventually get to a point where they need alcohol to function well. This leads to people requiring care for their condition, some seeking traditional residential treatment, while others turn to other methods such as hypnosis therapy.
While many are unfamiliar with it, hypnosis therapy has many benefits and uses for substance use disorder, particularly alcoholism in this context. The hypnotic treatment has the potential to completely cure an alcohol use disorder over time; even though it sounds like a very experimental form of treatment, it has been proven successful in many cases.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a disease characterized by frequent and excessive alcohol use. This does not pertain to individuals who drink at the occasional party or get-together. Instead, it refers to individuals who use any opportunity they can get to drink. What’s most difficult about alcoholism is that even if someone wants to quit, they may not be able to.
When someone is consumed by alcohol abuse, it’s difficult to quit drinking. This is mostly because of the dependency that’s been developed. Many warning signs may even point to an individual who is unaware of the situation they are in. For example, they may neglect their loved ones or the responsibilities that they have so that they can be under the influence of alcohol.
How Does Alcoholism Work?
When someone consumes alcohol, the central nervous system is depressed (alcohol is a depressant), and this impacts the brain’s regular activity in a big way. On the surface, it hinders one’s judgment and affects their motor skills; this is all because alcohol slows a person’s brain and increases gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signals.
The crazy thing about GABA transmitters is that it impacts the entire brain. This influences individuals to slur their speech, slow their motor skills, or even lose their memory (hence the reason many who abuse alcohol suffer from blackouts). What’s even worse than this is that over time, when someone abuses alcohol for long enough, they can build a tolerance towards it. This has the potential to lead to dependency, which is when things can turn a person’s livelihood on its head.
Many signs indicate whether someone is suffering from a substance use disorder. Alcohol has the power to change a person’s entire behavior as well as their motivations and ambitions. Among all of the signs of alcoholism are the following:
- Strong alcohol tolerance
- Frequent cravings for alcohol
- Poor professional performance
- Poor educational performance
- Lack of control when drinking
- Continuous or habitual drinking
- Spending a vast amount of time drinking
- Lack of interest in hobbies or enjoyable activities
- Symptoms of withdrawal
The Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal
When someone is suffering from a substance use disorder like alcoholism, it is difficult to quit. One of the main reasons it’s so difficult is because of the symptoms of withdrawal. Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include the following:
- Mood swings
- Slurred speech
- Decreased motor skills
How Does Hypnosis Help Those Suffering From Alcoholism?
As previously mentioned, hypnosis is one of the more interesting methods of addiction treatment. However, just because it seems strange does not mean it’s ineffective. Hypnosis for alcoholism treatment has been proven successful in the cases of many. To truly grasp the thought process behind this method of treatment, one must first understand hypnosis.
What is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a process that entrances individuals, altering their state of mind. This process can be monitored by the use of fMRI and EEG machines. It is helpful for medical professionals to see the activity in someone’s brain while being hypnotized to determine the success of the process. Hypnosis, however, is not just something influenced by an outside individual; it can also be done through a process of self-hypnosis achieved by using alternate resources to reach a hypnotic state.
What is Hypnosis Like?
Hypnosis is a mystery to those who have never experienced it. There’s this shroud of enigma that surrounds the idea of someone putting you to sleep and controlling your thoughts and actions, but what is the truth behind it? What does hypnosis feel like?
When someone is being hypnotized, their inner thoughts and emotions come center stage. The surrounding environment and the world around them become infinitely smaller. Some of the inner experiences that they shift towards include thoughts, feelings, memories, and sensations.
One sensation that winds up being a huge part of hypnosis is relaxation. It is imperative to the process that those who participate are completely relaxed. It can be easy with negative subject matter such as alcoholism to focus on the negative and be more stressed than anything, but when it comes to this subject the idea behind the process is to make them more relaxed while thinking about memories.
How Does Hypnosis Work?
When it comes to hypnosis, three elements make it up – absorption, disassociation, and suggestibility. Each of these works together to help an individual have the most successful hypnotic experience.
Absorption is when someone becomes deeply connected to their thoughts and emotions. This element of hypnosis is a focus on what’s happening inside of a person’s thoughts. Being absorbed is a massively impactful experience, and in these circumstances, it’s usually hard to tell that a vast amount of time has passed.
Dissociation is another element of hypnosis that helps individuals separate from the distractions around them. The main goal is to allow individuals to shift their perspective without the distraction of distant thoughts and memories. This helps people see their alcoholism in a brand new light.
Suggestibility is perhaps what most people think of when referencing hypnosis. This element of hypnosis makes individuals more open to suggestions. There is an important distinction to be made, however—just because you’re more suggestive doesn’t mean you’ll do anything anyone asks of you, but rather you’re more inclined to follow through with someone’s suggestions.
There’s a perception of hypnosis that is mischaracterized by many. For example, in movies and TV shows, when someone is hypnotized, they tend to do whatever a person asks of them, but this isn’t true to real life. Yes, it makes for great TV, but when someone is hypnotized, they don’t lose all control of themselves. Their thoughts are still their own. Actions and thoughts suggested to each patient help to get down to the roots of one’s problems with alcoholism.
When a counselor or hypnotist is working with a patient, they’ll offer specific suggestions related directly to the issue at hand. Shedding light on distant memories can help an individual make sense of their addiction. The goal is to at the very least lead someone to develop a new perspective on their addiction (where it comes from, how to combat it properly).
The Benefits of Hypnosis
Just because someone utilizes a hypnotic treatment method doesn’t mean that they’ll be completely free of their addiction. By itself, it can’t cure alcoholism. There’s no one-stop-shop for addiction recovery; it takes work. Ultimately, hypnosis is a great compliment to treatment. Hypnosis allows an individual to have a clear and focused mind, which is imperative to a successful recovery.
Alternative Treatment Methods for Alcoholism
Hypnosis is an excellent option for alcoholism treatment, but it’s not the end all be all. As previously mentioned, hypnosis is a great complement to other forms of treatment. Hypnosis itself can’t completely solve one’s struggle with addiction. Some great methods of care that work well to complement hypnosis include the following:
- Residential Treatment
- Outpatient Treatment
Lasting anywhere from 28 days to six months, residential treatment is a great option for those who suffer from more severe forms of alcoholism or any other substance use disorder. Those who participate stay overnight for an extended amount of time at one of our treatment facilities. This form of care offers individuals the best in alcoholism treatment, giving them 24/7 access to our professional medical staff and weekly, sometimes daily, access to professional therapists and psychiatrists.
Outpatient treatment is a form of recovery meant for those who are either suffering from mild addiction or trying to make the transition from residential treatment to the world outside of rehab. This recovery option lasts anywhere from 3 months to over a year depending on the severity of each individual’s circumstance or their progress throughout the program. This option offers 10-12 hours of weekly access to professional therapists and psychiatrists as well as allowing those who participate to reside in the comfort of their homes throughout the week.
Withdrawal is a very difficult part of treatment for alcoholism, but it doesn’t mean success is impossible. With programs like our detox treatment, patients can curb their withdrawal symptoms with the help of medicine. This makes ending drug or alcohol use much easier for those who have developed a dependence,
Harmony Place is Here to Help
At Harmony Place, we’re passionate about meeting each individual where they are to give them the utmost in professional treatment. If you or a loved one are suffering from alcoholism and feel that hypnosis treatment may be best for you, you can contact us today.