Are you someone who can walk into a scary situation, maybe into a dark place, and think you see things in the dark? Do you ever recall frightening situations with amazing clarity and continue to be haunted by those memories. Do you talk about fearful situations that have happened in the past with friends or family members and they tell you how they just don’t remember things happening that way? If this is the case, you may be hallucinating as part of PTSD symptoms.
Trauma Therapy Can Help to Undo Your Hallucinations
To feel better you need to have a way to get rid of the hallucinations that can haunt your mind because of PTSD. One of the best ways to do this is by getting trauma therapy. You need your way of seeing and remembering things restored to normal, and you can’t do that by holding on to all the fearful images that are stored in your head. Of all the PTSD symptoms that give people difficulty, it is this tendency to distort the things you see into an awful and negative view of what is going on around you that can be the most troublesome. Things are bad enough sometimes without even making things worse because of the way you see the world, but having these sensory hallucinations can make a bad thing so much worse.
Having Hallucinations Can Be Very Typical
Many people struggle with such an experience of hallucinating as a PTSD symptom. It is something that is such a common experience with PTSD. Anyone who has seen the movie Alice in Wonderland can recall how when Alice is walking through the dark forest and sees all these haunting creatures she becomes afraid starts running to escape. This is so much the way it is with PTSD that how one sees the world literally becomes skewed by the PTSD. There is already so much subjectivity to how people remember or perceive what happens to them, the fact that you would have had hallucinations is not your fault as well...like you’re in control of how you perceive or remember things anyway! And these are not literally hallucinations, but something in the way your brain processes what you’re perceiving skews what’s coming in to make things appear different from what they really are.
How Trauma Therapy Can Help
You may be saying to yourself that the way you perceive things just ‘is what it is,’ and that nothing can be done about it. That’s not really true; your mind is being affected by something that has altered the way you take in information through your senses to make everything appear horrible. What’s happening around you is not affecting everyone else the same way it’s affecting you, and unless they’re freaking out too it probably is the way you’re perceiving things. Getting trauma therapy can help calm down your nervous system and re-work your horrible images and experiences so they no longer bother you near as much. It can also help you be more able to put things in context, as well as start remembering things in a way that your memories won’t haunt you for the rest of your life. If left untreated you could take these awful memories to your grave, but it doesn't have to stay that way. It’s been said time heals all wounds, but for folks with PTSD and trauma the images that causes emotional wounds don’t change unless they get trauma therapy to help get rid of them.
What I Can Do To Help
I have been helping people with PTSD to get better for over 5 years now and can assure you that your case is not so different that you can’t be helped, too. It does take some time, but with the right focus and attention there’s no experience you can’t get past. The changes in perception you’ve experienced can also be remedied so you aren’t living in a perpetual haunted house in your mind. I am fully trained and certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), as well as Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT); which are two very gentle and effective means for dealing with this and other PTSD symptoms. If you or someone you care about is suffering from this or other symptoms of PTSD, I encourage you to give me a call at 512-374-0100 and let me talk to you about how I can help. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how I might be of help.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents of all ages in private practice.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with PTSD.