The third component of hypnosis is suggestibility, a tendency to respond readily and uncritically to social cues. The hyperarousal states in PTSD are analogous to that. On the other hand, during trauma many people find themselves in a 'state of shock', responding in an automaton-like fashion. In a traumatic situation, as people narrow the focus of attention they tend to act without thinking about consequences. The police, for example, frequently do not believe a rape victim's story because she doesn't fit their image of what rape victims should look like. A supposedly classic rape victim is bruised, with torn clothing and a tearful, hysterical demeanor. Most rape victims don't look like that. They are desperately trying to maintain some semblance of their dignity, emotional control, and their prior ordinary life. They wish it were a bad dream and it would all go away, and often overcontrol their affect rather than expressing it. At the same time, they are exquisitely sensitive to cues that may trigger recollection of the trauma—this hypersensitivity is a kind of suggestibility.
Was this article helpful?
HYPNOTISM is by no means a new art. True, it has been developed into a science in comparatively recent years. But the principles of thought control have been used for thousands of years in India, ancient Egypt, among the Persians, Chinese and in many other ancient lands. Miracles of healing by the spoken word and laying on of hands are recorded in many early writings.