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  • Laura Clavio

Are you sleeping?

An article in the 12/6/19 New York Times written by Ilana Kaplan relates the story of her inability to sleep. after her seven-year prescription to Lexapro stopped working. Anxiety-induced insomnia had gripped her, and, finding no solutions for her lack of sleep, she was ready to check into a psychiatric hospital to seek help. It was then that her therapist recommended trying hypnosis as an alternative solution.

Kaplan had to overcome her own prejudice, her image of someone swinging a watch before her eyes, or someone controlling her mind, before she submitted to a hypnosis session. Desperation prevailed. She describes herself as "a high-functioning zombie" as this juncture, and she figured she had nothing to lose. Within two or three days after the session, which really just involved some talk, and then closing her eyes, relaxing and listening to the words of the hypnotist, Kaplan began to notice changes.

It took some work....sessions two or three times a week at first. Listening to a 30-minute recording as she fell asleep at night. She made herself do it, despite her doubts. She learned self hypnosis. Within six weeks she began sleeping through the night. Within three months, she was looking forward to getting out of her apartment. In six months, she was feeling more like her old self, sleeping without medication and no longer crying.

Kaplan did not call hypnosis a cure for her fears and anxieties, but a useful tool that helped her break the cycle of sleep deprivation, one that she always has available at her command.

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