Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Hypnosis Halts Habit Coughing

Kids' Coughing Tics End With Self Hypnosis

Psychological Issues at Heart of Problem

Self-hypnosis was most likely to work quickly in kids who hadn't been able to get out of going to school because of their cough. But this so-called "secondary gain" from coughing wasn't the only psychological factor involved.

One boy, for example, got over his cough when his parent told him frankly about a tumor the parent had but was trying to keep secret from the child.

Five of the children underwent psychotherapy for conversion disorder. Conversion disorder is a psychiatric disorder in which children may use a physical symptom -- such as cough -- to divert attention and feelings away from disruptive family issues.

"Instruction in self-hypnosis is more likely to promote patient autonomy and self-reliance," Anbar and colleagues write. "Strengthening of these attributes might facilitate the work of resolving the psychological issues that may have led to development of the cough."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration