Skip to content

Health & Parenting

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

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd