What Does Hypnotic Mean?


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Hypnotic is a behaviour accompanying hypnosis or hypnotism. The word comes from the French word "hypnotique," which comes from the Latin word hypnōticus, implying "inducing sleep." The synonyms for the adjective "hypnotic" are: spellbinding, mesmerizing, sleep-inducing, etc.

Hypnotic can also mean a total lack of alertness and a heightened feeling to follow the words and signs of the person conducting hypnosis. Hypnotic behaviour can be found in the story Pied Piper of Hamelin, where children were totally hypnotized by the way he played his piper and followed him wherever he went. The term "hypnotism" was coined by James Braid in 1842 to describe a behaviour called "animal magnetism."

Hypnotism is caused by the monotonous repetitions of words and gestures to disarm the person and make him feel totally relaxed and at complete ease. The practice of hypnosis is used in psychotherapy and criminal investigations to help people recall events which escape their memory Hypnotic drugs also constitute a category of drugs that cause sleep. They are different from sedatives, and are useful in inducing sleep, for patients suffering from insomnia and undergoing surgical anesthesia. Hypnotic drugs are known to be habit forming, and some of the commonly used hypnotic drugs are barbiturates and the antihistamine doxylamine. Alcohol is a weak example of a hypnotic drug.

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