PTSD, like other mental health conditions, varies in duration according to several factors, including the type of trauma you experienced, how long this trauma lasted, and the way this trauma affected you biologically.
Does PTSD ever go away? No, not completely. With the right combination of treatment and lifestyle changes, you can find relief and even remission from the symptoms, but these symptoms are simply lying dormant and may resurface again in time.
This is not a good reason to avoid treatment. The goal of PTSD treatment is not to “cure” the condition, but to provide relief from the symptoms and teach coping methods.
How long does PTSD last?
The duration of PTSD varies from person to person, but certain factors can contribute to how long the symptoms last.
Some factors are related to the initial traumatic event, such as the following:
- Whether the trauma experienced was a single traumatic event or a series of traumatic events
- Whether the traumatic event(s) was accidental or intentional in nature
- Whether the trauma(s) was caused by humans or a natural disaster
- Whether the trauma(s) was sexual in nature
Personal or biological factors that can also contribute to the duration of PTSD include:
- Whether you have experienced traumatic events previously
- Whether you have gone through mental health challenges before
- Whether you have any PTSD coping skills
- Whether you have social support
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD symptoms can be categorized into four types, but these categories are not mutually exclusive. The symptoms can vary greatly between people based on biological and environmental factors like temperament and a person’s nervous system.
- Intrusive thoughts, memories, and flashbacks about the original traumatic event. This also includes intense reactions to things that remind you of the trauma.
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the initial trauma, such as difficulty remembering parts of it, a lack of interest in things, and a feeling of emotional numbness.
- Hyperarousal: irritability, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, angry outbursts, and self-destructive behavior like alcohol abuse or driving too fast.
- Negative changes in thinking and behavior, which includes feelings of loneliness or isolation, trouble remaining focused, and feeling like hopelessness, guilt, mistrust, or shame.
How do you treat PTSD?
Though PTSD by nature can’t be “cured” in the traditional sense of the word, the future is nowhere near as hopeless as your symptoms may make it seem. Traditional treatments, like antidepressants, in addition to new advancements, like ketamine infusions, maybe valuable resources on your journey towards wellness.
Ketamine Treatment for PTSD
Research indicates that ketamine can treat PTSD by binding to certain receptors in the brain, increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate is released. This then sets off a chain reaction that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
This means, in more common language, that the brain reacts to ketamine infusions in a way that triggers hormones that help the brain create more positive emotions. Unlike other treatments, ketamine can provide this relief within hours or days of the first infusion, although it is most successful as a series of infusions. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options.