PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a mental health condition caused by experiencing or witnessing something traumatic. Most people will go through something sufficiently traumatic in their life, but other factors may contribute to the development of this condition. As much as 8% of the population will have PTSD at some point.
After going through something traumatic, you’ll likely feel frightened, on edge, or sad as you cope with the reality of what you have gone through. If these feelings or symptoms do not go away with time, you may be suffering from PTSD instead.
Even the most severe cases of PTSD can find relief with the right treatment options and lifestyle changes, so it is important to remember that there is always hope.
How to recover from PTSD
PTSD can make the future seem hopeless, but fortunately, anyone can find relief from their symptoms with the right support and treatments. Although traditional treatments take the form of antidepressant medications and psychotherapy sessions, innovative new options, like ketamine infusions, may signal the beginning of a bright new future in PTSD treatment.
Ketamine for PTSD treatment
Ketamine is a decades-old anesthetic and FDA-approved pain reliever, but research in the last two decades indicates it may be a promising new treatment for conditions like PTSD.
Ketamine is thought to interact with glutamate, a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain that mediates the body’s response to things like stress or traumatic memories. Stress response and memory play a large part in a condition like PTSD, so this may explain ketamine’s success.
The symptoms of PTSD
The various symptoms of PTSD can look quite different from person to person, often depending on factors like the nervous system and the way a person’s body tolerates stress. These symptoms usually develop in the days directly following the initial traumatic event, but sometimes can take much longer periods, even years, to appear.
Although the symptoms may be triggered by things that remind you of your original traumatic event, symptoms can also appear seemingly out of nowhere with no real triggers.
PTSD symptoms can generally be split into four subtypes:
- Intrusive memories and flashbacks to the traumatic event, as well as intense reactions to anything that reminds you of the trauma.
- Avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma, difficulty remembering parts of the trauma, a loss of interest in things, and a feeling of emotional numbness
- Hyperarousal, which includes anything from irritability, trouble sleeping, hypervigilance (being on alert all the time), being easily started, angry outbursts, and self-destructive behavior.
- Negative changes in thoughts and actions such as feeling alienated and alone, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and feelings of depression, hopelessness, mistrust, guilt, or self-blame.
The causes and risk factors of PTSD
Factors that can contribute to the development of PTSD include the following:
- Stressful experiences
- Previous traumatic events
- Family history of PTSD
- History of abuse
- Substance abuse
- Personal history of depression or other mental health condition
- Overall temperament and the way your brain responds to stress
Contact us today to learn more about our innovative new PTSD treatment options.