Most people will go through something traumatic at some point in their life. After something traumatic, it is normal to have difficulty coping with what you went through or saw. In some cases, these symptoms of stress and anxiety only get worse with time – this is a condition called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
With the right treatment options and helpful coping skills, you can find relief from your symptoms and move on from the trauma you experienced.
How common is PTSD?
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs:
- About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (or 7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
- About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through trauma.
- About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%). Learn more about women, trauma, and PTSD.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD vary depending on factors like a person’s nervous system and how well their body tolerates stress. Typically, these symptoms develop in the days or weeks following the traumatic event, but in some cases may take longer periods – even years – to manifest.
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.
What causes 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
How do you treat PTSD?
Despite how debilitating PTSD can be and how hopeless it can make the future seem, there is indeed hope for relief from your symptoms with proper treatment and lifestyle changes. While the norm for treatments has been antidepressant medications or psychotherapy sessions, new treatments like ketamine infusions also show great promise.
Ketamine for PTSD
Ketamine was first approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic, but in recent years is a powerful, rapid-acting treatment for mood disorders like PTSD. Research speculates that ketamine plays a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its interaction with the neurotransmitter known as glutamate. Glutamate is a powerful neurotransmitter that mediates the body’s response to stress and traumatic memories.
To learn more about ketamine and its use as PTSD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.