What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition a person may develop after going through or witnessing something traumatic. Symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, avoiding things that remind you of the trauma, and even anxiety or depression.
It’s normal to feel some of these things after something traumatic. However, if these feelings persist months or even years after the event, you may be suffering from PTSD.
Is there a cure for PTSD?
Unfortunately, there is not a cure for PTSD. However, with that being said, there is hope for the future. You can still find relief from your symptoms with the right treatments, lifestyle changes, remedies, and support systems.
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD fall into four categories: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions.
- Intrusive Memories
- Intrusive, unwanted distressing memories of the original traumatic event
- Flashbacks to the original event, as if you are reliving it
- Nightmares about the traumatic event
- Emotional distress or physical reactions to things that remind you of the traumatic event
- Avoiding thinking or talking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding places, things, or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood
- Thinking negatively about yourself, other people, or the world in general
- Memory problems, specifically about the original event
- Trouble maintaining close relationships
- Social isolation and detachment from family and friends
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Difficulty experiencing any positive emotions
- Emotional numbness or feeling emotionally hollow
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Always being on guard or on the lookout for danger
- Self-destructive behavior like substance abuse or reckless driving
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble focusing
- Irritability and anger outbursts
- Feelings of guilt or shame
What causes PTSD?
The one factor that all cases of PTSD have in common is that each person has either gone through or witnessed something traumatic.
Other than that, this condition appears to be a mix of factors like the following:
- Inherited mental health traits, like a family history of anxiety or depression
- Your temperament
- How your brain regulates chemicals and hormones in response to stress
Other risk factors include:
- Intense or long-lasting trauma
- Early life or childhood abuse
- A job or career that increases your exposure to traumatic events
- Other mental health conditions like anxiety or depression
- Substance abuse problems
- Lack of a strong support system
How do you treat PTSD?
Because PTSD makes you feel so hopeless about the future, it can seem like true relief is a pipe dream. Thankfully, that is far from the truth – with the right PTSD treatment or lifestyle changes, you can find relief from your symptoms.
Ketamine Treatment for PTSD
First used as an anesthetic and pain reliever, ketamine is now being used to treat mood disorders like PTSD. Research regarding ketamine treatment shows that a series of ketamine infusions may help bring rapid relief from the symptoms of PTSD.