Ketamine for PTSD Treatment
What doctors are calling a promising novel therapy for PTSD and anxiety
At Thrive Center for Health, we are proud to offer the latest in mental health treatment options. In addition to high levels of safety standards and patient care, Thrive Center for Health utilizes ketamine infusion therapy for the treatment of PTSD, as well as other mood disorders like depression, OCD, and anxiety.
Our mission statement at Thrive Center for Health is to provide personalized, high-quality management options for people struggling with treatment-resistant conditions. Ketamine infusions have proven to be a powerful and rapid treatment for PTSD and other mental health conditions.
How Does Ketamine Help With PTSD?
With traditional treatments for PTSD, it can sometimes take weeks or even months before you experience symptom relief. Ketamine is an exciting new treatment option because in some cases it can provide relief from PTSD symptoms within days or even hours.
Ketamine for PTSD treatment offers fast and efficient relief from the symptoms of anxiety disorders or mental health conditions, with up to 75% of patients reporting a positive response to just a single ketamine infusion.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is an anxiety disorder that a person can develop after a traumatic or life-threatening event. The affected person does not have to be directly involved, because even the shock of witnessing some events is enough to kickstart the symptoms of PTSD.
The most commonly reported symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, low self-esteem, insomnia, and persistent unpleasant emotions. You may lose your memory of the traumatic event, or you may instead have intrusive thoughts about it. PTSD comes in many forms and affects everyone differently.
While outlook can be grim when suffering from PTSD, it can be treated and the symptoms can be lessened. There are lots of options available for treatment including innovative new therapies like ketamine infusion.
What Are The Symptoms of PTSD?
The effects of PTSD involve a wide range of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms people experience is disruptive flashbacks. These may involve visual hallucinations of the situation that traumatized you. Daydreaming about the event is also common, as well as nightmares that wake you up at night. People who suffer from flashbacks describe them as being so vivid that they feel like they are actually back in the moment that caused their trauma.
Another key symptom is avoidance. This means you may try to avoid going near a place that triggers your PTSD symptoms. If someone reminds you of the trauma, a police officer for example, then you may go out of your way to avoid them. You may also refuse to talk to other people about your painful experiences, although this can block your pathway toward healing.
Other symptoms of PTSD include the following:
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Nausea or a lack of appetite
- A sense of constantly being on edge
- Irritability or angry outbursts
What Causes PTSD?
PTSD is caused by some type of traumatic event that triggers changes in your brain, altering its overall function. Like most mental health conditions, researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what leads to the development of PTSD. That said, it seems that parts of the brain associated with memory and emotion (like the prefrontal cortex and amygdala) are physically changed by traumatic experiences.
People with PTSD also tend to have higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine. Essentially, your brain can suddenly trigger the fight-or-flight response if it senses anything that reminds you of the traumatic event.
Traumatic events can come in many different shapes and forms, but the most common examples include some of the following:
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Domestic violence (whether physical, verbal, or sexual)
- Physical assault
- Witnessing a criminal act
- Car accidents
- Natural disasters
- The loss of a loved one
How To Know If I Need Treatment For My PTSD?
If you find that your PTSD symptoms are preventing you from living a normal life, then there is no shame in reaching out for help. For starters, you aren’t alone. Roughly 7% of American adults have experienced PTSD in the past, and up to eight million American adults live with it each year.
What to expect when seeking professional help:
- Physical Exam: Your healthcare professional will check to see if there are any underlying medical conditions/problems that are causing your symptoms.
- Psychological Evaluation: You will meet with your healthcare professional and discuss symptoms and any traumatic events that you have been through that might be triggering symptoms.
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5): A manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that includes a set of criteria generally seen in patients with PTSD.
Those diagnosed with PTSD typically have experienced or witnessed an event that threatened serious bodily harm or, in some cases, death. The event is typically experienced firsthand, but not exclusively. It’s possible to develop the disorder through witnessing something or hearing harrowing details of a traumatic event.
If PTSD symptoms are keeping you from living a normal life, it may be worth considering treatment.
What Treatments Are There For PTSD?
PTSD symptoms take a major toll on both the mind and the body, and if you’re finding it difficult to carry out everyday tasks or find that you’re isolating yourself from loved one, consider the treatments available to you. Finding a treatment that works can help give you control back over your life, as well as teach you:
- How to cope with resurging symptoms
- How to properly address your condition and its symptoms
- How to maintain positive thinking and self-confidence
- How to treat other problems that come along with witnessing a traumatic event, like depression, substance abuse, and/or anxiety
The most common treatments for PTSD include:
- Ketamine Infusions
The most common for combatting the symptoms of PTSD include paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft).
Also referred to as talk therapy. This includes exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
A new and effective treatment for the symptoms of PTSD is ketamine infusions, where research shows a roughly 75% success rate for relief.
How Do I Cope With PTSD?
Some simple steps that can help you as your PTSD treatment continues:
- Listen to your healthcare professional and follow their treatment plan. Though it takes some time–months, at times–to be effective, therapy and medication can help your symptoms. Try to have patience, and be sure to communicate with your healthcare professional to make sure you’re getting the best treatment options you can.
- Learn what you can about your condition. Understanding is the first step to healing. Read up on your condition so you can develop coping strategies that have worked for others.
- Avoid unnecessary drugs and alcohol. Sometimes people with PTSD grow frustrated when nothing seems to touch their symptoms, and as a result will turn to substance abuse. Alcohol and drugs will only worsen symptoms over time.
- Make sure you’re making time for yourself. Self-care is vital. Get enough sleep, eat healthy (when you can), and try to spend at least 30 minutes a day devoted to some sort of physical exercise, like walking, jogging, or cycling.
- Don’t shy away from support groups. No one knows your condition better than you do, but there are others who have been through similar situations. These individuals can be a great comfort to you as you continue your treatment.
How To Help A Loved One With PTSD
It’s important to have patience. Their symptoms deeply affect them, and it could be that they are acting like a completely different person than the one you know. They may be more irritable, or isolating themselves in ways they never did before. It may be difficult to hear about the trauma they experienced, or you may feel guilty for not being able to help them through this time in their life.
While you may not be able to magically cure them, there are ways you can help ease some of their discomfort:
- Educate yourself. Read up on PTSD, and familiarize yourself with its symptoms. The more you know the more you can help your loved one.
- Be able to recognize the symptoms. It is important to remember that withdrawal and isolation can be indicating factors of larger, underlying issues. Give them the space they need, but remind them that you are there when they are ready for help.
- Offer to keep them company during their appointments. Not only will you bring them comfort through your company, but you will also be able to become more familiar with the condition itself.
- Listen. One of the greatest things you can do is simply offer an ear for them to vent. Be careful not to push too hard if they are hesitant. They will come to you when they are ready.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. If you are having a difficult time, talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional. They may refer you to a therapist so that you can help manage your own stress.
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PTSD survivors will likely always be able to recall their traumatizing events. However, with effective treatments patients can develop skills to care for themselves and they are no longer repeatedly pushed out of control. Patients no longer carry around the pain and fear that they once suffered, and they can effectively engage in living and enjoying life.
If you have experienced trauma and are struggling, please reach out today to learn more about how Thrive Center for Health can help you. Our free consultations are provided by a registered nurse. If you are looking to move forward with treatment, you will need to undergo a provider-based consultation that does come at a fee.