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What is PTSD?

According to Mayo Clinic, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a “mental health condition that’s triggered by either experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event,”. It’s a mental health problem that’s more common than you may realize. It achieved clinical significance in the United States in the decade following the end of the war in Southeast Asia, as American combat troops returned from deployment with mental health issues that affected every aspect of their lives. But active duty and retired military aren’t the only people with PTSD. In fact nearly 7-8% of all adults will suffer from PTSD during their lives. Knowing what it means will help victims understand treatment options and how they work.

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What does living with PTSD mean?

For many people suffering from PTSD, the condition means a life struggling with conflicting emotions, thoughts of loneliness, fear, or loss of control. It represents a never-ending struggle to regain control. If you experience symptoms of PTSD, you may recognize them as:

The duration and severity of symptoms often lead to the decision to get help eventually, but suicidal thoughts are a warning that you need immediate help. “When we look up the criteria for PTSD, we see that it absolutely fits with what our first responders and medical personnel, and many of those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, are experiencing,” says J.W. Freiberg, Ph.D., a Boston-based social psychologist and author. “We will have to observe what happens psychologically to COVID-19′s frontline medical workers, but I would predict a very significant incidence among them in the coming years, and at a very acute level. Preemptive clinical counseling will be crucial.”

 

What are the risk factors?

Like most mental health disorders, PTSD is equal opportunity, gladly taking hold of someone regardless of gender, faith, income, occupation. You may be susceptible to the condition if:

Know the triggers

If you live with PTSD you have constant reminders of trauma, with memories interfering with daily life and creating barriers to function normally. There are many triggers to be wary of, like people and locations which remind you of the event or weather extremes or seasonal changes.

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How is PTSD diagnosed?

Diagnosing PTSD normally follows these steps:

You can get help

At their lowest, victims of PTSD feel as if they’re meant to suffer, and that the pain they’re experiencing is deserved because of something they did wrong. Nothing could be further from the truth. You can find therapy that works, such as self-help, group therapy, clinical trials, in-patient, out-patient, doctor-patient therapy, and other alternative options including ketamine infusion therapy. Other options include:

Researchers in the public and private sector have studied the success rate of using ketamine as a form of treatment, and the drug has shown promise in reducing symptoms of PTSD. Your doctor or therapist can offer a treatment roadmap and answers about drug safety concerns. Self-help options might offer relief, but a healthcare provider is better suited to treating PTSD before it’s too late. If you or a loved one are dealing with the symptoms of PTSD we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the clinical use of ketamine. There is hope. We can help.

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