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What is PTSD Disorder?

Trauma is in no short supply these days, so the resulting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) isn’t either. The National Center for PTSD reports that 50%-60% of people in the U.S. will experience at least one traumatic event in their lives, and 6% of the population will at some point experience PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD can be severely debilitating for individuals, making it difficult to sleep, perform day-to-day tasks, and interact with or trust other people. While most treatment involves therapy or antidepressants, ketamine therapy has also proven effective in healing PTSD.

PTSD is typically classified as an anxiety disorder and thus has many similar symptoms to anxiety. Symptoms can include panic attacks, trouble sleeping, nightmares, increased negative thoughts or paranoia, difficulty focusing, and self-destructive or impulsive behavior. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be highly disabling. Those suffering from PTSD often find themselves reliving the trauma which triggered the disorder – whether it be in dreams, flashbacks, or, in extreme cases, hallucinations – and thus will also feel compelled to avoid things or situations that may resemble or trigger memories of the traumatic event.

If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD and you think ketamine treatment sounds like a viable option, don’t hesitate to contact Mobile Psych for an evaluation and get started on your journey to better mental health today.

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    Medication is also available as treatment, typically as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. Both medications focus on serotonin production to control and stabilize negative feelings and anxious thoughts. Both may come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, headaches, drowsiness, dry mouth, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dizziness, and decreased libido. They may also cause a change in appetite resulting in weight loss or gain and some withdrawal-like symptoms when stopping the medication. In addition, it can take time to find the medication or combination that works and longer to start seeing results, though not necessarily as long as it might with psychotherapy alone.

    Instead of focusing on mood chemicals like serotonin to help lift the patient’s spirits, ketamine specializes in working with the chemical glutamate. Glutamate, as it has recently been discovered, is vital in the brain’s development of traumatic memories from traumatic events, meaning the chemical is consequently responsible in part for symptoms of PTSD.

    Results obtained from any line of therapy will differ from one case to the next. By targeting and regulating glutamate production and distribution, a ketamine treatment can rapidly and effectively reduce symptoms of PTSD, beating traditional medicine in both regards. Ketamine still has its risks. However, while there are side effects, they typically disappear entirely once the ketamine has passed through the body. This usually takes about a day.