If you have lived through a traumatic event, such as being involved in an accident, suffering an assault, military combat, or surviving a natural disaster, you may be feeling lasting effects that impact your mental health and your quality of life. While some people will find that these effects fade within a short period, others will experience longer-term symptoms that may eventually lead to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It is also common for PTSD to be accompanied by other conditions like substance abuse, anxiety, or depression.
A PTSD diagnosis is made by a trained professional who may be looking for symptoms such as:
This means that you are having flashbacks of the trauma, intrusive thoughts, bad dreams, or are constantly remembering the event, despite your best intentions to the contrary.
This includes a desire to stay away from places or situations that remind you of the traumatic event. You may feel that going to the place where the traumatic incident occurred will bring back horrible memories, so you may try to avoid its location at all costs.
You may have trouble recalling the event or feel numb or guilty. You may also be feeling worried or depressed or be having negative thoughts about yourself.
It is recommended that you be treated by a healthcare professional who is trained in treating PTSD. You may have to try out several treatment options to find the one that works best for you. Here are some standard treatments:
CPT teaches you to recognize and reevaluate the way you think about the traumatic event. It aims to prevent you from getting fixated on the event and thus unable to achieve recovery. It teaches helpful ways to think about the incident and is particularly helpful for cases where the individual blames themself for the traumatic event.
This treatment relies much more on behavior therapy techniques to help you gradually approach the memories related to the trauma and situations and emotions related to it. Although avoiding these reminders may offer relief in the short term, it may prevent recovery in the long run.
SIT teaches coping skills aimed at reducing anxiety and stress related to PTSD. It can be used on its own or be combined with other treatment options. Its purpose is to teach you how to react differently to your PTSD symptoms through the assistance of coping skills like muscle relaxation, breathing retraining, or cognitive restructuring.
This non-trauma-focused treatment centers around current issues instead of directly processing the trauma. It provides you with tools and strategies to deal with the stressors of daily life.
In some cases, medications are prescribed in conjunction with any of the above treatment options. You may be prescribed an antidepressant such as an SSRI or a benzodiazepine. You will be monitored when taking them since some of these medications can be habit-forming.
In recent times, a breakthrough treatment for PTSD has been developed with success rates that trump those of other treatment options such as medication or talk therapies. The procedure is called SGB injection, and it can provide relief for a wide variety of PTSD symptoms in as little as 30 minutes. What’s more, it can offer relief for a period as long as ten years, after which it can be repeated.
SGB or Stellate Ganglion Block targets the group of nerve cells that regulate the “fight or flight” response, which is key in triggering symptoms associated with PTSD.
If you are currently dealing with PTSD, talk to your healthcare professional about the best treatment for you. Schedule an initial consultation to talk about your symptoms. PTSD is a treatable condition, and you don’t have to suffer in silence. You can find the help you need.