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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder, abbreviated as PTSD, is a condition that affects around 13 million Americans. This condition can also affect children. Though many of us experience traumatic events, approximately 20% of those individuals will go on to develop PTSD as a result of their experiences.

Those with post-traumatic stress disorder can experience uncontrollable flashbacks that can be triggered by environmental factors like sudden noises or flashing lights. This condition causes the individual to experience anxiety, depression, aggression, and other extreme reactions that are not appropriate for the current environment they are in. Instead, they are forced to react to their past traumas as a result of this condition.

PTSD can occur to people following a variety of incidents. People who have witnessed or survived a natural disaster, physical attack, accident, war, and terrorist attacks are most prone to developing this condition.

Getting a Diagnosis for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Many patients with PTSD experience a similar range of symptoms, including intrusive thoughts, actively avoiding people or places that remind them of their trauma, suicidal feelings, aggression, anxiety, nightmares, and disassociation.

When a patient presents with this range of symptoms following a traumatic event, even if the original event occurred months or years in the past, consulting a mental health professional will enable patients to receive a diagnosis. It can be difficult for an individual with post-traumatic stress disorder to recognize that they have a problem, or it may take them an extended period of time to be ready to address their condition due to shame, guilt, or anxiety.

Treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As PTSD is a condition that can drastically change an individual’s quality of life and ability to function without their past traumas weighing them down, treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is often necessary.

There are many treatments available for those with PTSD so that these individuals can begin to heal and experience life as it was before their traumatic experience.

Therapy

For many individuals, therapy is one of the main pillars of their treatment plan and recovery from PTSD. Specialized psychotherapists and counselors can help people suffering with PTSD learn how to best manage their feelings of anxiety, reframe their traumatic event, and mitigate feelings of guilt, shame, and fear.

Medications

If someone with PTSD needs additional support through their recovery process, a psychiatrist may prescribe medications to help them sleep, manage their anxiety, and alleviate their symptoms of depression. When combined with therapy and other treatments, medications can allow patients with PTSD to experience a better quality of life with successful symptom management.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

When other treatment options have failed, perhaps due to the extremely severe symptoms of PTSD, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) may be indicated as the next approach for treatment. However, TMS is not FDA-approved yet for the treatment of PTSD. As such, it is considered to be “off-label” and experimental.

This treatment allows patients to undergo short TMS sessions, which are noninvasive and painless, in order to stimulate and reset the areas of the brain that are most associated with the symptoms of PTSD. By stimulating the brain, it is possible for specialists to alter a patient’s brain patterns and activity in order to help return them to normal thought and behavior patterns.

Ketamine Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many patients with post-traumatic stress disorder also struggle with feelings of anxiety, paranoia, and severe depression. As a result of their condition and, often, a lack of support, many PTSD patients do not receive the proper care they need. This leads many individuals with PTSD to feel isolated and suicidal.

Ketamine infusions have proven to be beneficial to those suffering from depression and active suicidal ideation. The connection between these conditions and the symptoms of PTSD are clear, making ketamine infusions an effective treatment option to alleviate the symptoms that manifest from untreated post-traumatic stress disorder. However, Ketamine infusions are not FDA-approved yet for the treatment of PTSD. As such, they is considered to be “off-label” and experimental.

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For more information about how transcranial magnetic stimulation could help you, or to schedule your consult at TMS & Brain Health, please contact us.

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