PTSD Treatment in Colorado Springs
PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is an anxiety disorder that a person may develop after a particularly frightening or life-threatening event. The person does not have to be directly involved, because of even the shock of witnessing an event happening to someone else that the symptoms of PTSD may set in.
While outlook can be understandably grim when suffering from PTSD, it can be treated and the symptoms can be lessened. There is a multitude of options available for treatment, but pairing two treatments together often yields the best results.
What causes PTSD?
PTSD is usually caused by going through (or occasionally, witnessing) a traumatic event that threatens serious injury or death. Medical science still can’t completely explain why people develop PTSD, but research indicates it may be a complicated mix of:
- Stressful experiences
- Family history of mental health disorders
- How your brain is regulating the hormones and chemicals in your body in response to stress
What are the symptoms of PTSD?
The symptoms of PTSD generally start within a month of the original traumatic event, but in some cases may not appear until even years after the event. The symptoms tend to cause problems at school or work and in personal relationships, and also interfere with your daily life.
There are generally four types of PTSD symptoms: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative moods, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms may vary from time to time or person to person.
- Recurrent, intrusive memories of the traumatic event
- Flashbacks to the original event
- Nightmares or dreams about the event
- Emotional distress and physical reactions to things that remind you of the event
- Not thinking about or refusing to talk about the traumatic event
- Going out of your way to avoid situations or places that remind you of the event
- Negative thoughts
- Memory issues
- Withdrawal from family or friends
- Lack of interest in hobbies
- Feelings of emotional numbness
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
- Getting startled easily
- Always feeling on guard
- Self-destructive behavior (for example, alcohol abuse)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
- Angry outbursts
- Guilt or shame
What treatments are available for PTSD?
After suffering from PTSD for a while, you may lose your ability to carry out everyday tasks or grow isolated from your loved ones. Finding a treatment that works for you can help you regain control over your life and get relief from your symptoms. Treatment can help you learn to manage symptoms as well, by teaching you:
- How to properly address your symptoms
- How to cope if symptoms pop up again
- How to think better about yourself
- How to treat other problems brought on by a traumatic event (such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse)
The most common or effective treatments for PTSD include the following:
- Ketamine Infusions
Psychotherapy Also known as talk therapy. May include cognitive therapy (which helps you recognize the thinking patterns worsening your symptoms), exposure therapy (which helps you face situations or memories that worsen your symptoms), and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).
Medications Typically antidepressants such as paroxetine (Paxil) or sertraline (Zoloft).
Ketamine Infusions An exciting new treatment option that research shows can bring relief in up to 80% of patients.
What are the risk factors of PTSD?
Anyone who experienced or witnessed a traumatic event can develop PTSD. That said, there are some factors that may put a person at higher risk to develop PTSD.
- If the trauma is long-lasting or especially intense
- If they have experienced trauma early in life (such as childhood abuse)
- If they work a job that increases their risk of exposure to traumatic events (such as first responders)
- If they have previously had mental health or substance abuse problems
- If they lack a social support network of close friends and family
- If they have blood relatives with mental health disorders
Ketamine for PTSD Treatment
Ketamine, first developed and approved by the FDA as an anesthetic, is a promising new innovation in the field of PTSD treatment. Ketamine is what some doctors are calling the biggest breakthrough in depression and PTSD treatment in decades. When infused at a low dose into the bloodstream, research shows that Ketamine may be up to 80% effective at providing relief for PTSD symptoms.