Answering Some Frequently Asked Questions About PTSD

PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that affects more than 13 million adults in the US alone. The symptoms of PTSD can debilitate life greatly, making it hard for people living with this condition to establish and maintain healthy relationships, finances, and health. If you are asking questions about PTSD, you may be wondering if you’re struggling with the symptoms of PTSD yourself or if your loved one is living with this condition. Either way, knowing more about PTSD can help you determine a plan for how to get help for this condition.

What Exactly is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental illness that develops as the result of a person witnessing or being the victim of a traumatic experience. It’s believed that these traumatic occurrences directly impact the brain which leads to a number of debilitating symptoms that can negatively impact life. While anyone can experience trauma and trauma may be something that every person experiences at some point in their lives, people living with PTSD don’t move past a traumatic experience and continue to experience negative effects of traumatic events long after the experience has ended. Some examples of traumatic events can include:

  • surviving a natural disaster
  • serious injury or diagnosis of a medical condition
  • suddenly losing a loved one
  • abuse in any form
  • witnessing or being the victim of a violent crime
  • war combat
  • vehicular accidents
  • school shootings

What are the Impacts of PTSD?

The impacts of PTSD can be debilitating to everyday life. Some of the impacts of living with PTSD can include experiencing intrusive thinking, mood swings, intense fear, reliving the traumatic experience (aka a flashback), and nightmares.

Is There a Cure for PTSD?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for mental health issues, including PTSD. Rather, there are effective treatments that can provide some symptomatic relief for living with PTSD. Treatments for PTSD can provide individuals with relief of symptoms and their severity along with providing coping skills to utilize when PTSD symptoms occur. Additionally, treatment can help people diagnosed with PTSD recognize triggers of PTSD symptoms so that these symptoms can be avoided and individuals can have a greater overall mental well-being.

What are the Types of PTSD Treatments?

There are a number of effective treatments for PTSD including:

Behavioral Therapies: Behavioral therapies like CBT and DBT can help provide individuals with insight as to why PTSD may have developed. It can also help them to identify negative thinking patterns that can result in unwanted behaviors that can keep people living with PTSD from engaging in social scenarios and living the lives they want.

EMDR: This type of therapy provides a safe space in which individuals can dive deeper into their traumatic experiences. This can reshape how the brain experiences trauma and allow it to heal from past trauma.

TMS: TMS is a revolutionary tool that helps to treat mental health issues that impact the brain, including PTSD. It is done using a machine that pinpoints areas of the brain responsible for the negative effects of PTSD, like mood swings, and sends magnetic pulses to these areas of the brain. This results in better mood management and less impactful symptoms of PTSD.

Ketamine Treatments: Ketamine infusions can be helpful for people who are diagnosed with PTSD and living with symptoms of mood swings and depression. Ketamine, when administered at a low dose, can stimulate the brain to release mood-altering chemicals which may not be being released due to the impacts of PTSD. This can help to revert the brain back to pre-trauma states and relieve the impacts of PTSD for many.