The primary cause of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is some type of traumatic event that triggers changes in the brain and alters how it functions. As with most mental health conditions, researchers are still working to identify why some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder after they experience a trauma.
The changes in the brain that have been found are associated with memory and emotional regulation such as the prefrontal cortex and amygdala. People with this disorder also tend to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and norepinephrine. Essentially, your brain can suddenly trigger the fight-or-flight response if it senses anything that reminds it of the traumatic event. Recent data attributes this to neuronal lesions that develop in response to physiologic responses to trauma and periods of heightened stress.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
The effects of this mental health disorder involve a wide range of symptoms. One of the most common symptoms that people experience is disruptive flashbacks. These may involve visual hallucinations of the situation that occurred. Daydreaming about the trauma is common. You may also have nightmares that wake you up at night. People who have flashbacks describe them as being so vivid that they feel like they are actually back in the moment that caused their trauma.
Avoidance can be another symptom. You may try to avoid passing a place that triggers your PTSD symptoms. If a particular person reminds you of a trauma, then you may go out of your way to avoid them. You may also refuse to talk to other people about the painful experience that you went through, and this can severely block your pathway toward healing.
How Does Ketamine Help Treat PTSD?
One of the areas of the brain affected by PTSD is the cerebral cortex. This part of the brain is partly responsible for the thought processes that occur during and after a trauma. However, the current understanding is that certain synapses within the brain fail to function properly during and after a traumatic event, as the neurotransmitters begin to misfire. Using ketamine to treat PTSD stimulates the brain to release glutamate, a neurotransmitter associated with regrowth and regeneration within these critical neural synapses.
Ketamine infusions for PTSD have been shown to reduce the rates of suicide for people who struggle with this condition. It is also a particularly effective treatment for war combat veterans who tend to have some of the most extreme PTSD symptoms. Those with co-existing conditions, such as depression, also find relief from those symptoms. This allows many people to use a single type of treatment instead of a cocktail of medications.
We can help treat PTSD
To learn if Ketamine Infusion is the right treatment option for you, contact us by calling for a free consultation or requesting one online today.