Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that is triggered by an awful or terrifying experience. It’s a common condition among veterans returning from war. Studies show that more than 30% of veterans struggle with the condition after the war.
There are many other traumatic conditions that can trigger PTSD, like an assault, natural disaster, car accident, or childbirth. PTSD expresses itself through different symptoms, and this can vary depending on the individual. However, some of the common symptoms include nightmares, severe anxiety, flashbacks, and uncontrollable and obsessive thoughts.
Standard medical sciences have always stayed committed to understanding the medical condition. This includes providing ways to treat and prevent PTSD. However, it’s not easy to determine people that will develop PTSD from a traumatic event. Another thing to note is that there are only two medications for PTSD that are FDA approved. These medications come with different unpleasant side effects, which is why people seek other treatment options.
People who have had terrible experiences in the past deserve every form of assistance they can get. That’s the main reason why there is much research today, all channeled toward finding new and effective PTSD treatments. Medical and scientific communities are working tirelessly to find new lines of therapy for PTSD, and some of the options being considered today are outlined below.
Wakeful Rest After the Event
Under normal circumstances, PTSD treatment would not treat the condition but will stop it from developing. There are different research works today that suggest that the answer lies in the way memory is organized in the brain. Another study shows that wakeful rest after a traumatic event can lower memory intrusions after a PTSD experience, and this can be a hint to how the methods used in ensuring a correct filing of the memory.
There are many things to learn about this concept, and it’s something to keep an eye on. According to this study, a few minutes of rest after a negative life event is all the brain needs to process things.
EMDR is a new therapy that is rapidly gaining interest, especially for PTSD cases. It is short for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing. It is a type of psychotherapy that involves paying attention to a back-and-forth sound or movement while trying to remember the event that occurred.
Researchers highlight that the small shifts while re-experiencing the memory make it easier to process. There are also many scientific studies that further justify the effectiveness of EMDR. One study review highlights that seven out of 10 analyzed studies justified the effectiveness of EMDR therapy and found it more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy.
CBD for PTSD
CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it’s currently a wellness rage globally. Today, there are thousands of CBD products on the market, and this includes chocolate bars, eye creams, bath bombs, and many more. The interesting thing is that there are research findings suggesting the application of CBD for treating PTSD.
A 2019 study on patients with psychiatric conditions shows that 4 out of 11 PTSD patients experienced improvements in their PTSD symptoms. Another study using rodents also gave similar findings, showing that CBD can enhance the removal of aversive memories.
The mechanism of action is via the endocannabinoid system, which is a regulatory system that interacts with cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic compound and the main ingredient found in magic mushrooms and truffles. It acts on the serotonin receptors of the brain and helps to relieve the symptoms of different health conditions, including cluster headaches, addiction, OCD, and PTSD. Today in Jamaica, where it is legal, a company has developed a nasal spray that delivers accurate nasal doses of psilocybin, and this is widely applied in managing depression and PTSD.
The interesting thing is that there are research findings showing that psilocybin can promote neuroplasticity and enhance fear extinction in animals. For emphasis, neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to undergo certain changes. Another study shows that psychedelics generally have the ability to reduce the reactivity of the amygdala, which is the part that mediates fear. In many cases, hyperactivity of the amygdala is common in patients with PTSD.
These are some of the most promising science-backed therapeutic options for treating PTSD that you should know. Today, about 10% of people experience PTSD during their lifetime, hence the need for more treatment options that are effective and reliable.
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