What is PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Signs and symptoms
If you have PTSD, you may often experience feelings of panic or extreme fear, resembling what was felt during the traumatic event. In PTSD there are three main types of difficulties:
- Re-living the traumatic event — through unwanted and recurring memories and vivid nightmares. It can feel as though the events were happening again — this is referred to as ‘flashbacks’, or ‘reliving’ the event. There may be intense emotional or physical reactions, such as sweating, heart palpitations or panic, when reminded of the event.
- Being overly alert or wound up — seeing danger everywhere and being ‘tuned in’ to threat. As a consequence, you may become jumpy, on edge, and feel constantly on guard. This can lead to being overly alert or watchful and to having problems concentrating, sleeping difficulties, irritability, and becoming easily startled, particularly by noises that remind you of the traumatic event.
- Avoiding reminders of the event and feeling emotionally numb — deliberately avoiding activities, places, people, thoughts or feelings associated with the traumatic event. You may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, feel cut off and detached from friends and family, or feel flat and numb. This can lead to social isolation, a major risk factor for depression.
1. Understanding PTSD
Before you can understand how marijuana can help this condition, you need to understand how this condition effects people. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that starts after a disturbing situation. This could be a sexual assault, military experience, or any traumatic event. It doesn’t occur to everyone who lives through a traumatic event but affects many.
During the traumatic experience, the brain changes its chemistry. This causes some recurring symptoms long after the event. PTSD sufferers often experience insomnia, isolation, and flashbacks to the incident. They often have a difficult time functioning because of the severity of the symptoms. Working normal jobs and having friends becomes difficult.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder isn’t a black and white disorder. There are many different symptoms, each of which can have a significant impact. Some sufferers of PTSD have frequent outbursts of anger, for no apparent reason. Others lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and some completely avoid places that remind them of the event. In any scenario, the disorder can be debilitating and life-changing, and there’s a high suicide rate associated with it. It makes life and happiness challenging, and treatment may be necessary.
2. Typical treatment of PTSD
While medical marijuana for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been used, it has not always been legal and still remains illegal in many countries. Because of that, people have often turned to other ways to treat the disorder. Antidepressants are common treatments for the depression, anger, and numbness that comes with PTSD.
It usually takes some time to find the right combination and dosing of medication to get it right. That’s because it often requires several different medicines. But even in the right dose, antidepressants don’t deal with many of the other symptoms. Some sufferers end up still dealing with insomnia and other issues. On top of those issues, the medication can also cause side effects. They can lead to fatigue and other trouble that get in the way of day-to-day life.
Another treatment option is psychotherapy. However, it’s not a cure-all for PTSD. Even with successful psychotherapy, medication is often necessary. But once again, that medication has its troubling side effects.
3. PTSD Resources
Are you a veteran? The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Coach Australia app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that commonly occur after trauma.
- Reliable information and treatments that work.
- Tools for screening and tracking your symptoms.
- A scheduler that allows you to manage all your self-care, health appointments and activities.
- Convenient, easy-to-use skills to help you handle stress symptoms.
- Direct links to support and help.
- Designed specifically for ex and current serving ADF personnel.
- Always with you when you need it.
If you feel you are suffering from this condition and want to speak to a doctor, contact MCS today!