Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is a mental health condition that occurs after a terrifying or life-threatening event. The events may include natural disasters, military warfare, road traffic accidents, terrorism, personal attacks like sexual or physical assault, death or separation of a loved one, and other events that one might consider a traumatic experience. PTSD is a life-crippling condition affecting nearly 5.2 million Americans per year, making them feel like they will never recover from a particular incident or feel normal again. 

Anyone may experience such traumatic events in their lifetime but not everyone develops PTSD. There may be difficulties in coping and adjusting, but they usually get better with time and self-care. 

It is PTSD if symptoms do not get better or re-emerge later, lasting months or years, and impacting daily life activities.

People with PTSD have different experiences, but the most common symptoms are the following:

  • Re-experiencing the traumatic event via intrusive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, etc.
  • Hyperarousal including irritability, sleep problems, anger outbursts, self-destructive or reckless behavior
  • Avoiding anything that reminds them of that traumatic event
  • Pessimistic thoughts and mood swings including feeling depressed, anxious, alone, hopeless, guilty or self-blame
  • Feeling numb and detached from the world

Also, the symptoms of PTSD usually develop within 3 months of a traumatic event, but they may not appear until years after it. Physiologically, PTSD is associated with resultant changes in the structure and function of the brain. The tendency of key stress hormones getting out of sync is also there. All these changes may lead to a substantial disruption in the personal, professional, educational and social life of the sufferers.

Treatment of PTSD

By reaching out for support, seeking proper treatment, and developing coping skills, people can defeat PTSD and move on happily.

PTSD is usually treated with the help of a combination of certain medications and psychotherapy. As for medications, antianxiety and antidepressant agents can be used to control the symptoms of anxiety disorder and depression and improve sleep. 

Antipsychotic agents can also be used for a short period of time to control symptoms related to extreme anger outbursts and hyperarousal. 

Meanwhile psychotherapy that can help to treat PTSD includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

And then there’s Ketamine

Ketamine has emerged as a most efficacious medication in the treatment of various  mental health conditions including PTSD. One of the supreme benefits of Ketamine therapy is that the positive effects are felt within minutes to hours (the more traditional antidepressants require at least 6 to 8 weeks to start showing their effects), Furthermore, zero to minimal side effects have been reported in ketamine therapy.

In the form of low-dose therapy, Ketamine has in fact shown not only rapid action but lasting benefits. 

Ketamine works by allowing for neuroplasticity and neural regeneration in areas of the brain responsible for emotions and higher level thinking.  

Patients who have undergone ketamine therapy have reported rapid cessation of suicidal ideation and long term reduction in depression and anxiety all of which are symptoms that co-occur with PTSD.If you or a loved one are still suffering from PTSD after trying traditional methods of treatment, Ketamine can be a compelling option.

Contact Us

Get in touch for a comprehensive evaluation to see if Ketamine treatments are right for you.

Dr. Mendiola is Ventura's trusted hometown doctor, caring for its residents and neighboring counties’ since 2000.

He completed his psychiatry residency at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, his advanced TMS Fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, and is dual-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the National Board of Medical Examiners.


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