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New Therapies for Treating PTSD

New Therapies for Treating PTSD According to the American Psychiatric Association, about one in 11 people will suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the span of their life. PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can significantly affect people’s daily lives and routines.

There are a few new therapies that psychologists and researchers have developed to treat PTSD, like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which is exciting news for these patients. Some of the old therapy options did not work for individuals diagnosed with PTSD, so doctors and psychologists are happy to learn about the new breakthroughs that are evolving. The following are some of these new therapies for treating PTSD:

  • Vagus nerve stimulation: Individuals who undergo vagus nerve stimulation have their vagus nerve activated to suppress the mind’s “fight-or-flight stress response.” This gives the individual a feeling of calmness as their body is no longer in panic or defensive mode. Even though vagus nerve stimulation is still being researched and studied, it seems to be a promising treatment option for those with PTSD.
  • MDMA: MDMA is a strong drug that individuals with PTSD take to release certain chemicals in their brains. Many people know and refer to MDMA as Molly or ecstasy. While there have been no medications developed to specifically treat PTSD, MDMA is a new treatment that is being used to help alleviate this mental health condition’s symptoms and side effects. However, it is recommended that those who take MDMA for their PTSD symptoms still participate in various therapy options, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy.
  • Stellate Ganglion Block: Stellate Ganglion Block is a new, short-term treatment option for patients diagnosed with PTSD. This type of treatment requires injecting anesthetic into the nerve tissues around the neck. Individuals who have undergone stellate ganglion block experienced relief of their symptoms right away, but this form of treatment is still being studied. In 2019, the American Medical Association released a study, showing that two stellate ganglion block injections administered every two weeks were beneficial in reducing PTSD symptoms for more than eight weeks. However, they need to study how effective this treatment is beyond eight weeks.
  • Repeated ketamine infusions: The American Journal of Psychiatry published a study in 2021 that showed repeated ketamine infusions had a positive effect on people with PTSD. This is the first study released on this type of treatment option, but it proved to alleviate the severe symptoms among these patients as well as maintain this relief for weeks after the infusions were given. That said, repeated ketamine infusions are believed to be an upcoming form of treatment for PTSD.
  • Meditation-based interventions: Some people may be looking for a more natural treatment option for their PTSD symptoms, which is where meditation-based interventions come in. The National Center for Biotechnology Information released a study explaining that meditation-based interventions are a viable treatment option for PTSD patients. There were different types of meditation that individuals participated in that helped, which included mindful meditation, mantra meditation, transcendental meditation, breathing-based meditation, and more.
  • Virtual reality: Virtual reality is a modern approach to treating PTSD. This form of treatment helps individuals face their terrifying experience by using virtual reality to expose them to the environment and event that took place. Therefore, instead of avoiding the tragic event, the individual is encouraged to face it head on to gain back a sense of control again. This is an effective treatment plan for those who do not want to take medication or speak to a counselor or psychologist about their problems.

What is PTSD and what are the symptoms to look for?

The Mayo Clinic describes PTSD as a condition that forms when an individual experiences or witnesses a traumatic and frightening event. As a result, they may have flashbacks, anxiety, panic attacks, night terrors, and sleep issues for weeks, months, or years following the event. It takes PTSD patients time to recover, adjust, and learn to cope after these types of events. However, psychologists, counselors, and physicians usually work one-on-one with them to help them get better and alleviate their mental health symptoms as quickly as possible.

If you have seen or experienced a tragic event, there is a good chance that you may have PTSD. Here are several of the symptoms that you should keep an eye out for:

  • Unwanted and stressful memories that arise throughout the day
  • Flashbacks that appear randomly
  • Nightmares and night terrors
  • Panic attacks
  • Avoiding certain areas, places, or people to prevent thinking about the traumatic event
  • Feeling depressed and hopeless
  • Inability to remember certain parts of the event
  • Feeling distant from friends, family, and loved ones
  • Feeling on edge and worried that something is going to happen
  • Inability to focus or concentrate
  • Easily becoming angry, mad, or irritable
  • Feeling suicidal

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you may have PTSD. However, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor will recommend the proper treatment options based on your symptoms, which will help you begin recovering and living a normal life again.

If you or a family member is suffering from PTSD due to another party’s negligence, get in touch with a Chattanooga personal injury attorney from Wagner & Wagner as soon as possible. You have the legal right to pursue compensation for your mental health disorder, and we will remain by your side throughout the entire process while you do this.

Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation case evaluation today. We will help you file a lawsuit and take the necessary legal action against the responsible party who caused your PTSD. Our team proudly serves clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia, and we look forward to speaking with you soon!