Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly abbreviated as PTSD, is a mental health condition that can affect anyone who has experienced or witnessed a scary or life-threatening event. This could be a natural disaster, a serious car accident, a terrorist act, war or combat, or domestic abuse. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, avoidance of anything related to the trauma, and uncontrollable negative/distressing thoughts.
The Prevalence Of PTSD
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, about 3.6 percent of the US adult population at any given year – which translates to about 7.7 million people. However, this only represents a small portion of those who have gone through trauma.
It is estimated that about 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced or witnessed at least one traumatic event as some pin their lives. This means only a small percentage of those who experience a traumatic experience will go on to develop PTSD.
The risk of developing PTSD increases if the traumatic event was severe or long-lasting, occurred in childhood, or involved direct personal harm. Those with a history of mental illness are also at an increased risk.
PTSD Among Different Demographics
PTSD prevalence varies significantly among different populations. For instance, combat veterans or individuals exposed to war are at a higher risk of developing PTSD.
It’s estimated that up to 20 percent of veterans who were deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, up to 30 percent of those who were deployed during the Vietnam War, and up to 10 percent of those who were deployed during the Gulf War experience
PTSD in any given year.
Women are two to five times more likely to develop PTSD than men, with about 12 percent of women developing PTSD at some point in their lives, compared to approximately 5 percent of men. This difference is partly attributed to women being more likely to experience high-impact traumatic events like sexual assault.
PTSD In Children & Adolescents
PTSD can affect anyone, including children and adolescents. It’s estimated that 1 to 6 percent of boys and around 3 to 15 percent of girls below 18 years who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events will develop PTSD.
The Underdiagnosis Of PTSD
Despite these statistics, PTSD remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. Many individuals do not seek help due to stigma, lack of knowledge about the symptoms, or lack of access to effective treatment. Additionally, PTSD often coexists with other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, which can complicate the diagnosis.
Ketamine Treatment for PTSD
Ketamine, a medication primarily used for starting and maintaining anesthesia, has emerged as a promising treatment for PTSD. It works on a different neural pathway than traditional PTSD medications, which often focus on the serotonin or norepinephrine systems.
Ketamine acts on the glutamate system, one of the most common neurotransmitters in the brain. This unique action mechanism allows it to potentially provide rapid relief from PTSD symptoms, in some cases within hours of administration, compared to the weeks or even months that traditional medications may take to show effect.
Research has shown that ketamine can reduce the symptoms of PTSD, including intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in mood and cognition, and arousal symptoms such as hypervigilance or exaggerated startle response. This can significantly improve the quality of life for those living with PTSD.
Ketamine is typically administered in a medical setting, either via intravenous infusion (IV), intramuscular injection, or as a nasal spray. The treatment process usually involves a series of sessions over a few weeks, followed by maintenance sessions as needed.
While ketamine is considered safe and well-tolerated when administered under medical supervision, some potential side effects include dizziness, blurred vision, and mild dissociation. However, these typically resolve within a few hours after treatment.
At Revitalizing Infusion Therapies, we understand the challenges of living with PTSD and are committed to providing innovative treatments like ketamine to help our patients regain control of their lives. Our team of experienced medical professionals is here to guide you through the treatment process in a safe, supportive, and compassionate environment.
If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, don’t wait to seek help. Contact Revitalizing Infusion Therapies today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our team can support you on your path to recovery. With the right support and treatment, it’s entirely possible to regain control of your life and thrive despite PTSD.