8% of Americans have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
We live in a chaotic world and we are not immune to the chaos that surrounds us and all that can sometime result in a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.
Even though as humans we are the most resilient organisms alive, violence and natural disasters get the better of us.
We have a natural coping mechanism to overcome trauma from violence or a life-threatening or a tragic event. Most people recover easily, but some people end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD has the power to make your life a living hell. Fortunately, there are ways to fight it! Read on and find out more about this terrible mental illness and how you can stop it from ruining your life.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Here are the most important things you should know about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder which comes as a consequence to a traumatic, violent and life-threatening physical experience.
- People who have been exposed to violent events are likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Events such as:
– natural disaster
– any near-death experience
- Longer exposure to trauma (repeated traumatic events) can result in severe PTSD.
- People are more likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from rape, personal war-experience, car-accident than from natural disasters (hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, etc.).
- People can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from seeing other people get hurt (a family member, a close friend).
- Half of the people who have been sexually abused develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- PTSD can affect both adults and children.
- Compared to adults, traumatized young children are less likely to develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because they are more resilient and they have better coping and adjusting mechanisms.
- Do not ignore the symptoms: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder should be taken very seriously because it might lead to suicide.
- Some people develop PTSD right after they experience trauma, while other may take months or even years before they show any symptoms.
- The US. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims that about 30% of Vietnam veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, (11-20% of veterans of more recent U.S. wars).
- People with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are more likely to develop drinking problems (60-80% of Veteran have drinking problems because of PTSD).
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is treatable and it’s symptoms are manageable.
The National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder offers you videos of people suffering from PTSD and talking openly about the awful disorder. These are veterans who live with the disorder every day.
A Few Historical Facts about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- A long, long time ago, when medicine was still underdeveloped and the human psyche a complete mystery, people used to confuse anxiety and mental disorders with physical illness.
- The term “traumatic neuroses” was first used by the German neurologist, Herman Oppenheim in 1889. He found that functional problems were produced by subtle changes within the central nervous system.
- Pierre Janet in 1904 came up with the term “subconscious” to describe a mental scheme of a person’s memory which guide a persons’ interaction with the environment; she was the first to actually understand the impact of trauma on the mind.
- Edouard Stierlin, a Swiss psychiatrist can be considered the first researcher in disaster psychiatry. He studied the nonclinical populations from the Messina earthquake in 1907, and a mining disaster and discovered that 25% of the survivors had nightmares and trouble sleeping.
- Sarah Haley was one of the more prominent names in the acceptance of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM III). She wrote the first comprehensive paper on PTSD.
- Names for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the 1800’s: Hysteria, Soldiers Heart, Soldiers Irritable Heart, Irritable Heart, DaCosta’s Syndrome, Railway Spine, Traumatic Neuroses & Fright Neuroses.
- Names for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the 1900’s ; Disorderly Action of the Heart, Neurocirculatory Asthenia, Shell Shock, War Neurosis, War Hysteria, Stress Response Syndrome, Combat Stress Reaction, Concentration Camp Syndrome, War Sailor Syndrome, Rape Trauma Syndrome, Battered Woman Syndrome, Vietnam Veterans Syndrome, Abused Child Syndrome
- and in 1980, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
How is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosed? – Symptoms of PTSD
Adults suffering from PTSD relive the traumatic and they find it very difficult to function in everyday life. It is of great importance to acknowledge this disorder once you recognize the set of symptoms happening to you, or someone close to you. Here are the symptoms of PTSD:
- Having bad dreams/nightmares
- Having flashbacks/reliving the traumatic event
- Having uncontrolable scary thoughts
- Cognitive disfunction
- Avoiding places and things remind you of the traumatic event
- Feeling guilt, sadness, or constantly worrying
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Restlessness, edginess, nervousness
- Having frequent angry outbursts
- Feeling estranged, lonely, detached from everything and everyone
- Loss of memory
- Inability to experience joy or pleasure
- Having violent or suicidal thoughts
If you or a close one are experiencing these symptoms for longer than a month, you really should get some help. PTSD is treatable and you should’t let it take your life away from you.
I think I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – What Can I Do?
Like every other psychiatric condition, PTSD is serious and should be taken as such. Some people are embarrassed to admit it, others feel guilt, which is one of the symptoms as well. It can be very dangerous if Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is ignored and not treated properly. So, once you’ve been diagnosed, all you have to do is find the best treatment for you.
First you need to consult your doctor, who will do a full physical exam and then refer you to a psychiatrist/ psychologist. After you get a definite diagnosis and you’re sure you have PTSD, you can choose a type of treatment or maybe even a combination of treatments.
Doctors will recommend medication, counseling which involves CBT or cognitive – behavioral therapy and support group therapy.
- CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy teaches you how your thoughts, feelings and behavior are intertwined.
- Medication includes pills for anxiety and antidepressants which can help you sleep better or control the stress levels.
Unfortunately, more often than not, people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder do not respond very well to medication. In fact, an American Legion survey from 2014 showed shocking results: alarming 59% of the Veterans with PTSD claim to feel the same or even worse after prescribed treatment. A huge number of them die each year due to overdose on medication or suicide.
Support groups are places where you can openly share your experience and talk to people who have the same disorder.
Alternative therapies which are employed and might help with PTSD include:
- Exercise or relaxation techniques
- Massage therapy
You can find more info on these treatments on the webpage of The National Center for PTSD.
If none of the above has helped you or someone close to you suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you shouldn’t give up. You can explore other options offered by alternative medicine.
Cannabidiol (CBD) – The Best Cure for PTSD (and 100% Natural)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can beat you down, make you feel like all hope is lost, but nature has your back.
Cannabis has become the scientist’s favorite plant. After it’s gained so much popularity and attention which revolves around its amazing healing properties, researchers and scientists are even more eager to find out about all the powers of cannabis.
Research has shown promising results in using one very special Cannabinoid called Cannabidiol or CDB component from the hemp plant for treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as for other mental disorders.
Before you find out how this amazing cannabinoid might help in the battle against PTSD, find out what it actually is.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
If you’re familiar with the medicinal use of cannabis/marijuana, you’ve probably heard of CBD or Cannabidiol.
Here are few important things you need to know about CBD:
- CBD or Cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive component in cannabis, while THC is the psychoactive one.
- It is one of over 85 cannabinoid found in cannabis.
- CBD accounts for up to 40% of the plant’s extract.
- Research shows that CBD has a much wider scope of potential medical powers than THC, although THC has its own powers as well.
- Research shows that CBD controls and reduces the psychoactive effect of THC.
- People who are uncomfortable with the high of THC prefer the CBD based products, such as CBD-rich oils, sprays, edible products, etc.
In terms of healing powers, CBD has the following properties:
How does CBD work for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Believe it or not, our body has its own endocannabinoid system or ECS – a group of cannabinoid receptors located in our brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems.
So, how CBD works:
- CBD indirectly stimulates cannabinoid signaling by suppressing the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) – the enzyme that breaks down anandamide, the first endocannabinoid discovered in the mammalian brain in 1992. More anandamide means greater CB-1 activation. CBD enhances endocannabinoid tone by supressing FAAH. By doing that, CBD enhances the body’s innate protective endocannabinoid response.
- CBD also stimulates the release of 2-AG, another endocannabinoid that activates both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors.
- CB-1 receptor is responsible physiological functions: emotional learning, stress adaption, and fear extinction.
- According to scientists, normal CB-1 receptor signaling deactivates traumatic memories, helps us forget traumatic events.
- But if CB-1 signaling is impaired because of endocannabinoid deficits (low serum levels of anandamide), it activates fear, anxiety, irritability – and all symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
- The family of 5-HT receptors also play a big role in anxiety. These receptors bind to CBD and when activated by it, it results with an anti-depressant effect. 5-HT receptors also work in processes such as addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea, vomiting, etc.
Research and Surveys – The Messengers of Hope
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an enigmatic disorder that arises due to a dysfunctional Endocannabinoid system in our bodies.
Every individual has a different response to stress and trauma. Alcoholism, lack of exercise and many other things also induce a deficit in the endocannabinoid system.
Problems with the endocannabinoid system are connected with illnesses and conditions such as (just to name a few):
- Clinical depression – as reported by Canadian scientist and Rockefeller University post-doc Matthew Hill
- Chronic stress – a result of decreased endocannabinoid levels
- Skin problems
A research published in the journal Neuroendocrinology reports on the role of the endocannabinoid system in protecting against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; namely, 42 subjects who were near the World Trade Center during 9/11 terrorist attacks were analyzed by US and Canadian Scientists. 24 of those people suffered from PTSD.
It was established that they had had lower serum levels of anandamide compared to the other 22 who didn’t have PTSD.
A 2015 survey conducted by Care by Design included 2,495 patients who used CBD- rich cannabis for over 30 days. One of the key findings is that CBD-rich cannabis worked incredible well for people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Another survey conveyed recently by Care by Design examined 300 patients suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The aim was to compare the effectiveness of the medications (including cannabis) they use and how the medications work on specific symptoms.
Half of the patients reported that they used CBD-rich cannabis to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it worked. What is even more interesting, 80% of patients reported that they consume less alcohol when using cannabis!
On that same note, check out the video below where Dr. Sue Sisley, MD is talking about the effects of CBD on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among Veterans and some other relevant issues regarding the medical use of marijuana and clinical trials approval.
For more news and info on surveys, visit the MAPS’s web page – Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies – you can find all the latest approved and ongoing trials and survey regarding medical use of cannabis.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Can Be Treated – Have Faith in Nature
Clearly, no matter how bad things seem to be, there’s always something or someone you can count on.
Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is horrible and defeating, but losing a few battles doesn’t mean you’ve lost the war. Giving up is never an option. When nature offers you help, you need to accept it and fight off the darkness that PTSD casts on your life or the life of someone you love.
CBD-rich cannabis and CBD oil might be a nature’s way of reaching out to you.
Scientists are already aware of its healing potential. That’s exactly why they dedicate so much money, time and energy in exploring it.
CBD has worked for so many people around the world suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so why shouldn’t it work for you too?