Post Traumatic Stress

These days it is so common to hear about PTSD, in relation to veterans, that one might think that it is really only a big concern for veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is actually what its name implies, a disorder occurring after trauma and that can include a variety of traumas, such as combat, bullying, disasters, terrorism, abuse, and often car accidents. Dr. Daniel G. Amen of the Amen Clinics states that the traumatic event can be experienced, witnessed in person, something that happens to someone close to you, or simply come from being exposed to graphic details over and over. Dr. Amen states that 1 in 30 people have PTSD, so does the experiencing of a traumatic manner in one of the above ways guarantee one will suffer PTSD? The answer to that is not always, but stressing that PTSD can occur right after trauma or not show up until several months later, even after a different trauma is experienced. In the best case scenario for those with PTSD symptoms, the brain eventually settles down and the symptoms diminish with time.

So what are the symptoms to look for in PTSD? Sufferers may experience flashbacks, nightmares, inability to recollect aspects of the traumatic event, inability to stop thinking about the traumatic event, significant anxiety, anger/irritability issues, depression symptoms, sleep problems, desires to isolate, and/or the desire to disassociate with anything or anyone that would remind one of a traumatic event. With modern medical technology doctors are now able to see PTSD on brain SPECT scans, which is very helpful in alleviating the stigma many individuals feel in regards to letting others know their PTSD symptoms. The SPECT scans literally spot areas of over activity in the brain (i.e. diamond plus pattern), alerting medical professionals to the possibility of the brain being in a constant state of over stimulation that ups anxiety, anger, irritability, sleep problems, and other PTSD symptoms. Not only does the patient feel fewer stigmas, but his or her family can better understand and treatments can be geared to individual brains.

Brain specialists can help those with PTSD, as can others in the fields of medicine and psychology. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been found to be a promising treatment for PTSD, as well as a treatment done by Anesthesiologists, called a stellate ganglion block (SGB). SGB is a nerve block used for years to alleviate pain symptoms and sleep problems. It involves injecting a small amount of local anesthesia into the base of the neck and has been found to be a viable long-term treatment for PTSD. It has been tested in veterans with PTSD and the alleviation of PTSD symptoms has lasted from three to six months in 75 percent of participant patients. The study on this treatment is proving the measure is effective, but researchers at the University of California-Irvine continue to look into who would best be served by the treatment.

Personal injury law firms are no strangers to clients exhibiting PTSD symptoms after traumatic events, such as motor vehicle accidents and other injury accidents. It is unfortunate that often times PTSD is not taken seriously enough by injured parties, medical providers, insurance companies, and even representing attorneys. It is very important that the victim of an injury accident not be afraid to give detailed symptom descriptions to their medical providers. PTSD is a serious condition that can have lifelong implications, and while there is no known cure for the disorder, it can be diagnosed and treated to bring some relief to the sufferer. Left untreated the condition could lead to significant to life threatening consequences to the individual with PTSD, as well as those that individual may come in contact with.