Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a chronic and disabling condition arising after exposure to a severe traumatic event, characterized by persistent reexperiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal symptoms. In the general population, prevalence has been estimated at 7.8%, with higher rates in trauma-exposed populations, particularly among survivors of interpersonal violence. Standard therapies used in depression do not work for PTSD , including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and other medications. These treatments are associated with significant levels of nonresponse and persistent residual symptoms in the few that do respond.
One of the first randomized trials demonstrating ketamine’s effectiveness in PTSD was in a study by Dr. Feder in June 2014. The study was designed after the recognition that a medical record review of a large sample of burned servicemembers found a significantly lower prevalence of PTSD among patients who received ketamine during post-trauma surgical procedures than among those who did not. This study demonstrated significant improvements in multiple domains in PTSD symptoms and depression that lasted several weeks and beyond. Ketamine has been shown to rapidly increase the number and function of synaptic connections in the prefrontal cortex, rapidly reversing behavioral and neuronal changes resulting from chronic stress and trauma related memories. This data provided the first randomized, controlled evidence that NMDA receptor modulation could lead to the rapid clinical reduction of core PTSD symptoms in patients with chronic PTSD
Here are some symptoms of PTSD which you can use to screen you or your family members:
Persistent avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic events or of external reminders (i.e., people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations)
Two or more of the following:
inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic events (not due to head injury, alcohol, or drugs)
persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous”).
persistent, distorted blame of self or others about the cause or consequences of the traumatic events
persistent fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame
markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
persistent inability to experience positive emotions
Two or more of the following marked changes in arousal and reactivity:
irritable or aggressive behavior
reckless or self-destructive behavior
exaggerated startle response
problems with concentration
difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep
Also, clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning not attributed to the direct physiological effects of medication, drugs, or alcohol or another medical condition, such as traumatic brain injury.
If you or a loved one is suffering from these symptoms, seek help from a therapist if you have not done so already. Ketamine infusions are an excellent choice to help control your symptoms to gain back your life.
Literature on Ketamine and PTSD:
IV Ketamine Rapidly Effective in PTSD Medpage Today
Recent Study Shows Ketamine Reduces Symptoms of PTSD The Fix
Ketamine May Help Extinguish Fearful Memories Dana Foundation
Synaptic Loss and the Pathophysiology of PTSD: Implications for Ketamine as a Prototype Novel Therapeutic
Yale: ‘Magic’ Antidepressant May Hold Promise For PTSD