Great Progress is Seen in PTSD Research
PTSD – in other words, post-traumatic stress disorder – has become one of the most common psychiatric and psychological diagnosis. It seems that the mental health problem has suddenly become prevalent. Veterans aren’t the only ones suffering from this medical condition. People from all walks of life who have experienced a traumatic event will get PTSD. The factors that increase the chances of getting post-traumatic stress disorder aren’t even under the person’s control. Examples of risk factors include but aren’t limited to the absence of support after trauma, low self-esteem, a predisposing mental health condition, and previous trauma. Not many realize that it’s difficult to manage symptoms. Sufferers constantly re-experience trauma and undergo emotional numbness.
Due to the fact that a significant percentage of the world’s population suffers from mental illness, researchers have decided to focus their attention on post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD research is important and for good reason too. If the medical condition isn’t fully understood, then it’s not possible to come up with a model of treatment that helps people. Research needs to determine what treatment interventions are effective when it comes down to psycho-emotional and physio-pathological outcomes. Until recently, there was a considerable lack of well-controlled studies with regards to post-traumatic stress disorder. This isn’t the case anymore. There are several studies identifying a potential path to treatment, which is a good thing.
The two main medications approved for PTSD
Treatment centers are more than prepared to handle patients who are suffering from mental health problems. They utilize many treatment options, including medications. What the medications do is help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. The only two medications that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration are sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil). The main issues with these medications is that they present limited effectiveness. Patients end up being treated with numerous drugs that aren’t approved by the FDA. These medications cause side effects, such as straining the heart, triggering diabetes, and leading to the worsening of the PTSD symptoms. Equally important is to mention drug dependency.
Addiction is very common, especially when it comes down to prescription medication. Medications are habit-forming and those who possess addictive personalities succumb to addiction. The individual feels that they need to use the medication in order to be able to function. While sufferers aren’t actually abusing the drugs, they become dependent on the medication. Patients develop what is called comorbidity. Comorbidity is defined as the existence of one or more disorders in the same person at the same time. Generally speaking, PTSD treatment is associated with substance abuse. Individuals suffering from comorbidity have a hard time holding onto a job, connecting with others, and conforming to social rules.
A potential path to the treatment of PTSD
At present, evidence-based research is carried out on alternative approaches to mental illness. The main focus is on holistic treatment. There are many luxury rehabs currently providing this kind of therapy, being considered a safer alternative. As the name suggests, holistic treatment is a natural form of healing. It takes into account the whole person – in other words, mind, body, and spirit – to attain optimal health. Drugless healing of post-traumatic stress disorder has emerged in recent years as a successful way for recovering from PTSD. The therapy makes it possible for the traumatized brain to integrate new memories and find a way back to the present.
Pharmacotherapy hasn’t proven to the effect in the treatment of mental illness. A great percentage of people who undergo treatment doesn’t improve and come back to be assessed once again. People who suffer from PTSD face battles every single day. One non-profit organization in Los Angeles has understood this and volunteered to offer free holistic recovery treatments to military veterans. Complementary and alternative medicine for post-traumatic stress disorders has been reviewed by the experts and the verdict is a positive one. Unquestionably, some therapies are more effective than others. As far as treating mental illness is concerned, there is evidence of strong benefits for PTSD for acupuncture, meditation, and visualization.
Physicians are of the opinion that people are losing the connection to their own essence. More specifically, they lose a connection with themselves due to the trauma. Holistic treatment of PTSD implies treating the symptoms, as well as the person. Therefore, the physical and emotional experiences are taken into consideration. The prevalence and impact of post-traumatic stress disorder are worrisome, which is the reason why there is an effort to come up with new solutions. In addition to what was mentioned before, it’s important to not forget about plant-based therapies. Herbs are non-toxic, which means that they are safe for everyone, and they increase the body’s resistance to stress. Ayahuasca is a great example. It’s a brew that is made out of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. Individuals began drinking this brew in Europe and North America. There isn’t a great deal of research regarding this plant, which is a shame. Many people go through traumatic experiences and they need help.
A new area of the brain that suppressed fear has been identified
Researchers at Texas A& M University haven’t been wasting their time. The experts have discovered that what region in the human brain is responsible for controlling the sensation of fear. This new finding has great potential as it can help patients suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder. The study was undertaken on rats. What researchers found out was that an area in the thalamus, which is referred to as the nucleus reuniens, inhibits fear in small beings. Owing to this discovery, it will be possible to develop new therapies and interventions for mental illnesses. Maybe there won’t be so much focus on the pharmacological approach. Medications aren’t the only ones that can alter the activity of the neurons. Herbal remedies may work better than drugs as far as treating psychiatric disorders is concerned.
Research on PTSD is expected to develop in future time. Who knows? Maybe in the future, it won’t be necessary to resort to medications at all. A good understanding of the medical condition will allow us to find alternative treatments, other than the ones existing today.