Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder​

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can develop in individuals who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. Traumatic events that can lead to PTSD include:

  1. Combat exposure: Military personnel may develop PTSD after exposure to combat or other dangerous situations during their service.
  2. Physical or sexual assault: Survivors of assault, whether physical or sexual, may experience PTSD.
  3. Natural disasters: Individuals who have lived through or witnessed natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, or hurricanes may develop PTSD.
  4. Accidents: People involved in serious accidents, such as car crashes, may be at risk for PTSD.
  5. Witnessing violence: Those who witness violence, whether in a personal or community setting, can be affected.

Diagnosis​

PTSD is characterized by a range of symptoms that can be grouped into four main clusters:

  1. Intrusive thoughts: Recurrent, involuntary memories of the traumatic event, flashbacks, nightmares, or distressing reactions to reminders of the trauma.
  2. Avoidance: Avoiding thoughts, feelings, or situations associated with the traumatic event. This can include avoiding people, places, or activities that trigger memories of the trauma.
  3. Negative changes in mood and cognition: Persistent negative emotions, distorted thoughts about oneself or others, feelings of detachment from others, and a diminished interest in activities once enjoyed.
  4. Changes in arousal and reactivity: Irritability, angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating, exaggerated startle response, and sleep disturbances.

 

It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences a traumatic event develops PTSD. Factors such as the severity of the trauma, the individual’s support system, and pre-existing mental health conditions can influence the likelihood of developing PTSD.

Treatment options​

Treatment for PTSD often involves psychotherapy, particularly evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Medications may also be prescribed in some cases. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of PTSD, seeking the help of a mental health professional is crucial for proper diagnosis and treatment.

A man on a couch being treated with sedative IV therapy

Ketamine Assisted Therapy (KaT)

Multiple clinical studies have recognized ketamine-Assisted Therapy as an effective alternative for those who have PTSD. PTSD participants typically report a decrease in the severity of their symptoms as well as prolonged relief which can last anywhere from a few days to months or years.

A woman on a couch in therapy

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy or counselling, is a well-established technique that is the first-line treatment for PTSD. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense, in collaboration with Clinical practice guidelines for PTSD, recommends that specific trauma-focused psychotherapies may be the most effective treatment for PTSD.

A woman receiving rTMS, with a doctor positioning a machine near her head.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)​

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is a non-invasive medical treatment that regulatory authorities have approved for the treatment of various neuropsychiatric conditions. rTMS has been utilized successfully in reducing core PTSD symptoms. rTMS has been shown to have a long-term effect on PTSD suggesting that the treatment is effective and a viable option for long-term stability.

A group of people seated in comfortably in a furnished office space.

Special Access Program (SAP)

Health Canada’s Special Access Program enables the use of certain psychedelic substances that are not marketed in Canada as requested by practitioners. Access is typically granted for treating, diagnosing, or preventing serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional therapies or medications have failed. The SAP for PTSD is the same process for depression or any other disorder that may benefit from its access. PTSD differs from depression typically in terms of the molecule that is provided throughout the program. MDMA is a powerful entactogen/empathogen which has been clinically proven to reduce PTSD symptoms in 67% of participants in a recent MAPS MDMA clinical trial and is typically the molecule of choice for PTSD participants.

Reach Out

If any of this strikes a chord for you or for a loved one, please take some time to reflect on these considerations before reaching out to us to book an Info Session. From there, we can support you in determining whether one of our treatments could be right for you, and how to begin your healing journey with Cena Life.