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Category: PTSD

How can i tell if a loved one has ptsd

How Can I Tell If A Loved One Has PTSD?

Most, if not all,  people will experience trauma at some point in their life. And depending upon the severity of the trauma, a person’s history, and their genetic predispositions, a traumatic event may lead to the onset of PTSD. PTSD doesn’t necessarily last the rest of a person’s lifetime. Many people will phase in and then out of PTSD as time separates the person from the traumatic experience. Roughly 12 million people in the U.S. experience PTSD within a given year. 

Unfortunately, though, there are those who battle PTSD for the remainder of their lives. It is crucial for anyone experience PTSD to surround themselves with support and to take the time they need to heal. If you suspect someone you love has PTSD there are a few things to know to aid them in their healing process.

What Is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

If you experience a traumatic event, you may have short-term problems adjusting, but these problems typically get better over time. If the symptoms worsen, persist for months or years, and restrict your daily life, you may be experiencing PTSD.

What Are The Risk Factors?

PTSD can happen at any age, regardless of gender, and affect anyone who survived a physical or psychological assault, a disaster, accident, or another serious event. The National Center for PTSD says nearly seven of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point. But some get PTSD without experiencing danger, including those who suffered the loss of a loved one or experienced another incident in their personal lives.

What Is Ketamine?

Ketamine is a type of medicine developed and tested in the early 1960s as a form of anesthesia. In high doses, it can quickly render someone unconscious before surgery or medical treatment; in lower doses, it creates a sense of euphoria and sometimes detachment from reality, making it popular for treating symptoms of mental illness and chronic pain. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a human anesthetic in 1970.


  • Acute stress disorder features symptoms that occur between three to 30 days following the event. You could relive the trauma repeatedly, experience flashbacks, and feel numbness or detachment from yourself.
  • Adjustment disorder features emotional or behavioral symptoms which are more serious than what could be fairly expected in relation to what happened.
  • Reactive attachment disorder happens mostly during early childhood when there’s a fundamental absence of comfort, stimulation, and affection, or problems forming stable attachments.

How Can I Tell If A Loved One Has PTSD?

Identifying signs of PTSD in a loved one can be difficult, making it even harder to encourage that person to get diagnosed and arrange follow-up care. But it’s not impossible. To tell if a loved one has posttraumatic stress disorder, watch for the following.

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks and bad dreams, with symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Disturbing thoughts

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Circumventing events, objects, or places that serve as reminders of what happened
  • Avoiding thoughts or emotions related to what happened

Arousal and reactivity symptoms:

  • Being easily frightened
  • Tension or “on edge” sensations
  • Problems sleeping
  • Anger-fueled outbursts

Cognition and mood symptoms:

  • Memory issues with key features of what happened
  • Bad thoughts about oneself or humanity
  • Twisted feelings like blame or guilt 
  • Lack of interest in enjoyable pursuits

Many of these symptoms can often be treated with medicine like ketamine, which may allow you to regain control of your daily life.

While identifying PTSD symptoms is important, its potential causes should also be considered. Doctors and researchers haven’t identified the exact reason why some people develop PTSD. Like other mental health problems, posttraumatic stress disorder is likely triggered by a complex brew of:

  • Stressful experiences, including the amount and severity of trauma you’ve gone through in your life”
  • Inherited mental health risks, like a family record of anxiety and depression
  • Your personality or temperament
  • How your brain regulates the hormones and chemicals your body releases in reaction to stress

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing PTSD normally involves getting a physical examination, where a medical professional may perform tests to uncover a health problem triggering your symptoms. If a medical issue is identified, your healthcare provider may recommend a specific treatment plan. If there’s no medical reason for your symptoms, you may be referred to a mental health specialist for more diagnosis. In this case, you’ll be asked about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as triggers, or if there’s something in your or your family’s background that may result in PTSD.

Treatment could include a combination of psychotherapy, self-help strategies, or medicine like ketamine.

Final Thoughts

If you suspect someone close to you is suffering from PTSD, be open and supportive. Vocalize that support and encourage them to seek treatment. Do not try to take on the full weight of their recovery. While there are many routes for healing PTSD, professional help is of the utmost importance. 

Southern Ketamine and Wellness is leading the way for new and innovative ketamine infusion therapy in Birmingham, AL for mood and pain disorders, as well as Spravato (esketamine) for treatment-resistant depression. Contact us to learn more!

What does ptsd look like in veterans

What Does Ptsd Look Like In Veterans?

The after-effects of surviving a traumatic event can linger for years for some people, causing significant mental and physical health issues. If problems such as flashbacks, anger, irritability, weight loss, bad thoughts, or other problems linger, you may be suffering from one or more symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ptsd And Veterans: Statistics

The number of Veterans with PTSD differs by service era:

  • Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom: about 11-20 out of every 100 veterans (about 11-20 percent) who served in either have PTSD each year.
  • Gulf War: about 12 out of every 100 Gulf War veterans (or 12 percent) have PTSD each year.
  • Vietnam War: “It is estimated that about 30 out of every 100 (or 30%) of Vietnam Veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime.”

What Does Ptsd Look Like In Veterans?

PTSD is common for veterans but manifests itself differently for each one experiencing it. Some veterans struggle with the “classic” symptoms of the disorder quite often, such as avoidance, hyper-vigilance, and intrusive memories, while others only have mild symptoms occasionally. Still, what does PTSD look like in veterans?

  • PTSD symptoms affect and interfere with everyday life.
  • It can manifest as recurring nightmares.
  • Some veterans may have symptoms that are so regular that loved ones feel as if they’re walking on eggshells.

If you or someone you know suffers from PTSD, it’s best to get help right away and begin treatment. 

Common Symptoms

There are many symptoms of PTSD to watch for:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms like flashbacks.
  • Avoidance symptoms such as staying away from anyone or anything which acts as a reminder.
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms like being easily startled.
  • Cognition and mood symptoms include memory problems, trouble thinking, distorted thoughts, and negative thoughts.

Helping Veterans Deal With Ptsd

Whether you’re a veteran suffering from PTSD or have a loved one struggling with the condition, there are steps that can be taken to help alleviate the disorder. Though many veterans choose treatments like ketamine to manage PTSD symptoms, there are other self-help methods worth considering:

  • Get regular exercise. Even 10- to 30- minutes of light exercise can help burn off adrenaline, but a more vigorous workout has greater benefits: releasing endorphins to improve your mood and helping your nervous system out of its collective “funk.” 
  • Try to regulate your nervous system. If you can regulate your diet and other aspects of your life, then working to soothe your nerves is worth the effort. This means adopting mindful breathing exercises, taking in soothing sights, sounds, and smells, and reconnecting emotionally by not giving in to bad thoughts or memories of the trauma.
  • Re-establish connections. This can be with friends and family, or just getting out and volunteering your time and expertise to a worthwhile cause, or joining a support group of people who understand what you’ve been through.
  • Take care of your physical well-being. Besides exercise, the effects of PTSD can possibly be lessened by trying different relaxation techniques, finding healthy ways to release stress (like hitting a pillow or punching bag), maintaining a healthy meal plan and enjoying foods rich in Omega-3s, getting a good night’s sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.
  • Confront your fears from flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive memories by reciting a verbal script or making a statement to yourself that you’re safe, quietly describe to yourself what you’re seeing, and tap your arm or wrist to bring you back to the present. Movement, touch, sight, sound, smell, and taste can help “bring yourself back” from a nightmare or flashback.
  • Work through and recover from survivor’s guilt.

It may be in your best interest to seek professional help. A mental health specialist may diagnose your condition and recommend different kinds of therapy or medicine to control PTSD symptoms. You can find self-help and other resources through the National Center for PTSD, as well as here and here.

Diagnosis And Treatment

Diagnosis and treatment for PTSD follows the same course as many other mental illnesses and chronic pain disorders. If seeking help, you can expect to undergo a physical exam and lab tests to uncover potential causes; a psychiatric evaluation to determine your current state of mental health, and whether you have a personal or family history of mental illness. A doctor will then refer to the DSM-5 before offering a diagnosis and presenting treatment options.

Final Thoughts

PTSD is a serious mental health disorder affecting thousands of people in America and even more worldwide, but treatment options are available. If you suffer from PTSD, get help by talking with a mental healthcare professional about psychotherapy, self-help, support groups, or treatment options like ketamine to manage the symptoms.

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