Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that a person may develop after going through, or witnessing, something traumatic. PTSD typically manifests in the form of nightmares, flashbacks, and emotional distress, but other symptoms may appear depending on the person and their condition.
What causes a person to develop PTSD is not down to one single factor but is instead dependent on a number of factors both biological and environmental. The one common denominator is always going through a traumatic event.
After something traumatic, it’s more than normal to have difficulty coping with what you have gone through. If these feelings of stress and anxiety do not go away with time, you may be suffering from PTSD.
Is PTSD Hereditary?
To a certain extent, yes, PTSD is hereditary. The more complicated but ultimately more correct answer is that genetics only play a part in the development of this condition. Other factors that determine whether a person develops PTSD include the following:
- Stressful or traumatic events and experiences
- Family history of mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety
- Inherited personality features (your temperament)
- The way a person’s brain regulates chemicals and hormones in response to stress
More risk factors for the development of PTSD include:
- Intense or long-lasting trauma
- Childhood abuse or trauma
- A profession or job that increases your exposure to traumatic events (such as working as a first responder)
- History of mental health conditions
- History of substance abuse
- Lack of a strong social support system
Events that have been known to lead to the development of PTSD may include some of the following:
- Combat exposure
- Sexual violence or abuse
- Physical violence or abuse
- Childhood abuse
- Life-threatening events, like mugging or robbery
- An accident, emergency, or natural disaster
- Life-threatening, traumatic, or long-lasting medical conditions.
- Intrusive memories and flashbacks to the traumatic event, including intense reactions to things that remind you of the trauma
- Avoidance of things that remind you of the trauma, including difficulty remembering parts of the trauma, a loss of interest, and an overall feeling of emotional numbness
- Hyperarousal, which consists of anything from irritability, trouble sleeping, hypervigilance, being easily startled, angry outbursts, and self-destructive behavior.
- Negative changes in thoughts and actions like feeling alienated or alone, trouble concentrating, memory problems, and feelings of depression, hopelessness, mistrust, guilt, or self-blame.
Ketamine Treatment for PTSD
Ketamine is an old treatment, primarily used as an anesthetic and pain reliever, that is now being used to treat mental health conditions like depression or PTSD.
Research indicates that ketamine treats PTSD by binding to receptors in the brain, increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter glutamate being released. This then sets off a chain reaction in the brain that affects thinking and emotional regulation.
This means, in layman’s terms, that the brain reacts to ketamine infusions in a way that triggers hormones that help the brain create more positive emotions. Unlike other treatments, ketamine can provide this relief within hours or days of the first infusion, although it is most successful as a series of infusions.
Contact us today to learn more about our innovative new treatment options.