In short, yes, PTSD is an anxiety disorder. It can be more complicated than this, however, because sometimes these conditions can co-occur. In fact, the medical community is still debating whether we can truly call PTSD an anxiety disorder. One of the main characteristics of PTSD is fear, which is also at the heart of anxiety disorders, but there is still some disagreement.
PTSD can happen to anyone who goes through (or witnesses) something traumatic. This includes, in some cases, even just hearing about something traumatic that someone else went through. Some people may go through traumatic events and be able to cope just fine on their own with time.
Whether a person will develop PTSD after a traumatic event ultimately comes down to a number of environmental and biological factors, such as the following:
- Stressful and traumatic events or experiences
- A family history of mental health conditions like depression or anxiety
- Inherited personality traits (known as your temperament)
- How your brain regulates chemicals and hormones in response to stress
The symptoms of PTSD usually begin within a month after the initial traumatic event, but in some cases may not appear until years afterwards. These symptoms will go on to greatly disrupt your personal and professional lives, in addition to your ability to carry out everyday tasks and activities.
The symptoms of PTSD appear in four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Note, however, that these symptoms are not mutually exclusive and can vary from person to person.
- Intrusive, recurrent memories of the initial event
- Flashbacks as is you are reliving the traumatic event
- Unpleasant nightmares about the event
- Emotional or physical distress at anything that reminds you of the event
- Avoidance of thinking or talking about the event
- Avoidance of people, places, or activities that remind you of the event
Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood
- Thinking negatively about yourself or the world in general
- Feeling hopeless about the future
- Difficulty remembering things, especially aspects of the traumatic event
- Difficulty maintaining your close relationships
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of interest in former hobbies
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
- Feeling emotionally hollow or numb
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
- Being startled easily
- Being always on guard for danger
- Self-destructive behavior, such as substance abuse
- Trouble focusing
- Trouble sleeping
- Angry outbursts
- Aggressive behavior
- Feelings of guilt and shame
- Examples of traumatic events that may lead to the development of PTSD include some of the following:
Live combat exposure
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Violence or physical assault
- Being threatened with a weapon
- Emergency, natural disasters, or vehicular accident
Ketamine for PTSD Treatment
Ketamine has been used for decades as an anesthetic and pain reliever, but in recent years is being used as a powerful and rapid-acting treatment for mental health conditions, such as PTSD.
Research seems to indicate that ketamine plays a role in the treatment of mood disorders through its interaction with the neurotransmitter known as glutamate. Glutamate is a powerful neurotransmitter that mediates the body’s response to stress and traumatic memories.
To learn more about ketamine and its use as PTSD treatment, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.