The National Institute on Mental Health reports that post-traumatic stress disorder – more commonly referred to as PTSD – is a disorder that develops after an individual has experienced an especially scary or disturbing event. It is not uncommon for people to experience some degree of emotional and psychological reaction after they experience a traumatic event. Trauma itself can be mild or severe and can include anything from a minor car accident to ongoing physical and sexual abuse. Most people who experience trauma will experience symptoms that resolve in a short period. Others, however, experience severe symptoms that last for extended periods and seriously disrupt day-to-day life. This is considered PTSD. There are many symptoms associated with PTSD, but some of the most common include:
- Recurring, vivid nightmares.
- Flashbacks – the individual has vivid flashbacks that essentially cause him or her to relive the traumatic event, making healing far more difficult. These flashbacks typically induce a range of physical and psychological symptoms like intense anxiety, profuse sweating, uncontrollable shaking, and a racing heart.
- Anxiety-producing and extremely frightening thoughts. Those who suffer at the hands of PTSD are typically run by fear. They find it impossible to relax or be in social settings for an extended period without feeling afraid and uncomfortable.
For an individual to be professionally diagnosed with PTSD, he or she must experience the following over one month:
- One symptom associated with avoidance
- One symptom that reoccurs, or happens more than once in a short period
- Two symptoms that directly affect mood or cognitive function
- Two symptoms that directly relate to reactivity and emotional arousal
If you have been struggling with PTSD, you might be looking into potential treatment options. When it comes to effectively treating the symptoms of PTSD, inpatient treatment is always the best option. There is some discussion of other effective treatment options – including marijuana. Is marijuana effective when it comes to treating the symptoms associated with PTSD, or is it bound to make matters worse?
Marijuana and PTSD
The truth is that numerous scientific research studies point towards the fact that marijuana can be an efficacious treatment method for individuals who are suffering at the hands of post-traumatic stress disorder. The US National Library of Medicine recently published a study titled, “Cannabis: A potential efficacious intervention for PTSD or simply snake oil?” The study suggests that while it may be difficult to pinpoint just how beneficial marijuana is for the treatment of stress-related disorders like PTSD, there is ample evidence supporting the fact that it can improve reactivity and fear reactions in some individuals. It is extremely important that PTSD and substance abuse often go hand-in-hand, and that whenever an individual struggles with substance abuse, prescribing a potentially addictive substance is never appropriate. That is to say that if you are currently struggling with addiction and with unresolved trauma, attempting to alleviate symptoms through the use of a chemical substance like marijuana will always do more harm than good.
Evoke Wellness at Miramar and Trauma-Informed Care
Evoke Wellness at Miramar offers trauma-informed care for men and women who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and all other forms of unresolved trauma. Our program of recovery was carefully designed by a team of professionals who have combined decades of experience treating trauma of all kinds. If you have been suffering from PTSD or any other underlying mental health condition, we are available to help. Our dual diagnosis program of addiction recovery is geared towards thoroughly addressing addiction and all underlying, contributing factors. For more information on our comprehensive and individualized recovery program, please feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.