If you’re a fan of the British drama series called Peaky Blinders and its protagonist Thomas Shelby, then you must also be familiar with his confrontation with trauma or chronic Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The disorder stemmed from him suffering from post-war trauma, only to be pushed back into society with murder, carnage, and destruction.
Dramatic references aside, PTSD is characterized by the inability to recover from past experiences or memories of trauma. Symptoms include bleak detachment from life, depression, anxiety, and intense physical or emotional reactions.
The symptoms sound familiar? Read ahead to find out why you need medical help to deal with the problem.
The problem with PTSD is that even if you weren’t directly involved or present in the event, it could be scarring or damaging enough to not lead a normal life. When you consult with a doctor, they try to get to the root cause of the problem and map a treatment plan accordingly. They can help build self-esteem, reduce anxiety and improve social functioning. They are supportive enough to listen carefully and never rush through things. Getting medical help is necessary because PTSD can affect the daily lifestyle and functions of patients.
For cognitive-behavioural therapy
In this therapy, doctors try to change your mindset to get rid of what’s disturbing your life. Depending on your situation and medical condition, the doctor might prefer you with family or some close friends to understand what triggers you. He might try to encourage you to talk about the details of the event that affected you and find out where your fears come from. In treatment, some sessions help the doctor understand how it affects you and your coping mechanism as time passes. This gives you the scope to assess your own emotions and accept that none of what happened was your fault. Breathing exercises and meditation teach you to develop your concentration despite the traumatic memory.
For treatment that ease your nerves
In PTSD, the sympathetic nervous system plays a significant part. This leads to the growth of some extra nerves that activate the brain’s fear center and cause some symptoms like depression or insomnia. Stellate Ganglion Block or SGB treatment helps reboot the sympathetic nervous system to its former state. This involves an injection into the stellate ganglion nerves in the neck guided by ultrasound or X-ray imaging feedback. Earlier, this treatment was effective in curing pain and other nerve disorders, but recent studies have proved its efficacy in reducing PTSD. The injection doesn’t completely cure PTSD but reduces the symptoms significantly.
For mental and neurological illnesses, medicines can help reduce the suffering. With PTSD, the sympathetic nerves are in fight or flight mode. This increases irrational and risky behavior, which can also include suicidal thoughts. Trying to silence those turbulent emotions and thoughts can lead to someone feeling socially removed and alone. Some medications like sertraline (Mirtaz) can help to calm your nerves and feel more relaxed. As a result, some also stop having nightmares or flashbacks. These drugs are the most effective when following a strict course and showing results in due time. Your doctor might like you to have some liver tests occasionally to check if it’s all working as planned and expected.
Medications and treatment don’t possibly help to get rid of the problem altogether. They merely make the symptoms milder and more manageable. Please keep in touch with your doctor to warn him of any side effects.