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What is PTSD and what can help?

Written by The Bee

January 27, 2020

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This article brought to you by The Healing Center of Needles, Learning + Discovering + Healing

Needles, CA – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may arise when people experience a traumatic event such as death, threatened death, serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence.Common PTSD symptoms are anger, depression, anxiety, intrusive thoughts or memories, flashbacks, fatigue, nightmares, loss of concentration, increased startle, hypervigilance, avoidance, isolation, emotional numbing, lack of trust, and suicidal ideation or suicidal thoughts may all indicate the presence of PTSD.

Who experiences PTSD? Response to trauma is unique to each person; what is traumatic to one person may not be to another. People who have experienced war, assault, rape, torture, a serious accident, a natural disaster, medical trauma (e.g., waking up during surgery), and other events that pose the threat of death or serious injury are potentially at risk for to develop PTSD. PTSD can involve direct exposure to one or more of these events, witnessing such an event, or hearing about someone close to them experiencing such an event.

Anyone can develop PTSD at any age. This includes war veterans, children, and people who have been through a physical or sexual assault, abuse, accident, disaster, or other serious events. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genes may make some people more likely to develop PTSD than others.

Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some people develop PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or harm. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one can also lead to PTSD.

What helps treat the symptoms? A recent study from Harvard Medical shines some light of the use of Marijuana as a form of treatment.
A highly promising area of research is its use for PTSD in veterans who are returning from combat zones. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement and clamor for more studies, and for a loosening of governmental restrictions on its study. Medical marijuana is also reported to help patients suffering from pain and wasting syndrome associated with HIV, as well as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

 By activating CB1 and CB2 receptors located throughout this core system, cannabinoids could prompt the system to produce neurotransmitters that helps promote happiness, pleasure, and memory.

These cannabinoids play a critical role in assisting PTSD cases by preventing the retrieval of the underlying trauma, effectively preventing traumatic memories and nightmares, while also helping attain emotional wellbeing. This has made it a popular treatment for PTSD patients, of which many are combat veterans.

A study conducted by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers showed that people suffering from PTSD have much lower levels of a neurotransmitter called anandamide than others. Anandamide is one of the body’s primary endocannabinoids, meaning natural cannabinoids produced by the body. These operate in a similar way to cannabis by stimulating the endocannabinoid system, which is responsible for core functions such as mood, happiness, fear, and anxiety.

Essentially, anandamides operate as a natural antidepressant and can also impair memory as well. CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the body help turn off traumatic memories so that people can essentially stop paying attention to them. Lack of endocannabinoids such as anandamides can also serve to induce symptoms of PTSD such as anxiety and fear.

This article brought to you by The Healing Center of Needles, CA | 1400 Needles HWY | (760) 447-2663 | https://www.ilovethcneedles.com/

*Sources: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085 | https://healthcareinamerica.us/cannabis-key-treating-ptsd-b4abf432215

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