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4 Categories of PTSD Symptoms

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that’s brought on by experiencing a traumatic event. It’s a common but serious condition, and about one in 11 people living in the United States will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.

Annette Lusko, DO, and our team specialize in helping people navigate PTSD at Ketamine Integrative Medicine in Gilbert, Arizona. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a highly personal disorder. Different people experience different symptoms and varying degrees of those symptoms.

However, there are four main categories of PTSD symptoms. In this blog, Dr. Lusko explains what those categories are and how ketamine therapy may be able to help.

1. Intrusive thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are thoughts that pop into your head seemingly without reason. In relation to PTSD, intrusive thoughts can include involuntary memories, realistic dreams about the event, or flashbacks that are so vivid you feel like you’re reliving the experience.

Intrusive thoughts can be extremely distressing, because they’re often recurrent and unwanted. No matter how you may try to avoid thinking about the traumatic event, the thoughts and memories continue reappearing.

2. Avoidance

People with PTSD may develop avoidance behavior as a way to cope with the events that occured. You might go to great lengths to avoid people, places, or activities that have a connection to the traumatic event or trigger distressing memories. You may also avoid thinking about or talking about the event. 

3. Negative thoughts

If you have PTSD, you might find yourself feeling emotionally numb or thinking negative, unfounded thoughts. These thoughts may include feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness about the future. In some cases, people might think they deserved the bad things that happened to them or that they shouldn’t have survived the incident.

Experiencing negative thoughts may make you feel detached from friends and family. You also might struggle to feel positive or find that you no longer enjoy some of your favorite activities.

4. Increased reactionary behavior

Post-traumatic stress disorder may also cause changes in your behavior, including your emotional and physical reactions to the world around you. Called reactive symptoms or increased arousal, these symptoms may make you feel like you’re always on edge.

You might be easily startled, suspicious of others, irritable, or prone to angry outbursts. Other common symptoms include suffering insomnia or engaging in reckless behaviors, such as drinking too much.

Treating post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious mental health condition, but it can be treated. If you think you may have PTSD, seek professional care to find out what’s causing your symptoms and get a treatment plan that’s right for you.

You can find effective ways to manage your symptoms and improve your life, and most PTSD treatment plans include a combination of talk therapy and medication. At Ketamine Integrative medicine, we offer ketamine therapy as an alternative treatment for PTSD and its symptoms.

Ketamine therapy — which involves taking infusions of the anesthetic ketamine — can offer quicker relief from symptoms than traditional medications, which may take several weeks to take effect. There are no lasting side effects, and it could help you achieve better clarity of mind to focus on therapy.

If you suffer from PTSD and want to see if ketamine therapy can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ketamine Integrative Medicine today.

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