Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a major issue in army officials who often have flashbacks of the gruesome details from their dark past. Since no effective treatment other than therapy is prescribed for this disorder, medical practitioners have started to find the solution to this problem in existing medications.
A study found that one of the existing treatments for pain relief can prove to be effective against PTSD. This treatment is in the form on an injection which is given to the patient in the neck.
- The injection calms the nervous system.
- It regulates the fight and flight response of the body.
- It prevents the triggering of anxiety.
- It hinders the transfer of nerve impulses to the brain.
An anesthesiologist, names Dr. Eugene Lipov studied on the working of this injection and found that it can also be used against PTSD. He believes that it has the “potential to relieve PTSD symptoms”. He performed the treatment on over 500 military patients and found the success rate to be 75%.
Working of this Treatment
The treatment, which is known as Stellate Ganglion Block helps to soothe the nervous system by causing hindrance in the transfer of impulses from the body to the brain. This, in turn, leads to less frequent occurrences of anxiety attack in patients suffering from PTSD. Some experts believe that if combined with the following treatment, Stellate Ganglion Block PTSD can be effective.
- Help from Family
Doctor Lynch, who is one of the military doctors working on the study, stated that, “The early clinical experience has produced promising results, with troops experiencing near-immediate relief of anxiety hyper-vigilance, social withdrawal and other symptoms.”
At the moment, about 8 million Americans suffer from PTSD, most of whom are veterans from the military. Since the effects of PTSD are spread over a large range, everyone suffers from different impacts on it. Some of the common symptoms of PTSD are:
- Frequent Panic attacks
- Being jumpy all the Time
- Getting triggered by small things
Medical Verdict on the Treatment
Most medical professionals are not in favor of endorsing the treatment for PTSD since there is no ample research to prove the efficacy of this treatment. Dr. Lynch says that, “Once people have the shot, they get dramatically better immediately. The shot is not a cure but eases symptoms enough to allow talk therapy, pharmaceuticals and other approaches to achieve long-term improvement”.
It was observed during the treatments that:
- Occasionally, the first shot is not effective.
- A second shot is then given.
- It has a 90% better chance of working.
- It has a 75% success rate.
Medical professionals who are in favor of the treatment believe that if combined with other treatments, stellate ganglion block can help many patients. Since it aids in reducing paranoia and alleviate any pain associated with flashbacks or anxiety, it can act as the counteracting force against PTSD. However, some suspicions still remains as the researchers are not quite sure about the 100% success rate of this treatment.
According to the researchers, “The pattern suggests that, while it is possible that some patients benefit, the response rates seen in case series will not hold up in actual practice. Substantial uncertainty remains about the potential harms of stellate ganglion block as well.”