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PTSD, the troll that hides in the corner and tells us that we will never be better lies to us. There is healing available and many ways to treat it, they may not be easy or quick but then nothing worth having ever is. Don't let that troll win and keep you from enjoying the life you've been given. This series of posts is dry and I apologize but there is information out there to be had and I want you to know how to get help. Today I will be discussing medication therapy.
Hi there and welcome to another moment of the mania! I'm Ann Shannon, the manic writer. I have a great love for our military veterans, especially those who struggle with PTSD. I blog about PTSD, encouragement and write book reviews and romantic fiction. I love that you stopped by, grab a drink and make yourself at home. Leave a comment or find me on social media, I'd love to meet you and get to know you.
No medication can fix PTSD, but it can relieve some of the secondary symptoms such as depression and anxiety which can be helpful for the person dealing with PTSD (reference). Being able to to overcome the secondary symptoms can help them focus on the therapy and self-help techniques that will provide long-lasting relief. Let's be honest here, PTSD reflects a permanent change in your brain, but that doesn't have to lead to suffering for the rest of your life, you can find recovery and new ways to live, overcoming the trauma that brought you here.
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Three types of medications are typically used to help in recovery of PTSD, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and sleep aids, additionally many who deal with PTSD find that medical marijuana is helpful in controlling the symptoms and side effects of PTSD as well. Let's take a closer look at these and talk about how they might help with PTSD.
This is not an exhaustive list it is the highlights, please remember that I am a writer and researcher, my key role is to filter through the mountains of information available and bring the best of it to you. I do not and can not offer medical advice if you suspect that you or a loved one is dealing with PTSD please seek professional help immediately. If you are considering suicide, or you believe a loved one is considering it, please call for help now. As I've said before, we can't let the trolls win this battle and 1 suicide is 1 too many.
Antidepressants are usually the first medication prescribed for someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD. Antidepressants fall into a class of drugs called SSRI's or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor's and they are a common treatment for depression(reference). They can help the individual struggling with PTSD by relieving the crippling depression that usually accompanies it. My husband found the antidepressant gave him enough of a lift that he could focus on therapy and getting better.
Anti-anxiety medication can be helpful when PTSD causes an individual extreme stress(reference). They are usually used short-term to relieve severe problems and to give the individual an opportunity to find other methods that will help them heal. They have a strong likelihood to be abused but used appropriately they can relieve the symptoms enough that the root cause of your anxiety can be found and treated.
Sleep aids are the final prescription medication used in helping to treat an individual who is dealing with PTSD(reference). PTSD is often accompanied by sleep irregularities and I will only touch on them today since they deserve a full post for discussion. However, sleep irregularities can contribute to depression and anxiety so in the treatment of PTSD it is vital that they are dealt with. There are medications that will simply help you sleep and there are stronger ones that can help suppress the crippling nightmares that sometimes accompany PTSD, talk to your doctor if you believe you need a sleep aid.
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The final medication that I will talk about here is medical marijuana. Many individuals dealing with PTSD have found that using medical marijuana is helpful in relieving their symptoms of anxiety and quality of life(reference). The use of oral cannabis has also been found to help stabilize sleep patterns. The evidence is mostly anecdotal since the use of medical marijuana is relatively new and hasn't been studied effectively.
Overall, medication therapy has a place in the treatment of PTSD but it's focus is the relief of symptoms, not the root problem and as such should be used in conjunction with a treatment that will heal the whole person permanently and not just slap a band-aid on it. Medication is also not a panacea for anyone who suffers it is usually accompanied by side effects so be sure to talk to your doctor about them, ask questions and be informed.
Do you or your loved one take medications for PTSD? What have you found to be effective? My husband has used, as I said before, antidepressants to help deal with the depression associated with his PTSD. He does struggle with anxiety, but we've found that self-help strategies are enough to help him. He's also struggled with sleep disruptions and nightmares. We used a few natural remedies to get him through those and is now doing better with his sleep patterns. I will elaborate more in a future post on sleep and PTSD.
It is my goal to end the stigma that comes with PTSD. I blog about PTSD once a week, searching the mountains of information out there and bringing you the best of what I find. I review a book on PTSD every other week and I publish a weekly encouraging reflection and tweet encouraging quotes for PTSD survivors daily, follow me to be encouraged. Together we can make a difference.
When I'm not blogging about PTSD or trying to encourage those of you living with it. I'm an author. I write romance. I just finished my first book and I am revising and editing it. With any luck, it will be published later this year, in the meantime you can get a sample of my work on the web. Original work can be found here, and fanfiction can be found here. Let me know what you think, and tell me how you found me!