We can help you obtain a medical marijuana prescription for many debilitating health issues. One of the most common illnesses medical marijuana is sought out for is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – commonly referred to as PTSD.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
As the name suggests, PTSD is a mental illness which impacts the lives of those who have survived a traumatic event outside of the scope of a normal experience.
Often associated with veterans returning home from combat, PTSD can impact anyone who has suffered a traumatic past. It’s defined as an anxiety condition characterized by four classes of symptoms:
• Re-experiencing traumatic events (i.e., nightmares, flashbacks to the event)
• Avoidance of situations reminiscent to the event
• Negative outlook, attitudes, and behaviors (i.e., a patient with PTSD may think differently about their loved ones due to the event’s impact on their psyche)
• Hyperarousal (i.e., insomnia, sensitivity to noise or light, concentration issues)
It’s normal for an individual to experience stressful reactions following a traumatic event, however most symptoms will dissipate after a few weeks to months. When a patient is diagnosed with PTSD, their symptoms:
• Cause severe turmoil in their work and personal lives
• Last longer than three months
• Have a significant, negative impact on their quality of life
A patient may develop PTSD when changes in their brain chemistry following trauma lead to permanent changes in how their brain processes stress. This results in an abnormal anxiety response to the stressors of daily life, debilitating many PTSD patients.
How Can Medical Marijuana Help Patients with PTSD?
Currently, there are no pharmaceutical medications effective at treating PTSD. Many PTSD patients take several pharmaceutical medications each day to treat their symptoms individually. Some patients will take over a dozen different pills per day to treat their PTSD, and oftentimes these medications cause dangerous side effects and provide little relief.
Medical marijuana is currently the only specialized treatment option available for patients with PTSD. Current research shows many PTSD symptoms may be caused by a deficiency in the patient’s endocannabinoid system, making cannabis an effective choice for those suffering from PTSD. According to a study conducted by the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, the patients surveyed reported a reduction of their symptoms by 75 percent when using medical marijuana, as opposed to when they were not using the substance.
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By treating with medical marijuana, patients with PTSD can expect:
• Anxiety relief
• Fewer nightmares
• Fewer bouts of insomnia
• Restored positive attitudes
• Increased appetite
• Fewer flashbacks
• Easier mood management
With proper treatment, many patients have effectively broken their memory connection between their traumatic past and certain sounds, sights, or smells. Overtime, these broken connections can reduce flashbacks and trigger incidents greatly, meaning medical marijuana not only treats the symptoms of PTSD, but can fix many of the patient’s symptoms permanently.
Can Medical Marijuana Treat My PTSD?
Anyone who believes they may have PTSD should speak to a doctor to learn which options may be available to alleviate their symptoms. Our Alternative Care Physicians are trained to identify the symptoms of PTSD, and can offer you advice on how to move forward with your treatment.
Prescription medications do provide relief of PTSD symptoms for some patients, but each person is different and requires a treatment program that suits their needs. If you think medical marijuana could be the solution to your PTSD, schedule an appointment and visit our clinic. During your visit, one of our physicians will discuss your concerns, and give you information about how medical marijuana may be right for you.