Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder which is triggered by very stressful, traumatic, or distressing events such as violent assaults, road accidents, childbirth experiences, and serious health problems.

Some people who repeatedly experience traumatic situations such as severe neglect, abuse, or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. The symptoms can be similar to PTSD and they may not develop until years after the event.

What are the symptoms?

A person with PTSD often relives a traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks; sleep problems, such as Insomnia, are also often linked to PTSD. The symptoms of PTSD are often persistent, severe, and have a significant impact on a person’s life. They may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt due to the condition.

Cause and treatment

PTSD can develop immediately after a traumatic event, but in some cases, it can occur weeks, months, or even years later. While PTSD is believed to affect around 1 in 3 people who have a traumatic experience to some extent, it is not known why some people develop the condition when others do not.

The treatment of PTSD will depend on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. They can include:

  • Watchful waiting – monitoring symptoms to see if they improve or worsen without treatment
  • Antidepressants – such as paroxetine ormirtazapine
  • Psychological therapies – such as trauma-focusedcognitive behavioural therapies or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR)

Medical Cannabis and PTSD 

An increasing number of people have reported benefits from using cannabis products to ease the symptoms of PTSD. This is likely linked to the potential anxiety-relieving properties of some cannabis-based medical products. Medical cannabis may also help to relieve nightmares associated with PTSD.

Our specialist physicians are experienced in assessing individual cases and helping to determine whether medical cannabis could be an effective option.

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