Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or simply PTSD has a notorious reputation of triggering a sense of fear or ruminating thoughts of unwanted, painful memories.
The good news is PTSD symptoms can be controlled by adhering to a handful of self-coping techniques and come-of-age treatment options like HBOT. However, being unrecognized by FDA, HBOT has restricted availability coupled with hyperbaric chamber cost which can be an issue for several individuals.
Read on to find out more.
Once identified with war veterans, PTSD is also known to affect other individuals, both adults as well as children.
As the name suggests, witnessing any traumatic incident like death, rape, suicide, accident, and war can leave behind a sordid impact. While that sounds pretty normal, and for most people the aftermath is short-lived or they make peace with their misery, certain individuals can’t seem to shake off the feeling.
When we are up against a stressful situation, our nervous system prepares our body for what is referred to as a fight or flight response. Thus, one experiences a faster heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and tightening of muscles as a normal defense mechanism. When the moment passes over, things fall back to normal. However, for some, it tends to get a lot worse, and they can exhibit a wide range of PTSD symptoms that include:
- Mood swings
- Guilt, shame, or self-blaming for trivial issues
- Emotionally numb towards things
- Feeling detached
- Sudden onset of phobias
- Body aches and pain with no underlying reason
If one does not adopt measures to address such issues, it can create a whole lot of trouble disrupting daily episodes of life.
Self Help Is The Best Help
One must understand that PTSD is not going to go away in a day and that you might need to resort to medication and other treatments. Nevertheless, there are still a lot of things you can do yourself. The below pointers can help to get you started:
- Breathing exercises –They help calm your worried self and when practiced daily strengthen your nervous system.
- Abstaining from alcohol-While alcohol inherently works as an antidepressant, unregulated consumption can do more harm than good. A glass of wine might be good for some but render itself useless for others.
- Getting some physical activity– Physical activity can help affirm your focus and determination leaving you feeling strong from within. You can also add yoga to your routine, which has worked wonders for several patients fighting depression and anxiety exhibiting similar symptoms to that of PTSD. Besides, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet and sleep well.
- Reach out to a PTSD support group – PTSD support groups are a good way to interact, learn, and discuss your condition with similar suffering individuals. You might be able to learn a thing or two from those who have fought their PTSD symptoms for years and have been able to lead a normal life.
Resorting To Alternative Treatments
There are dedicated alternative treatments for PTSD which can be recommended by your attending doctor depending on the severity of your condition.
During treatment, you might experience a flashback of the traumatic incident and will be guided to restore faith in yourself, ditch away fear, and find a cue to address such triggering.
Here’s a look at some of the known treatment options:
- Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy – This particular form of therapy adopts a gradual exposing method where the patient is led to recall the traumatic incident and replace the worrisome thoughts with pleasant memories.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) – By using multiple elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy paired alongside eye movements and rhythmic right-left stimulations (sounds and hand taps), EMDR seeks to restore normalcy to the information processing system within the brain to brave the stressful ruminating thoughts.
- Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) – One of the best treatment options to harness the power of pure, unadulterated oxygen, HBOT has helped several war veterans cope up with symptoms of PTSD. Reportedly, it was in 2017 that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) made an official announcement to offer HBOT for any veterans who were struggling with PTSD and did not find any improvement from medication.
HBOT And PTSD
PTSD leads to hypoactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, altered activity in the insular cortex, and hippocampal atrophy, thus leaving the brain in a bewildered state, confused between what is safe and unsafe.
HBOT releases a fresh stream of oxygen picked up via the bloodstream to reach damaged brain tissues and promotes faster healing with increased blood flow, reduced inflammation, and new tissue growth.
While there’s no doubt regarding the efficacy of the treatment, what bothers most is the hyperbaric chamber cost. Also, HBOT is yet to be recognized as an on-label treatment for conditions like PTSD which makes it a tad bit expensive for several individuals. Also, owing to the hyperbaric chamber cost, the treatment is restricted to a handful of multi-specialty clinics and hospitals.
To facilitate HBOT for individuals suffering from PTSD, one can opt for second-hand hyperbaric chambers that can significantly bring down the hyperbaric chamber cost. This is even more beneficial in cases where the PTSD condition is severe, and traveling can trigger violent symptoms.
By all means, PTSD, although a disrupting condition, can be fought by resorting to lifestyle changes, exercise, good diet, sleep, and availing alternate treatments like HBOT. Sure, hyperbaric chamber cost remains an issue, but that shouldn’t deter you from availing of the treatment.