Trauma victims live in a reality that only they understand. Whether coping with anxiety, stress, fear, PTSD or even plagued by nightmares, just getting through a typical day can seem like an impossible challenge. Given that medical cannabis is known to be effective in treating many of the symptoms of trauma, it is a viable opinion that the treatment should help this class of patients as a whole.
A research paper recently posted on ScienceDirect.com dug into the topic of utilizing medical marijuana to combat the effects of trauma. Researchers discovered that those living under the shadow of trauma and PTSD experienced fewer episodes overall. Patients reported reduced fear and anxiety, and less incidence of events constantly playing in their mind.
What Causes Psychological Trauma?
Psychological damage can take place in individuals who have experienced significant trauma in their psyche. This condition most often occurs when a patient has lived through an especially stressful event or situation, and their ability to cope with that stress is exceeded. Victims of psychological trauma generally experience severe long-term consequences of their mental injury, sometimes resulting in PTSD.
Childhood trauma can immediately contribute to consequences following a traumatic event but often does not show up until much later in life. The existence of childhood trauma contributes to a higher likelihood of PTSD, depression, and substance abuse as an adult. The most common forms of childhood trauma include experiencing abuse, witnessing violence, or witnessing a tragic event, such as the death of a loved one.
Did You Know? According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 8 out of every 100 people will experience PTSD at some point.
The data shows that women are more likely to experience PTSD, and the predisposition may be hereditary. For some, the event that triggers the onset of PTSD may not have even happened to them personally – for instance, seeing a family member suffer can cause the condition to appear. Conversely, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will develop PTSD or anxiety. The data shows that the disease is highly subjective and hard to put parameters on.
Medical Cannabis Benefits
For trauma victims, the reported benefits are mounting. In addition to minimizing recurring memories, patients reported a decrease in insomnia and chronic pain. All of these contribute to a more healthy individual overall.
Researchers believe marijuana works by removing associations to traumatic memories. This process helps PTSD patients who may experience flashbacks when they see, hear, or smell something associated with the painful event. By alleviating memory associations, PTSD patients may see symptoms subside. Advocates point to the relatively low side effects of cannabis instead of pharmaceutical drugs typically given to treat PTSD. Common side effects of cannabis include increases in appetite and a sense of well being, as opposed to some severe side effects of antidepressants.
However, medical cannabis should be recommended while under the care of a physician or psychologist. Most experts agree that while cannabis will significantly alleviate pain and anxiety, the patient should still be taking steps to deal with the root cause of the trauma.
If you are suffering from trauma, PTSD, or anxiety and are ready to look into the medical benefits of cannabis, call Dr. Daniel P. Stein at Neurology of Cannabis in Sarasota. We are here to help you navigate the process and get yourself on the road to holistic health.