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Can PTSD Occur Years Later?

PTSD can occur years after the traumatic event has occurred and this is known as a delayed-onset post-traumatic stress disorder. Typically, you cannot receive a professional diagnosis for PTSD until at least 30 days after the traumatic event takes place. That is because many people experience mental and emotional problems immediately following painful, scary, or upsetting life events. As time goes on, some people can heal and move forward, while others may become psychologically scarred permanently. That is the nature of PTSD.

After the 30-day mark, most people can receive a diagnosis from their doctor, but some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all during this time.

What is Delayed-Onset PTSD?

Delayed-onset describes those who do not experience symptoms of PTSD until months or even years after the traumatic event occurs. The most common examples of delayed-onset PTSD occur in older individuals who experience triggers from events that took place when they were very young.

Typically, those who have delayed-onset post-traumatic stress disorder experience mild symptoms at first and may not recognize them as PTSD. They may not seek out professional help until symptoms worsen, which might be years later when a sensory trigger causes them to react negatively. Alternatively, some doctors may be reluctant to diagnose patients unless they exhibit intense symptoms.

Only about 1 in 4 individuals who develop PTSD experience the long delays. Most people affected by this disorder will notice symptoms soon after the trauma.

What Causes Delayed-Onset PTSD?

While the research is not entirely conclusive, some studies identify the most common causes for the delayed onset of PTSD symptoms. The individual likely had PTSD the whole time, but only experienced mild symptoms up until a point where they were triggered. There are a few different reasons why this could be.

Some people find ways to cope with one traumatic event in their life and can move forward, though the experience is always still buried within them. Once they experience a second traumatic event or significant life change, all their wounds from past experiences may resurface. Symptoms may worsen, prompting them to seek professional help where they may receive a diagnosis of PTSD.

The other common cause of delayed-onset is simply misdiagnosis. PTSD symptoms may not be severe enough to warrant a diagnosis, and so the person carries on with their life. Their loved ones may begin to notice small changes in their personality that may affect their relationships, both personal and professional. It could be months or years before they seek another professional opinion and find out they had PTSD all along.

Just because you or someone you know has gone through trauma and seems to be coping does not mean that PTSD cannot develop over time. It is possible to go years without symptoms until a life event triggers a delayed onset. It’s essential to understand the symptoms and signs of PTSD so you can identify when it might be affecting you or your loved ones. This will enable you to seek the help that’s needed.

Treating PTSD

Thankfully, there are options available for treating PTSD. Therapy is most likely the first that comes to mind, and there are medication options as well. Both have varying degrees of effectiveness. But there is a treatment option that has a pretty high success rate and can relieve symptoms for a long period of time: the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection for PTSD treatment.

The SGB treatment for PTSD consists of an injection of local anesthesia administered on the stellate ganglion, a cluster of nerves on the neck. This cluster is part of the body’s sympathetic nervous system and triggers the “fight or flight” instinct in the brain. People who suffer from PTSD have an overactive stellate ganglion that constantly sends “fight or flight” signals to the brain, overwhelming it.

The SGB for PTSD injection treatment helps quiet the stellate ganglion. To accomplish this, the SGB doctor performs the procedure while guided by X-ray, ensuring that the anesthetic is placed on the proper spot. Results are usually quick; the neck injection for PTSD often relieves PTSD symptoms in as little as 30 minutes.

The best thing about this PTSD treatment injection is that the results can last for years. Once it wears out, it can be re-applied by a PTSD doctor near you. The SGB injection to treat PTSD has a high success rate, meaning that the reapplication has a very high chance of working as well as before.

Regardless of whether you developed PTSD immediately after a traumatic event or over time. To find out what is the best treatment option, seek out a clinic that offers an SGB injection for PTSD near you.

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