The SGB Injection for PTSD after a Fatal Car Accident
The sad truth is that tragic accidents do happen. They can happen at any time, to anyone. No matter how careful we might all be, there will still be times when tragedy strikes when we least expect it. These accidents can have a devastating long term effect on our health, and not just in a physical way. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that can occur after a particularly bad accident, and it can cause issues in everyday life.
PTSD develops in response to a tragic accident, a shock, huge stress, or serious injury. There are a number of different symptoms, and each person’s experience of PTSD will be unique to them. However, some of the most common symptoms include nightmares, insomnia, overreacting to small events and situations, hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, and severe anxiety.
The fight or flight reaction that stems from the sympathetic nervous system plays a huge part in PTSD. In normal situations and within people who don’t suffer from this mental disorder, fight or flight is still present; it can be life-saving and keeps them alert when it comes to dangerous situations. In those who are living with PTSD, it is something else altogether.
The fight or flight reaction is extreme, meaning that the body is constantly tense and stressed. It has even been shown that those who have PTSD grow additional nerves within the sympathetic nervous system. This coupled with the additional levels of norepinephrine (similar to adrenalin), and the over-stimulation of the amygdala (the fear center of the brain) means that there is never any rest or downtime for those living with PTSD.
However, there is hope. The stellate ganglion is a collection of nerves in the neck, and these have some control over the amygdala. When the stellate ganglion is anesthetized using the stellate ganglion block (SGB) injection, the symptoms of PTSD are much relieved.
The PTSD injection in the neck can take as little as 30 minutes for the effects to start being noticed, and the treatment, once administered, can last for many years at a time. This PTSD injection treatment effectively kickstarts the sympathetic nervous system, re-booting it back to how it was before the PTSD. The extra nerve growth is slowed and even reversed, and norepinephrine levels within the brain are reduced.
The results of the SGB have a huge success rate, with an average of 70 to 75 percent of those using the treatment being free of PTSD symptoms entirely within nine years. This number is getting closer to 85 to 90 percent thanks to new innovations within the area of research. Other methods to combat PTSD average 40 percent over the same time period, so it is clear that the SGB has a far greater record of success.
The SGB method of dealing with the aftermath of a tragic accident, and particularly in dealing with PTSD should not be seen as a complete cure, of course. The method controls the symptoms for an extended period of time, although the results vary from person to person. However, there is evidence to show that a soldier who suffered severe PTSD after serving in Iraq and who had the SGB treatment still felt fit and well ten years later!
It is important that those who undergo the SGB injection procedure have the proper follow-up care in place to ensure that they are healthy. This follow-up should be done under the supervision of qualified psychiatric professionals. It could include therapy sessions, psychiatric medication, meditation, or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Which direction the patient goes in after the SGB treatment will depend if they are genetically predisposed to stress and how they react to stressful situations in general.
Interestingly, the original purpose of the SGB treatment was to alleviate chronic pain, and it was first administered in 1925 in the United States. It was then used all over the world, but it wasn’t until 1945 that the SGB was first used to treat depression (this happened in The Cleveland Clinic). However, using SGB treatment for mental disorders did not become a widespread treatment until 1998, when a Finnish doctor used it to treat a patient’s PTSD.
The sympathetic nervous system within the chest was utilized, but a much safer method is to use the nerves within the neck. The success of the procedure resulted in many more being carried out, and now SGB is a recognized treatment for PTSD and other psychiatric problems.
If you are suffering from PTSD after a car accident, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our compassionate team here at PTSD Group. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the procedure and the benefits of the SGB injection.
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