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The SGB Injection for PTSD After Rape

Rape is a horrendous ordeal for anyone to have to go through. It makes the victims feel vulnerable and scared, not to mention the physical pain and trauma that they will experience. Even when the cuts and scars heal, the long term effects of rape can be devastating and last for many years. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common result of rape or sexual assault, and this problem goes on to cause issues in every aspect of life, making it hard to hold down a job in some cases and to interact with family and friends. It casts a shadow over everything you do.

PTSD is the body and brain’s response to a traumatic event, and since rape is extremely traumatic, it makes sense that victims will be susceptible to suffering from PTSD. Everyone will react differently to trauma, which means that PTSD can be somewhat difficult to pin down exactly. The symptoms of PTSD after rape vary and will differ from person to person. However, common symptoms include insomnia, severe anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks, hyper-vigilance, and over-reactions.

Much of this stems from the fight or flight mode that the body puts itself into before, during, and after a traumatic event. In most cases, fight or flight is a positive thing; it keeps us alert to danger and allows us to react quickly when we are in negative situations. However, when it is combined with a severely traumatic event, it becomes constant within the body, and therefore the tension and stress never goes away. 

This can result in heart problems, ulcers, and mental disorders such as PTSD. PTSD rape victims have even been shown to grow new nerves which are then affected in a negative way from the start. Plus they will have much higher levels of norepinephrine (which is similar to adrenalin) within the brain. The amygdala (the fear center of the brain) will be over-stimulated, and the ability to shut it off and relax is gone. 

Fortunately, there is a treatment for this problem. It involves manipulating the stellate ganglion – a group of nerves found in the neck which control the amygdala. When these nerves are anesthetized using the stellate ganglion block (SGB), the amygdala stops over-working and is neutralized to its normal function. This alleviates the fear response and reduces the need for fight or flight. 

Therefore, symptoms of PTSD tend to be significantly reduced once the SGB has been administered. Results can happen within 30 minutes of the procedure, and they have been shown to last many years in some cases. A soldier who was suffering from PTSD after serving in Iraq was given the SGB treatment and reported feeling well after 10 years of receiving the PTSD injection in the neck!

The SGB works by rebooting the nervous system, taking the fight or flight response levels back down to normality, and even slowing or reversing the additional nerve growth. Plus, the norepinephrine levels within the brain are greatly reduced, resulting in less stress and anxiety. The procedure is carried out under x-ray guidance and is both low risk and low pain.

Initial results of this revolutionary PTSD injection treatment after a rape or other traumatic event showed that 70 to 75 percent of patients found they were still free of symptoms after nine years. Thanks to new innovations and additional research, this figure is now closer to 85 to 90 percent. Compared to other methods used to treat PTSD, it is clear that the SGB injection can be considered a PTSD breakthrough injection

The SGB injection for PTSD is not a complete cure for the mental health disorder and should not be seen as such. However, it does brilliantly control the symptoms, often for many years at a time, giving rape survivors an chance to live their lives without the shadow of PTSD hanging over them. Although this PTSD injection won’t remove the fact that the trauma occurred, it can control the debilitating emotions that accompany the traumatic memories.

Proper follow-up care by a qualified psychiatric physician is crucial to ensure that the SGB is working correctly. There are a number of different avenues to go down including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), psychiatric medication, therapy sessions, or meditation. It will depend on the patient and how they react to treatment as to which course will be followed. Someone who is genetically predisposed to stress, for example, will need to have a different therapy to those who only became stressed after sexual violence.

It is possible for PTSD to return should the patient suffer from another trauma, even if the SGB has been administered in the past. Another treatment of the stellate ganglion block should have the same effect as the first, and it is entirely possible to have more than one SGB should it be required.

If you or someone you love suffers from rape PTSD, give us a call today to learn more about the SGB injection and find out if it is the right fit for you. 

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