Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects individuals from all walks of life and is a result of experiencing and or witnessing extreme events such as tragedy, undergoing severe medical issues, being involved in military combat as well as enduring sexual or domestic abuse. The actual cause of PTSD is unknown at this point considering that some individuals that go through traumatic experiences can escape developing this haunting and many times debilitating mental illness.
With war still raging in Afghanistan and Iraq, America has to learn how to best cope with the taxing and many times increasingly expensive toll that war creates for mental health. The increase of mental health issues plaguing ex-servicemen is discouraging at best; those who fight for our country are returning from tour only to be left addled with mental illness, unable to remerge back into society.
Recent research has given light to some possible hope for preventing the development of PTSD; cortisone, a very well-known steroid hormone, seems to be the answer. Cortisone, a naturally produced hormone in the human body, is released by the adrenal gland in response to stress and anxiety. Professor Joseph Zohar of the Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Sheba Medical Center uncovered that a single extra dose of cortisone has the capability to avert PTSD. Tests revealed that if cortisone was administered up to six hours after individuals endured a traumatizing event, the probability of developing PTSD was reduced by sixty percent.
PTSD is unique in the fact that there is somewhat of an established point of time in which it exhibits. Basically the exact moment that the individual experiences the traumatic event is when PTSD sets in, thus making this disorder treatable due to the timeline. Taking advantage of this information is critical to helping those who can be prone to Post-Traumatic Stress.
This recent finding is a wonderful breakthrough that would allow for a more natural way to treat such a paralyzing disorder. Generally those suffering from this form of a disorder are plied with medications such as Valium and Xanax. It has been very well documented that there is a vast link between PTSD and addiction therefore any possibility of abstaining from administering these types of drugs that have a high prospect of building chemical dependence is extremely positive. These types of drugs only work to hinder the natural recovery process. Professor Zohar explains that “looking at the long term effect, people who received these medications had a greater chance of developing PTSD than those who did not”.
With this new found scientific prospect, alleviating the power of traumatic memories through preventing the inception of PTSD, people can have faith that there is help on the horizon. Cortisone an already natural occurring phenomenon in human beings is the key to allowing those whose “past is always present” (Medical News Today) who are trapped in the tragic cycle of constantly reliving their former horrors the ability to move forward, facing a hopeful and more serene future.