Tag Archives: Mental Health

THE DOCTORS 101 CHRONIC SYMPTOMS & CONDITIONS #47: POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)

PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder, has been increasingly recognized by the medical community, and was admitted to the status of a psychiatric disorder in 1980. It was first recognized as “shell shock” in combat soldiers.

The movie, “Patton”, featured one such case; abusive behavior of a soldier by Patton hit the newspapers, and he was sidelined for the start of “ operation overlord“. Since the majority of soldiers were not incapacitated , Patton thought the soldier was cowardly.

As an allergist, I was sent one case of PTSD; Believe it or not, the referring physician thought it might be an “allergy”, so little was it understood.

Now, memory consolidation  is considered to be one of its dimensions. An incompletely consolidated memory allows flashbacks to be considered the real thing.

PTSD is partly under genetic control, since identical twins are more more likely to experience the condition. Anxiety and other psychiatric problems such as depression and substance abuse  can be associated. Women are more likely to experience it. Individuals with low cortisol, elevated norepinephrine or a small amygdala or more likely to develop PTSD. Even children can be involved if they have been abused physically.

Any kind of a frightening experience, especially sexual, can be a cause.
Symptoms can include recurrent distressing memories, flashbacks, or nightmares of the traumatic event, or emotional distress and anxiety on exposure to a similar experience.

Treatment can include medication for depression, but  benzodiazepines should be avoided. Cognitive behavioral therapy has enjoyed some success, but treatment is generally difficult. Please consult the attached Cleveland clinic article for more information.

–Dr. C

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DEPRESSION: HOW KETAMINE CAN HELP (YALE MEDICINE)

Depression is one of the most common and most debilitating mental health disorders, affecting some 17 million adults in the US. It also continues to be a misunderstood, often hard-to-treat illness. Researchers have worked for decades to better understand the neurobiology underpinning depression.

For patients with severe, treatment-resistant depression, spending months or even years searching for good treatments can be totally disabling. The prevailing hypothesis for years was that depression was regulated by the neurotransmitter’s serotonin and norepinephrine.

Eventually, data began to suggest that maybe something much larger and more global was involved in the brain to account for depression, which led researchers to begin working with glutamate and GABA, the most abundant neurotransmitters in the brain. These chemicals are involved in neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to adapt to change and protect itself against stressful events.

Neuroplasticity is a physical thing, too: it manifests itself “in terms of synapses, how these neurons are actually touching each other and communicating with each other,” explains Gerard Sanacora, PhD, MD, Director of the Yale Depression Research Program. “And we know that in depression, the number and strength of these interconnections decreases,” says Rachel Katz, MD, a professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Yale.

Ketamine – originally developed and still used as an anesthetic – works on those two neurotransmitters and was discovered to have rapid antidepressant effects. Some experience an improvement in symptoms in 24 hours or less. “We think that one of the things that Ketamine does, that helps to explain its antidepressant effects, is help the brain to regrow the synapses, the connections between nerve cells,” says John Krystal, MD, Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale.

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Surveys: Telemedicine Surges With “Chronic Condition” Patients

Though people living with a chronic condition have a vast range of experiences, our data show that the most common way they managed their condition between March and May 2020 was through telemedicine (45 percent). Only 8 percent had used it before… 

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TELEMEDICINE: A REVIEW OF 9 CONDITIONS THAT CAN BE TREATED ONLINE (VIDEO)

TELEMEDICINE is here to stay! With all its’ advantages Patients will demand It!

This video is one of the few to highlight WOMENS’ HEALTH as an appropriate field for Telehealth. A remote visit first may at least let the Doctor order some tests that will accelerate your care.

Urinary problems can also be appropriate for telemedicine; the MEDICAL HISTORY is such a VALUABLE DIAGNOSTIC TOOL!

Psychological and Psychiatric care could be completely remote, by telemedicine. The Doctor could save on expenses, and deliver care less expensively.

Distance disappears as a barrier to Consultations and second opinions. A University medical center or prestigious multi specialty Clinic are on your doorstep.

Of course, barriers remain in the form of regulations, litigation, bureaucracy, and Insurance, but these can be overcome, if the Will is there.

—Dr. C