Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is, unfortunately, a common mental health condition in U.S. veterans caused by either experiencing or witnessing a traumatizing event. The heroes who come home with this mental health condition may have a difficult time coping or readjusting to life at home. Those who have PTSD may experience an array of symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Self-Destructive Behavior
- Depression / Guilt
In spite of these symptoms, many U.S. veterans are finding that peace and comfort are still possible with alternative medicine. A federal study found that over the course of a year, cannabis users reported a greater decrease in the severity of their PTSD Symptoms. They were also more than 2.5x as likely to no longer meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD as those who did not use cannabis.
This study would suggest that the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant may actually help with PTSD treatment by reducing the effect of its most common symptoms.
Anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of PTSD in veterans and in general. It is also one of the most difficult symptoms to adjust to, which is why many veterans still suffer from it today. Anxiety can leave someone feeling worried, tense, or nervous, and in extreme cases, it can lead to frequent panic attacks.
Growing evidence from user studies has shown that cannabis can help to significantly lower feelings of anxiety, especially when consumed by the usage of CBD oil. More studies are needed to confirm this officially, but so far, research on this suggests that severe anxiety can be greatly reduced with medical and recreational cannabis.
Along with anxiety, veterans may also experience difficulty when trying to sleep. There is nothing that causes this difficulty specifically, but that’s because each veteran comes home with a different combat experience. Whether from nightmares or flashbacks, or just general restlessness, falling asleep can be just as difficult as getting out of bed in the morning.
A recent study has shown that approximately 70% of young adults in America use medical and recreational cannabis as a sleep aid. Specific conditions, such as chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, can all contribute to one sleepless night after the other. However, cannabis has been shown to help users fall asleep easier, wake up less frequently during the night, and enjoy better sleep quality in general.
When you have anxiety and trouble sleeping, an increase in irritability is only a matter of time. Among PTSD symptoms, irritability is arguably the most difficult to cope with, especially in extreme cases. Without proper treatment, feelings of extreme irritability can grow into more violent, out-of-character behaviors that ultimately lead to a road of self-destruction.
Scientific studies have found that medicinal and recreational cannabis products can provide users with a feeling of calmness, mainly due to its ability to regulate the neurotransmitters in the brain. This is because the endocannabinoid system, which has receptors throughout the entire body, helps in reducing feelings of fear, anxiety, and stress. This creates a feeling of calmness and equilibrium, and also helps greatly reduce the fight-or-flight response.
In some of the most severe cases, PTSD will often lead to extreme aggravation and, ultimately, self-destructive behavior. This can include actions such as becoming physically violent with friends and family, driving too fast and/or under the influence, and just an overall lack of care regarding personal well-being. This rarely ends in being able to adjust to these behaviors, and sometimes, coping is just not an option.
While it is common for U.S. vets with PTSD to turn to some sort of recreational activity, cannabis is one of those activities that can actually have a positive impact. As previously mentioned, medical and recreational cannabis can greatly reduce feelings of anxiety and irritability, which may ultimately help reduce the unwilful desire for engaging in destructive behavior.
Depression / Guilt
Depression is a chronic mood disorder that is often the result of feelings of extreme guilt. When undergoing combat situations, a U.S. veteran may come home with heavy baggage on their shoulders, which can feel impossible to cope with. In turn, extreme guilt and depression can actually be the leading cause of each symptom mentioned above. Anxiety, trouble sleeping, aggression – all of these can be traced back to this root cause.
Recent evidence suggests that medical and recreational cannabis can help greatly reduce symptoms of depression, particularly in the short term. Some users have reported that cannabis consumption helps them feel more off-edge, peaceful, and happier overall. A study conducted in 2020 found that approximately 95% of people said consuming cannabis gave them rapid short-term relief from depression symptoms.
Although more research and studies are needed to make a valid medical diagnosis, so far it has been suggested that cannabis may help reduce symptoms of PTSD. With this in mind, veterans reading this should feel a sense of hope, because there is clearly light at the end of this long tunnel of symptoms. With time, we can expect to see more results that reflect cannabis as a successful, alternative treatment for PTSD among veterans.
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Come visit our website at www.jointoperations.com and see what we have to offer.