Experiencing a shocking, dangerous or scary event may cause you to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You may also develop it if you experienced an unexpected death of a loved one. While it’s normal to develop some symptoms after trauma, especially an increased “fight-or-flight” response in your body, these symptoms should naturally get better. However, if you suffer from PTSD, you feel stressed and scared even when you aren’t in danger.

Signs & Diagnosis

Symptoms of PTSD usually start within three months of the event, but they also may begin unexpectedly years after the event. In order to be medically diagnosed with PTSD, symptoms need to last at least one month and severe enough to interfere with things like work and relationships. It’s possible to recover within six months, but some people experience PTSD for much longer.

In order to be diagnosed, the following symptoms must be met:

  • At least one avoidance symptom, such as staying away from places, objects or events
  • At least one re-experiencing symptom, such as flashbacks, bad dreams, scary thoughts
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms such as being tense, easily startled, difficulty sleeping or experiencing angry outbursts
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms such as trouble remembering key incidents from the event, negative thoughts, distorted feelings or loss of interest in enjoyable activities

Risk Factors

If you’ve lived through dangerous events and traumas such as getting hurt, seeing someone else get hurt or you’ve experienced childhood trauma, you may be at an increased risk of developing PTSD. If you feel horror, helplessness, extreme fear or extreme stress after the event, you may also be at an increased risk. It’s important to also factor in your history of substance abuse and mental illness as well.

Medical Cannabis & PTSD

While doctors usually prescribe anti-depressants and psychotherapy for PTSD sufferers, those who have used medical cannabis for this disorder have seen unprecedented results. Extensive research has found that PTSD sufferers have an endocannabinoid deficiency. Marijuana can help replenish this shortfall. If you’re interested in learning more about the positive impact medical cannabis has for PTSD sufferers, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Once you get your registry identification card, our professionals at Greenhouse are happy to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction.

Visit any of our four medical cannabis dispensary locations to learn more about the endless benefits of medical marijuana!