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PTSD Treatment Specialist

Stephen P. Gibert, MD

Pain Medicine Physician & Addiction Medicine located in West Ashley, Charleston, SC

Anxiety following a traumatic event is perfectly normal, but if you’re experiencing paralyzing fear months afterwards, nightmares, and feelings of panic in situations that remind you, consciously or unconsciously of the traumatic event ,you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At his office in the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston, South Carolina, Stephen Gibert, MD, offers two new and effective treatments for PTSD. These are stellate ganglion block and ketamine infusion. If you are suffering from PTSD, call Stephen Gibert, MD, or book an appointment online today.

PTSD Treatment Q & A

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a potentially debilitating mental health condition that develops after a person experiences or is involved in a traumatic event.

While most people have trouble coping after a physically or emotionally painful experience, their condition typically improves with time. If you have PTSD, you may have symptoms that last for months or years after your traumatic event.

What causes PTSD?

Any type of traumatic event can trigger PTSD, and you can still have it even if the distressing experience didn’t directly happen to you. Some of the most common causes of PTSD include:

  • Physical or sexual assault
  • Severe health problems
  • Serious accident
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Domestic or child abuse

Many people associate PTSD with wartime soldiers, as the experiences they’re exposed to can feel traumatic long after they return home.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

Everybody experiences PTSD differently, so it may not be obvious to you if a loved one is going through it. If you suspect that you or somebody close to you has PTSD, watch out for the following warning signs:

  • Frequent nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Distressing memories
  • Severe depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Angry outbursts
  • Irritability
  • Guilt or shame

Many people experience PTSD within one month of their traumatic event, but it can take months or years before you start displaying symptoms.

What can I expect from PTSD treatment?

Dr. Gibert tailors your PTSD treatment to suit your unique needs. It’s important to seek mental health counseling to help manage your symptoms and address the event that’s causing them. Along with counseling, certain medications can help control any anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts you may feel with PTSD. Recently, in treating soldiers who have undergone trauma in the Middle East for CRPS, it was serendipitously discovered that the CRPS treatment, stellate ganglion block, was also very effective in relieving PTSD symptoms from which the soldiers were also suffering. A number of studies are still ongoing, but results have been very encouraging so far. Dr. Gibert has extensive experience in the safe administration of stellate ganglion blocks, and has had remarkable success in treating PTSD with that method.

Another treatment also showing promise is ketamine infusion. This has been used successfully in treating depression unresponsive to other treatments, and as an alternative to shock therapy.

What makes ketamine infusion therapy unique is that it produces sustainable relief from your PTSD symptoms in as little as one treatment. The treatment itself is a relaxing experience, during which you sit in a comfortable chair while the ketamine is infused intravenously. 

Each treatment takes between 2-3 hours. Dr. Gibert typically recommends three treatments, spaced four weeks apart, but you may feel the effects after your first session.

To find the right PTSD treatment for you or a loved one, call Stephen Gibert, MD, or book an appointment online now.