3 Advantages of SGB and Ketamine Infusion Therapy
The following article refers to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), whereas at Stella, we use the term PTSI (Post-Traumatic Stress Injury). We encourage you to adopt this language to break the stigma against Post-Traumatic Stress. Read more about the shift from PTSD to PSTI here.
At Stella, we continue to innovate in trauma treatments like our lives depend on it – because they do.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that 6% of the U.S. adult population would struggle with symptoms following trauma exposure at some point in their lives, with 15 million suffering from trauma symptoms each year.1 At Stella, we believe the additional burden of psychological trauma beginning in 2020 is hard to calculate.
In addition to this unprecedented health crisis, other factors – a fight against systemic racism, intense political division, growing concerns about climate change, and economic uncertainty – created additional traumas and highly stressful experiences, which we know can cause PTSD (which Stella refers to as PTSI), anxiety, and depression.
Those seeking relief from trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression deserve cutting-edge care. We believe in treatment plans that are practical, informed by modern neuroscience, and, most of all, effective.
To help the people we treat achieve the best possible outcomes, we listen to each individual's needs and collaborate with their support system of skilled mental health care providers, attentive doctors, empathetic healers, and compassionate family and friends.
Treatment by Stella is just one aspect of the healing journey. We believe that when our biological interventions – like the Dual Sympathetic Reset (DSR), an advanced Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) and Ketamine Infusion Therapy – are paired with psychological interventions, the result can be life-changing. This is the new model of trauma treatment. And it's what people in need of relief deserve.
Stella is ushering in breakthrough treatments for trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression. Our treatments are fast, effective, and research-backed. If you're considering DSR or ketamine infusion therapy by Stella, here are some advantages.
1. Breaking Down The Barriers To Seek Treatment
One of the primary barriers to seeking trauma treatment is overcoming its stigma. Stigma is often used in mental health conversations; we feel it is important to define it for the purposes of this article.
stigma | ?sti?m?
a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person
Shame, disgrace, and dishonor also capture the idea of the stigma around mental health.
The truth is that it's ok to need help and to ask for it. This is why Stella exists. We're relentlessly committed to the care of those experiencing trauma symptoms. We'll listen to you to understand what you're going through and learn how we may be able to help. We'll never judge or make assumptions about you or your experiences.
So why is there a stigma associated with trauma, anxiety, and depression? Historically, experiencing these conditions – let alone seeking relief from them – was considered taboo. For this reason, we may have avoided or waited to seek treatment because we were worried about being treated differently or unfairly.
Stigma is driven by a lack of information, myths, and fear. Misrepresentations of people diagnosed with trauma symptoms, anxiety, and depression add fuel to the fire.
In addition to stigma, we may avoid seeking treatment because we think that it requires us to relive their trauma. At Stella, we'll never ask about personal trauma histories.
To determine who may be a good candidate for treatment, we need to know which symptoms are being experienced to understand the severity, and we'll complete a health review. We can collect this information through online forms or over the phone. This helps us confirm that DSR and/or Ketamine Infusion Therapy is right for each unique individual.
2. DSR and Ketamine Infusion Therapy by Stella Are Effective
Advances in neurobiological models of PTSD (which Stella refers to as PTSI) allow Stella to deploy effective treatments. We know that the greatest possible relief occurs when biological and psychological treatments are used together strategically.
The American Journal of Psychology called ketamine infusion therapy "one of the most important breakthroughs in antidepressant treatment in decades."2 Ketamine infusion therapy caused a paradigm shift in the treatment of major depressive disorder and treatment-resistant depression because it can decrease symptoms within hours instead of weeks or months. This finding is incredibly encouraging because when we're struggling with depression, we might not be able to wait for relief.
Research about DSR is equally compelling. Studies consistently indicate that it can reduce symptoms following trauma by 50% and that it's particularly helpful in improving symptoms of irritability, surges of anger, difficulty concentrating, and trouble falling or staying asleep.3
When we are no longer overwhelmed by symptoms, we are much more willing and able to incorporate new learnings from therapy into our daily lives. We may also discuss topics that before would have been too overwhelming.
More than 83% of people who receive DSR SGB by Stella experience relief from symptoms of trauma.4
3. Stella Customizes Your Treatment Plan
Stella will meet your needs before, during, and after treatment.
Our Patient Care Team will review symptoms and medical history to determine who is a good candidate for treatment. From there, we will customize a treatment plan. Depending on the symptoms, they may recommend SGB, ketamine infusion therapy, or both.
On Treatment Day
Stella is committed to the principle of trauma-informed care with the goal of making the people in our care feel safe. We take common triggers and preferences into account so others don't have to.
Stella provides the people we work with concierge-level access to a network of mental healthcare professionals which allows for further healing after SGB and/or ketamine infusion therapy.
Our Patient Care Team will check in to measure symptoms and ensure we are providing proper follow care and resource.
After being treated by Stella, some schedule a follow-up SGB or additional ketamine infusion therapy sessions. Our Patient Care Team will thoroughly explain all options so an informed decision can be made.
More on Ketamine Infusion Therapy by Stella
Ketamine infusion therapy by Stella is administered by trained personnel under the direction of a Board Certified Doctor who carefully monitors dosing and makes real-time adjustments as needed. Unlike other ketamine providers, we do not ask those in our care to participate in talk therapy during the infusion session.
Most treatment locations allow people to bring their own music and a family member or friend. This allows them to set the tone of their infusion session.
More on SGB by Stella
In our article How the Dual Sympathetic Reset Can Augment Treatment Plans we explain what the Dual Sympathetic Reset, an advanced Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) is, highlight its benefits, and discuss how it works in combination with therapy and/or medications.
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1. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018, September 13). How Common is PTSD in Adults? U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved February 2, 2022, from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp
2. Newport, D. J., Carpenter, L. L., McDonald, W. M., Potash, J. B., Tohen, M., Nemeroff, C. B., & APA Council of Research Task Force on Novel Biomarkers and Treatments. (2015). Ketamine and other NMDA antagonists: early clinical trials and possible mechanisms in depression. American Journal of Psychiatry, 172(10), 950-966. Available from: https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.15040465#B1
3. James H. Lynch. Stellate ganglion block treats posttraumatic stress: An example of precision mental health. 28 August 2020. From https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/brb3.1807
4. Lipov, E., Ritchie, E.C. A Review of the Use of Stellate Ganglion Block in the Treatment of PTSD. Curr Psychiatry Rep 17, 63 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-015-0599-4. Available from: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11920-015-0599-4; Navaie, M., Keefe, M.S., Hickey, A.H., Mclay, R.N., Ritchie, E.C., & Abdi, S. (2014). Use of stellate ganglion block for refractory post-traumatic stress disorder: A review of published cases. Journal of Anesthesia and Clinical Research, 5(4), . https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-6148.1000403