Can Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) Help Prevent Suicide?
Stella co-founder and leading trauma expert Dr. Shauna Springer spoke with Mission 22 to discuss the power of Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB). Mission 22 is a national community supporting active service members, Veterans, and family members through three key areas of focus:
- Support and Treatment Programs— addressing Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, suicide risk and other challenges.
- Social Impact— uniting civilians and the military community to raise awareness of issues active service members, Veterans, and their family members face.
- Memorials— remembering and honoring service members and Veterans through large scale installations and digital initiatives, while raising awareness for issues faced on home soil.
Stella believes that when biological interventions – like the Stellate Ganglion Block (SGB) and ketamine infusion therapy – are paired with psychological interventions, like Mission 22's Recovery and Resilience Program, the result can be life-changing.
In recent years, the 17 most common symptoms following trauma have been identified. On this list includes suicidal thoughts or attempts.
We can be so overwhelmed by our symptoms that we sometimes consider harming ourselves or suicide. When we're experiencing trauma symptoms, we can also experience depression, panic attacks, anxiety, and substance abuse and are at higher risk for suicide. In fact, people diagnosed with trauma symptoms are 9.8 times more likely to die by suicide.1
SGB has emerged as a promising treatment option for symptoms of trauma. Stella founders Dr. Eugene Lipov and Dr. Shauna Springer recently published a study with other trauma experts that indicates that the SGB is an effective treatment for trauma symptoms regardless of gender, trauma type, PTSD-related medication use, history of suicide attempt, or age.2
Dr. Springer sat down with Mission 22 to discuss how SGB has a direct link to decreasing suicide and review the six key symptoms of hyper-reactivity that SGB targets.
- Sleep Difficulties
- Chronic Hypervigilance
- Startle Response
- Difficulties Concentrating
- Floods of Anxiety
- Irritability or Anger/Rage
Dr. Springer also explores a couple common misconceptions about SGB.
The first misconception is that SGB "blocks you." This misconception is tied to the assumption that SGB is a nerve blocker, which it is not. If you're asking yourself, "What Is SGB?" you can learn more about how it works here.
The next misconception discussed is the assumption that SGB "takes your edge away." On the contrary, people who have received SGB by Stella have come back and reported that SGB had improved reaction time.
Listen to the full piece here:
If you are thinking about suicide or need emotional support, please text "HOME" to 741741 for free, 24/7 crisis counseling from Crisis Text Line. We want you to know that you are not alone and that there is hope.
1. National Center for PTSD. PTSD and Death from Suicide. Retrieved 9/28/21 from https://www.ptsd.va.gov/publications/rq_docs/V28N4.pdf
2. Lipov, E. G., Jacobs, R., Springer, S., Candido, K. D., & Knezevic, N. N. (2022). Utility of Cervical Sympathetic Block in Treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Multiple Cohorts: A Retrospective Analysis. Pain Physician, 25(1), 77-85. Available from: https://www.painphysicianjournal.com/current/pdf?article=NzM5Nw%3D%3D