Can Valium be used for PTSD?

Valium for PTSD

Valium is well-known as a drug for managing conditions like anxiety disorders, muscle spasms, and even sleeping problems, but the drug is also seen as a suitable therapy for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder. The hypnotizing and calming effects of Valium are often seen as a viable option for managing the symptoms of PTSD, which is a type of anxiety condition that develops in some persons due to some traumatic event. Even exposure to violent imagery or videos through the news can result in someone experiencing trauma. Valium is a benzodiazepine that alters chemicals in the brain to produce soothing effects. If taken in the right dosage and according to the severity of PTSD, Valium could be the right medication to use in the management of this condition.

What are the indications of PTSD?

Exposure to or being a part of traumatic events may seem like only catalyst for PTSD but the condition is more than just that. Some incidents of trauma include rape, war, accidents, death of a loved one, kidnapping, and natural disasters, among many others. Not every person who undergoes such tragic events automatically develops PTSD. Each individual’s genetic and psychological set up is different, and it is as yet unclear how a person develops PTSD. Life-changing experiences can be prevented from affecting one’s life with support and counseling. Consult a doctor if you or someone you know experiences one or more of the following symptoms following weeks or months after a tragic event:

  • Nightmares and upsetting dreams related to the traumatic event
  • Negative emotions
  • Sense of recurring trauma
  • Avoiding the subject completely
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable
  • Setting in of emotional numbness
  • Showing visible signs of distress through anxiety and depression
  • Being constantly on guard
  • Mentally shutting out details related to the trauma
  • Feeling detached from people and everything around
  • Getting easily stirred up for simple things
  • Feeling emotionally stirred up

These are just some indication of PTSD. The personal may even seem completely normal on the outside but undergoing some form of major PTSD within.

How Valium can help patients with PTSD?

Therapy for PTSD is usually a combination of drugs and other techniques. The prescription medications used are usually decided on according to the stress levels of the patient, severity of the problem, and also the response to the drug treatment. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are the ones that are commonly used. Among the many available benzodiazepines, Valium is commonly prescribed as it can help manage the symptoms specific to PTSD. The drug works by enhancing the effects of GABA in the brain to produce calming effects. Valium can be taken in any form and not just as a tablet. If the anxiety symptoms from PTSD are severe, the drug can even be injected into the muscles or veins for quick relief. PTSD patients who experience panic attacks can also benefit from using Valium. Rather than as a drug that is used on a regular basis, taking Valium on an as needed basis may be more effective.

What are the precautions with using Valium for PTSD?

The primary issue with using Valium in patients with PTSD is that the drug has the potential to become habit-forming. The possibilities of drug dependence and quick tolerance building also exist. PTSD patients are generally unstable in nature and they can easily fall into the trap of abusing the drug. The misuse of Valium is another possibility. Also, those who have taken Valium for long may experience problems with discontinuing the medication in the form of withdrawal symptoms. Valium is a strong benzodiazepine and should be used only under the supervision of the healthcare provider. Altered uses are the most problematic. But even these can be avoided to a major extent by taking suitable precautions. Valium drug therapy for PTSD patients should be used as a complementary treatment and not as a stand-alone drug course.