PTSD Not Just For Veterans?

Whenever we hear the term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), we often associate it with veterans who have served our country and their state of mind after coming home from overseas.

However, PTSD isn’t an exclusive side effect of having experienced trauma in the military context. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), roughly 8% of Americans are affected by PTSD at some point in their lives, and many of them have zero military exposure.

While any type of trauma can lead to PTSD, some are more common. The assumption that only veterans experience PTSD causes delays in symptom recognition and treatment, thereby prolonging an individual’s pain and suffering.

Anyone who had a traumatic experience can develop PTSD. Keep reading to learn more.

Defining PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that occurs in individuals who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event. As we mentioned above, several types of trauma can lead to the development of PTSD aside from exposure to war and combat while serving.

These very common traumas include:

  • Sexual assault and abuse
  • Serious accidents and injuries
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Acts of violence, such as abuse, muggings, robberies, receiving death threats, etc.
  • Natural disasters

While many of these things do occur during military service, PTSD doesn’t just affect those who served. PTSD can happen to anyone that has experienced an emotionally traumatic moment.

For example, a child witnessing a parent being abused or experiencing violent abuse themselves will likely develop PTSD at some point in their lives.

Moreover, women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, and there are specific ethnic groups – Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans – who develop PTSD at higher rates than non-Latinos and white Americans.

The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD

Individuals experiencing PTSD often have very intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings that are directly related to their traumatic experience. These thoughts and emotions tend to last long after the traumatic event has passed, manifesting as flashbacks or nightmares, feelings of sadness, anger, or fear, and becoming detached or estranged from other people in their lives.

Individuals who have PTSD are more likely to avoid situations or people that remind them of these traumatic events. They may also exhibit extreme, adverse reactions to things that would otherwise seem normal to us, such as a loud noise or an accidental touch. It also usually goes hand-in-hand with anxiety, depression, insomnia, and sometimes even self-harm.

Becoming Aware of PTSD

It’s very common to belittle our own traumatic experiences, especially if they don’t match the violence and utter disturbances we see on television, in the media, or what our loved ones may have gone through.

However, comparing your experiences to someone else’s only buries your awareness of PTSD and its symptoms, which can lead to even worse mental health conditions.

If you or someone close to you has been through a traumatic event and exhibits any of the signs and symptoms of PTSD, it’s time to become aware. PTSD is treatable, and we can help. Contact us today to learn more about the mental health services we offer.

Suicide Hotlines Explained

Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, and it does not discriminate, which is why suicide prevention hotlines exist.

However, most people don’t understand how suicide hotlines work. Additionally, many people feel ashamed to call one or aren’t sure whether they should call 911 instead.

In this article, we’re going to clear up what constitutes a 911 emergency situation and how suicide hotlines work to keep individuals safe. Read on to learn more.

How Do Suicide Hotlines Work?

Suicide hotlines, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), is a toll-free hotline to call when individuals feel distressed or are thinking about harming themselves.

While suicide is, in fact, an emergency situation, it can often be averted. That’s why these types of hotlines exist. They offer emotional support and give individuals in crisis an outlet to talk to a trained professional. Of course, each situation is different; therefore, no two conversations will be the same.

The most important thing to understand about calling a suicide hotline is that each can connect you to a trained crisis counselor 24/7. Everything remains confidential, and there is no time limit to how long you can speak with a crisis counselor.

However, confidentiality is only given to a certain extent. While crisis counselors are trained in collaborative problem solving, they may call emergency services, without consent, if the individual is threatening to harm themselves. But first, the crisis counselor will do everything in their power to come up with a safety plan to talk the individual down before that happens.

Moreover, suicide hotlines act as the epicenter of mental health resources. They can offer specific emotional support by connecting individuals with an adequately trained counselor for the situation (for example, LGBQT+, veteran support, abuse, etc.). They can refer individuals to more long-term solutions, such as local mental health services.

Regardless of the outcome, when you call a suicide hotline, there will be a trained and caring individual ready to listen to you without judgment. They’ll provide you with the necessary emotional support and mental health resources, and make sure you feel supported, heard, and seen.

You can also call a suicide prevention hotline to learn more about supporting a family member or friend in crisis. The crisis counselors will offer guidance on how to talk to your loved ones, provide mental health resources, and help you develop a step-by-step plan to help the individual in need.

Can You Call 911 for Suicidal Thoughts?

The short answer is yes. You can call 911 if you’re having suicidal thoughts, having a mental health crisis, or witnessing someone experiencing a mental health crisis. However, emergency service protocols are much different compared to those of a suicide prevention hotline.

When you call 911 for a suicide-related emergency, the police and other emergency services are dispatched to perform a wellness check. If you disclose that you’re having suicidal thoughts or there’s reason to believe you will harm yourself, they will bring you to the nearest mental health facility where you’ll be evaluated and possibly hospitalized.

After further evaluation by a mental health professional, you’ll likely be referred to an outpatient or inpatient behavioral therapy program. They’ll also try to involve your support network, i.e., friends and family if possible, and take the time to discuss all your options.

It’s important to note that if you’re witnessing an individual attempting to harm themselves, it’s imperative that you call 911 immediately. If the individual is not actively trying to harm themselves but making threats, calling a suicide prevention hotline should be your first step.

988 Is the New 911 for Mental Health Emergencies

With a 30% increase in national suicide rates, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been pushed to create a special emergency hotline: 988. This new hotline will be available on July 16, 2022.

By dialing 988, individuals in crisis or witnessing someone else in a mental health crisis can call this dedicated hotline to seek emergency help instead of 911. Not only will this new hotline free up 911 emergency services, but it can route individuals to over 100 different crisis centers for a fast response.

A service like this also takes away the stigma of seeking emergency help for mental health emergencies, which will likely decrease the country’s overall suicide rates.

 Every situation involving thoughts of suicide is an emergency, and no individual should feel ashamed of their mental health. If you or someone you love is experiencing a mental health crisis, please don’t hesitate to call a suicide prevention hotline or 988—and in a dire emergency, 911.

If you’re looking for the support of mental health professionals, contact us. We offer a range of professional mental health services at an affordable cost.

Celebrities with Mental Health Issues


Did you know that at least one in five adults in the United States have a mental illness? That’s roughly 51.5 million adults across the nation!

Despite those large numbers, however, many people are ashamed of their anxiety, depression, overwhelming feelings of sadness, and trauma. That’s why, if you or someone you care about have a mental illness, no matter how great or small, you’re not alone.

In fact, many of our favorite celebrities are battling and overcoming mental illness in the public eye. They are even opening up about it to destigmatize the negative aura surrounding mental health issues.

Here’s a list of some of the most recognized household names, who are unfortunately experiencing the same feelings you might be experiencing:

Prince Harry

Nearly two decades following his mother’s death (the beloved Princess Diana), Prince Harry came close to having a mental health crisis. In 2017, he opened up during an interview with The Telegraph, admitting that he experienced severe anxiety during royal events during that time.

He also confesses that he saw a mental health professional, which helped him get to a better place.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is one of the more outspoken celebrities known to advocate for mental illness after a rough battle with bulimia, bipolar disorder, and drug addiction.

She even recently produced a mental health documentary, “Beyond Silence,” giving a detailed view of her struggles and her road to recovery.

Chris Evans

One of the less vocal but still truthful celebrities dealing with mental illness is Chris Evans. Back in 2016, the Captain America star mentioned in an interview with Rolling Stone Magazine about his social anxiety.

He admitted that walking the red carpet was much like walking on hot coals, and he’s tried multiple methods, including meditation, to help calm his mind. While meditation has helped, he still experiences this anxiety today.

Kendrick Lamar

We don’t often view rappers as anything but fierce. However, Kendrick Lamar revealed his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts lyrically in one of his recent albums, “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

During an MTV interview, he discussed how the survivor’s guilt from losing his closest friends led to depression.

Chrissy Teigen

We all know that Chrissy Teigen is anything but quiet. But, when she opened up about her mental health regarding experiencing postpartum depression, mothers everywhere felt seen and heard.

While Chrissy Teigen isn’t the only celebrity to open up about postpartum depression, she was among the first to publicly speak about it, paving the way for a much bigger conversation and for mothers everywhere to seek professional support after childbirth.

Jim Carey

Jim Carey is notorious for making his fans laugh out loud. Sometimes, however, it’s the person that’s always smiling and making others feel good who is feeling terrible on the inside.

Jim Carey admitted to experiencing depression and to taking fluoxetine (Prozac) to help. Eventually, he decided to get off the medication by implementing lifestyle modifications, despite the difficulty involved.

There are many more celebrities struggling with mental illness. There are even more non-celebrities suffering as well. The silver lining is that everyone is beginning to open up about their mental health, which is an essential step in getting rid of the stigma surrounding “needing help.”

Remember, your mental health illness doesn’t have to be severe to warrant professional help. Everyone deserves to live a happy and healthy life, so if you’re experiencing and signs or symptoms of a mental health illness, no matter how mild, reach out to us today. Elevate Psychiatry specializes in a variety of professional and affordable mental health services.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

We all get down or have the blues from time to time. For some of us, it’s seasonal or situational. For others, it’s consistent, lasting all year round, and affecting our daily routine.

Here’s the thing about depression: it can take on different forms. It can also be difficult to pin down what an individual is feeling, why he or she is having symptoms, and what it all means. The most common forms of depression include the holiday blues, seasonal affective disorder, and major depressive disorder.

In this article, we’re going to give you an overview of all three and how they’re connected. Read on to learn more!

What We Mean By the ‘Holiday Blues’

You’ve likely heard of or have experienced the holiday blues at some point in your life. The holiday blues are marked by feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and depression throughout the holiday season, typically November through January.

Even people who genuinely love the holidays can experience the holiday blues to various extents. This is because the holidays are a rather stressful and demanding time, not to mention they can be incredibly exhausting.

The most common symptom of the holiday blues is sadness, whether it’s persistent or recurring. It also ranges in intensity and duration. For example, an individual can experience the holiday blues in waves, going through a period of sadness followed by feeling upbeat and happy.

Being affected by the holiday blues doesn’t necessarily mean that an individual has depression or a mental health disorder. It’s not even recognized as a formal mental health condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

However, individuals who have a mental health condition tend to be more prone to experiencing the holiday blues. Up to 64% of people with a diagnosed mental illness have reported that the holidays put a strain on their condition.

Additionally, the holiday blues could also be an early symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is itself a form of major depressive disorder (MDD).

The holiday blues and SAD can be a bit difficult to distinguish from one another but are often characterized by their severity and duration. So, if the holiday season has passed and you or someone you love is still experiencing feelings of sadness, anxiety, etc., it’s a good idea to get a mental health professional’s opinion.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Vs. Major Depressive Disorder

While SAD is a form of MDD, one does not characterize the other. SAD is a type of depression related to the changes in season. It begins and ends roughly around the same time each year, usually during the fall and winter months, ending by springtime. However, it can also be triggered during the spring and summer months, although this is less common.

The symptoms of SAD are much more severe compared to the holiday blues. They’re also much more persistent, whereas the holiday blues are marked by waves of sadness and happiness.

MDD, on the other hand, is what mental health professionals also refer to as clinical depression. While SAD can be a stepping stone towards a significant decline of an individual’s mental health, MDD is much more persistent and severe in its symptoms than SAD. For example, the symptoms of MDD don’t go away once spring arrives; instead, they last all year round.

The severity of the symptoms between SAD and MDD can overlap and make the duration of the signs a defining factor between them.

Regardless of which form of depression you or someone you love may be experiencing, it’s always a good idea to seek the support of a mental health professional. No one should have to endure periods of sadness, anxiety, loneliness, or depression without support.

That’s what we’re here for. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you take care of your mental health throughout every season

Herbal Remedies to Improve Mental Health

Herbal remedies have been used for various ailments, including mental health disorders, since the beginning of time. While modern medicine has done its part in alleviating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even ADHD, prescription medications tend to come with some unwanted side effects.

Today, many individuals are beginning to look for more natural means of long-term support for their mental health and wellness. That includes exploring traditional uses of herbs and supplements as they are used in practices such as Ayurveda.

In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the most popular herbs and extracts that have the potential to treat some of the most common mental health disorders. Read on to learn more.

St. John’s Wort for Depression

St. John’s Wort has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to mitigate the body’s balance, ease inflammation, and alleviate sore muscles. Outside of Ayurvedic medicine, St. John’s Wort has been used traditionally to lift individuals’ mood, relieve muscle cramps, and stop convulsions.

Now, there’s ample research showing that the bright yellow flowers of the shrub have therapeutic benefits that can treat mild cases of depression.

St. John’s Wort contains several chemicals, with the most prominent ones being hypericin and hyperforin. Both hypericin and hyperforin act on the brain’s neurotransmitters that affect and regulate mood in those suffering from depression.

Additionally, St. John’s Wort is also effective at alleviating depression-related symptoms such as fatigue, nervousness, and insomnia.

Passionflower Extract for Anxiety

Passionflower extract, which comes from the passiflora incarnata, has been used traditionally by the indigenous Peruvians and Native Americans to treat wounds, aches, liver problems, and more. In Europe, the flower has been used to calm those with restlessness.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), more research is needed to assess and verify the flower’s ability to treat certain mental health conditions. However, various studies have suggested that certain species of the Passionflower may help relieve anxiety and insomnia. In one study, Passionflower extract was equivalent to the benzodiazepine oxazepam.

Various trials have shown that participants drinking a daily dose of Passionflower herbal tea for up to seven days saw improvement in their sleep quality and overall feelings of calmness. Aside from anxiety-related symptoms, other species of Passionflower have shown potential for treating stomach issues.

Korean Red Ginseng for ADHD

Korean Red Ginseng, also referred to as Panax Ginseng, is well-regarded as a natural, total-body health supplement. It has been used as an ancient medicine throughout Asia to strengthen the immune system, fight off disease, and promote relaxation. Other variants of the root have also been used to treat diabetes, erectile dysfunction (ED), high blood pressure, and more.

A clinical study from 2011 Showed promising results for Korean Red Ginseng as a treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The study monitored 18 participants between the ages of 6 and 14 diagnosed with ADHD for up to eight weeks and was found to be equivalent to methylphenidate (Ritalin), as measured by quantitative EEG.

During this time, the participants were given 1,000 milligrams twice daily of the Korean Red Ginseng. The results showed improvement in the participants’ feelings of anxiety, sleep quality, overall behavior, and social functioning.

Getting to the Root of the Disorder

While natural herbal remedies such as St. John’s Wort, Passionflower, and Korean Red Ginseng may bring most individuals relief from their mental health disorders, it’s important to note that they’re not miracle cures. Studies and clinical trials are still ongoing to measure the potential of these herbs and their long-term effects—both positive and negative.

Additionally, if you or someone you love is currently battling a mental health disorder, it’s critical to speak with a physician before adding any of these herbal supplements to your daily regimen—especially if you’re already taking prescription medication.

It’s also important to seek the appropriate help to get to the root of your mental health disorders. At Elevate Psychiatry, we can help you with that. Contact us today to learn more about the accessible services we offer or to book an appointment.

What is Ketamine & Esketamine?

Ketamine is most commonly known for its use as an anesthetic. However, its applications are further advancing in the medical world. It’s now proven effective for treating conditions such as depression, OCD, PTSD, and even pain.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression affects more than 246 million people worldwide, making it one of the most common mental disorders next to anxiety. Anxiety disorders, including OCD and PTSD, affect 284 million people worldwide.

While some people are more biologically prone to depression and anxiety, most people will experience one or both of these mental afflictions at some point in their life. For the more severe cases, ketamine may be the answer.

Keep reading to learn more about ketamine and its derivatives and their role in treating depression and anxiety disorders.

What Can Ketamine Do For My Depression and Anxiety?

Today, most depression and anxiety disorders are treated with one or more generic antidepressants, like benzodiazepine. There’s also SSRI and SNRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, respectively). Different cognitive and mental behavioral therapies are also among the traditional and more intensive treatments.

However, patients who are non-responsive to traditional treatments and therapies are often put through various clinical trials of other medications and treatments. Despite these efforts, up to 40% of patients never experience revocation from these mental disorders.

With the accumulation of clinical research and trial-based evidence, medical professionals believe that ketamine may succeed where other treatments fail. It is not yet entirely understood how ketamine works, but it’s largely thought to have an effect on glutamate production.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter responsible for mitigating the brain’s response to stress and traumatic memory development. Ketamine’s composition makes it an NMDA receptor antagonist. That means ketamine targets the NMDA receptors in the brain, allowing for an increase in glutamate.

Ketamine also interacts with the brain’s AMPA receptors. AMPA receptors allow for the release of certain molecules that support neuron communication. This action creates a new path for your mood, thought patterns, and other cognitive functions to develop.

In essence, ketamine mitigates the brain’s response pathways in a way that achieves a more positive and healthy thought pattern.

What About Esketamine?

If you’ve heard of “Spravato” or “Ketanest” before, that’s esketamine. Esketamine is a derivative of ketamine that comes in the form of a nasal spray or injectable.

More specifically, it’s the S-enantiomer to the R-enantiomer of ketamine, which is medical speak for having more NMDA glutamate receptor potency. Esketamine was recently approved by the FDA to treat refractory—treatment-resistant—depression.

Esketamine’s prescriptive purpose is to treat refractory depression. It’s mostly reserved for those who experience intense suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it’s unlikely for your doctor to prescribe it before trying other forms of treatment.

Are Esketamine and Ketamine Infusions Right For Me?

Eskatime and ketamine are the evolution of antidepressant treatment. To find out if esketamine or ketamine infusion treatment is right for you, you need to be fully evaluated by a mental health professional.

If you have more questions regarding esketamine and ketamine treatment, or you’d like to know about the mental health services we provide, reach out to us. And remember, you’re not alone.