Coffee or Die: Shot In The Neck Offers Some Relief to PTSD Veterans
Michael Ergo struggled with post-traumatic stress for more than a decade following that deployment to Iraq in 2005 with 1st Battalion, 8th Marines. But he says he finally found peace last year through a treatment known as stellate ganglion block, or SGB.
While SGB has been used to treat pain for about a century, its use for treating post-traumatic stress is still relatively novel.
After about half an hour of observation after receiving SGB, Ergo was free to leave. He said he noticed the effects right away. He likens the feeling to the immediate aftermath of a good open-water swim in the Pacific Ocean — he felt calm and refreshed.
He half expected that feeling to go away, but a year later, he says he hasn’t experienced a single panic attack since.
“It wasn’t like I was totally blasé,” he said. “I’ll feel the appropriate amount of fear when a situation isn’t right or I need to act immediately. I just don’t sweat the things I used to sweat.”
Researchers hope a newly approved study at New York University will increase understanding of the treatment and help more patients like Ergo find relief.
“Mental health support, familial support, community support are really important around any intervention, including SGB,” Michael Gershenzon said.
While both Ergo and Stella Co Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Michael Gershenzon hope the study will ultimately make it easier for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to try SGB, we emphasized that the treatment shouldn’t be seen as a silver bullet or one-and-done deal.
“This is the closest thing we have to a magic pill,” Ergo said. “But you have to do the supportive therapy with it afterwards to make the changes in your life.”