Let’s look at how a 55-year-old veteran who had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) used medical marijuana to treat the symptoms and managed to curb them within two weeks.
Within two weeks,
The man effectively got rid of PTSD symptoms
As a veteran who was 55 years old
At the comfort of his home
Using a simplified process with his MMJ Card
Didn’t even suffer from any side effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs
Using this marijuana case study, we are going to explore how this 55-year-old veteran successfully managed his PTSD symptoms using medical marijuana.
1. Jason, The Hero
Our hero is a 55-year-old man, Jason Ramos, who is a veteran of the Panama war. He lives with his son and his two grandchildren. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Jason was tasked with the role of solely taking care of his child and two grandchildren. Without the comfort and help of his long-time companion, Jason channeled all his time towards the noble task of raising these kids. It was the only thing he looks forward to daily.
However, five years ago, Jason was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which is a common mental health ailment among war veterans. When one has PTSD, the physician often recommends the use of medication, which usually has severe side effects such as headaches, jittery feelings, and nausea. For Jason, the sudden demise of his wife, Irene, hit him hard, and the medicine didn’t seem to work.
He was not doing well emotionally and physically. He often experienced constant flashbacks of the traumatic experiences he went through during the war. He was overwhelmed with grief and was often full of fear, anger, and sadness. Jason was always gloomy and irritable. As much as he tried to control these symptoms and emotions, the situation seemed to be getting worse each day. Everyone, especially his family, was suffering due to his PTSD.
Jason’s son, Anthony, watched as his father suffered from the severe effects of PTSD. He felt helpless, as his dad grew worse each day. One day, he decided to search the web for a solution. It was during this search that he came across the use of marijuana to treat neurological diseases. After extensive reading about the treatment, he decided to give it a shot since the traditional medication wasn’t working anyway.
He immediately reached out to MD Berry through their website and set up an appointment. Upon the use of organic products, Jason’s PTSD symptoms had subsided significantly. He was back to his old self, full of life, without any side effects that were displayed when using the previous medicine.
Let’s look at how it all went down:
2. What Triggered the Appointment?
On 23rd March 2020, Jason’s condition had deteriorated significantly. The fact that this day was the death anniversary of Irene made things worse. Jason couldn’t sleep the previous night. He had severe insomnia and couldn’t even lock in two hours of sleep. He was remorseful and full of questions about life.
Since he had hardly slept the previous night, he decided to take a nap during the day. Thirty minutes into his nap, he woke up screaming and sweating profusely. He was also out of breath. He shot up from his sleep and ran out of the room hysterically. His grandchildren were terrified and couldn’t fathom what was wrong with their grandpa.
Following this incident, Anthony began to research alternatives that would help his father recover from his condition. He was tired of the traditional drugs, which didn’t seem to work.
3. How it All Began?
During the American-Panama War in 1989, Jason was deployed to serve his country in Panama. According to Jason, it was one of the most traumatic phases in his life. He witnessed many disturbing things that scarred him for life. The worst was the death of his best friend, who passed away on his arms. The event would change his life forever.
After deployment, Jason returned to the country and met his wife, Irene. The meeting shone a light on his life and helped him forget what he had gone through during the war. After two years, he quit the army and ventured into transportation and logistics by opening a truck driving business.
Following this transition, Jason felt his life begin to go back to normal. However, he could experience nightmares from time to time. During these horrible nights, Irene would be by his side and offer him comfort and the peace he needed to continue with life. Therefore, he didn’t pay much attention to these nightmares.
The Recurrence Begins
In 2015, Irene suddenly began to get sick and was sadly diagnosed with stage 3 Leukemia. The news shattered the family, especially Jason, who neglected his health as he focused all his efforts on taking care of his sick wife.
As Irene battled Leukemia, Jason started manifesting symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder regularly. He constantly experienced flashbacks of the traumatic experiences from the war, and his nightmares increased in frequency. His memory was in distress, and his sleeping patterns were severely altered.
On seeking medical assistance, he was diagnosed with PTSD. Despite the diagnosis, Jason was relentless in taking care of his sick wife. Unfortunately, Irene passed away on 23rd March 2016 after a courageous battle with Leukemia. Her death took a serious toll on Jason. From that day, his PTSD symptoms grew worse each day.
Things started going downhill
From March 2016, all the medication that Jason took didn’t seem to work. He tried Cognitive Behavior Therapy through group sessions, and it also failed to help. As much as they appeared beneficial, something was not right with Jason.
Jason even enrolled for sound therapy. All that he could do during these quiet sessions was think of the late Irene’s smile. Nothing seemed to work. The nights got worse, and sleeping became increasingly difficult. With time, Jason started showing signs of depression.
The climax of his PTSD episodes was on the said 23rd March 2020. He was extraordinarily hysterical, and it took over 3 hours to help him calm down. Consequently, the son, Anthony, decided to seek alternative treatment methods on the internet.
It was during this time that he came across MDBerry and read intensively about how medical marijuana could be used to treat neurological conditions. He also researched the impact of taking medical marijuana to treat symptoms of PTSD.
3. The Turning Point
On 25th March 2020, Anthony called MDBerry, and this was one call that would change everything. After highlighting what was going on with his dad, we requested him for a one on one consultation with him. Following a personal talk with Jason, we got a better perspective of his condition and the possible triggers.
In the beginning, Jason was hesitant to open up about what he was going through. However, as the conversation progressed, he started to relax and became transparent about the details of everything that was going on. After listening keenly and patiently to him, we devised a plan that would help him recover.
4. Getting Rid of the Symptoms
After getting a detailed overview of Jason’s condition, a thorough treatment plan had to be devised, so that Jason would adhere to that treatment plan.
After the consultation, a detailed treatment plan was devised to help bring the condition under control. We urged Jason to take the treatment plan seriously so that it would work.
Due to his experience with pharmaceutical drugs, going the traditional way wasn’t an option for Jason.
Our hero deserved a savior and what better than marijuana. Of course, when anyone hears marijuana, they are usually hesitant. However, after the first dose, Jason’s fears and hesitation faded, and he was motivated to adhere to the treatment plan.
5. Proper Diagnosis
Our initial conversation happened over the phone, where we asked Jason to go into details of everything that he was experiencing. As we talked, he narrated how he was having countless flashbacks of his experiences during the war. He also said that he had unexplained fears and anger.
He revealed how he would lie awake at night for hours. He admitted that his behavior was taking a toll on the people around him, especially his family.
He also went into details of his emotional distress, which was causing him to react physically to anything that reminded him of the period he spent in the war. From his explanations, we gathered that he was displaying classic signs of depression.
6. In Comes an MMJ card
After thorough examination and assessments, Jason was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Since Jason was a resident of the State of New York, he was eligible for an MMJCard. The use of cannabis for PTSD was legal in New York.
7. Getting the Right Strain is Crucial
When using a treatment plan that involves medical marijuana, it’s essential to get the right strain, which will correlate with the person’s age, symptoms, and the way they choose to consume it.
When it comes to the best strains for PTSD and anxiety, Blue Dream is one of the famous strains. It’s a Sativa dominant strain that helps the body and mind relax. It also induces a euphoric calmness. For Jason, this was the perfect strain since it would help elevate his mood and improve the way he interacted with others.
Blue Dream is a vital Cannabis strain in areas where marijuana is legal in The United States of America. It’s a favorite among patients with depression due to its euphoric feeling and a certain high that it brings, hence, the best strain for PTSD.
Blue Dream Strain Dosage and Consumption
After a thorough assessment of Jason’s symptoms, we decided that a low or mild dosage would work. During the initial interview, Jason mentioned that he was a food enthusiast, which made it easy for the introduction of marijuana into his system. On further inquiry, Jason admitted that he was a fan of brownies, cakes, cookies, soups, and pasta. When treating PTSD, marijuana edibles and tinctures are considered the safest methods of taking medical marijuana.
Jason’s favorite foods made it easy for doctors at MDBerry since his love for bakery products ensured that he could consume weed edibles, which were primarily part of his treatment plan.
Since he also loved soup and pasta, we advised him to also go for weed tinctures. The two options were attractive to Jason. He couldn’t hide how relieved he was that he didn’t have to smoke or consume marijuana in its raw form.
Ease of Purchase of Marijuana Strain
As mentioned earlier, Jason was a New Yorker, which permitted him to have a marijuana card. With the card, it was easy for him to purchase medical marijuana from the dispensaries that were closest to him.
With an MMJCard, one can easily access right marijuana strain. One also has the option of the strain being delivered at your doorstep.
8. Daily Treatment Routine
We went into great detail of explaining every part of the treatment plan to Jason. We laid out the routine that he was supposed to do daily. Jason has been a military officer; therefore, he knew the importance of sticking to a daily routine and didn’t have a problem with it.
As part of the routine, Jason needed to take the marijuana dosage using the methods explained above. He was also supposed to for a single session of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) every week. He also needed to go for a 15-minute walk each day and increase it by 5 minutes every day. He was also advised to pay close attention to his diet. He needed to avoid extended periods of fasting since these could trigger a hypoglycemic rage, which raised the chances of experiencing a PTSD episode.
9. Triggers to Stay Away From
There are common triggers in the environment that may trigger PTSD episodes, especially for veterans. Jason was advised to avoid things like sudden sounds, sights, smells, or conversations that centered around the traumatic incidents from his past.
10. Caretakers Also Had a Role to Play
Once the whole process was clear to Jason, the MDBerry doctors also talked to Anthony, who was the primary caregiver to his dad. He was told that he also had a role to play in the success of the treatment plan. He was advised that it wasn’t his fault when his dad seemed distant, angry, or fearful. He was urged not to take the PTSD symptoms personally.
As a caretaker, we requested him not to pressure Jason into a conversation. Anthony was asked never to urge his dad to talk about his traumatic memories. However, he needed to let his dad know that he was ready to listen anytime he needed someone to talk to. Listening was the best way to support the dad. It was even better than talking.
For the treatment plan to succeed, compassion and understanding were necessary. Patience was a crucial component of the recovery process.
11. Bumps Along with the Recovery
No process is 100% smooth. We knew that there would be bumps along the way. Within the first two minutes of talking to Jason, we already experienced some bumps. We were ready for any setbacks that would come our way and were determined to counter them.
Some of the hurdles that we experienced were Jason’s reluctance to stick to the deliberate treatment plan. However, once he noticed that the treatment was changing his life positively, his confidence was boosted.
Despite the hurdles, we are happy that Jason stuck to the treatment for two weeks because his life was changed forever.
First Bump – Non-Compliance
Since our first encounter with Jason was over the phone, he made it clear that there was no way he was going to smoke marijuana. He said that marijuana was addictive and that it was a gateway to consuming even more potent drugs. To him, marijuana was a no-go zone.
Over the next 10 minutes of that initial call, we worked on changing his perception. We urged him to do his research about how medical marijuana has helped curb symptoms associated with medical marijuana. Since he was opposed to smoking marijuana, we made a promise that he wouldn’t force him to do it.
MDBerry doctors also urged Jason to take time and read testimonials from other veterans who had successfully used medical marijuana to control symptoms of PTSD. Medical marijuana was way better compared to traditional medicine.
Another Minor Episode
Two days into the treatment, Jason faced another hurdle; he didn’t know how to bake. Therefore, consuming weed edibles in baked form proved difficult. However, since he was good at making soup and pasta, he was able to overcome this hurdle.
When he baked the first batch of marijuana, the brownies tasted so bad that he couldn’t proceed to the next bite. In the process, he missed his daily dose. Since he missed his dose, coupled with the smell of burnt brownies in the kitchen, Jason suffered a minor PTSD episode. However, he quickly gained control of himself since no one was around at the time.
After this incident, our team at MDberry suggested that he tries out some marijuana brownie recipes, which were a favorite among patients. He did, and the second batch done using the recipe was a hit.
A Costly Alcoholic Bump
Among the triggers that Jason was advised to avoid was taking alcohol daily. In the first week of the treatment, he successfully stuck to this rule. However, on 28/03/2020, one of his neighbors arranged a party, and Jason attended the event – alone.
Before starting our treatment plan, Jason wasn’t keen on hanging out with his friends or family members. However, after the start of the plan, Jason felt more confident and psyched to attend social functions. During the neighbor’s event, people heaped him with praise about his improved health. Jason was still hesitant to reveal that marijuana was the reason behind his recovery. He hid this matter because he knew that his friends had a similar attitude towards the use of marijuana.
As the party continued, his friends were drinking a couple of beers and offered him one to celebrate his good health. According to Jason, he felt that marijuana was a natural drug and wasn’t ‘actual medication.’ He accepted the beer and proceeded to take three more, which made him intoxicated.
To Jason’s surprise, the severity of the intoxication was double what he expected. He suffered severe delirium and was forced to spend the night at his neighbor’s home since he couldn’t get back home.
The next day, Anthony realized that his father wasn’t at home and decided to check with the neighbor. On hearing what had happened, he rushed to the neighbor’s house and called MDBerry doctors on the way. The doctors asked him to relax and show compassion towards his dad. As much as Jason was embarrassed by the whole saga, Anthony was calm about it and comforted him that it was just a slight hiccup. He urged him to remain strong in the future.
An Incident Involving Video Games
At the beginning of the treatment, we had briefed Jason and his son about triggers that were common with those who had served in the military at whatever capacity. We advised Anthony to keep away any memorabilia, such as badges, medals, uniforms, and guns. We also advised him that no one should watch TV shows or movies that related to the war in front of the dad.
A couple of days after the drinking escapade, Anthony called MDBerry and informed us that the dad had walked unexpectedly into a room and found his grandson playing a war video game on the Ipad. On hearing the sound of the bullets and the panicked voices at the back triggered an episode of PTSD.
The good thing is that the episode was minor, and Jason left the room before much damage was done. As much as that night, Jason had some nightmares; they weren’t as intense as they were before he began the marijuana treatment.
Casually Taking the Treatment
Two days before the completion of the fortnight, Anthony called the MDBerry doctors to inform them that now that Jason had improved tremendously, he had relaxed on the treatment plan. He was taking it casually and wasn’t as strict as he was when he started.
At first, he started skipping the daily walks, then started eating fast food frequently. We reached out to Jason and urged him to stick to the plan to the very end. Failure to do so would reverse the progress, and he would have to go back to scratch.
12. Time for Some Feedback
After the end of the two weeks, we had informed Jason and the son that it was necessary to hold a meeting. At the end of the two weeks, we held a session over the phone with Jason. On hearing his voice, we thought that we were speaking to an entirely new person.
Jason sounded energized, and he admitted that he felt like a whole new person. We guided him to continue with a few regular activities. The doctors urged him to keep in touch and provide a monthly update on how he was doing. The feedback of the treatment from the two was phenomenal.
End of PTSD Nightmares
The nightmares that had haunted Jason for so long decreased initially and were occurring less frequently. All of this was done without the help of medication for nightmares. He was thrilled that now he could enjoy his sleep and insomnia was a thing of the past.
Since sleep is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle, its improvement had contributed to his overall wellbeing. The stable sleep cycle was good for his physical health.
Fading of the Violent Flashbacks
According to Jason, he wasn’t experiencing any more violent flashbacks. He admitted that he missed his wife dearly but had replaced his sadness with the happy memories that he had shared with Irene.
He felt blessed that the painful and draining flashbacks were no longer there.
Improved Social Engagement
According to Anthony, Jason’s interactions with the community were no longer estranged, and he was comfortable during family get-togethers.
According to the son, Jason was back to the way he was before he lost his wife.
Improved Psychological State
After the first three days into the treatment, Jason had zero signs of depression. His daily activities had improved tremendously.
The improved mental state was a result of the treatment since it encompassed the basics of a healthy lifestyle, i.e., diet, exercise, and marijuana.
An Overview of the Impact of the Treatment
Taking medical marijuana helped manage PTSD symptoms. The treatment was also beneficial since it helped Jason stick to a good routine of taking a healthy diet, daily exercise, and taking a controlled dose of marijuana.
A combination of all these factors led to a better sleep cycle and improved bowel movements in Jason’s life. His overall well being significantly improved.
13. Further Guidelines
The additional guidelines were simple yet effective. They included breathing exercises to simple activities that would distract Jason and keep the PTSD symptoms at bay.
The guidelines needed to be followed throughout Jason’s life since they had a long term impact on PTSD. They included:
Taking Deep Breaths
When one takes deep breaths, they use a large muscle in their abdomen. Usually, this is not the usual way people breathe. Deep breathing is ideal for improving one’s breathing technique and getting rid of anxiety.
Deep breathing is often done during meditation. It involves: Taking a deep breath through the nose, relaxing the diaphragm, and releasing the gut. One then holds the air in for few seconds the exhales, which releases the air out of the lungs.
The method is a perfect way to help PTSD patients relax.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
This technique requires one to tense and relax different muscles in the body. To completely relax, one needs to tense specific muscles then relax them immediately.
Since we can go about our lives without being fully aware of what exactly goes on around us, it’s essential to practice self-monitoring for a full recovery.
We may often feel that our emotions and thoughts are not predictable and can’t be managed.
When dealing with PTSD, a robust support system is crucial to having a full recovery. It’s essential to have a trustworthy person who you can talk to when situations become stressful or when in need of emotional validation.
With strong social support, a person who has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will quickly deal with any unresolved emotions.
Through Expressive Writing, a PTSD patient can once again find meaning in their life. It will help them make positive changes and recover from the traumatic event.
When one engages in Expressive Writing, they will display reduced PTSD symptoms and experience less anger and tension. It’s a medium for building positive emotions.
These techniques are a great way of dealing with intense and uncomfortable emotions. When faced with fear or anxiety, one can use distraction techniques to keep their mind away from past traumatic memories. With these techniques, one will experience reduced PTSD symptoms.
In 2 weeks, our hero Jason was able to bring severe PTSD symptoms that he had battled with for five years under control. Through discipline and consistency, he was able to turn his life around for the better. He ate healthily, did daily exercises, and followed an organic treatment that entailed CBT and medical marijuana. Additional coping techniques will go a long way in ensuring that the PTSD symptoms will not recur.
“The day we start believing is the day we start healing.”
Jason’s story is an inspiration. If you can relate, we would love it if you shared this story. You never know; it might help save someone’ s life.
Do you have any loved ones that are suffering from a similar medical trauma? Have you tried traditional medicine to no avail? At MDBerry, we are here to help regarding PTSD awareness. Let us know by getting in touch with our licensed doctor.