Doctors now say a simple injection may soon help treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It's a local anesthetic, like the Novocain a dentist gives you, before a filling. It’s a quick and relatively painless injection that helps doctors treat a terrible battlefield disorder. The painkiller is quickly injected into a bundle of nerves in the neck, just under the skin.
Even though it might seem like people would be more likely to talk with a doctor than to take a shot in the neck, for a lot of people the talking is very, very difficult,” said psychiatrist Dr. Robert McLay.
He said drug can help calm PTSD patients, making them more receptive to "talk-therapy" and other proven treatments.
“If there's less adrenaline circulating, that maybe our brain is more calm,” said McLay.
Dr. Anita Hickey, who is also working on the study, said if they can shut that fear response down for a period of time, then it can give people the ability to think normally again.
The doctors stress, more research must be done, and that the injection is not a "miracle cure".
But it can open the door to help, for thousands of battlefield veterans.
"It involves getting back involved with people's family, with their regular life, with your experiences, with grieving. It's not going to be a straight forward process,” said McLay.
About 25 PTSD patients have been treated with the drug at the Naval Medical Center. So far, the results are promising.
The doctors say they'll know more early next year, when they complete their study.