Sunbelt Wellness Institute Ketamine-Infused PTSD Clinic

Sunbelt Wellness Institute Ketamine-Infused PTSD Clinic

Jacksonville Clinic Sees Encouraging Results Now and Promise for the Future

Treatment-Resistant Mood Disorders Have New Hope in Ketamine PTSD Therapy

If the name Ketamine sounds vaguely familiar to you, you might be thinking about the street drug Special K. Yes, they’re the same thing, but in multipile trials this drug has found a new life in the most amazingly helpful way.


Not Just for Veterans

One-third depressed people don’t benefit from traditional treatments. Luckily, with the relaxation and reclassifications of some drugs, new therapies are showing great results and greater promise. We are happy to feature a local Jacksonville treatment center, veteran run, that is living proof of the benefits for PTSD victims.

Sunbelt Wellness Institute offers a customized cost-effective treatment regimen of Ketamine Infusion therapy, for clients suffering from treatment resistant depression, bipolar depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal ideations and other resistant mood disorders. This therapy has also been effective in chronic pain conditions including complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, migraines and cluster headaches.

Interview with Dr. Kalynych and Dr. Hogan


Most medications prescribed for treatment-resistant mood disorders and chronic pain work by changing the amount of specific neurotransmitters, chemical messengers, in the brain. The side effects of these medications can be debilitating.

Ketamine works in a different way. IVKT triggers a cascade of events in the brain, temporarily blocking the activation of certain chemical receptors in the brain and signaling other pathways. Ketamine works on NMDA receptors, producing a protein that causes rapid growth of new neural connections, or “rewiring” of the brain. This rewiring effect leads to the antidepressant and anti-inflammatory benefits of IVKT.

Intravenous infusion is the Gold Standard for Ketamine therapy and is widely supported in published clinical studies.


Conditions Treated

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.

Symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams, recurring thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, agitation, cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

Not every traumatized person develops ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe
symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed
with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as: Persistent depressive disorder, Postpartum depression, Psychotic depression, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and Bipolar disorder.


Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms.

The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.

Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide.Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide.

Suicidal thoughts are common, and many people experience them when they are undergoing stress or experiencing depression. In most cases, these are temporary and can be treated, but in some cases, they place the individual at risk for attempting or completing suicide.

Most people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through, although some may make suicide attempts. Causes of suicidal thoughts can include depression, anxiety, eating disorders such as anorexia, and substance abuse. People with a family history of mental illness are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

A person who is experiencing or could experience suicidal thoughts may show the following signs or symptoms:

feeling or appearing to feel trapped or hopeless; feeling intolerable emotional pain; having mood swings, either happy or sad; being agitated, or in a heightened state of anxiety; experiencing changes in personality, routine, or sleeping patterns; consuming drugs or more alcohol than usual, or starting drinking when they had not previously done so; engaging in risky behavior, such as driving carelessly or taking drugs; experiencing depression, panic attacks, impaired concentration, and more.


Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer. Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.




Should Jacksonville’s Veterans Memorial Arena Sell Naming Rights?

Should Jacksonville’s Veterans Memorial Arena Sell Naming Rights?

City Council Set to Name VyStar Credit Union as New Sponsor

There’s news out this past week from Jacksonville as the City Council will vote on a code change enabling a sale of naming rights to the Veterans Memorial Arena. Vystar Credit Union pitches a great offer, but is any sale a non-starter? The Arena plays host to NCAA Regional March Madness this spring, and entertainment acts from all over come here, so VyStar would be getting a sweetheart deal if they do.


What Price To Put On Veterans Honor?

With the awkwardly-named TIAA Bank Stadium across the street, the Veterans Memorial Arena serves as a lone reminder that not everything society enjoys is up for sale. Those days may be numbered as the Jax City Council takes up a vote to approve a naming rights sale to VyStar Credit Union.

Here’s some details about the actual dollars:

  • VyStar would pay a naming rights fee for 15 years
  • $525,000 the first year
  • $794,110 by year 15
  • $9,764,430 to the City in that time
  • $50,000 to establish a memorial somewhere in the Arena or on the Arena grounds.
  • $750,000 over the 15-year term form a matching concession donation program

The City legislation says the “Veterans Memorial Arena Trust Fund” will support veterans programs and initiatives. That sounds and is great, but there now needs to be a committee formed to oversee the process, and that’s where things can get sticky.

The numbers and benefits to Veterans sweep you off your feet. Congratulations to all involved in the offer. It appears to be thought out and have it’s heart in the right place. , but just keep it out of Veterans


Great reporting from Stephanie Brown @SBrownReports on her February 7th WOKV post. The rest of her article can be found here.


City Council Would Need to Alter Existing Code

This deal also requires changing a portion of the city’s Municipal Buildings and Offices code. The Duval County Courthouse and Downtown Jacksonville Public Library, along with Veterans Memorial, are the only 3 buildings spared from being named for any person. If that code gets changed, the naming rights are sure to pass.

About Once a Soldier


Once a Soldier in on a mission to connect civilians and veterans that care about easing the financial and emotional burden of the family after a veteran suicide. If you care about helping these familes caught in a nightmare not of their making, please donate.

Veteran PTSD and Opioid Addiction Statistics

Veteran PTSD and Opioid Addiction Statistics

1 in 15 Veterans Have a Substance Abuse Disorder.

31% of Vietnam Vets Suffer from PTSD.

11% – 20% of Vets from Iraq/Afghanistan Have PTSD.

20% of Vets Suffer from Addiction to Opioids or Other Drugs.



A new JAMA report is bad news for Americans: By 2025, deaths from illicit opioid abuse are expected to skyrocket by 147%, up from 2015, according to a new study. Between 2015 and 2025, around 700,000 people are projected to die from an opioid overdose, and 80% of these will be caused by illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.

See the PDF report here.

See the JAMA site here.

Original article: PTSD and opioid addiction are two man-made afflictions that have found each other in today’s America. The latest report from the The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) uses data reported these number in 2016, meaning the data stopped being collected at least a year ahead of that time.

While the number of 1 – 15 is not good, veterans have a lower rate that the general population. That’s 6.6% for vets and 8.6% for non-veterans. In terms of suicide, vets are just slightly above the national average. In any event, PTSD and opioids combine to make our veterans especially at risk for addiction.  It’s also important to remember that all of the numbers, especially the opioid numbers are not exact.

Battlefield and Examination Room Treatment

The VA and other reports acknowledge that physicians need better training to manage opioid treatment for veterans. Between 2001 and 2009, for example, the percentage of veterans receiving pain management with prescription narcotics increased from 17 percent to 24 percent. The number of opioid prescriptions written by military physicians more than quadrupled during that time.

Getting started on pain medication seems like a good place to examine why soldiers and veterans, just like the rest of the population, get hooked on these painkillers. From a report on the subject, we present some more statistics on what gets veterans started:

Over 20% of veterans experience back pain.

About 16% experience joint pain.

Over 25% experience migraine pain.

About 27% experience neck pain.

Approximately 34% experience both back pain and sciatica.

About 37% experience jaw pain.

With these kinds of numbers, it’s easy to see WHY vets get addicted to opioids due to PTSD and general battlefield conditions.

View and Download the ITF 2016 Annual Report

Interagency Task Force on Military and Veterans Mental Health 2016 ANNUAL REPORT Department of Defense Department of Veterans Affairs Department of Health and Human Services

While this report doesn’t deal with PTSD or Opioid addiction, is it important to note that of the estimated 20 Veterans who die by suicide each day in this country, 14 do not receive VA care. This report holds valuable information to bring that number down or get help where it’s needed.


Our Mission

About 20 veterans die by suicide every day, VA data shows. That’s nearly twice the suicide rate among Americans who did not serve in the military. Once a Soldier in on a mission to ease the financial burden of the family after a veteran suicide. Please donate to help us do more for them.

Movement to Make PTSD an Official Cause of Death

Movement to Make PTSD an Official Cause of Death

Suicide as Cause of Death Can Change the Benefits

Veteran families of soldier suicide have all seen the death certificates that list the cause of death as suicide. It’s a heartbreaker, but it’s also causes financial issues. It’s not fair to the veteran, it’s not fair to the families and we are doing something about it.

Death records are the official documents issued by a government stating the cause, location, and time of death. Many death certificates also include personal information about the deceased.

VA DIC Claims and the Death Certificate

I found a good article written by Sandy Britt who was a Montgomery County, Tennessee, veterans service officer. My efforts to call met with a bad number listed as did the email which bounced back. Still I want to give her credit for the following: 

In some DIC claims, proving the veteran’s service-connected disability caused death or “materially and significantly” contributed to it is a simple matter. For example, if the veteran was service-connected for heart disease and diabetes and one or both of those conditions were listed as the immediate cause of death in Part I of the death certificate, DIC will be granted.

However, sometimes the service-connected disabilities are listed only in Part II of the death certificate. In that case, medical records and evidence must show that the service-connected condition listed in part II “substantially or materially” contributed to the veteran’s death.

According to VA regulation “Contributory cause of death is inherently one not related to the principal cause. In determining whether the service-connected disability contributed to death, it must be shown that it contributed substantially or materially, it combined to cause death, or that it aided or lent assistance to the production of death.”

The fact that the service-connected condition is listed in Part II is not enough to grant DIC.

As a service officer I have seen many death certificates that are not filled out adequately or even correctly, especially if the physician who completed it is not the veteran’s regular doctor and was just present at death in an emergency room, for example. For most families, what is listed on the death certificate is not really that important, but when it comes to VA DIC and service-connected burial benefits it is, and family members need to be aware of that before the death certificate is written so they can let the doctor know why a complete and accurate death certificate listing the veteran’s chronic conditions, if applicable, is necessary.

The rest of her article can be found here.


Important Item

What Sandy wrote in that last paragraph bears repeating: family members need to be aware of what the VA DIC and service-related benefits are before the death certificate is written so they can let the doctor know why a complete and accurate death certificate listing the veteran’s chronic conditions, if applicable, is necessary.

Top Ten Causes of Death According to the Center for Disease Control

Number of deaths for leading causes of death in 2015:

Heart disease: 635,260
Cancer: 598,038
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 161,374
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 154,596
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 142,142
Alzheimer’s disease: 116,103
Diabetes: 80,058
Influenza and Pneumonia: 51,537
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,046
Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,965

Cedrick Taylor - Connecticut 2016 PTSD-related suicide

ABout Once a Soldier


Once a Soldier in on a mission to ease the financial burden of the family after a veteran suicide. Please donate to help us do more for them.

VA Only Spends 1% of Solider Suicide Awareness Ad Budget

VA Only Spends 1% of Solider Suicide Awareness Ad Budget

Trump’s VA Abandons Veterans While Suicide Rate Climbs

Soldier suicide gained our attention starting in about 2008. Two years later, the Veterans Administration launched a program to reach at-risk veterans and encourage them to call its hotline. Guess what? It worked.  The outreach grew steadily before dropping last year.

Pictured is Tony Shott, a beloved son and one of our Faces of Veteran Suicide.

Now, with a report from the Govermental Accounting Office (GAO) in November of 2018, the reason for the program’s success is apparantet. Of the $6.2 million budgeted for the year, less than 1% – $57,000 – was spent by October. 

The VA concurred with the GAO’s findings. During Trump’s VA  appointee David Shulkin’s brief tenure as secretary, VA’s suicide prevention outreach dropped significantly, and the suicide prevention office had no permanent leader for nearly nine months.

Outreach Goes Silent on Social Media

Social media postings dropped by more than two-thirds from fiscal 2017 to 2018, according to this article in the Washington Post, and two planned public service announcements were delayed. For more than a year, VA did not air any outreach messages on television or radio.

PTSD runs rampant among veteran suicide. The agency had no permanent director of suicide prevention for months. So the staff spent its resources updating the website of the crisis hotline. Its employees also began reporting to VA’s Office of Mental Health, which pulled them away from suicide prevention, the report says.


The GOA Report


Our Mission

About 20 veterans die by suicide every day, VA data shows. That’s nearly twice the suicide rate among Americans who did not serve in the military. Once a Soldier in on a mission to ease the financial burden of the family after a veteran suicide. Please donate to help us do more for them.

Silver Linings


Your donation helps veteran families pay off loans for their soldier's funeral.

The VA can't help. We can. Be the silver lining in their cloud of darkness.

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