Beginning in 2010, Congress named June 27th as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Awareness Day. Since then, June has been recognized as a month to raise PTSD awareness throughout the U.S.
PTSD is a condition in which the body’s fight or flight response becomes overactive following a life threatening or horrific event, and can make those affected feel stressed or panicky, even when they are no longer in any danger. An image, sound, smell, or even a memory can trigger a PTSD reaction.
PTSD experts from the VA claim that approximately 7% of all adults suffer from PTSD. Military Veterans are among the most susceptible. Somewhere between 11% and 20% of Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. The VA also claims that 10% of Desert Storm Veterans and 30% of Vietnam Veterans suffer from PTSD.
The numbers could be even higher because many military personal and Veterans don’t report their PTSD symptoms due to the stigma that goes with admitting that they have mental health issues. For many decades, admitting to and seeking treatment for a mental health concern negatively impacted one’s military career. The negative stigma is slowly diminishing, and the military has policies in place to protect its members from retribution for mental illness.
While prescription medications are the most common form of treatment for PTSD, many psychiatrists are now recommending Transcendental Meditation to treat the condition.
Transcendental Meditation involves sitting down, twice a day for 20 minutes, and visualizing a specific word or sound assigned by the psychiatrist. Over time, through meditation, the patient is intended to find a peaceful state of mind.
Brain imaging tests have shown that those who practice Transcendental Meditation regularly have more alpha rhythms, the slow brain waves that are associated with reduced stress. Other studies have found that Veterans have a 50% reduction in PTSD symptoms after eight weeks of regular Transcendental Meditation.
I practice Transcendental Meditation daily, and have found it to be extremely valuable. While I do not suffer from PTSD, I feel that Transcendental Meditation eases the stresses of my fast paced life as CEO of Military Connection. I learned about Transcendental Meditation through the David Lynch Foundation and also received my training from them. I highly recommend the use of TM to others.
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Military Connection: A New Way to Fight PTSD: By Debbie Gregory