It is not uncommon for war veterans to experience what’s known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they return home from active duty. PTSD is a debilitating anxiety disorder that leaves its victims feeling stressed out, haunted, and hyper-anxious even when there is no immediate threat or danger in sight. The torment of constantly feeling such high levels of stress and anxiety can lead to PTSD sufferers to feel depressed and apathetic. As if that isn’t bad enough, can also bring about haunting flashbacks, insomnia, and emotional outbursts.
Many factors can play into why someone is likely to experience PTSD, such as a person’s genetics and environment. The exact causes of PTSD are still unknown, and many of the treatments for it are experimental at best, but researchers are now discovering meditation can be a powerful treatment for veterans experiencing the symptoms of PTSD.
When war veteran, Rich Low, returned home from Iraq, he had no idea he was even suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) until he agreed to participate in a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The study was setup to teach veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques to relieve stress. Low had been experiencing many of the symptoms that come along with PTSD, such as hyper-vigilance – jumpiness – and high anxiety from stress, but after participating in the week-long, he began to make a rapid recovery.
In fact, the results of the study were so positive, the researchers decided to another longer, and even more in-depth study. Low said that he did not immediately notice any improvement right after the study was finished until his dad pointed out how different he was. He said, “My dad and I were riding in a car when he said I seemed like myself from three, four years ago…”
This new research is very exciting, indeed. It is yet again further proof that meditation can have a real effect on those who practice it, and with the right amount of practice and patience, you truly can restructure your mind so have a more positive outlook on life along with an improved sense of well-being and relaxation.
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