Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, affects millions of Americans. Combat veterans are among the most likely people to experience symptoms in their lifetime. In fact, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs reports that as many as 30% of Vietnam veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD and between 11-20% of Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans experience PTSD symptoms in any given year.
Doctors often prescribe Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft to treat PTSD. These medications can cause aggressive side effects in individuals. For this reason, many veterans and their families are turning to alternative, holistic treatments. Here are three treatments that have shown promising outcomes:
Meditation has demonstrated a wealth of benefits ranging from reduced blood pressure to lessened anxiety. For veterans with PTSD, meditation—especially transcendental meditation—can be a lifesaver. In a January 2016 study published by the journal Military Medicine, 74 active-duty military personnel with PTSD were divided into two groups. One group practiced transcendental meditation in addition to their standard therapies; the other group did not.
In the meditation group, 83.7% of participants either stabilized or improved after one month. In the non-meditation group, only 59.4% saw such improvements. Even more notably, only 10.9% of meditation practitioners increased their dosage versus 40.5% of non-meditation practitioners.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of treatment in which a therapist works with a patient to correct harmful and distorted patterns of thinking. Although this type of treatment can be challenging. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy forces patients to be exposed to traumatic triggers. It has proven highly effective for PTSD.
Numerous studies have demonstrated positive outcomes, including one 2006 study from the journal BMC Psychiatry. At the end of treatment, the study measured 67% improvement of PTSD symptoms in CBT patients as opposed to only 19% improvement in the control group.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Some recent studies have found this compound to be effective for treating depression, anxiety, and PTSD. In a 2014 study published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, researchers reported a 75% reduction in PTSD symptoms using the Clinician-Administered Posttraumatic Scale (CAPS).
CBD can be consumed in numerous ways, one of the most popular of which is vaping. CBD vape juice provides a rapid delivery system for the compound because the CBD is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream. Since CBD vape oil contains no THC, it administers the medicinal benefits without getting the user high, making it suitable for anyone.
If you or a loved one is suffering from combat-related PTSD, consider these natural remedies. PTSD symptoms are treatable, and help is available