Healing from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Through Meditation
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 • PTSD Guest Post: Survivors Speak •
Guest Post By David Starikov
There is little more painful and personal than dealing with or watching someone you care about deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Over 7 million people in America suffer with PTSD every day. Whether from recovering military who experienced distress in war, a past history of abuse or even a traumatic accident, PTSD is a serious and life altering illness. While traditional therapy is often necessary to help move forward and reclaim your life, PTSD patients can also benefit greatly from incorporating Meditation into their lives.
PTSD, diagnosed by a medical professional, is often recognized through the inability to move forward from the traumatic event. Sufferers of PTSD often have nightmares or flashbacks of the incident and feel stuck in those feelings. Sometimes antidepressant medication and behavioral therapies are required to help the patient deal with the anxiety and stressors they deal with on a daily basis. However, studies are pointing to the fact that Meditation can often be a crucial part of the process in soothing those memories and helping PTSD sufferers become less anxious and able to handle their life.
Trauma victims who have been taught Transcendental Meditation have described both a settling and inner peace. Just a few minutes per day, deep breathing and posture are focused to create a soothing atmosphere from the inside out. Thoughts and emotions that surface that were once overwhelming and scary remain in the consciousness, however through focus on breathing, they do not hold the same power they once did.
Trauma victims who have practiced Transcendental Meditation for a few months have reported feeling safer and calmer. In an article published in OpEdNews,in 2001, it was quoted “… a new pilot study (under review), in Iraq and Afghanistan… veterans experienced a 50% drop in PTSD symptoms by the fourth week of TM practice, and greater improvements by two months and three months.”
In addition to Transcendental Meditation, Guided Imagery may also be a helpful reframing for someone healing from PTSD. Again, through deep focused awareness the meditation guide can create safe zones in the mind to go to whenever they feel scared or unsafe. These soothing guided meditations allow the healing patient the ability to immediately lower anxiety, reduce stress levels and have a protected place to go to during a particularly hard time.
Meditation has other benefits for the person dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as well. Most patients who suffer from PTSD also have severe sleep deprivation. Whether it’s caused from the nightmares, the inability to calm the mind, the depression that often rears its ugly head, or perhaps the flashbacks that take over – Mediation has the ability to help make sleep less stressful and decrease the insomnia so many are experiencing. Learning to soothe your thoughts and refocus the awareness back to the breathing really can help you to fall asleep and get a more restful night.
Mental Health Care providers whose PTSD patients practice meditation also report that their treatments are more effective and their patients more confident when they take those few moments a day. Suffering on a daily basis is no way for anyone to live, learning coping mechanisms and calming breathing techniques through Meditation will lead to a better quality of life for those suffering with PTSD.
If you or someone you know if dealing with stress then please visit www.blisslotus.com to learn meditation, stress relief, and other self help articles.
About David Starikov: I have been a meditator for the past 9 years and have had a mental disorder for 11. Through meditation i have learned to keep paranoia and voices under control and not hinder me in destructive ways. Meditation has helped me live my life better and if you are having trouble with anything then i recommend meditation. You can learn meditation at my website www.blisslotus.com.
The views expressed in this post are solely those of the author.