(StatePoint) When U.S. servicemen and women return from war, they often return home plagued by anxiety, depression and sometimes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced shocking, frightening or dangerous events. And while the number of affected veterans is high, emerging treatments are improving their chances for recovery.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, PTSD afflicts up to one in five from Iraq and Afghanistan in a given year, and as many as one in three veterans from earlier conflicts, like Vietnam, during their lifetimes. As of 2013, roughly 400,000 veterans affiliated with the VA carried this diagnosis. These figures suggest that psychological trauma is a staggering burden on active-duty troops, veterans and society.
“Returning home and resuming normal life can be a challenge for any service member. But for someone suffering from PTSD, it can be a crisis,” says Captain Keith Stuessi, M.D., a former Navy doctor and member of the board of Help Heal Veterans, the nation’s largest provider of free therapeutic arts-and-craft kits to U.S. veterans and active duty military personnel.
Because the science of PTSD was not well understood until recently, past treatments varied from heavy drugs to hospitalization to simply telling patients to forget about their experiences. But today, clinicians increasingly believe it’s important to employ emerging therapies along with psychotherapy and medication in a holistic treatment approach.
• Mindfulness. According to a new…
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