Combating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dillion Naslund was a 25 year old veteran having served with the 133rd Regiment and served in Iraq for 4 years and had just come from a 1 year Middle East deployment. Just like other parents, the Naslunds were happy to have their son back home and he also seemed to enjoy being back and sharing time with family and friends. Things soon fell apart with Dillion suffering depression and was eventually diagnosed with PTSD after his family took him to the Veteran Affairs, a stress disorder common among combat returnees, in Dillions case, treatment seemed to have worked, but in hindsight, the Naslunds believe he just got better at hiding his situation from the family, Dillion sent a text to his ex-girlfriend on December 10th who alerted his parents, he was later found dead, he had committed suicide.

Engage America

Following their son’s death, the Naslunds realized many more families were dealing with situations similar to theirs, the Veteran Affairs says roughly 20 veterans commit suicide daily, about 1 death every hour. This statistic is what buoyed the Naslunds to start Engage America, an organization that helps bring together veterans ,their families and friends by offering support programs such as health (mental and medical), education (check more on their website and also help connect them to other veteran care organizations.
If you know any returned veteran who might need their help, or any veteran, you might refer them and have them get help and gun down PTSD.

Veterans Want People to Truly Understand PTSD

PTSD, which stands for post traumatic stress disorder, is a condition that is often associated with veterans. PTSD can develop after soldiers are in stressful, violent and frightening conditions due to war and combat.


There are several misconceptions that the public have about PTSD, and veterans want people to know that while the condition can be a challenge to manage, effective treatment is possible.


One of the biggest myths about PTSD is that people who suffer from it are extremely aggressive and violent. Studies show that people who have PTSD are only slightly more violent than the rest of the population. When people with PTSD act out violently, this could be due to other conditions that are often associated with PTSD, like bipolar disorder.


Veterans also want people to know that PTSD is not a sign of weakness. Some people think that PTSD is just an excuse for being unable to cope with the stresses of life. However, civilians sometimes fail to realize that people in the military have often seen some intensely sad and scary things while at war. The loud noises and sight of dead bodies can have a negative impact on soldiers, and family members and friends can help to make PTSD more manageable by being understanding and supportive.


Finally, it’s important for the general public to know that PTSD is treatable. Some veterans turn to meditation or yoga to center their minds and bodies and have more control over their thoughts. Veterans also state that counseling and therapy can be helpful for PTSD, even if the mental health professional doesn’t know anything about war firsthand. Being able to talk through feelings and issues in a safe and non-judgmental environment can help veterans to feel more at ease, which increases the chances that they’ll be able to transition healthily into civilian life after serving in the military.


For more information on veterans and PTSD, visit the Huffington Post website.

What Veterans Want Others to Understand About PTSD

For many people, Veteran’s Day is a time to show appreciation to the men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country. This past Veteran’s Day, however, there are many U.S. citizens who are concerned about the lack of respect that the new president has for war veterans, since he suggested that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an indication of weakness.


Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions about PTSD that are commonly shared and believed. Around 8 million Americans, 31 percent of Vietnam veterans and 20 percent of Iraq veterans, have PTSD, which means the rates of the condition are higher than ever before.


Here are common myths about PTSD that need to b dispelled in order to see veterans for the true heroes they are.


People With PTSD Are Violent


According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, the tendency to act violently is only slightly higher in veterans than the general population. This dispels the myth that PTSD causes overly aggressive behavior. Yes, some veterans commit violent acts and are unable to control the chemical imbalance they experience, but this is largely due to other factors in combination with PTSD, such as bipolar disorder or severe depression.


Some Symptoms Aren’t Obvious


Panic attacks, fear of being in small spaces and an aversion to being in crowds can all be signs of PTSD, but these are easily recognized as such. Some PTSD sufferers will become more quiet and withdrawn than they were before as a result of going to war, and it’s important for employers, loved ones and friends to understand this and help the veteran(s) in their lives look for healthy solutions.


It Is Possible to Recover


Finally, veterans want people to understand that PTSD is not an incurable condition. It can be treated with activities that calm the mind and nervous system, such as meditation or yoga. Medications that are used to treat depression and anxiety are also used to treat some veterans with PTSD. Being surrounded by supportive friends and family can also help veterans to feel secure enough to share their feelings and will lessen their tendency to become overly angry or isolated.


For more information on how to recognize and treat PTSD, check out this Huffington Post article.

Oklahoma Veteran Helping People Who Are Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Blue Winds Dancing Sanctuary is a non-profit farm that is located in Oklahoma. The purpose of this organization is to help people deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Ingrid Huffman is owner of the Blue Winds Sanctuary. She is also a former veteran.


Ingrid served in both the Army and Navy Nurse Corps. She is now retired, but she has spent time in Iraq. Ingrid now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. However, she does not think that medication is the best way to manage this condition. She has stated that many people take pill after pill and still do not get better. She also stated that the high rate of suicide among veterans shows that people need better treatments.


Ingrid has been working with Dr. Albert Villodo and has studied Shamactic energy medicine. Dr. Villodo believes that people have to heal their brain before they can heal any other type of their body. Post-traumatic stress disorder is related to the emotions that one was experiencing from a traumatic event.


Ingrid also believes that it is important to heal the gut. Blue Winds Dancing Sanctuary serves food that is free of genetically-modified organism. The farmers work hard to make sure that they provide fresh food for the people who come to the Blue Winds Dancing Sanctuary.


Ingrid welcomes all veterans to come out and find out about how they can heal naturally from PTSD. She will also help educate people about the benefits of organic farming. Additionally, she is looking for volunteers.


In order to purchase food from the Blue Winds Dancing Sanctuary, you must pay a membership fee of $35 to the Clientele Membership Club. You will be able to save up to 40 percent if you buy food from the Blue Winds Dancing Sanctuary. Ingrid will be hosting a Spring Open House in June, which will give people the opportunity to taste the produce grown at the farm.


Veterans With PTSD Find Comfort With Art Therapy

Art therapy has been a growing trend of using artistic mediums to deal with or work through traumatic situations or issues that cause mental anguish. One non-profit oganization in the UK is using this innovative form of therapy as a treatment for veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.


The Tyrwhitt House is a combat stress facility that works with veterans returning from war and has realized the healing properties that art therapy can have on these struggling individuals.


The facility’s senior art pyschotherapist, Jan Lobban told Buzzfeed News that it does not take artistic talent to participate and be successful in this form of therapy. Lobban explains that all that is needed is an open mind. The mind creates the art.


“It’s not about how good the art is, it’s about what it represents,” Lobban said. “It’s about self-expression and being able to externalise some things that might not be making sense. People learn about themselves through image-making.”


The art therapy program’s veteran participants were skeptical at first, but are now realizing how creating artwork and poems can help them let go of things that their minsd are holding onto and begin the healing process.


“The inspiration comes naturally, or quite instantly,” explains one of the veterans. “And sometimes you have to get up because it’s too painful.”


Art therapy is giving hope to these veterans that are struggling with seeing unimaginable things and coming so close to making the ultimate sacrifice for their serviec to their country.