PTSD: Can Meditation Help?
When you hear the term post-traumatic stress, or PTSD, you might think of a veteran fighter struggling to get back into the fight. But PTSD is not something that only veterans experience. According to the VA’s National Center for PTSD, 7 or 8 out of 100 people (7-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives. A lot of people have found that meditation PTSD can help with care.
What is PTSD?
It’s PTSD mental health The problem that some people may have after going through a traumatic event is that they are in a car accident or surviving a natural disaster, being a victim of a violent crime, or going through a fight. Most people have some sort of it stress reaction after trauma and you feel unwell, you have difficulty on the edge or sleep. But in most cases, the symptoms subside over time. For some people, however, they can continue and interfere with their daily lives.
“Even though the event happened a long time ago, physiologically and psychologically, it’s as if it’s happening to that person at that moment,” says Autumn Gallegos, a clinical psychologist at Greenwich, an assistant professor. psychiatry At the University of Rochester Medical Center. “The body will react as if it is in danger,” and that’s what keeps these symptoms at bay.
The four main ones Symptoms of PTSD among others:
- Reliving the event again
- Avoid places, situations, or people that are reminiscent of the event
- Feeling more negative than before and having difficulty being happy or having positive emotions. Many people with PTSD say they feel adored.
- Feeling on the edge. This symptom, called “hyperarousal,” means that it is difficult to calm down, you are easily surprised, and you may be more angry and clumsy than before.
Can PTSD be treated?
“In the past, we were learning treat PTSD, it was thought of as a chronic disorder in which you had to learn to live and manage symptoms, ”says Dr. Paula P. Schnurr, executive director of the PTSD National Center and professor of psychiatry at Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth.“ We now know that many people will successfully cure PTSD, especially also with proper treatment. And it’s common to try more than one. “
Treatments may include long-term exposure therapy; you work with a therapist to safely express the thoughts, feelings, and situations you are avoiding and to learn cognitive processing therapy, where you identify and change negative thoughts. . They are very effective in helping to overcome PTSD. The National PTSD Center has a decision-making tool to help you find the right approach for you: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/apps/decisionaid/.
How can meditation help?
Meditation is a mind-body practice that involves paying close attention to the moment, combining concentration with awareness of your body, breathing, thoughts, and surrounding sensations. Helps focus, reduce stress, and increased calm. Meditation in itself is not a treatment for PTSD, but when used in conjunction with a treatment program described above or as an ongoing practice to help manage stress after treatment, it can be very helpful.
“Attention training is the first step,” says Gallegos Greenwich, who studies how mental-body practices affect post-traumatic stress disorder. symptoms of stress. “In mindfulness meditation, you focus on the moment. Not everything you feel will be comfortable. Maybe you hear the traffic. Maybe your body is uncomfortable. With mindfulness meditation, you notice how you feel and you continue to stand still, that feeling of being there and not having to change or fight anything. ”
“Patients who practice other practices of meditation and mindfulness often experience less irritability, less anger, and a greater sense of control,” says Shaili Jain, MD, a psychiatrist for the VA Palo Alto Health System in California. National PTSD Center. “They can slow down reactions and be a little more controlled, more present and more enthusiastic than the reactant.”
Although not much research has been done, a limited amount of research has shown that meditation improves PTSD and symptoms. depression. “As a clinician, I see it as a very powerful complement to meditation therapy“God says.” There certainly seems to be no adverse effects or negative side effects on meditation for PTSD. “
How can you find a meditation program that works for you if you have PTSD? Gallegos Greenwich proposes the search for the terms “trauma-informed meditation” or “sensitive trauma meditation”. “For people with PTSD, part of their recovery is learning to feel in control again. So you want to work with a program that doesn’t require your closure eyes or sit in a certain way “.
If you are here therapy, Schnurr recommends a meditation class or app that you think might be helpful for your therapist. “Many VA facilities offer meditation classes to help care for veterans,” he says.
VA also offers a free Mindfulness Coach app to help you take a simple mindfulness practice that is available to anyone, not just veterans. Other apps recommended by experts are Headspace, Calm and Ten Percent Happier.
Exercising 5 minutes a day in your meditation routine can have a huge impact. “It simply came to our notice then antibiotics that you use it to treat you until the infection is over, ”says Schnur.