New York, NY (PRWEB) August 17, 2014
Delon Beckett and Garrett Combs returned from Iraq and Afghanistan ready to resume the lives of promise that they had left behind. However, like many combat vets, their return was a rude awakening. It was filled with unexpected bouts of emotional distress and numbness, crumbling relationships, impulsive rage, problems with sleep and hypervigilance. In short: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The inability to control these debilitating symptoms led them both to consider suicide as a solution for their anguish. Beckett and Combs are not alone. One in five veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, or severe depression, according to a Rand Corporation study. Post traumatic stress is a significant predictor for suicide among all vets. Almost 8,000 veterans of all U.S. wars commit suicide each year, and 22 veterans take their own lives each day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In her most recent Special Report, veteran CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien focuses not just on what is now being referred to as a growing epidemic amongst combat veterans but also solutions. In particular, Ms. O’Brien highlights a program that uses equine therapy, counseling, education, group exercises and Transcendental Meditation. So far, it is showing strong signs of success. Organizers estimate that 80% to 90% of the 100 active-duty and returning veterans who have come through the program were suicidal. So far they are all alive today.
Dusty Baxley, a retired U.S. Army Airborne Ranger MP & Operations Specialist who was featured on the CNN special, faced a similar experience: “When I got home from combat, my jar was overfilled and spilling out. I literally could not make it through another day without self-medication, and I’d become numb to the world and everyone around me.” Looking for solutions, he began practicing Transcendental Meditation at the suggestion from a friend and found it to be transformational.
GOING BEYOND TALK THERAPY
Mr. Baxley who went on to become a Teacher of TM and now heads up the Transcendental Meditation program for Veterans program has now taught the Transcendental Meditation program to hundreds of returning Vets and active military. “It’s really the secret of the sauce. Many programs offer important structure, emotional bonding, support, exercise and various therapies. However, stress is a neurophysiological condition. TM provides a deep profound healing rest that changes the way the mind and body are functioning. With TM they are not just talking about stress or learning to live with it, they are actually getting rid of it on a neurophysiological level. They emerge healthier and more balanced in both mind and body—and that has a huge impact on behavior. TM has become the ultimate technique in my tool box for creating space within.”
The Department of Defense and Veterans Administration seem to agree as they have now funded several research studies using the Transcendental Meditation technique. This is partially due to the large body of research over the past 40 years showing positive results: 40-55% reduction in symptoms of PTSD and depression; 42% decrease in insomnia; 30% improvement in satisfaction with the quality of life; 25% reduction in levels of plasma cortisol, the stress hormone. According to Baxley, more than 350 published research studies have documented the positive effects of the TM technique.
Baxley: “Practicing the TM technique has helped my stress and anxiety to become manageable, and I can keep the lid on the jar now. The deep rest and relaxation I gain from this technique, along with the greater calmness in my mind, have brought me back to me. Finally, I can give love again, and I’m able to receive love and move my life forward.”
THE WAR COMES HOME will be available, in simulcast, through CNNx for iPad, as well as via http://www.cnn.com by selecting “Watch CNN,” and also via CNN’s mobile applications. For more information about finding relief from post traumatic stress, please visit http://www.tm.org/tm4vets.