Many veterans come home from war with new physical ailments that will need to be treated. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs said up to 20 percent of the 2.3 million veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan experience post-traumatic stress disorder at some point of their lives, which affects mental health far more than physical health. This can lead to depression, anxiety and, in some cases, even suicide.
While veterans can receive disability benefits from the VA to help with bills while PTSD is being treated, other tools may be helpful as well. One recent study, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, found that yoga may be a great way for veterans to fight against the mental anguish that PTSD brings.
Agnieszka Golec de Zavala, senior lecturer in psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, said yoga can help veterans move away from many of the negative thoughts and feelings that PTSD can bring, according to The Washington Post. He said an increased focus on breathing will help keep the veteran in the present and help them better understand and control their internal state. Simply knowing their pain, discomfort or anxiety will soon pass can be of great comfort to a veteran or any sufferer of PTSD.
Veterans who suffer from PTSD should not stop seeing doctors or getting medical advice, but yoga could be an extra tool to help ease some of the suffering involved with this disorder.
PTSD can be a lifelong medical condition that veterans must manage with treatment. Too many resort to self treatment, such as alcohol or drugs, and many do not seek professional treatment. Private medical providers and VA can help veterans manage their PTSD symptoms.
Veterans should also consider applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration if their PTSD symptoms are severe enough to prevent their employment. There are private medical help and cash benefits available to veterans from the SSA.
The Law Offices of Harold W. Conick and Associates are committed advocates for veterans and their families in the effort to secure the benefits they are entitled.