PTSD: Can meditation help?


When you hear the word Post-traumatic stress disorderOr PTSD, you might think of a returning retired veteran who flashbacks in battle. But PTSD is not something that only veterans can experience. The Virginia National Center for PTSD estimates that 7 or 8 out of every 100 people (7%-8% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.Many people found meditation Can help PTSD care.

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is Mental Health Some people experience problems after a traumatic event. This can be anything from surviving a car accident or natural disaster to becoming a victim of a violent crime or fighting.Most people have pressure Post-traumatic reactions and discomfort, edge discomfort or difficulty falling asleep. But in most cases, the symptoms will ease over time. But for some people, they can move on and hinder their daily lives.

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“Even though the event has occurred both physically and psychologically for a long time, it seems to that person that it is still happening at that moment,” said Dr. Autumn Gallegos Greenwich, a clinical psychologist. Psychology At the University of Rochester Medical Center. “The body will react as if it is in danger”, which is what keeps these symptoms persistent.

Four main Symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Recurring event
  • Avoid places, situations or people that remind you of events
  • Feeling more negative than ever, hard to be happy or have positive emotions. Many people with PTSD say they feel numb.
  • Feel the edge. This symptom is called “hyperarousal”, which means it is difficult to relax, frightens easily, and you may be more angry and cranky than before.

Can PTSD be treated?

Yes it is!

“In the past, when we learned Treating post-traumatic stress disorder, This is considered a chronic disease where you must learn to live and cope with symptoms,” said Dr. Paula P. Schnurr, executive director of the PTSD National Center and professor of psychiatry at Gessel College. Dartmouth University Department of Medicine. We now know that many people will be able to successfully recover from post-traumatic stress disorder, especially with the correct treatment. It is common to try more than one. “

Treatment methods may include long-term exposure therapy, in which you will work with a therapist to expose yourself in a safe way to thoughts, feelings and situations that you have been avoiding, as well as cognitive processing therapy, in the process , You will learn to recognize and change negative thoughts. . They are very effective in overcoming PTSD. The PTSD National Center has a decision-making tool that can help you find the right approach:

How can meditation help?

Meditation is a physical and mental exercise that involves paying close attention to the present moment, combining attention with the knowledge of the body, breathing, thoughts, and surrounding feelings. It helps to concentrate, relieve pressureAnd increase calmness. Meditation itself is not a treatment for PTSD, but when combined with one of the above treatment options, or as a continuous practice to help you relieve stress after treatment, it will be very helpful.

“Training attention is the first step,” said Gallige Greenwich, who has studied how physical and mental practice affects post-traumatic illness. Stress symptoms. “In mindfulness meditation, you focus on the present. Not everything you feel will be comfortable. Maybe you hear the road. Maybe your body is uncomfortable. Through mindfulness meditation, you will notice how you feel and stay in that static position. , You just need that feeling, without any changes or fights.”

Shaili Jain, MD, a psychiatrist at the VA Palo Alto Health System in California, said: “Patients I practice meditation and other mindfulness exercises often report irritability, anger, and reduced sense of control.” The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders. “They can slow down their reactions and can better control themselves, behave more timely and attentively, instead of reacting passively.”

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Although a large number of studies have not been conducted, limited studies have shown that meditation improves the symptoms of PTSD. Frustrated. “As a clinician, I think meditation is a very powerful supplement to meditation. treatment“, said Jasitarian. “For post-traumatic stress disorder, meditation will definitely not have any adverse effects or adverse effects. “

If you have PTSD, how do you find the right meditation course for you? Gallegos Greenwich suggests searching for “trauma-informed meditation” or “trauma-sensitive meditation.” “For people with PTSD, part of recovery is learning to feel controlled again, so you want to use a program that doesn’t insist on closing your own program. eye Or sit down somehow. “

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If you are in treatment, Schnurr recommends asking your therapist to recommend meditation classes or apps that they think might be helpful to you. She said: “Many Virginia facilities offer meditation classes to support veterans’ care.”

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Virginia also offers a free mindfulness coach app to help you adopt simple mindfulness exercises, and the service is for everyone, not just veterans. Other apps recommended by experts include “headspace”, “calm” and “10% happy”.

Spending only 5 minutes of meditation every day can make a big difference. “It’s not like Antibiotics “You can treat the infection until the end.” Schnurr said. “This is an ongoing health practice, and many people use them every day in their lives with and without PTSD.”


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