PTSD: Exploring new treatments to aid our Veterans
41% of deployed veterans are diagnosed or are at risk of PTSD. Newscenter 25’s David Gibson spoke with veterans about what its like living with the disorder and to doctors about new treatments.
PTSD is plaguing those who served our country, The U.S. Department of Veterans affairs says 10% of Gulf War veterans and 11% of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans live with PTSD.
“Its the lifestyle, the training, being deployed in remote areas and you still have family back here in the states that you have to take care of which causes anxiety, depression,” explains Veteran James Pinn Peer Services Coordinator. “Some have traumatic brain injuries they have to deal with, and they may have a friend that came back home in a body bag.”
I spoke with a few veterans about what its like to live day to day with PTSD.
“At times it can be stressful but at times it could be joyful. it all depends on what kind of mood I am in and what is on my mind,” says Michael Lubbock, Veteran.
“The flashbacks of what happened over there or the nightmares that happened during night time, and just trying to cope with it,” adds Del-Rey Handy, Veteran.
“Everyday looking at people are they going to harm me or somebody else so its a daily struggle to try do that and i try to block it out of my mind.”
Many veterans are prescribed medication to help them with PTSD, but some say it makes them feel like a zombie. I spoke with Clinical Psychologist Timothy Rentz about whether or not medical marijuana could be a new treatment to help veterans with PTSD.
“I have heard anecdotal reports of people saying that it helps them calm down however its not supported yet by clinical outcome research. that research i believe is being done but the jury is still out on the effectiveness of that,” explains Timothy Rentz, Clinical Psychologist.
I asked Del-Rey Handy if he tried medical marijuana and he tells me it works for others but not him. some of the new treatments he tried mediation.
“I found out that helps a lot with just clearing my mind and trying to relax myself, relax my whole energy and my well being,” adds Handy.
But the biggest thing that helps Del Rey with his PTSD is music.
“Music puts me in a good place, music helps my mind relax. I say music is my biggest go-to remedy as far as trying to surpress my PTSD,” said Handy.
Rentz adds at the VA hospital they are teaching veterans how to cope with PTSD.
“It helps them revaluate what that traumatic event means to them now and help them accept what happened and lead to post traumatic growth,” says Rentz.
They can learn and grow from their experiences.
“We also have a range of non-trauma focused types of intervention which may involve coping like anger management and stress management,” says Rentz.
A new format for treatment in the VA hopsital is Tele-health. Veterans can pick up the phone and reach out anytime.
“So our providers can deliver PTSD treatments directly from their office here to different smart phone or tablet or whatever electronic device is,” tells Rentz.
If you or anyone you know needs help, you can reach out to the Veteran Crisis Hotline at 1(800) 273-8255
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