PE, CPT and similar treatment programs are relatively short-term, and have proven effective in a variety of settings. And studies suggest that providing these treatments for PTSD result in reduced health-care costs. So why aren't they being commonly delivered to the people who need them?
I am doing this so that the public can witness the trauma that follows war. Witness. Because this trauma is as much yours as it is ours. Witness and own it. Witnessing breaks the isolation trauma creates. Witnessing furthers the healing of individuals and of our society.
The human mind has the ability to triumph over almost impossible circumstances. Decades of research by some of the leading neuroscientists in the world is showing that the brain is capable of changing for the better.
When we make decisions in life, we don't have the benefit of hindsight, and we just go ahead and do the best we can with what we have. That is how Chris Kyle lived: doing the best he could, with what he had, to help someone else.
When we talk about a healthy population, we need to remember that a very important focus needs to be on the health of our returning veterans. We need to develop and implement programs for the veterans designed to improve stress management and encourage healthy outcomes.
This week, I've participated in a resiliency training for vets suffering from PTSD. Located in a beautiful residential facility perched on a mountain overlooking the Pacific in Malibu, Calif., the program offers vets tools for dealing with their trauma.
Meditation is mobilizing attentiveness on purpose. What we pay attention to grows, like watering a newly-planted tree. As we use this capacity for awareness it grows stronger, a kind of meditative muscle.
Perhaps the greatest lesson we have learned from natural and human-made disasters is how resilient most people can be. But one should not go it alone in the face of disaster, whether an individual, community, city or nation.
The name of the blog, "Fixes," is unfortunate for an article like this. Why? Because there is no quick fix for war-related anguish. And no way to create Teflon troops. Veterans and service members don't want or need "fixing." They want to feel understood and accepted.
Service members, veterans and their families benefit from social support approaches. We should make them part and parcel of reintegration and mental health programming and provide the resources necessary for them to grow.
No doubt, painkillers are often an absolute necessity to veterans suffering from excruciating and debilitating pain. But even in these cases, we need to go further in offering substantive, long-term treatments that will help veterans return to their lives and fulfill their dreams.
While the emergence of veterans courts is an invaluable reform, no state mandates them. It is up to the individual county whether to create a veterans court. This creates a terrible roll of the dice for the veteran.
Obama should use the bully pulpit to urge troops and veterans to seek help if they are depressed, suffering from PTSD or suicidal. He should also trumpet legislation to fund more mental-health counselors for the armed forces and for veterans.
I would like to present WWII veteran Jerry Yellin's story, which much more eloquently than I could describes how transcendental meditation provided the relief from his trauma and the recovery of his spirit.