Tag Archives: #veteranswithptsd

On the Brink! As a Young Adult Serving in the US Navy 1965…

Depression and Suicide Among Young Adults

As an 18 year old young man in the US Navy in 1965, I was very lucky!  Click here… Thanks to the excellent care by US Navy mental health professionals, I am here today at age 73, I struggle with lifelong symptoms of agitated depression, but with loving support from family, friends and effective clinical therapy, I feel a peace of mind that everything is going to be okay.  I know now from receiving my medical records from that time that traumatic experiences from childhood years and as a young adult took its toll.  Even though my memory is lost from that time, my medical records show that W. F. Miner, LCDR. MC USN in May of 1965 was paying attention.  I am very thankful for Dr. Miner’s thorough evaluation and treatment to help me through a most critical and risky period in my life.

I found a couple of references to W. F. Miner USN.  His service to America and contributions as a mental health professional appear to be substantial.  He along with D. S. Burgoyne CDR MC USN, Psychiatrist, were both instrumental in my treatment and recovery.  I have a much better appreciation and gratitude for the US Navy mental health community after reviewing my medical records from long ago.  We hear mostly of the statistics presented in the above chart, but not always about the lives saved every day by caring mental health professionals everywhere.  I only wish I could find these two heroes from my US Navy experience and thank them personally for saving my life…

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Mental Heath Advocate

Mindfulness Therapy for Veterans and Others Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress… Learning to ‘live in the moment’ is healing…

MindfulnessPTSD

“Veterans with PTSD who received mindfulness-based therapy reported greater (though modest) improvement in symptom severity than veterans in another form of therapy.”

Mindfulness…”Living in the Moment.”  Quote from this link… Great video clip!

“Mindfulness-based stress reduction therapy teaches people to pay attention to the present moment in an accepting way. Past studies have shown it can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but could it also provide relief for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? A new study finds veterans with PTSD who received mindfulness-based therapy reported greater improvement in symptom severity than veterans in group therapy sessions focused on current problems. Their overall improvement, though, was modest.  PTSD affects nearly a quarter — 23 percent — of all veterans who have returned from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Left untreated, this condition poses unique dangers to veterans and their families.”

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It is a true story that living in the moment doing the things you are passionate about, including making a difference for others, offers a way to keep the pain of past traumatic experiences at a safer distance and mitigates anxiety about the future.  Some will argue that these healthy distractions achieved through mindfulness-based therapy can keep a person in denial of addressing the root causes of post trauma symptoms.  I say doing both in a balanced way can be effective.  I would rather practice mindfulness therapy than use prescription drugs or alcohol as self medication for the long term.  I also need to revisit and reconcile my own life trauma circumstances as an on-going process to keep a healthy perspective of those early child and young adult years that were so painful living in a highly stressful and sometimes violent home.

I have written often about the topic of “mindfulness”  (click highlighted text for video clip) in the context of life after trauma for adults.  But the practice and benefits of meditation or mindfulness therapy definitely apply broadly as a way to relax for people of all ages.  Children in particular get stressed out the same as adults.  We all need a mindfulness timeout a few times a day to stay calm and focused on the joy of living, learning, and growing.”

Take a look at my author page, and download “My Journey Part 2” and other books and resources to explore mindfulness-based therapy.  I have enjoyed far more peace of mind in these later years by becoming highly aware of my own post traumatic stress symptoms, and engaging in a balanced treatment strategy that works.  Each individual must find their own way, or in the case of children, show them the way by practicing living in the moment techniques.

Steve Sparks, Author, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story and My Journey of Healing in Life after Trauma, Part 1 & 2…  Click the highlighted text for my author page…

Steve2016

Steve Sparks, Author, Blogger, Child Advocate, and member, Lincoln County Oregon Mental Health Advisory Committee (MHAC)