How Can MBSR Help Veterans Heal From Past Trauma?

How Can MBSR Help Veterans Heal From Past Trauma?

How Can MBSR Help Veterans Heal From Past Trauma?

The military demands a high degree of commitment. Military individuals frequently endure traumatic events due to the nature of operations. Some individuals may witness or experience tragic injuries, violence, or a catastrophic death. Many veterans find it challenging to overcome unwanted triggers associated with past trauma. It can be highly difficult for a veteran to cope with past trauma without receiving professional support. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can help. Many veterans have found great benefits from participating in MBSR at Restoration Recovery. 

What Is PTSD?

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), an individual who has witnessed or experienced a life-threatening event may be at an increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is only natural for one to show some signs of stress, have a few upsetting memories, or have some level of fear after a life-threatening event. If an individual experiences persistent problems associated with the event for over a month they may be diagnosed with PTSD. This is a mental health issue that can interfere with an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis. 

What Causes Veteran PTSD?

Years ago, not many veterans understood what was going on with their mental health after being discharged from the military. This left veterans feeling alone in what may have seemed like an ongoing nightmare. Fortunately, today there is more awareness on this topic to give veterans a better understanding of their condition. Different traumatic events may trigger the onset of PTSD for veterans. It is important to note that not everyone who has served in the military faces challenges with past trauma. Those who do may experience persistent issues related to severe situations. Further risk factors for veteran PTSD include: 

  • Traumatic deployment experiences
  • Seeing an open wound
  • Witnessing a buddy pass away
  • Severe injuries
  • Combat exposure

Veteran PTSD Symptoms

Common symptoms a veteran may experience that may cause problems in their life after being discharged from the military include: 

  • Problems sleeping
  • Irritability 
  • Angry outbursts
  • Intense paranoia or fear
  • Changes in personality
  • Avoidant behavior

Veteran PTSD Triggers

Transitioning into a normal way of life after serving in the military for any amount of time can be a challenging experience for those with past trauma. It can be difficult for many veterans to respond to unwanted trauma triggers. Trauma triggers commonly include: 

  • Certain war movie scenes
  • Different conversations
  • Disputes
  • Crowded events
  • Music
  • Certain noises
  • Unexpected physical contact

The Value of MBSR

Living with unmanaged PTSD can lead to co-occurring mental health problems such as major depressive disorder. Many individuals facing persistent issues with their mental health choose to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol in hopes of coping with their condition. This option only provides temporary relief, typically leads to severe substance use disorder (SUD), and ultimately worsens their mental health condition.

Although many veterans experience problems coping with past trauma, many individuals find a sense of relief after seeking professional care. There are a lot of support systems available today to help veterans overcome past trauma. Participating in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can help veterans manage the effects of PTSD and gain their lives back. 

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, MBSR assists those in coping with a wide range of daily stressors. It is a helpful program that provides effective strategies through a science-based medical practice. Evidence shows that putting mindfulness-based practices into action can help one manage the effects of their condition. Additionally, MBSR can: 

  • Support better decision-making
  • Improve concentration
  • Promote creativity
  • Improve memory

The Efficacy of MBSR for Veterans With Past Trauma

Based on a randomized, controlled trial, the VA team assessed results from various time points, which included two months following an eight-week program. The study found that both MBSR and group therapy showed beneficial outcomes in veteran PTSD management. Among the MBSR group, greater improvement was analyzed in self-reported PTSD. Even six months later, MBSR outperformed other group therapies for easing the negative effects of PTSD.

Participating in MBSR at Restoration Recovery to Gain Benefits Moving Forward From Trauma

Some veterans may feel hesitant to report their symptoms. Not many individuals feel comfortable coming forth about past trauma as it can be very difficult to discuss. Some men may fear opening up about the effects of their condition as it can be perceived as weak by others. 

Surrendering to treatment is not easy for everyone but may be worth it in the end. Participating in MBSR at Restoration Recovery can significantly improve a veteran’s life for the better. One can learn the strategies needed to maintain long-term mental stability. Staying committed to each MBSR session can help a veteran gain a better quality of life. The benefits of attending mindfulness-based stress reduction include the following: 

  • Promotes long-term recovery
  • Reduces PTSD symptoms
  • Decreases stress levels
  • Increases self-control
  • Improves sleep 
  • Holistic form of care
  • Alternative to medicative solutions
  • Can serve as a complementary service 

At our California recovery center, our serene setting helps clients achieve not just wellness, but overall wholeness. Many holistic therapies are rooted in bodywork and mindfulness practices. You can expect to have your mind, body, and spirit integrated into your addiction treatment. Many drug and alcohol addiction rehab programs are turning toward a “whole-body” (holistic) approach to recovery. Rather than just treating the disease, holistic treatment looks at a person as a whole and introduces healing to other aspects of the individual. Our team of specialists understands that veterans cannot simply recover from past trauma overnight. Call Restoration Recovery at (888) 290-0925 to learn if MBSR is right for you.

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