Meditation Heals Military Vets With PTSD
by Lara Salahi
ABC News, June 6, 2011
For months, David George, 27, of Fairfield, Iowa, had been eyeing a pistol he saw at a local store.
In 2004, shortly after returning from Iraq, the former specialist in the 101st Airborne Division moved into his parents’ home in Maryland. At every noise, George, who owned a rifle, systematically moved from one room to the next to make sure the house was clear. The pistol, he thought, would make it easier.
“But I didn’t buy it, because I knew if I brought it home I’d shoot myself,” he said.
George struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, a form of anxiety that develops after enduring a traumatic experience. For five years, George underwent stints of medication and talk therapy, both intended to quell his PTSD symptoms. But neither method worked for him, he said.
“It [the medications] helped make me not who I am. It took away my creativity, my personality, my ability to care about anything,” said George. “The one-on-ones were like, why am I talking to someone who has no idea what I’ve been through.”
It was the first time I felt quiet in my mind for five years — Iraq veteran David George
Until one day in 2009, while participating in a research session on transcendental meditation, George sat still for 20 minutes and focused on repeating a mantra.
“From the first time I did it, I knew it was what I would do for the rest of my life,” said George. “It was the first time I felt quiet in my mind for five years.”
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Filed under: Resources Tagged: | Afghanistan, Army, Combat, David George, David Lynch Foundation, Depression, Dr. Norman Rosenthal, Georgetown University Medical School, Infantry, Iraq, Marine Corps, Mental Health, Military, Military Family, Military Suicide, Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Navy, Operation Warrior Wellness, PTSD, Stigma, Stress, Suicide prevention, Transcendental meditation, Veterans, Veterans Affairs, War