The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that between 11 and 20 percent of veterans from conflicts in Iraq, 12 percent of those from the Gulf War, and 15 percent of Vietnam servicemembers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. This is why so many leaders and advocacy groups have stressed the importance of raising awareness and increasing funding for research to combat the affliction within the population.
One veteran recently discovered a very interesting approach to treatments.
MilitaryTimes reported that Army veteran Robin Krauth, who worked as a medic during her time in the military, has begun using Legos to help ease her anxieties while in therapy for PTSD. Interestingly, while the initial use of this technique only helped in the process of counseling rather than at home, Krauth eventually found that a much larger puzzle carried the positive effects outside of the doctor's office.
According to the source, Krauth's approach falls within the definition of "recreational therapy," or activities incorporated into a rehabilitation program that ease the stress of the participants. Perhaps the greatest outcome Krauth cited having was the feeling of normalcy and confidence that had thus far eluded her since first being diagnosed.
"And there's a fun element, too," Brent Hawkins, a recreational therapy professor at Clemson University, told MilitaryTimes. "When something is fun, we tend to engage in it more often, and the therapeutic values get bigger and bigger the more you do something."
Contributions to PTSD research can have a major impact on the lives of veterans, as so much of this particular fight is reliant on increased knowledge regarding the causes and symptoms. With awareness building, more treatments such as this unique Lego tactic are likely to become available in the future.