Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the hardest and most debilitating conditions a veteran can face when transitioning into their life after service. Medication and therapy are two of the most common forms of treatment, but some creative and caring minds have come up with some new methods.
WTVM in Georgia reported on Jon Jackson, an Army veteran and founder of STAG VETS, a nonprofit group that treats servicemembers with PTSD and traumatic brain injury through farming. It may sound odd, but Jackson's 20 acres of farmland have already begun to help hundreds of homeless veterans break out from under the shadow of combat memories.
"A lot of the veterans that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan find themselves displaced," Jackson told WTVM. "A lot of those things are not working out for them. Farming and agriculture is pretty much like the military. You have to wake up early to feed the animals, things have to be done, you have to constantly plan and be strategic."
Veterans who arrive at the Comfort Farms build greenhouses and chicken coops, among other things. Jackson hopes to expand the size of the farm in coming years to house veterans and their families.
While farming is one method for alleviating PTSD, researchers at the Dwight Eisenhower Army Medical Center's Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic have found transcendental meditation effective. According to UPI, meditation helps veterans rely less on medication for treatment.
Finding inner peace by tuning out distractions has a direct effect on stress hormones, the medical center's study found.
After one month of examining veterans undergoing meditation and comparing them to a group who was not, the researchers found that nearly 84 percent of those meditating had held even, decreased or stopped altogether their medication usage. About 59 percent of the non-meditation group had done so.