PTSD Therapies: Safe And Natural Treatments For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Are Being Rediscovered

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is being treated in new ways, many of which are actually old ways being rediscovered. A new generation of war veterans and others need this treatment after being impacted by the disorder following various traumatic events. Doctors are rediscovering that treatments and therapies don't have to be complicated or invasive to be effective.

Sometimes, post-traumatic stress disorder can be treated with simple and natural treatments. Perhaps greatest among those is communication. That should include an open line of communication with a doctor, therapist, or an experienced spiritual counselor, such as a pastor, as well as a relationship with others who also suffer from the illness, according to Make the Connection. Keeping communication honest and straightforward between family and close friends is also vital. In addition, though there are other activities long used to treat war trauma finding their way into use again.

PTSD has been successfully treated using horticultural therapy in the past. Dr. Benjamin Rush first developed the simple form of treatment, to help mental patients during the 1800s, according to Paste Magazine. Gardening was one of the most effective PTSD treatments after World War II. The Growing Health Benefits Report explains that gardening builds a sense of community, reduces stress, and improves alertness.

Post-traumatic stress disorder sufferers benefit greatly from special agricultural retreats for veterans. There are a number of therapeutic gardens springing up across the country, where veterans and others can come together to learn the basics of gardening and to use those as coping skills in their own gardens for years to come. The Wallis Annenberg Heroes Garden is a handicapped-accessible walled garden in Bluemont, Virginia. It is just one of the facilities used by the Boulder Crest Retreat.

Medical Marijuana
Medical Marijuana For PTSD [Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images]

Co-founder Julia Falk explained to Paste Magazine the benefits of the retreat.

"It provides combat veterans and their families with the chance to engage in a calming and peaceful activity and focuses them on the subject of healthy eating and nutrition. It's one small part of what we do, but it makes a significant difference."
PTSD has also long been treated, though quite unofficially, with marijuana use, at least since the Vietnam war. Now, researchers in Maryland and Arizona are looking for veterans who could volunteer to participate in a two-joint-a-day scientific study to either prove or disprove the effectiveness of marijuana on PTSD. After years of anecdotal evidence by veterans, they want to put this theory to the test. Military Times has the details and how veterans can sign up for the study.

PTSD suffers respond well to any quiet outdoor activity, including nature walks. Being outdoors in a peaceful environment can provide automatic stress relief, and it allows time for reflection, according to Paste Magazine. Whether alone or in small groups, nature provides a wonderful setting for healing.

Veteran Gardening by Carsten Koall c
Veteran Gardening [Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images]

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be difficult to deal with alone. It is important for those who suffer with it to find others to talk with about their problems. In addition, though, as an opening to dialog, a good resource is the book, Fearful Odds: A Memoir of Vietnam and Its Aftermath by Charles W. Newhall is perhaps the best book ever written on the topic. It has been a lifesaver to veterans suffering from PTSD for decades. Charles is able to reveal his experience and his recovery in ways that have offered hope and comfort to the soldiers of numerous wars. It is a must-read for PTSD sufferers, even those who were never in a war.

PTSD can also be treated with medications, including sleep aids and anti-depressants. Whether or not prescription medication is used, these simple time-tested remedies can be used to facilitate healing in conjunction with other therapies. Still, mental health treatment does not have to be complicated to be effective. Also, one doesn't have to be a therapist to reach out and help someone. Farmers and gardeners can help veterans learn the skills they need to find healing.

PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) can be treated safely and naturally with time-tested therapies.

[Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images]