22 Veteran Suicides a Day, The movie “ACRONYM” assists in P.T.S.D relief.

Dr.+Greg+Gipskind+in+%22ACRONYM%22Dr. Greg Gipskind in “ACRONYM”

Katie Wamsley, Health Reporter •  April 13, 2017• Edit Side by Side Container Story

22 Veterans commit suicide each day, that’s one every 65 minutes. 8,030 veteran women/men choose to leave this earth due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) each year.

Our veterans who fight for our country are visited daily by the stressors of decompressing memories that feel like a real simulation experience from the demands of war training.

Obeying military orders and what veterans have to do to carry out missions have triggered intrusive hippocampus flares of memories that in turn will drive a person’s stress hormones. This is part of the fight or flight hormone response.

When veterans come back to their home base, they’re reintegrated back into our community. Veterans deal with their own humanity when they return from war.

For “Mental Health Week,” Arapahoe Community College (A.C.C.) offered a dinner and the film, “ACRONYM: The Cross-Generational Battle With P.T.S.D.”

Getting back into a routine of connection, and integrating life after trauma can alter someone’s life forever, including those who are most connected to the individual suffering from P.T.S.D.

This is no easy task for anyone, much less a person battling with their own demons.  Here is a helpful phrase to say to someone experiencing episodes of P.T.S.D.:

“It’s all right, it’s over, it’s just a memory,” stemming from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”

While decompressing and learning to reintegrate back into our community, daily stressors and responsibilities impact our veterans. Coping skills are a must to survive and begin again in one’s life.

Members throughout our state and community are reaching out to our veterans. It’s wonderful to be in the presence of those who are able to extend their gratitude and who have patriotic dedication in doing what is right for our women and men who have served our country. Our veterans deserve our best.

Veterans are reaching out through the film “ACRONYM” and asking for more research to be done on the alternative therapies listed below:

Equine Therapy 

This is a form of therapy for people with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) to learn how to communicate using horses.

“Isolation can kill a person just like it can a horse.”  Jon Nash stated in the film “ACRONYM.” Military mind set teaches service members and veterans the meaning of being tough, or get “chapter-ed out,” this creates the effect of one who is suffering to hide themselves versus getting help they need.

Jon Nash is a veteran of the Vietnam war. He understands the tough guy attitude and knows firsthand how the effects of PTSD can turn your life upside down. Visit combatveteranscowboyup.org in Castle Rock for 10 sessions of equine therapy for relief.

Singing Bowls (Sound and vibration) Therapy

Tibetan singing bowls have traveled across the Himalayas to our front doors.  Formerly used for sacred meditation healing practices by monks and nuns in Tibet, these are another tool for sound healing.  Bowls can be made from brass to crystal, with different sizes to produce varying levels of vibrations.  Through healing practices, these singing bowls are placed around one’s body and upon the stomach.  One can feel the vibration and hear the tones to adjust the body’s homeostasis.  There are many healing centers that offer singing bowl therapy in the metro area.

Physical PEMF Healing

While not mentioned in the movie, Pulsed Electro Magnetic Field therapy has been used to treat depression and physical ailments such as non-union fractures. Information on Denver based therapy can be found here.

Fishing with Bill Miller, Wounded Warrior USA

Many service men and women stated throughout “ACRONYM” that they are determined not to fail in their pursuit of a normal life.  It doesn’t matter which war you served in, or what you’re diagnosed with, such as PTSD, Battle Fatigue (World War II era), Shell Shock, or War Neurosis. Our community is ready to embrace you and help you through your challenges.

Bill Miller Wounded Warrior USA takes veterans out fishing and is a Navy veteran himself.  Contact Bill Miller at 719-291-3500 or via email at millerbd@millerbd.cnc.net, or Dave Bryant at 720-298-9260/dcbstick@msn.com.

Traditional Methods

Some traditional methods of treating PTSD have included: EMDR therapy, cognitive therapy, exercise, yoga, art, gardening, playing golf, and sports massage.  Mindfulness and meditation to marijuana is said to help calm the nervous system. Others have led groups with fishing, hiking in the great outdoors, and enjoying Colorado’s activities to the fullest.

EMDR Treatment

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment for those who experience traumatic memories.  This treatment may help a few, it often takes cycling through different treatments until you find the right fit for your own body’s perceptions.

The Sturm Center

The University of Denver offers a Masters and Psy.D. in Military Psychology.

Dr. Katy Barrs at the Sturm Center was knowledgeable, easy to talk with, and has a compassionate understanding for our service veterans.  The Sturm Center provides culturally competent specialized services for our Veterans, Service Members, and their families.  Confidential appointments can be made at 303-871-7942.

ACC Veterans Services

Please check out our own school’s resources for help. Contact Rebecca Zaltman at 303-797-5959. Ask about the Veteran’s Homework Club.

Mountain Time Media is also sharing this documentary for free for service veterans.  Please call 303-228-2247 with your questions, comments, or reviews. You also might like their “American Veteran Show” every Saturday and Sunday on KOA and iHeart Radio.

Arapahoe Pinnacle • Katie Wamsley Copyright 2017

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