PTSD can be a debilitating condition, and it affects between 11-20% of veterans.
When soldiers retire from service, they deserve all the joys of civilian life. But all too often, the soldier that comes home isn’t the same person who enlisted.
Instead of being able to enjoy their family and build a career, they might be left battling deep trauma that disrupts everything from their emotions to their closest relationships.
Unfortunately, treatment for veterans with PTSD often centers around prescription medication. Although medication can mask the symptoms of PTSD, it doesn’t heal the psychological wounds.
In some cases, medication can also be dangerous. Drug-free treatment offers veterans a chance to break free from trauma without relying on prescription meds.
Keep reading to find out the benefits of drug-free treatment options for PTSD.
Drug-Free Treatment Offers a Chance at Real Healing
Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean PTSD isn’t a form of injury.
Just like pain medication isn’t going to set and heal a broken bone, medications for PTSD can’t heal the underlying damage.
Without non-drug treatment, you’re left exactly where you started, just with pills to pop to mask the effects. Drug-free PTSD treatment focuses on healing the trauma instead of suppressing it.
Trauma is (partly) a series of associations in the brain that have been hard-wired. For instance, thunder or fireworks can be big triggers for veterans with PTSD because of their similarity to gunfire.
You might not be able to completely “de-wire” these mental circuits and associations. But, with the right treatment, you can help weaken them.
Drug-free PTSD treatment can also help you understand how trauma works and equip you with tools and coping mechanisms for managing the symptoms.
If you can overcome PTSD naturally, without having to dope yourself up on medication, the relief can be powerful and life-altering.
Drug-Free Treatment Keeps You Safe From Side Effects
Not only is drug-free PTSD treatment often more effective, it’s also safer. Here’s why.
Veterans with PTSD are usually prescribed SSRIs/SNRIs. These can trigger a range of side effects, including:
- Feelings of agitation
One of the biggest problems with PTSD and medications is that it usually doesn’t stop with one prescription. You might start off with just an antidepressant but then find it’s causing insomnia. To counteract this side effect, your doctor might go on to prescribe sleeping medication.
Sleeping medications come with their own range of side effects, including headaches, constipation, heartburn, etc.
Before you know it, you might end up on a cocktail of meds.
Taking too much medication isn’t safe for anybody, but it can be especially dangerous for PTSD veterans. PTSD and substance abuse often go hand in hand, and you only have to look at the veterans and alcoholism stats to see this in action.
Using substances, whether prescribed ones or illicit drugs, can be a slippery slope that can result in abuse or dependence.
Finally, being on antidepressants isn’t always that great. A lot of people assume that it will make them feel more “like themselves”, but in reality, antidepressants can leave you feeling numb, unlike yourself, and unable to experience a wide range of emotions.
You might not suffer from uncontrollable anger anymore, but you might also find it harder to feel strong positive emotions.
We Help Provide Access to Drug-Free Treatment for Veterans With PTSD
PTSD can affect every area of your life. It’s also very hard to combat on your own. Drugs can make the symptoms more manageable, but they also come with inherent risks—and they don’t treat the underlying cause.
Healing PTSD naturally might be harder than taking a prescription, but the rewards are worth it. If you can target the trauma directly, you can lessen its grip and regain your mental/emotional freedom.
Here at the Cpl. Chad Eric Oligschlaeger Foundation, we are proud to be able to offer resources and assistance to veterans with PTSD.
For more information, you can browse our list of centers that offer treatment for veterans with PTSD.
Is the cost of treatment holding you back? Are you worried you can’t afford to get help? You can also apply for sponsorship through us.