New Vitae Wellness and Recovery commemorated the month of June as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, awareness month.  Anyone who experiences a traumatic event may encounter symptoms of PTSD.  The diagnosis describes a series of behaviors that can include, but is not limited to:

• Intrusive thoughts: thinking about the trauma, even when you don’t want to
• Avoiding people or things that might remind you of the trauma
• Negative thoughts or beliefs about yourself or others
• Reactive behaviors: becoming angry or being easily startled, as well as difficulty sleeping

Different experiences will impact people in different ways; however, men and women who experience the trauma of war are one group that can potentially encounter PTSD symptoms.  New Vitae’s Veteran services hoped to assist our Veteran residents and promote communication regarding PTSD symptoms by hosting a weekly Veteran Social on June 20th, 2019 that explored the diagnosis.

Participants watched a documentary on PTSD called “Resurface,” which tells the story of a Veteran who experienced symptoms of the diagnosis but finds therapeutic value in the act of surfing.  The documentary highlights the varied self-care techniques that Veterans may find important for recovery and offers possible solutions to the Veteran healthcare crisis.  Staff members engaged Veterans in a group discussion following the movie and offered refreshments during and following the film.  The social was very moving for several of the Veterans and staff, some of whom elected to spend more time in nature to follow the example of the Veteran in the film.

To offer additional support to Veterans and others challenged by PTSD symptoms, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery is pleased to announce that we will soon be offering neurofeedback sessions with deep transcranial magnetic stimulation and BrainPaint software.  BrainPaint is a system designed to re-train participants’ brains to effectively navigate stress-inducing memories in order to promote wellness and reduce challenging behavioral health symptoms.  New Vitae Wellness and Recovery will be using BrainPaint over the course of the next several months to assist individuals who experience PTSD symptoms, anxiety, and other mood disorders find relief from trauma and other challenging symptoms.

The impact of trauma cannot be overstated; some people may feel as if their experiences will overwhelm their lives.  However, the experiences described in the film, the stories of others in recovery, and the development and use of tools such as BrainPaint emphasize the importance of hope and individualized care.  Certainly, having Veterans supporting other Veterans can be very helpful within the recovery process.  We encourage any Veteran who may be encountering challenges following their service to contact New Vitae or another support service to assist in planning an active recovery.

Please continue to offer support to the men and women who serve our country through our armed forces. For veterans’ support services, contact us today.