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'Meditation soothes war veterans' - Agence France Presse
by Mario Orsatti

Transcendental Meditation - USA
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16 February 2011

Record numbers of American soldiers are being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since the start of the Iraq war—a debilitating syndrome which these men and women carry with them from the battlefield into civilian life. But fortunately—and often with the prescription of their physicians—a growing number of these veterans are learning the Transcendental Meditation technique and finding an immediate and long-lasting healing relief from this terrible disorder.

The problem of PTSD among veterans has reached epidemic proportions—with an estimated half million soldiers and veterans suffering from the syndrome, according to a recent report by the international news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP). Even more shocking, a greater number of veterans and soldiers have died by suicide then in combat since the start of the Iraq war.

In addition, a US Army-funded study conducted by psychiatrists at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, found that that 8 to 14 percent of infantry soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan returned seriously disabled by mental health problems, and as many as 30 percent return with some impairment. About half the soldiers with either PTSD or depression also misused alcohol or had problems with aggressive behavior.

Army veteran Ken Anderson knows firsthand the crippling effects of PTSD. In an interview with AFP, he discussed his experiences after he returned from his tour of duty in Iraq. He said he just went numb. ''I had no emotion at all, nothing. I didn't care about anybody, and I didn't care about myself. I didn't feel happy—I didn't feel sad. And the only way to feel happy or sad was to drink.'' This, he said, led to five years of extreme alcohol abuse, panic attacks and a suicide attempt—telltale symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

But Ken is on the road to recovery, he says, because of his practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. ''The most immediate result I noticed was the fact that I didn't need to drink alcohol to feel good or to feel happy,'' he said.

To ensure that more and more veterans like Ken have access to the Transcendental Meditation technique, a group of meditating vets from World War II and the Vietnam, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan wars have partnered with the David Lynch Foundation to launch Operation Warrior Wellness.

If you are a veteran with PTSD, or if you know someone who suffers from this serious disorder, please contact Operation Warrior Wellness for more information about the scientific research on the TM technique for veterans and how you or a loved one can learn the technique.

The full Agence France Presse interview is included in this video post on the official US Transcendental Meditation program website.

Related posts:

1. Agence France-Presse report: TM program helps de-stress schools in Brazil

2. Meditating veterans experience reduced PTSD symptoms

3. Legendary directors mobilize to bring Transcendental Meditation to veterans - Wall St. Journal

4. Launching ''Operation Warrior Wellness' — VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS Bringing TM to Veterans suffering from PTSD

5. WWII veteran writes book about overcoming PTSD through Transcendental Meditation

© Copyright 2011 Maharishi Foundation USA

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