Is Time Outdoors the Key to Helping Veterans Overcome PTSD?
This article on goodtherapy.org explores how outdoors (ecotherapy) can help veterans overcome PTSD.
Army veteran Stephen Simmons served multiple tours in Iraq. When he came home, he was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress, which made interacting with friends and family difficult. Though he had trouble sleeping and struggled with managing his feelings of anger and guilt, he found strength in mitigating these struggles with physical activity. “Instead of ignoring and repressing these aggressive tendencies or jolts of adrenaline in your system, you can put them to work by challenging yourself against nature. It’s about action rather than apathy,” he said in a 2014 article posted on Mother Nature Network.
Why Ecotherapy Works for Former Service Members
Many service men and women are struggling with mental health issues after their tours abroad; this epidemic is claiming the lives of more veterans than the most recent wars themselves. With the growing need for effective mental health services, many veterans are turning to alternative forms of “green” treatment in outdoor settings. Since camaraderie, physical challenge, and personal growth are characteristics of both military service and of many of the ecotherapeutic programs cropping up around the United States, it makes this an ideal treatment form for veterans struggling with posttraumatic stress….