Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone subject to a huge stress, but veterans have it the toughest. More than a quarter of U.S. veterans of recent wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) have been treated by the Veterans Administration (VA) for PTSD. And that doesn’t count the veterans who never were seen in a VA medical center or medical office, or at all.
Wilderness immersion and nature adventure therapy have been identified as helpful to many veterans, in several controlled trials. Nature adventure therapy is a type of rehabilitation, which appears to work in part by desensitization.
With gradual identification of anxiety-producing circumstances, the subject can build self-esteem in that circumstance, and learn to control his or her symptoms.
Horticultural therapy has also been successful in treating PTSD in a 5 week program, and resulted in less depression and stress after the program.
To do: If you have PTSD, or suspect you may, seek help: the VA has a listing of specialized treatment programs https://www.ptsd.va.gov/gethelp/tx_programs.aspfrom around the country.
Reduce your own level of stress by turning off your device, even for five minutes. Find a wooded area and comfortable spot to sit. Have a therapeutic intent to connect with nature. Don’t hurry.
Tune into the sounds first: hear the closest sound, and then the furthest. Use your other senses: watch the birds, feel the leaves, taste the breeze and safe plants you know.