When Michael Ortiz retired after more than 20 years as a New York State Trooper and undercover DEA agent, his wife Deborah sensed that there was something not right. Michael had trouble sleeping, was hypersensitive to stress, had flashback from traumatic experiences he had had, and showed signs of paranoia. Like so many people serving our country in law enforcement, he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder—PTSD.
Currently in the United States more than 836,000 men and women work as police officers. According to research conducted at the State University of NY in Buffalo, a large percentage of these public service workers are negatively affected by the stress and traumatic events in their everyday work.
• Police work is at times routine, intermixed with intense episodes of danger and situations of severe emotional stress.
• Police have to sometimes deal with traumatic situations like fatal car accidents, family violence including abused children, and other violent crimes.
• Police are often required to work various shifts which can negatively impact sleep and diet.
• Studies also show that officers are afflicted with stress-related disease at a higher rate than the general population, including higher rates of heart disease and cancer, as well as high rates of suicide.
The TM program is beginning to be practiced by increasing numbers of police officers and it helping them overcome PTSD and other stress-related health problems.
Watch this video of Deborah and Michael Ortiz talking about their experience with the TM technique and how it helped Mike find relief from PTSD.
The following is an excerpt from an article by John Marx, the editor of CopsAlive.com.
PTSD, coupled with our fear and ignorance about it, is becoming one of the most pressing issues in law enforcement. We promise to “take care of our own” and we need to start doing it. Don’t be afraid, and don’t be ignorant about PTSD. Educate yourself about this problem so that we will truly never leave anyone behind!
Our thanks go out again to Deborah Louise Ortiz and her husband Michael for what they are doing to help cops. You might remember CopsAlive.com wrote about them in January as they began fundraising to produce the film “Code 9 Officer Needs Assistance”. They are continuing to work on their film and these two videos are their testimonials on Transcendental Meditation (TM) and about how it has helped them both as Michael manages his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
TM is not a philosophy nor a religion. According to the David Lynch Foundation over six million people of all ages, nationalities, and religions have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique during the past 50 years. TM practitioners report that the reduced stress and increased clarity of mind has helped them to appreciate life more fully—and, for religious people, to follow their religions more faithfully.
The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities including Transcendental Meditation, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs striving to overcome addictions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults.
The Foundation also funds university and medical school research to assess the effects of the program on academic performance, ADHD and other learning disorders, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and diabetes.
The effectiveness of the Foundation’s programs have been researched at leading medical schools, including Harvard Medical School, Stanford Medical School, and Yale Medical School, and have received the endorsement of and support from private foundations and government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, General Motors Foundation, the Chrysler Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the American Indian Education Association, Indian Health Services, many school districts, and state departments of corrections.
You can read more about the effect of the Transcendental Meditation technique on those suffering from extreme stress by going to: