The statistics are shocking—18 veterans commit suicide each day with almost a third receiving care from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the time of their death. Despite measures to increase support for veterans, suicide rates have continued to rise to record levels.
Can the Transcendental Meditation technique help?
Just watch the video below and see what you think.
The U.S. Marines featured in the video learned the TM technique as part of the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness. Their experience with the TM program gives hope that there is a way to help save the lives of those suffering from the anguish of post-traumatic stress.
Transcript from the video:
Sgt James Thrasher, USMC
“I deal with pain every day. I have nerve problems in my leg and the PTSD that the doctors diagnosed me with. Functioning becomes impossible—lack of sleep, your work ethic sucks, you can’t focus at work, you can’t do anything, everybody pisses you off. Memories saturate your mind. For me every day is a constant reminder—you relive the same crap over and over and over.
“I was interested in the TM program but I was skeptical at the same time. The power of the TM meditation—it really came out fast, and it was surprising to me. Having that inner peace after meditation really emboldened me to deal with things that I’d been just kind of stuffing away. To be able to have relief from agitation, have relief from anger, frustration, sleeplessness, alcoholism, drug addiction… that’s huge.”
GySgt Richard Wilson, USMC
“I myself have been deployed eight times and been to combat four times. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and insomnia.
We fight through whatever problems we have, we suck it up, and I did that for many, many years. The trauma that I’ve seen, the situations that I’ve been through—you take all of that stuff and you put it in a bag. And we keep filling up our bag with all these problems rather than dealing with them.
“After performing TM, I am able to make better judgements. I find myself opening up more and find more of a balance in a lot of the things I do in my relationships. There was a more profound relaxation state while I was doing the TM. I found myself not being on such a high alert, not so agitated with things around me. It has helped me find more peace and happiness. My family, my friends and some co-workers have noticed a huge change in my personality—basically that I’m happier, more at ease, more of a well being.”
LtCol. Paul Swanson, USMC, Ret., Advisor, Wounded Warrior Affairs
“Meditation and specifically Transcendental Meditation I think has a role with wounded servicemen and women. Because whatever stuff is happening on the surface area of your life, you get under all that noise, and all the storms and all the clouds and you find that peaceful place that is ‘the you within the you’—and that’s the thing you tap into.”
Anna Benson, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
“What peaked my interest in TM was all the research that’s been done and how incredibly effective it is for traumatic stress. The evidence now is that in combat stress the trauma actually changes the brain so that the ability to self-regulate isn’t there. Meditation helps with information processing, helps with self-regulation. Here we have another tool that is fabulous and they can do for themselves.”
“Resilience. That’s a word the military is really interested in now. Some of the research that’s being done is could we prevent some of this from happening by giving them this resilient tool before they deploy, before they get into these traumatic situations.”
Sgt James Thrasher, USMC
“They don’t teach you how to deal with trauma. They don’t teach you how to deal with watching people die. And I think that meditation would help quiet the mind and help you to be more effective in combat and in life and train from the inside out.”
For more information about the David Lynch Foundation’s initiatives to provide training in the TM technique for all veterans suffering from PTSD, go to OperationWarriorWellness.org