The current state for wounded veterans in the United States is often bleak. Many have returned from serving permanently disabled physically, making it difficult for them to work. There are often programs to help rehabilitate and care for these veterans, but those suffering from PTSD often don’t get the same treatment.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often a hidden disability. Unless you’re familiar with the condition, you likely won’t see it clearly when looking at a veteran struggling to cope with events of the past. However, you might notice their struggles to hold down a job, a product of depression, anxiety, and panic episodes.
For many struggling with PTSD, a daily dose of CBD capsules is an excellent treatment. It can help to regulate the mind and body so that veterans can find peace of mind. Let’s take a closer look at PTSD, CBD, and how the two go together.
Veterans with PTSD Overview
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 20 percent of OIF and OEF veterans returned home with PTSD. The Gulf War sent home 12 percent of their soldiers with PTSD and the Vietnam War had a 15 percent PTSD rate.
PTSD is a psychological diagnosis to explain the fight-or-flight response your brain continues to experience after a trauma has ended. It’s a flood of hormones coursing through your body. Anxiety levels are through the roof and that hyper-anxiousness can lead to destructive panic attacks or manic episodes. It can also cause severe depression, insomnia, isolation, and mood swings.
According to Ken Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience (STAR) Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, PTSD is significantly more common now than it used to be, despite the reduction in veterans who have actually seen combat. He believes the lower number of individuals on the ground is actually part of the problem.
“We have a volunteer army, which is a good thing, but it’s also a bad thing in that people don’t have a lot of people to relate to,” Yeager told U.S. News. “They don’t have many people to speak to about their experiences, and so when they come back, they’re more hyper-vigilant, they have trouble trusting, they attempt to control situations, they shut down and become less open and have less intimacy just in conversations with others, because others can’t really understand what they’ve been through.”
Treatment Problems Among Veterans with PTSD
Those struggling with PTSD are constantly searching for a way to treat their symptoms. Most combine prescription medications with therapy in search of holistic wellness. For some, it’s difficult to find the right combination of treatments. For others, it’s difficult to admit they have a problem and they never seek treatment. In both cases, self-medicating is not uncommon.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs report that more than 20 percent of Veternas with PTSD develop a substance abuse disorder. More than a third of those with a substance abuse disorder have PTSD.
At the root of their addiction is deep-seeded anxiety, insomnia, depression, and other hormonal imbalances. Oftentimes, these mental health problems erase logical thinking and drive an individual to do anything to relieve the problems.
CBD Can Help Veterans with PTSD
Rather than self-medicating with harmful drugs that deliver a high, many veterans are turning to cannabidiol (CBD). It’s becoming a common treatment for those with panic or stress disorders. It’s a derivative of the hemp plant, but it won’t get you high like marijuana will because it doesn’t contain THC.
CBD can be purchased online legally as CBD oil, cream, gummies, vape juices, bath bombs, and more. The right dosage of CBD is believed to treat a number of physical and mental health problems, including those common among PTSD patients. Here are a few key ways that CBD can improve the lives of veterans struggling with PTSD.
Anxiety Treatment: CBD can do a lot of things, but the treatment of anxiety is the most common use. CBD users report feeling immense relief and calm in even the most anxious situations. It’s so effective that more than half of CBD users who suffer from anxiety have thrown out their prescription medications in favor of using CBD full time.
Sleep Aid: Insomnia comes with the territory for PTSD patients, whether their brains become hardwired to resist sleep or they’re scared to sleep because of the nightmares. CBD is a recognized sleep aid. It helps the mind and body feel calmed and relaxed, delivering a peaceful slumber. The anxiety-treating side of CBD also minimizes the fear and hormonal imbalances that cause nightmares.
Pain Relief: Many veterans deal with PTSD and a painful disability. Whether they’re chronically dealing with pain or it’s just part of the healing process, CBD can be a useful treatment. It’s not exactly clear how CBD helps with pain, but it has something to do with the body’s endocannabinoid system. As you increase the number of cannabinoids in your body, it boosts immune support and mutes pain triggers. It’s an anti-inflammatory, which also helps with the pain.
Mood Booster: Depression is an obvious symptom of PTSD, and while CBD can’t replace your anti-depression medications, it can help to boost a person’s mood. For many suffering from PTSD, this mood boost is what they need to seek the help of a medical professional.
Hormone Regulation: CBD works by interacting with your body’s endocannabinoid system. This is responsible for hormone regulation and helping your body reach homeostasis. PTSD is the product of chaotic hormones, so the use of CBD can help your body reach some form of resolution.
Addiction Treatment: The statistics regarding substance abuse are higher for veterans than they are for the general population. CBD is often used in detox centers to reduce symptoms of withdrawals and minimize triggers. It’s a very useful aid in making the addiction recovery process much smoother.
Veterans suffering from PTSD don’t have to do it alone. There are treatments natural, pharmaceutical, and therapeutic to help veterans overcome their weaknesses and regain their original strengths, and CBD is just one of many pieces to that puzzle.