When veterans return home from war, they face a new challenge of returning to American society once again. When veterans have seen combat, they are frequently affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Therapy and medications can help, but there's another way to help veterans in their transition back into society. It's horses.
Horses can help veterans to learn more about themselves, to recognize areas where they are struggling, and to better improve their communication. Typically referred to as equine assisted therapy, the act of working with horses under the supervision of a trained instructor can be a highly effective aid to many people, including veterans. Take a look at the above video to get an idea of how horses positively change veterans' lives every day.
PTSD is a mental health condition, but it can be debilitating. According to the Mayo Clinic, PTSD is often prompted by a terrifying event. A person suffering from PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and more symptoms which make it difficult to function in society. PTSD symptoms can range in their intensity, and can also prompt depression and, in some cases, lead to victims considering and acting on suicide.
Treating PTSD requires time, but there are a variety of treatments available. Psychotherapy can help people suffering from PTSD, and some medications are also used in treatment. It is important that anyone with PTSD has a support system.
Equine assisted therapy can be used to supplement other PTSD treatments. As noted in the video, you have to be patient with horses, and you have to be aware of your body language and the signals that you are giving out. Horses immediately notice if you are stressed or nervous, and react accordingly. In working with horses, veterans can learn to better control anxiety, control their body language, and even control aggression. This leaves them better prepared to interact in today's society.