Where horses are therapy, happiness and full expression of yourself

Mental Health & PTSD

PTSD among our veterans

Our veterans are real life super heroes that went through the toughest you can go through on this planet, most of the soldiers that went to Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other hardcore operations, came back with what is called PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can be caused by many different things, usually considered ver stressful, frightening or distressing. Those kind of events will traumatize even the toughest men among us and leave no difference in term of acceptation. A lot of fathers, sons, brothers are lost in their own PTSD, not being able to live a normal life when they come back from the frightening place that is the war.

This mental health condition can lead to very serious issues and will often create lonely people. They're not able to spend time with other people anymore, even their dear friends or their own family. We believe that horses can be so calm and so gentle that they can help veterans and other type of people with PTSD to calm down, think about something else than negative energy for a moment. Even just a few hours can be enough to save someone.

PTSD Symptoms

PTSD might show differently with different people as human being are all unique and different, that's why this condition can be underlying different symptoms such as :

  • Nightmares and night terrors. A lot of people suffering from PTSD have a hard time being comfortable at night. They cannot sleep properly because they're having awful nightmares, they cannot calm down when in bed or they just think back about everything that traumatize them as soon as they enter their bed. This results in a very bad sleep at night and therefore in a lot of fatigue through the day which eventually will lead to a vicious circle
  • Flashbacks. People who experienced traumatizing experiences will often live them again through what we call flashbacks. Those short memories are just reminder to those hurt people that their experienced happened and was very real. It pulls them back to that period or that particular moment in their life which aggravate any other symptoms
  • Distress can happen to anyone at any moment in life, but people who experienced traumatizing experiences and suffer from PTSD will live a very different and much more powerful distress than the others. They tend to feel it very deeply and strongly and it can alter every aspect of their lives such as their relationships, their ability to work, socialize and just live happily

Other Symptoms

  • Negative beliefs. People suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder aren't usually your typical positive person. They don't the see good in everything, but actually quite the opposite they always see the glass half empty
  • Fear, anger, guilt and shame. Those feelings are often seen with people who live with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The trauma will often provoke fear about small details, normal things and regular situations in life. The mixed emotions traumatized people are feeling also cause them to feel anger in situation where there shouldn't be any (given there are situations where it could be) and they can even be angry at their family, their friends, people they don't know about or even their loved ones. Those situations and their way of living will also result in guilt in a lot of ways and often. Veterans also feel guilt for participating in wars where a lot of people's lives were taken. Very similar, people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will often feel shame about their fear, their sadness, their situation in life or even regular situations
  • Detachment from others is a very common symptom with people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. As they tend to move away from everything and everyone, they also detach themselves from their close circle and try to be alone even though they feel lonely in a lot of ways

Worse Symptoms

  • Hyperalert. This symptom is often mixed with paranoia. People experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and especially veterans coming back from the combat field, will often look behind themselves and feel surrounded or under surveillance / attack at any time. That could be during the day, during the night, in a party, outside or in their own home. They're always anticipating something terrible could happen to them so they stay hyperalert 24/7
  • Easily scared or startled. Since they're being paranoiac all day every day, watching behind themselves and thinking about what could go wrong every minute, people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will often be easily startled or scared. You shouldn't try to jump scare a friend suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as he could over react, or at least not react as you would expect him to
  • Lack of Focus. Every other symptom can lead to a lack of focus. Nightmares, night terrors and lack of sleep will cause fatigue and lack of focus. Flashbacks happening at any time through the day could cause the person suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to be absent for a few minutes multiplier times a day. Every symptom hurting actual feelings like distress, fear, anger, guilt, shame or just sadness will cause the person to overthink about bad things and forget about what matters at the moment or just the thing they should be focused on at that time. Avoidance is one of the symptom that has a great impact on focus : since the person is trying to separate themself from the world, they tend to unconsciously think about other things instead of being focused on something they don't really want to think about right now. Obviously memory loss can have a immense impact on the lack of focus as it directly messes with the brain capacity. Being hyperalert will cause people suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to overthink about everything around them and make them lose their focus on what really matters.

How to contact us

mail: contact@manzanita.org

phone: 707-946-7464

Fax: 707-946-7465