by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
The Demonstration for Biofeedback Group met Wednesday night at the Wellness Center to be interviewed, on camera. The three individuals included the owner and operator for an online website which serves 1,500,000 users every month, with 50,000,000 hits, monthly. The events which caused Raye Smith's Post Traumatic Stress Disorder began in 1989. From then until 1996 she survived seven attempts to kill her. Raye especially recounted listening, late one night, to the sound of glass being cut. Raye chambered her 9 millimeter, the sound ringing in the darkness, as the would-be assassins retreated.
Today, Raye still cannot sleep, she is still listening for sounds of murder in the night.
The second participant is Arthur Foster. Arthur recounted being thrown 300 feet, 20 feet into the air and skidding along the highway. After months in the hospital he went home to discover his Traumatic Brain Injury made his previous life impossible. His depression deepened when his father, then estranged from his mother, told him he could never be happy. Arthur took a 25 caliber Baretta and shot himself through the palate, into the brain.
Not expected to live, he returned to a life far worse than the one which already depressed him. Today he has found God but still struggles with extreme depression.
Then the cameraman sat down for his interview. Carl Feather is a journalist at the Star Beacon, but struggles with depression every day. As with many of us, he has found himself working harder, getting less, wondering what the future holds as the ground continues to sink out from under him. Optimizing his abilities and alleviating the ever-present depression, is a way out because it holds promise of a way forward with his life.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is endemic in America today. It is hitting those losing their jobs, losing their homes, losing the lives they thought were guaranteed to them. PTSD constricts our ability to act, hampers judgment, freezes us into inactivity when we need to be most vigilant and active.
Participants begin being treated on Monday. They will again be interviewed half way through their sessions and after they are finished.
Biofeedback helps fighter pilots, successful athletes and wealthy financiers to optimize performance.
PTSD, and the related symptoms, is a problem not limited to returning vets, it is a problem for many, many of us. Solutions begin by recognizing the problem.