Like an endlessly repeating video loop, horrible memories and thoughts can keep playing over and over in the minds of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They intrude at the quietest moments and don’t seem to have an off switch.
But a new study of veterans with PTSD shows the promise of mindfulness training for enhancing the ability to manage those thoughts if they come up. Even more surprising, the study actually shows that the veterans’ brains changed — in ways that may help the individuals find their own off switch for that endless loop.
The findings, published in Depression and Anxiety by a team from the University of Michigan Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, come from a study of 23 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All received some form of group therapy. After four months of weekly sessions, many reported that their PTSD symptoms eased.
However, only those who were given mindfulness training — a mind-body technique that focuses on in-the-moment attention and awareness — experienced brain changes that surprised even the researchers.
To read the entire article on the Michigan Health Lab blog site, click below.