PTSD or Posttraumatic stress disorder has become a common psychiatric disorder amongst people who may have witnessed or experience something extremely traumatic. After a devastating incident in life, it’s alright to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected as emotions. But, if you feel stuck in those memories that remind you of that traumatic experience over and over again, it can lead to PTSD.
This mental health condition is commonly found amongst war veterans. As per recent statistics, it was found that over 75% of the veterans suffer either a brain injury or PTSD. It can cause severe anxiety issues and have difficulty in coping with ordinary life. From intrusive memories to drastic changes in behavior, the intensity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Counseling, support groups, and medication are practical measures to assist cure PTSD, however, it is best to consult a doctor for the right advice. Another equally effective cure to PTSD is the experience of sailing. It not only helps develop new coping skills but also overcomes PTSD efficiently.
Sailing as a cure
Let’s explore some of the key benefits of sailing that will help you understand better.
Several sailing schools have started therapeutic programs for veterans as well as people affected by PTSD to assist them with recovery. Sailing is a combination of physical and mental challenge that provides great relief and adds to the comradery. Mark Bridges, Able Sail’s volunteer director who is an avid sailor himself is also a retired RCMP officer. During his sailing experiences and therapeutic session, he has witnessed the positive impacts this activity has had on those affected by PTSD. According to him, sailing is a stress buster and task-oriented. It needs focus and attention, which will prevent your mind from wandering off.
He cited an example of Karlene Milson, who was one of his first sailing students. She had to witness an unfortunate accident that led to the death of her loved one. At first, like many, she struggled to cope with PTSD but then, she discovered this therapeutic sailing program. It helped her cure her anxiety attacks and unhealthy thinking patterns.
There are several discounted sailing lessons that are offered by some of the prominent sailing schools around the world for military and veterans who are looking for a PTSD cure. Sailing is an experience that acts as an efficacious solution for stress. It’s physical, mental and emotional therapy. The sound of the water as it gently laps your yacht, gushing winds that help you control your boat and a sense of accomplishment after having arrived at your desired destination. The feeling and sense of achievement are enormous. The quality of the sailing journey and the ultimate achievement of arriving at the destination lets you forget about everything that has been running through this mind of those affected with PTSD. By the end of the journey, you’ll forget about the unrelenting stress, anxiety, and depression that you started off with.
When you are away from the land, somewhere in the deep blue sea, it is imperative to become completely self-reliant. From securing something on the deck to untangling the mast, every little accomplishment gives you a well-deserved affirmation. For those who have experienced the mystical curing power of sailing, they’ll tell you that it is a therapy in reverse. It aligns your mind and body to work together while zeroing out on stress and anxiety.
Sailing Adventure Therapy
Over the last few years, there have been several studies conducted to prove that sailing is an effective remedy to cure the symptoms of PTSD. It not only reduces stress and functional problems but also improves one’s self-esteem. Every individual has a different threshold of managing stress and panic. When it comes to sailing, it is all about preparation and perseverance that helps you navigate the waters and stress at the same time. Sailing Adventure Therapy or SAT is a treatment or mental therapy that is now being commonly practiced and suggested to Veterans affected by PTSD. It increases psychological flexibility and creates a liberating experience.
Oakcliff Sailing Center, Gulf Breeze Sailing, New Brunswick sailing school are some of the sailing schools that have specially designed therapeutic programs for PTSD-affected veterans.