Local psychiatrist develops relaxation program for PTSD

Indiana PTSD cases rising

INDIANAPOLIS - As Indiana cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are rising, a local psychiatrist has developed a therapy to help troops readjust.

As some Hoosier troops are on their third or fourth deployment overseas, it has some experts worrying it is causing an epidemic of PTSD.

In 2008, Indiana led the nation in the largest number of troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to the Indiana State Medical Association, one in eight will be diagnosed with PTSD, but the real numbers could be much higher.

"I've heard figures, as many as 50 percent of soldiers presently returning from combat are presenting symptoms of PTSD," psychiatrist Thomas Lamb said.

Lamb has spent decades treating and studying PTSD, which can cause returning troops to have a heightened stress level and upset their sleep patterns.

Lamb has developed a relaxation CD designed to lower heart rates and blood pressure.

Noblesville attorney Alex Nickloy has a long family history of service to the U.S. He deployed to Afghanistan when his daughters were only six months old. They were almost two when he returned.

He said he knows first-hand the stresses of combat, and he has seen his friends have trouble readjusting.

"In my experience, it's uncommon for anybody to go overseas and serve for any length of time and not bring home some baggage," Nickloy said. "The sheer need for the hypervigilance and heightened sense of hypersensitivity to everyday, minute details, you can't just put down when you come home."

Lamb said the key is to recognize symptoms and to seek help. Do not keep feelings bottled up inside, because symptoms of moodiness, irritability, outbursts of anger, depression and anxiety can all leak out.

"I have an opinion that if every veteran were given an effective relaxation training device, it would help them break through that stress. The suicide rates would be cut in half," Lamb said.

Lamb’s program is available for download for any military veteran suffering from PTSD or service-related sexual abuse.

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