The symptoms of PTSD are known to be disturbing memories and dreams of the traumatic event, flashbacks, avoiding things in their life (people, places, objects, conversations,activities, etc.), negative thoughts about themselves and everything around them, feelings of not being understood by people around them, outburst of anger, problems with concentration, and having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Even with all these symptoms there are others that are not mentioned. A specific symptoms that relates to what this blog is about is the person having trouble feeling positive emotions like love and happiness. Combat veterans are known to have the hardest time being social and keeping family relationships along with success in their education and occupation.
Treatments have been created for PTSD and one of them that I have mentioned before was prolonged exposure therapy. For the Native American culture ceremonies can be done for the patient to help them. Two of them that I have spent time looking at are from two different tribes. The first is called Wiping Away the Tears ceremony that is specific to the Hopi tradition. This ceremony keeps away spirits of the dead from the patient. The second ceremony is called the Enemy Way ceremony that is specific to the Navajo Tradition. This ceremony takes places before and after the veterans time in war and this ceremony focuses on making the veterans ready for everything they will face in war.
For this research it is important to note that social interaction triggers oxytocin to be released which could help the veteran with their PTSD. With that being said, by participating in ceremonies and spending much needed time with family it can possibly release a good amount of oxytocin. The purpose of all this information is to show that there can be alternative ways of treatment for things like PTSD. By consulting their tradition, American Indian veterans could have a better and effective way of finding relief.
Cohen, Kenneth. “The Principles of Native American Counseling.” Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing. New York: Ballantine, 2003. 167-188. Print.
Olff, Miranda. “Bonding after Trauma: On the Role of Social Support and the Oxytocin System in Traumatic Stress.” European Journal of Psychotraumatology (2012). Print.