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FIGHT CLUB FOR PTSD VETERANS

posted Feb 28, 2017, 8:00 AM by PHS Warrior Beat

By: Ashleigh Dillon


    PTSD, for those who don’t know, stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In the past year, the amount of reported and diagnosed cases in the military jumped to 50%. 71% of females in the military develop PTSD due to sexual assault within the ranks. More soldiers committed suicide than those who were killed at battle in 2012.

    Todd Vance was part of the US Army when the 9/11 attacks happened. Vance decided to re-enlist for 3 more years and was deployed to Iraq. In 2005, Vance returned to San Diego. He began encountering issues after 6 months of returning home. "I turned into a recluse. I was drinking too much. Basically anything that would either produce an extreme adrenaline rush or numb my adrenaline rush and the hyper-vigilance and anxiety I was having," Vance stated according to CNN.

    Soon enough Vance went to counseling at the Veteran Affairs center. There he was diagnosed with PTSD. He was given medications that he soon started to abuse along with alcohol. Vance’s family pushed him to see professional help. He went to therapy and he went back to school. Once he got involved with mixed martial arts, Vance’s life changed. Vance started training at his local MMA gym.

    Vance got a degree in social work from Point Loma Nazarene University. "I realized I had a passion for working with and for military veterans," he said according to CNN.

    In 2012, the nonprofit P.O.W., or Pugilistic Offensive Warrior Tactics, was created. "It plays on (the term) prisoner of war because when you come home from combat, you're a prisoner of your own personal war," he said according to CNN.

    "Martial arts is focused on technique and fitness. ... We have served more than 275 veterans, and all the success stories we have is a testament to the effectiveness of the program," he said, "We see people get right out of the military, they're young, they're a mess, they don't have any employment or social skills. Two or three years later, they are working on their master's degree."

    A study Vance did on 30 participates in P.O.W., showed a 90% improvement in physical health, 80% improvement on coping with PTSD, and a 100% improvement in the feeling of isolation.

    Joshua Tanida was serving as an engineer for 4 years in the US Navy. Around 6 months before Tanida was discharged, he was suffering from depression, low self-esteem, and low self worth. In 2014 Tanida went to the VA, Veteran Affairs, for counseling. A year later he joined P.O.W. "They help build you up as a person and build your self-esteem," he said. "They know how you feel firsthand, and they want to help you do better. ... I'm a whole different person than I used to be."

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is no laughing matter. According to www.ptsdunited.org, “An estimated 8% of Americans − 24.4 million people − have PTSD at any given time. That is equal to the total population of Texas.” It maybe hard to understand PTSD. If you know anyone with PTSD, always be there for them. You’ll make a big difference in their lives. For more information on PTSD go to www.ptsdunited.org.

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Source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/24/health/ptsd-mma-fight-club-turning-points-todd-vance/index.html

Edited By:KS

Uploaded:2/28/2017

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