Healing depression for veterans with PTSD
The VA has an excellent online article Depression, Trauma, and PTSD that summarizes what to do if you experience prolonged or strong depression. It is short and worth reading. Please read it. Then there is an additional approach you can learn about. But first a few necessary preliminaries.
Does PTSD make you more likely to be depressed?
Just being exposed to trauma makes you twice as likely to experience depression. (About 10% of Americans experience symptoms of depression each year.) If you have PTSD you are 3 to 5 times more likely to experience clinical depression.
Am I weak if I seek treatment for depression?
Nope. Learn about it and get help. A lot of really successful famous people (like Abraham Lincoln) have had to cope with depression. It seems to be a part of life. The opportunity for big ups seems to mean we can also have big downs. If someone can help you while you are experiencing the big ups, there is no reason someone can't help you while you are experiencing the big down. Right?
Who to call
If this is an emergency (and even if it is not) call the numbers we listed for the suicide hotline. The VA hotline staff is specifically trained to help you with depression and to give you a referral.
Alternative treatment for depression
The Veterans Administration web page on depression suggests that, in cases that are not extreme, pharmaceuticals may not be a necessary addition to counseling. In these non-extreme cases, including ayurveda in depression treatment (in addition to professional counseling) may give you a more rapid recovery and a greater overall sense of well-being.
Ayurveda for Depression
Ayurveda is a traditional science of health that has been perfected over thousands of years and uses natural sources (usually plants and minerals) to create the same effects as modern pharmaceuticals, but without the damaging side-effects, and in many cases with a lot of positive side-effects. Ayurveda also emphasizes total rejuvenation of the body, and adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle (well known to directly create a positive impact on depression). Here is a good introduction to depression and ayurveda. Here is a somewhat more detailed article on ayurvedic approach to emotional health. The first article points out that in ayurvedic treatment you need to be personally diagnosed by an ayurveda-trained health professional who prescribes an individual treatment program.
This approach does not replace personal guidance from VA doctor. And this is not a perfunctory disclaimer, you need to get a VA medical diagnosis and treatment plan. If your doctor has questions about ayurveda, have them email us and we will put them in touch with a physician who is expert in ayurveda.