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Five Innovations in the Fight Against PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a complicated and oft-misunderstood condition. mindyourmind’s Illness section for PTSD is a great resource, especially when it comes to breaking down the illness’ many myths.

Lately, in preparation for PTSD Awareness Day, I’ve been collecting news related to PTSD and while it is a difficult condition to live with, I’ve found that there is still a lot of hope for people living with PTSD. Here’s some really cool recent innovations I found that show that there is light at the end of the tunnel for people living with this condition.

The Nightware App

An American startup is creating an Apple Watch app to track your heartbeat and movement during sleep. When it detects a possible nightmare, it’ll gently vibrate in order to ease the user out of their nightmare. The idea was developed by a son who witnessed his veteran father struggling with nightmares. Learn more here.

Service Dogs

Who doesn’t love doggies? I’m sure some people do, but personally, I think dogs are the best, and when I read about dogs being used for something super positive and uplifting like helping veterans with PTSD cope with their struggle, it warms my heart and gives me hope. Well, a new study out of Purdue University is trying to determine just how effective service dog treatments are for PTSD symptoms. Check it out here.


Finally, we have another thing I’m super passionate about, physical fitness. A new study out Boston University is looking at how weightlifting, specifically, can help ease PTSD symptoms. James Whitworth, a post-doc researcher conducting the study is also an Iraq War veteran who found that he and his friends found it easier to cope with stress when they were physically active. So, he decided to test the effectiveness of physical activity on people struggling with PTSD by dividing participants into two groups, one who would perform three 30-minute high-intensity resistance training sessions over a three-week period and another who spent that 30 minutes doing intensive studying instead. The results are finding that both groups saw benefits, but the weightlifting group saw significantly better results. You can find out more about this study here.


Sailing schools across the United States are offering lessons to military veterans as a way to cope with PTSD and related symptoms with Operation Vet Sail. The mental focus involved in sailing is said to take the veteran’s minds off of their past and promote mindfulness. Veterans are encouraged to leave their troubles on the shore and become one with the wind and waves. You can learn more about this program here or visit their website.

Struggle Well: Thriving in the Aftermath of Trauma

This is a book on how to embrace struggle and move through a healing process. The authors have worked extensively with combat veterans battling PTSD to support them toward what they term Post Traumatic Growth. As you read through the book, you learn how to connect with yourself, uncover areas of growth and healing, and learn how to move from PTSD to PTG.  You can follow them on Instagram as well @struggle_well for some daily inspiration and stories of hope and growth!

If you’re interested in learning more about PTSD, check out these other blogs from mindyourmind: What Does Post Ttraumatic Stress Disorder Feel Like? The complexity of human experience - PTSD