Veteran Has Amazing Results Combating PTSD
Words by Brooke O’Donnell, Contributor, InMilitaryEducation.com
Tucson Arizona’s news channel 4 KVOA recently ran a story profiling a veteran’s struggle with PTSD and the treatment he found unbelievably helpful in his recovery process.
A little known treatment method, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, is what veteran Chris Liby says is responsible for giving him his life back after years of struggle with other unsuccessful treatments. In fact, he was so satisfied with the results that he is now working with a non-profit group to make the hyperbaric treatment more accessible for veterans around his state.
This type of therapy requires patients to sit in a pressurized chamber and breathe in 100% pure oxygen for approximately one hour at a time depending on the ailment being treated. Its purpose is to promote the healing process.
Liby sustained injuries from a roadside bomb that he encountered while fighting over in Afghanistan. His time in combat also left him with debilitating PTSD. He said he was “just down and depressed all the time.” He tried all types of different medications without any significant results. The hyperbaric treatment was suggested by a friend of his and he decides to give it a try. He figured it couldn’t hurt to try something new as the other options did not work.
After consulting Dr. Carol Henricks, he started treatment and noticed results after just 10 sessions. He experienced a dramatic decrease in his pain and was able to reduce his medication by half. He told KVOA “My PTSD symptoms really dramatically dropped. My headaches have been reduced. I had headaches every day.”
Even though this treatment sounds to be a great option there is one major drawback. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not able to be prescribed by the VA doctors because it is not yet FDA approved for brain injuries. All costs would have to be paid out-of-pocket by the veteran and the treatment is quite pricey.
As reported by KVOA, the Executive Director of Healing Arizona Veterans, Charles Spillar, said this type of treatment would run the patient around $4000. Spillar’s organization collected the funds through donation to pay the cost of Chris Liby’s treatment as well as 20 other veterans across the state. Spillar and the Healing Arizona Veterans group is wanting to get a bill passed through congress that would allow these veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive free treatment in hyperbaric chambers. Last year the state of Oklahoma passed a similar bill. He commented “You’ve got a veteran committing suicide every 65 minutes, if I was in congress, I would say ‘We’ve got to find a solution’. We know we can save lives by doing this.”