How Meditation Helped Me Conquer My PTSD

Adam Magers, 29, is a former Army sergeant.

This photo was taken at Camp Liberty in Baghdad in 2008, when my friend Jay (left) and I were getting ready to go on a mission. We were IED hunters, which meant we got very close to getting blown up all the time.

When I got home, I started having panic attacks. I was so paranoid—looking for bombs underneath cushions, pillows, in my closet, my dishwasher, behind my shower curtain. I’d never felt so helpless. I started thinking about suicide.

Right around then, I met a veteran with PTSD who told me about Save a Warrior, a group that teaches meditation. I was skeptical at first, but this guy had attempted suicide, so he knew what it was like to suffer the way I’d been suffering. With the group, I learned how to sit and tell myself not to have anxious thoughts, that they don’t have power over me. I started doing this for 20 minutes every day. And I haven’t had a panic attack since.

—as told to Olivia B. Waxman

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