will lead us to inquire about our obligation to treat not only the person but also the environmentthat has contributed to the conditions that create suffering (Duerr, 2009). Healing mentally illwithin the Buddhist perspective focuses on attention to the mind, body, and environment asopposed to medicinal based interventions. Thich Nhat Hanh writes in
The Path of Compassion
Restoring mental health does not mean simply adjusting individuals tothe modern world of rapid economic growth. The world is ill, and ada-ting to an ill environment cannot bring real mental health….Psychiatrictreatment requires environmental change and psychiatrists must partic-ipate in efforts to change the environment, but that is only half the task.The other half is help individuals be themselves, not by helping themadapt to an ill environment, but by providing them the strength to changeit. To tranquilize them is not the Way. The explosion of bombs, the burn-ing of napalm, the violent death of our neighbors and relatives, the pres-sure of time, noise, and pollution, the lonely crowds-these have all beencreated by the disruptive course of our economic growth. They are allsources of mental illness, and they must be ended.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as severe recurrent emotional anxietyreactions that originate from an intense and traumatic experience. A trauma occurs when there isa combination of sensory and emotional overload that cannot be processed and integrated intothe psyche. A war scenario provides many intense visual, auditory and contextual stimuli that arecompletely foreign to the average person, as does sexual abuse, rape or witnessing a car accident(Strong, 2009). PTSD is a significant health risk for many that are afflicted by it in the UnitedStates. Because the symptoms of anxiety and PTSD are a result of internal thoughts that bringabout physiological change, it is important to seek out the type of therapy that will foster animprovement in health. Using Buddhist-styled therapy, one, can learn to approach and embracethe challenges in life and manage the thoughts while understanding that challenges and sufferingare normal and that life’s circumstances will only improve (Cadena, 2008).