Melvin Brown is one of 2.5 million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and one of an estimated 500,000 with PTSD. With a family to stick by his side, you could say he’s one of the lucky ones, but what about his family? His son, Douglas, recalls, “He would always be upset; a lot of negative emotions. He would put the blame on me, my brother, my sister, my mom. That was just how he was. He was a drill sergeant in the military and he would bring that drill sergeant home.”

“I started having nightmares and had no idea it was going to turn into the terrible thing it turned into,” says Melvin. To mask his pain, Melvin turned to alcohol and prescription drugs, but none of it helped. “I woke up one day as an alcoholic, out of control, and I was looking for anything that would help me cope. I thought, if it gets any worse than what it is right now, I am going to lose it.”

On his 48th birthday, Melvin learned Transcendental Meditation, and it changes his life. “I’ve slept through the night every night since, after my first meditation. It was just phenomenal. Within 90 days, I was off the anxiety pills, the anti-depressants, the pain meditation, everything I was prescribed to fight the PTSD symptoms. My stress levels reduced.”

Melvin’s family relationships transformed for the better. His son explains, “a couple years ago, we were butting heads a lot. And now today, we can talk easily. I don’t feel uncomfortable around him. I can trust him; that’s the big one. He’s totally different.”

Melvin is now completing his bachelor’s degree in business and is a high school teacher. “I’m more content than I’ve ever been, more in love with my life, my wife, my kids, my job, with my circumstances. Everything is better,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

The Video:

Melvin Brown was offered the Transcendental Meditation technique through the David Lynch Foundation’s Operation Warrior Wellness Program. Initial studies on the TM technique and PTSD have shown 40-55% reduction in symptoms of PTSD and depression; 42% decrease in insomnia; 30% improvement in satisfaction with quality of life, and more. Did you know you can sponsor a veteran to learn the TM technique?

The Technique:

Transcendental Meditation is a simple, natural, effortless technique practiced 20 minutes twice each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. It is easy to learn and enjoyable to practice and is not a religion, philosophy, or lifestyle. Over six million people have learned in – people of all ages, cultures, and religions – an over 280 published research studies have found that the TM technique markedly reduces stress, anxiety, fatigue, and promotes balanced functioning of mind and body.

How you can help:

Transcendental Meditation gives veterans such as Melvin a space to repair the mind and rest the body. During their 20 minutes, their trauma has time to melt away. To help support our efforts, please click here. Thank you.