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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Soldier Hard's hip-hop lyrics reveal PTSD's rough edges

There is no one size treatment that works for everyone because while PTSD is what it is, people are all different. Some do this, some do that but as long as they are taking care of their mind-body-spiritual part of them, how they do it depends on what fits best for them.

Some like classical music, some like oldies and some in this generation like hip-hop. Some can play, some can sing but others can't do more than listen and enjoy.

The best point in this article, aside from Jeff Barillaro doing something to help others, is this section.
“Research does suggest that certain music can regulate negative emotions,” said Savion, a Texas-based applied behavior scientist. “But conversely, some therapists have found some music with spoken words or lyrics could cause and has caused agitation when its played for those diagnosed with PTSD. So there is a duality between whether the music will evoke a positive feeling or whether it will conjure up those memories that can cause negative feelings. Not everyone’s going to respond to the music in the same way.

“But there is no definitive line that a rapper should or shouldn’t cross,” she added, “because each individual will respond to it differently.”
The only time I tell veterans to listen to something else is when they are taking a walk with headphones in their ears. They need to listen to calming music because they are trying to teach their bodies to calm down again. They need to focus on something calming when their memories kick in. Everything inside of them needs to be reconnected. Some use Yoga, some use meditation, but again, there is no one size fits all program.

I tell them to listen to whatever they want otherwise but for a therapy walk, most music will not calm them down.

Otherwise, music like this because it offers a bridge from one veteran with PTSD to others, it can be very helpful and supportive.

Soldier Hard's hip-hop lyrics reveal PTSD's rough edges
By Bill Briggs
NBC News contributor

Sleep-starved from a repeating nightmare and weary from wondering when all that therapy would reignite his fading hope, former Army tank gunner Jeff Barillaro took aim at his stubborn target with an attack as brilliant as it was simple.

He decided to break up with PTSD.

And he would do it in his increasingly famous style — studio-recorded hip-hop, under his stage name, Soldier Hard.

“I thought: If I could write a letter to PTSD, what would I say to PTSD? Then I thought: Oh, wow, this is going to be powerful,” said Barillaro, an Iraq War veteran, out of the service since 2010, who has steadily gained fame among active-duty troops, young veterans and their families for his bare, often-bleak music about the daily demons of living with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
He has recorded 14 albums, laying down his first tracks on “a minimum setup” at Camp Taji, Iraq, where he discovered that “between missions I could create music as my escape.” He has launched a nonprofit record label, Redcon-1 Music Group, that already boasts a roster containing an Air Force staff sergeant, a Navy sailor, Marine Staff Sgt. Jerry Lozano, and two Army soldiers, including Fort-Hood-based Spc. Stephen Hobbs. click link for more

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