Veterans treating PTSD by going bare

LUTZ, Fla. (WTSP) -- Every year, millions of people in the United States are diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, but for some a doctor's office just isn't enough.

"There's 554 books in my house," says Max Sanchez, a Vietnam veteran with an extensive book, video and picture collection that focuses on moments of war.

Surrounded by memories of the battlefield, Sanchez says his time in the army- "Four years, six months, three days,"- is something he'll never forget. "I can't change what happened. There's things that were good, and things that were bad."

Sanchez is one of more than 5 million people in the world living with post-traumatic stress.

"When you think you have a problem and you start thinking about it, it manifests and it starts getting worse," he explains. "I don't want to be violent. I don't want to be angry,"

And while Max has been to a therapist to help to treat his PTSD, he says that doesn't always work, so he found a different way.

According to Sanchez, he's a part of a group of veterans who live at the Fountains at Paradise Lakes, a clothing-optional housing complex, where they find peace by going bare.

"I forget about the whole world," says Sanchez.

"It really is a memory storage problem. Images get stored in the brain and if you don't have a therapy to help essentially store it properly, you'll have nightmares," says Dr. Kevin Kip, who specializes in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

At the University of South Florida's College of Nursing, Dr. Kevin Kip says many times, unconventional ways of life can help people dealing with PTSD. He's treated hundreds of veterans with PTSD, and says he's all for out-of-the-box therapies.

"I'm always open to new therapies. Anything that is stress reducing is beneficial," he explains.

But it's an out-of-the-clothes therapy, that's helping veterans in Lutz.

"Would it be helpful for everybody? No, for many reasons," says Sanchez. "Anything you find that works is what's important."


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