Psychologists are exploring increasingly unique ways to treat post traumatic stress disorder and other related military trauma. Some post traumatic stress disorder help and treatments may come in the form of classic video games — like Tetris — or even wander into the realm of virtual reality. How are psychologists using these unusual mediums to come to veterans’ aid?
Tetris Puts An End to Damaging Flashbacks
New research suggests that classic video games, like Tetris, may prevent harmful flashbacks. “Focusing on a highly engaging visual-spatial task, such as playing video games, may significantly reduce the occurrence of flashbacks, the mental images concerning the trauma that intrude on the sufferer afterward,” LiveScience explains. Furthermore, without flashbacks, veterans are also much less likely to experience related symptoms, such as irritability, anger, and sleeping disorders. Many taut the practice over less natural methods, such as memory-altering drugs. Lead researcher, Emily Holmes, implores doubters to keep an open-mind. “Hand washing was once laughed at, too,” Holmes tells LiveScience. (Now, of course, doctors all over the world carefully wash and sanitize their hands to prevent the spread of disease and germs.)
Beating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder With Immersion Therapy
Other psychologists suggest that survivors of abuse and vets suffering from PTSD may benefit from virtual reality consoles and immersion therapy. Experimental programs simulate combat situations as realistically as possible. “The smells of cordite, burning gasoline and scorched flesh waft from hidden air vents,” NBC explains. Experts hope that virtual reality will help vets relive — and carefully control — memories in a healthy and constructive manner. Similarly, developers are also working on virtual reality programs for active military. They believe the programs will be a valuable training tool, helping soldiers adjust to the reality of combat before they are physically out there on the battlefield.
All veterans deserve help overcoming PTSD and similar military trauma — whether it is through new, experimental means (such as the programs focusing on Tetris or virtual reality) or more traditional talk therapy. Talk to veterans lawyers if you believe you are eligible for additional assistance or compensation after serving in the military. Continue your research here.