Why is everyone talking about post traumatic stress disorder? At least 22 veterans succumb to suicide in any given day, CBS News reports. Recent data shows that suicide rates, especially among young male vets, continue to climb astronomically.
The upsetting trend is not going unnoticed. The government and other officials are re-evaluating current post traumatic stress disorder help and suicide prevention programs. Some efforts hope to appeal to veterans who may be reluctant to attend group and/or talk therapy. One such program researches the healing properties of Tetris (really!); other institutions explore the potential benefits of virtual reality.
Can Tetris Cure PTSD?
“A seemingly trivial task … playing a particular video game … may lessen flashbacks and other psychological symptoms following a traumatic event, according to research presented here at the British Psychology Society Annual Conference,” LiveScience.com reports. Researchers attribute the reduced symptoms to the distraction of “focusing on a highly engaging visual-spatial task.” The studies do not intend to downplay military trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. One researcher equates washing hands to prevent disease to playing Tetris to curb psychological symptoms. “Hand washing was once laughed at, too,” researcher Emily Holmes said during a presentation.
Programmers Experiment With Virtual Reality
Others are exploring the nature of PTSD and potential immersion therapy via virtual reality. “Part of the program is a repair effort, to help victims of PTSD get over it by putting them back into terrifying situations — only this time in a safe “virtual” environment where they can learn to rein in their emotions without the crushing pressure of actual threat,” NBC reveals. The same programmers are experimenting with proactive preventative programs. Eventually, the programs would immerse active military into real-life situations before they go to war. The programs would aim to teach coping mechanisms before trauma symptoms manifest.
VA disability benefits may eventually encompass Tetris and/or immersion therapy. Until then, Veterans lawyers often offer discounted legal advice for veterans and recommendations about current programs and VA disability benefits. Continue.