Veterans suffering from PTSD get help from virtual reality program
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) effects 17 percent of U.S. Iraq War veterans and has become one of the largest post-war issues veterans face, a psychological issue that is hard to fix with any sort of normal therapy.
One of the most active ways to treat PTSD uses traditional exposure to the fear-inducting object. Most PTSD patients suffer from fear of a certain place or have flashbacks of a certain area, traditional exposure therapy looks to tackle this head on.
Going even deeper into the exposure therapy, the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies has worked on a virtual reality simulation, allowing PTSD patients to relive the traumatic incidents in war.
The virtual reality simulation is set in two locations, Virtual Iraq and Virtual Afghanistan. Both are built on the back of the first-person shooter Full Spectrum Warrior, a 2004 game for the Xbox. The simulation is called Bravemind and has plenty of modded tools to help PTSD sufferers.
Early feedback of Bravemind looks largely positive, the treatment allows PTSD patients to get all of their stress out inside the simulation, allowing them to return to normal life without feeling pressured or scared.
This sort of pro-active stress removal is key for millions of veterans in the United States and other countries, who have come back from wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, only to face the psychological pain of life at home.
Virtual reality simulations are still quite basic, in the near future we might see more complex solutions for PTSD sufferers, who really want to make sure their stress levels stay find for a good few weeks.
Simulations on virtual reality look like a big hit in the early stages, things like college trips from YouVisit