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Veterans’ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: How a Game Can Help?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can have devastating consequences for military veterans. It can cause anger, depression, difficulty sleeping or eating, loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities, and thoughts of suicide.

If you are concerned that a loved one is struggling with PTSD, there are resources available to help. PTSD treatment can include talk therapy and residential care.



Social Interaction

When someone has PTSD, they experience a variety of emotions. These include anxiety, fear, anger and depression. They also may experience suicidal feelings. It’s important for those who have PTSD to seek treatment from a mental health provider.

Those who have PTSD are often isolated and find it hard to interact with people in the real world. This can cause problems with work, relationships and sleep. They can also be irritable and easily upset.

A recent study found that social connection can help combat PTSD symptoms. For example, veterans who have PTSD can benefit from community events that are designed for them. These events can include sports, meet ups and other activities. Nonprofit groups like Stack Up also bring veterans together through video games. Whether playing online or in person, these types of games can help reduce PTSD symptoms. The physical activity involved can also help to prevent boredom, which is a common trigger of PTSD.

Sense of Achievement

PTSD sufferers need something to keep their mind busy so they don't get pulled into a traumatic memory. Tabletop hobby gaming like miniature painting and wargaming provides that mental engagement, an escape and a sense of socialization and connection with others.

Taking positive action helps to challenge the feeling of powerlessness that can be a symptom of PTSD. Volunteering, helping a friend in need, or even just reaching out to someone who is suffering can make a huge difference.

Those who struggle with PTSD need to know that their family members are not going to judge them for the things they do while on duty, or for what they may have witnessed. Then they will feel comfortable talking about the experience and not feel like they are being punished for it. This is a big part of healing for many veterans. PTSD is a complicated mental health condition and the treatment options are just as varied.

Mental Health Recovery

If you experience PTSD symptoms, it is important to seek help. Talking with a mental health professional and taking medication can help. A doctor who specializes in treating PTSD can diagnose the condition and recommend the best treatment.

Symptoms of PTSD are related to the way your nervous system reacts to a traumatic event. When you're in danger, your body activates a "fight or flight" response that makes your heart beat faster, raises blood pressure and makes your muscles tighten. However, after the threat has passed, your body should return to normal. People with PTSD have trouble doing this.

PTSD can affect anyone who experiences or witnesses a dangerous or frightening event. But it is more common among people who've been through military combat, sexual assault, domestic violence or car accidents. It may also develop after the death of a loved one. It also happens more often in women than men and can run in families.

Distraction

PTSD patients often experience intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event and may also experience negative changes in their mood, thinking, and arousal. They may avoid people, places and activities that remind them of the event. They might even have a sense of helplessness.

Symptoms of PTSD include a sense of disconnection from family and friends, a lack of interest in daily activities, nightmares about the event, and transient waking dissociative states in which the traumatic event is relived as if it were happening (flashback). Playing games that immerse you in a realistic virtual environment like World of Warplanes, can be used as a form of Exposure Therapy under the guidance of a therapist.

Those who struggle with PTSD can also benefit from distraction by playing tabletop miniature games or engaging in a hobby that involves building things. For example, one of the participants in Colder Carras’ study who is a former Marine infantryman who currently has PTSD explains that “playing shooter video games gives me a chance to put myself in situations that would be too dangerous to do in real life.


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