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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dealing With The Reality Of PTSD With Virtual Reality

English: signs and symptoms ptsd
English: signs and symptoms ptsd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a process, not an event. We have discussed PTSD many times over the past few years. Now as our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to wind down many people seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction often present with co-occurring PTSD. That being the case experts continue to research new and innovative ways to work with both returning veterans and our local first responders (police, firemen, EMTs, etc).

This week NBC4 (Los Angeles) reported on a new therapy for PTSD sufferers. This new therapy uses virtual reality. It is a type of immersion therapy and it is currently being tested at 20 military PTSD clinics throughout the country.  According to the NBC4 report:

"The program was dreamed up by the US military and Hollywood special-effects artists, under the guidance of two pioneering psychologists, Skip Rizzo and Galen Buckwalter.
Rizzo is associate director of USC's Institute for Creative Technologies. Buckwalter is resident researcher at the Headington Institute in Pasadena, a one-of-a-kind psychiatric counseling center for first-responders who perform high-stress rescue work in natural and man-made disasters around the world."

Here you can learn more and see visually how this virtual reality therapy is presented to those currently suffering from PTSD, as well as how the therapy can be used to teach and train new military personnel and first responders to prepare for the reality of combat and everyday events encountered by our first responders.

View more videos at: http://nbclosangeles.com.

It is important to remember that PTSD can happen to anyone. Life events like serious auto accidents, house fires, earthquakes, severe weather events, child abuse, spousal abuse, etc can impact one's life so dramatically that PTSD becomes one's day to day reality.
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