Virtual War Reality Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Virtual Reality
It appears that the Army is calling upon scientists at USC to create computer programs that may help people deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms from the war. Based on a program the Army used for the Iraq war, the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California recently received funding from the Army to build a new, advanced computer program based on Afghanistan, according to Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, a research scientist at the institute. The theory is that the use of virtual reality for post traumatic stress disorder builds on well-accepted exposure therapy, in which a therapist talks a patient through a traumatic event. “It’s quasi-experimental,” Rizzo said. “We’re doing the same experimental approach, but we’re using virtual therapy.”
The virtual world is built on veterans’ individual therapy sessions, which will provide the details needed to build the virtual-reality scenarios. Odd details help build realistic scenarios. Realistic scenarios just might enhance the therapeutic process. While the program is still experimental, it is optimistic that the Army is working on ways to help improve the quality of life of veterans. The virtual reality program would actually allow the veterans to have an alternative to talk therapy, by providing sights, sounds and scenarios that allow them to work through their PTSD. Is it too late to work on a virtual Vietnam? We shall see if the virtual world can infiltrate the mind of a victim of post traumatic stress disorder.