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A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Playing Tetris May Prevent Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

I am absolutely fascinated by this research and wondering where it might take treatment and prevention of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder!!! The following is an excerpt from the BBC News:

Treatment Hope

Dr Emily Holmes said it might produce a "viable approach" to PTSD treatment, although she acknowledged that a lot needed to be done to translate the experiment into something that could be used to help real patients.

She said: "We wanted to find a way to dampen down flashbacks - the raw sensory images of trauma that are over-represented in the memories of those with PTSD.

"Tetris may work by competing for the brain's resources for sensory information.

"We suggest it specifically interferes with the way sensory memories are laid down in the period after trauma and thus reduces the number of flashbacks that are experienced afterwards."

She stressed that no conclusions could be drawn on the general effects of computer gaming on memory.

Dr Holmes added: "We are not saying that people with PTSD should play Tetris but we do think it is hugely valuable to understand how the brain works and how it produces intrusive flashback memories.

"Because we cannot study the genesis of real flashback memories during real trauma we need to find other approaches and this sort of cognitive science can give us models to help us better understand emotional memory."

Professor David Alexander from the Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research stressed it was ethically impossible to simulate an event so catastrophic as the type of incident which can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The volunteers here knew that something was going to happen, but they were not going to be harmed - a genuinely traumatic incident is different in scale, and is usually completely unexpected and marked by feelings of loss of control."

He said that post-traumatic stress was normally detected and diagnosed only weeks after the event, rather than in the hours immediately afterwards, and it was very difficult to predict which people were likely to develop it.

I admit, I became obsessed with the game!!! I could play it for hours on end until my fingers and hands could not take it anymore. Amazing what a handheld electronic game inspired researchers to try. Yes, there are problems with translating it into treatment, but I gives hope to those with PTSD or those who are tramatized.


Queen Of Relationships said...

Dammit, I knew I loved Tetris for some reason. :)

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