Police Psychology | PTSD 4: Flashbacks
Gary S. Aumiller, Ph.D. ABPP
Of course, you are going to think I’ve lost it on this one, but it shows some merit. And it makes some sense logically. Researchers in England say that flashbacks from traumatic events can be moderated through playing Tetris right after the event occurs. That’s Tetris, the video game where you move puzzle pieces in all directions to make lines or blocks. etc. Makes you wonder if Candy Crush can be used for Ragin’ Anxiety and Donkey Kong and the Mario brothers could be used to sew up Open Heart Surgery!
So the thought is this: by playing a video game after a serious traumatic incident, you are stimulating your eye movement and concentration and that causes the brain to not be able to spend all its time to store long term memories, thus it doesn’t keep coming back into your head as much. In fact, in the medical journal called Molecular Psychiatry in March of this year told of a study that gave people Tetris after a traumatic incident and others were given a placebo or basically nothing. The Tetris group had 9 flashbacks the next week while the nothing groups had 23 flashback the next week. Pretty significant! Oxford University in England and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden said just 20 minutes of Tetris right after a traumatic incident was all that was needed to greatly reduce all PTSD effects. Scientific America reported the same effect in their study. In fact, case studies are cropping up all over saying that Tetris therapy is great at reducing flashbacks if given in the hospital after car accident, witnessing shootings and even rape. Let me get this right, (doctor calls out to nurse): scalpel…suture…bandage…Gameboy. This doesn’t make sense to me, but let’s look at it a little closer… (more…)