How Virtual Reality Is Helping Heal Soldiers With PTSD - NBC4 Washington
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How Virtual Reality Is Helping Heal Soldiers With PTSD

One in three people who experience an extremely traumatic event — anything from a car accident to a natural disaster to a violent mugging — will suffer from PTSD

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    How Virtual Reality Is Helping Heal Soldiers With PTSD
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    A visitor explores a Virtual Reality landscape with VR goggles at the 2016 Berlin Maker Faire on October 1, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.

    In 1997, researchers from Georgia Tech linked exposure therapy with the emerging technology of virtual reality. Ten volunteers, veterans suffering from PTSD who had not responded to multiple treatments, signed up for the pioneering clinical trial dubbed Virtual Vietnam, NBC News reported.

    "Think about the worst thing that ever happened to you and remember how you felt immediately afterwards," says Albert "Skip" Rizzo, a research professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology who has worked with veterans since the mid-1980s. "Now imagine that six months later, you still feel that exact same thing with the exact same intensity. That's PTSD."

    Treatment for PTSD has varied over the years, from medication to psychotherapy to simple exercise. Most now agree that exposure therapy, which seeks to relive a sufferer's trauma in a controlled, often imaginary environment, is usually the most effective prescription.