virtual Brain Medicine

With a push of a button, special effects will appear — a mosque’s call to prayer, a sandstorm, the sounds of bullets or bombs. “We can put a person in a Virtual Reality headset and have them walk down the streets of Baghdad,” says University of Southern California psychologist Skip Rizzo. “They can ride in a Humvee, fly in a helicopter over a battle scene or drive on a desert road.”

This is no video game, nor is it a training device. Rizzo and colleagues are developing a psychological tool to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, by bringing soldiers back to the scenes that still haunt them.

The theory — and by my good estimate it’s sound — goes: face the trauma until we may face it calmly. Regroup & repeat as needed.

I have my own traumas. We all do. Mine seem more In My Face than some. Compare mine with some other’s and all I can say is it sucks to be me. But so what?

I’ve lost a few bets on racehorses. I usually want to kill myself afterward. Yeah — over 5 bucks. Can you believe that?

Me neither.

That’s what I’d realize on long walks homeward after I lost my last $5 on the races. I want to die all the time. Not over 5 dollars. It had more to do with the times as a child I was unconscionably molested.

So goes.

Like the Vet who submits voluntarily to Virtual Combat for PTSD treatment I’ve peered long on my walks homeward into trauma’s ill effect on me. Until I learned to laugh in spite. Wrote a good story about it. Now I don’t want to die near as much as I used to.

Good for me.

I’d rather blog-post than gamble these days. Sworn all bets off? Sh!t no. Bets are Fun. But I have better luck lately when I chase Truth down — or over the rollercoaster top — in writing.


5 Responses to “virtual Brain Medicine”

  1. 1 pippi September 5, 2006 at 11:21 am

    personally, i think it is a bad idea.
    i’m sick of living my trauma(s) over and over again.
    i’ve found it dosen’t bring me any closer to healing. (but that is just me and how my brain works. ~20, 30 years after the fact; i still don’t wanna go back….)

  2. 2 chloeinnola September 5, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Just a story from New Orleans?

  3. 3 Mike E September 5, 2006 at 7:48 pm

    You’re incontestably right Pippi. Go Back?? Get Real!!

    But my whole life — like or no — I’ve gone back & miserably there again. In recent years I’ve learned some truth about Why. Yeah & you know what sucks?

    Back & miserably there I still go. On the bright side: One night recently it made me — grudgingly! — chuckle.

    PTSD is like a 900,000-ton steel ball rolling downhill. I learned the hard way that knowing it’s there doesn’t automatically turn it around. Too much momentum.

    So I’ll probably Go Back again. Nature of my own PTSD beast. If at all possible though I want to gain some control over when I Go Back & why.

    Hence the motive behind this blog post.

    Thank you for making me thinks on this Pippi! You rock profoundly. And you’re the one soul who knows precisely what’s best for Pippi to Do.

  4. 4 pippi September 6, 2006 at 6:14 pm

    you know, i don’t know if what i’m doing is actually best for me, or it is denial. but, i’m the dweller type. like when i go back to those dark painful places, i’m usually no better off, and often more worse for the wear. but yea… who knows what will work. i’m hoping to find that cure in the bottom of a wine bottle. ha.

  5. 5 Mike E September 6, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    AbsynthEve made a Point I can’t deny: VR combat simulation likely just numbs vets to the horror they’ve experienced.

    In that case…Fuck It. A bottle of wine with Pippi — a dance with death & AbsynthEve — or maybe drool a little all by myself while I stare out the window & Daydream.

    Whatever keeps the denial switch Flipped

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