New Simulation Program Helps More People Understand PTSD

After enduring trauma in combat, many soldiers return home to find that they have developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychiatric condition, which results in violent mood swings and impaired decision-making, has no definitive cure. However, doctors are developing new ways to test veterans for PTSD and learn more about the illness.

Recently, the Department of Defense announced that they have developed an interactive simulation program to help patients and their families better understand PTSD. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology helped create the simulation, which is designed to allow individuals to anonymously explore the symptoms of PTSD and seek resources for help.

Kevin Holloway, the psychologist who assisted with the development of the program, said that he expects the simulation to be a more productive way of learning about PTSD. Rather than reading text or watching videos, individuals can interact in a virtual world to further educate themselves on the condition. It also allows veterans to conduct the research from the privacy of their own homes.

More than 7 million Americans suffer from PTSD every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Rehabilitation facilities and therapy may be able to help patients manage the condition over time.