Monday, June 18, 2012

Review of “At War With PTSD: Battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Virtual Reality"

Robert N. Mclay acknowledges that PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one of the most difficult disorders to treat because it doesn’t show up on our most advanced medical tests, there’s no one treatment that works for everyone, and it’s often hard to convince people that PTSD exists.
 In “At War With PTSD: Battling Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Virtual Reality, Mclay takes us through the emotionally raw journey of using virtual reality to treat soldiers with PTSD.
 Several of the early chapters are devoted to explaining PTSD through both psychological definitions, and personal stories that help illustrate the effects PTSD can have. 

There’s nothing terribly overpowering about the psychological lingo as Mclay writes in an easy to understand conversational manner.
Then he discusses the doubters of PTSD and the pitfalls of wanting to study virtual reality as a form of treatment for PTSD.
Perhaps most interesting was the sections where he discusses the competing companies who manufacture the virtual reality gear because I already figured that it might be difficult to get soldiers to accept the reality of PTSD.
The premise behind virtual reality for PTSD is that soldiers have suffered some trauma. Using virtual reality, we can create something that closely resembles this traumatic event and give the soldiers the opportunity to deal with it.
What I really liked was that Mclay does not portray himself as the god of PTSD, by illustrating that there is no perfect treatment for PTSD.
 I further appreciated that he remembered that the soldiers’ families have to deal with PTSD as well.
Overall, a thoughtful and cautious, yet hopeful, look into PTSD and virtual reality.

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