Playing Tetris reduces PTSD flashbacks

A game of Tetris could be used to block PTSD flashbacks, even after memories of the trauma have been consolidated.

The claim is the result of an experimental trial that saw “intrusive memories… virtually abolished by playing the computer game Tetris”, when the memories in question were reactivated in subjects the day after exposure.

That 24-hour timeframe is key. Although there are many avenues for combatting PTSD in the months after the event, the multidisciplinary team from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and the Karolinska Institutet points out that “effective mental-health interventions soon after trauma are lacking” – a huge problem, considering “most people will experience a traumatic event during their life”.

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Fascinating! … as Spock would say.

Interesting! Dad was a big player of tetris, addicted even. A Vietnam vet if you failed to see me posting on him. I’ll have to mention it to my mum if I ever see her again. As he wasn’t dx ptsd until after I left the family home.

I’ve also been kind of watching the virtual reality therapy progress as well. Which is somewhat related.

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But it does not “cure” PTSD. That can only be done by assembling the fragmented parts of the memories into a sense-making whole and re-experiencing the events in a “sensible” way. Been doing this sort of work personally and with others for almost three decades. (See Bessel van der Kolk, Peter Levine, Daniel Siegel and the other masters of traumatic memory processing.)