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How about a nice game of ... Tetris? Oxford eggheads slow PTSD onset with classic game

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Coat

Does it have to be Tetris ?

I will attempt to validate that study with extended sessions of Minecraft if ever I find myself in such a situation.

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Tetris

The gift that keeps on giving

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What about the music...

I assume the volume is off because that frigging tune is enough to drive anyone to a murderous rage

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I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

I was seeing blocks in my dreams for the next couple weeks. I guess the idea is that it replaces dreams around with the traumatic event with dreams about Tetris? Less likely to cause nightmares if you have a recurrence years later, I imagine.

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Re: I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

Not only dreams for me, but anytime when the brain had nothing pressing to do and was subconsciously in "Pick a card, any card" mode rifling through random thoughts for something to think about. I can see how this could stop other thoughts from forcing their way to the top of the heap.

Slight tangent - but I also experienced the same with Ultima Underworld, charging down endless tunnels when trying to get to sleep. The only way I could drop off was to find a handy cul-de-sac to mentally bounce around inside for a while.

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Re: I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

...seeing blocks in my dreams for the next couple weeks

Neither blocks nor quite for a couple of weeks but, back in the day, the visual reverberations that I experienced after prolonged Doom sessions where rather impressive, too.

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Joke

Re: I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

Slight tangent - but I also experienced the same with Ultima Underworld, charging down endless tunnels when trying to get to sleep. The only way I could drop off was to find a handy cul-de-sac to mentally bounce around inside for a while.

I once spent a holiday weekend playing the first three series of Doom. The only thing that left me with was a tendency to go through doorways sideways :)

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Re: I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

One summer as a lad I played World of Warcraft non stop about 16 hours a day.

When i wasn't playing the game the user interface imposed itself onto literally every thought I had. It made me physically sick.

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WTF?

Re: I remember when I played that a lot one weekend

Once, in my younger days, I spent a weekend watching subtitled anime. I realized I had to slow down when I noticed myself thinking in Japanese. As I didn't understand Japanese, this was a small problem.

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Thus neatly proving ...

... something I've long suspected: playing Tetris incessantly kills brain cells.

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Even if it only delays onset by a month it is still worth looking at.

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Mushroom

Tetris is okay

But nowhere near as much fun at thermo-nuclear war

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ah weird

I was reading a book the other week where an ex-soldier who was playing detective would immediately break out his phone and have a blast on tetris everytime the plot would have him attacked or near a shootout as a calmdown-habit he'd had since he had to leave the army for PTSD

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I make sure I'm really prepared...

To ensure I'm quick off the bat with the post-accident Tetris PTSD prevention, I make sure I always have a game on the go while I'm driving.

It must work - 137 accidents so far and no PTSD.

That's not my white coat - it's the emergency doctor's ------------->

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Old News

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/heal-your-brain/201203/can-tetris-prevent-ptsd-0

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Disrupting negative memory formation

I wonder if getting tremendously inebriated would also help.

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Re: Disrupting negative memory formation

Olny if you're falling under the table AFTER talking to cops.

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How did they settle on Tetris?

Did they try other computer games?

Even better, did they try non-computer games? Like getting the people waiting in A&E to play snakes and ladders, or squash, or hide-and-seek. A game of British Bulldog would take your mind off things.

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Lots of other options (but untested)

This effect isn't limited to Tetris, but they had to pick something and that's a good one. Feel free to test with other games and let us know how that goes.

I believe the important part is that a rockin' game of Tetris leaves you no time to think of anything else. You are forced to concentrate ever harder on an ongoing task. I have several things like this that I use to clear my mind or de-stress. Juggling and spinning Poi are my favorites, or FPS run 'n gun games to burn off aggression. If I let my mind wander for a moment something goes right off the rails. The flying objects and armed bots enforce paying attention.

Also useful is the effect others have mentioned of seeing the game in your sleep or later days. Your brain says "We're spending a lot of time and really concentrating on this, it must be important" and works overtime to engrave it in memory. Which takes time away from filing that scary memory instead.

I'm glad to hear this can be an effective, drug-free treatment for a serious problem!

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Anonymous Coward

Nothing new

I guess they didn't do any research into this before they wrote the article.

https://www.recoveryranch.com/articles/how-rapid-eye-movement-therapy-has-helped-ptsd-patients/

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Common sense?

Is this sort of stuff not common sense? I've always found simple, repetitive tasks soothing after a particularly stressful week. Such as simple video and word games, cleaning, and of course repetitive lifting of pint glasses. :)

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Re: Common sense?

Repetitive lifting of glasses has done wonders for erasing traumatic memories for me.

Unfortunately, it seems to work on atraumatic ones as well. The good with the bad, as they say....

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