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How Video Games Can Help Veterans Recover from Mental Health Challenges

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Recover from Mental Health Challenges

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Ex-combatants often struggle with different mental challenges that are connected to their war experiences. Read about the use of video games for veterans and how they can contribute to veterans’ readjustment to civilian life after a deployment

Veteran mental health statistics show that every other veteran needs mental health treatment. War and violence have a profound effect on them so that they are unable to recover mentally from atrocious pictures of battles preying on their minds. Returning home after the war and seeing the old places are not enough for them to renew their mental and health wellness. Most veterans suffer from PTSD that keeps them involved with their past negative experiences and hinders their adaptation in society.

Veteran mental health recovery journey takes long and requires a tremendous effort to cope with this kind of mental illness. One of the leading remedies against post-war trauma is video game play that urges former soldiers to re-develop their old affection for life.

Video games help to deal with stress issues in many ways.

Community building

After coming home, most ex-soldiers feel isolated because they cannot find support and develop a feeling of belonging to society that fails to understand their concerns and fears. Operation Supply Drop is currently the leading military community that assists veterans in overcoming their mental health difficulties. They use all sorts of video games for mental health recovery that focuses on bringing all vets together and encouraging them to build new interesting social connections. OSD creates a pleasant and friendly environment in which the ex-military have an amazing opportunity to start a new chapter filled with positive emotions and good experiences.

Better than meditation

Video gaming has proved effective in cultivating mindfulness and stopping stress and anxiety. Though yoga is often called the first technique to relieve stress and diminish the effects of trauma, video games appear to be an even stronger protective measure against post-war depression. Compared to yoga, game play has far greater potential when talking about the impact it makes on veterans. Video games give veterans an excellent way to take their minds off the war. They steal their sense of reality and thereby promote their mental healing.

Playing games acts as a huge booster to develop better communication skills and build solid relationships with like-minded people. Veterans are happy with playing video games because they do it together in the OSD community where they can smile, laugh, and joke around. Besides a bunch of shared video games, other OSD veterans services involve medical and rehabilitation help with health problems. Therefore, there is a positive correlation between video games and mental illness that many veterans commonly face at home.

Good for the brain

Video games are not only remarkable for an immersive virtual reality but a number of positive changes triggered in the player’s brain. In particular, playing video games results in improved attention and a better reaction because the user is required to remain active and engaged throughout the game. Likewise, players develop their visual and motor skills that are determined by the brain responsiveness to triggers appearing on the screen.

However, the major benefit of regular game play is improvements in memory and resistance to aging. Playing video games is a sort of brain exercise that stimulates the right areas of the brain that are responsible for cognitive control and thinking.

What are the best video games for veterans?

It always remains an individual choice. The OSD community does not put limits on a variety of game genres that veterans are allowed to play. It might seem at first that violent shooters or fighting games may have a negative effect on their mental state. Indeed, most of the ex-military find it acceptable and see it no more than a mere game. Virtual battles where you can recover in less than a minute each time you fail to complete your task and real-life war battles have nothing in common. This is why vets do not pay attention to the game’s background and just delve into the adventures it offers.

Some ex-combatants prefer single-player games which let them deal with their self and redevelop the determination and vision of what they aspire to be. They go through dozens of games before discovering the best ones that perfectly fit their needs. Other ex-combatants stick to the best mobile games which occasionally provide even more fascinating scenarios and lead characters.

Why are video games important for veterans?

Despite all the courage and strength they showed at war, many veterans feel mentally vulnerable at home. They need more social support and engagement that can be achieved through video games creating a favorable environment in which vets are able to forget about their war story.

There is a strong link between video games and stress that former combatants tend to experience. Video games improve mental health and for this reason are used to cope with mental issues. They equally enhance a number of important cognitive skills. Playing video games, veterans make progress towards re-adjustment to civilian life and feeling involved with the community.

Betty Lockwood is a blogger, mobile apps developer, healthtech expert and caring mother of two kids. She loves to write about new technologies, e-commerce news, traveling, and music events. Betty is also an editor-in-chief of Computools website. Follow Betty on Twitter.

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