Veterans’ Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: How a Game Can Help?

The game of Human versus Zombies has gained popularity in the recent past, and is very common in colleges and military camps. The game is designed to allow the participants to engage in combat that is similar to what takes place in the battlefields. The difference between this game and a real war is that no one gets harmed in any way when playing the game. The guns used are also brightly colored to bring a distinction between it and a real gun used in the battlefields. According to Goulston (51), some of the veterans suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially those that were exposed to deadly battlefronts where many were killed.

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The memory of seeing their friends die, or the idea that they killed many people always makes them stressed up. This may get worse for the veterans who are forced to live in solitary at their advanced stages of life. Psychologists have argued that this game is one of the most appropriate games that can be used by veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of their participation in wars in the past. This research paper will analyze how veterans suffering from PTSD stand to benefit from this game by using the skills they learned in war.

College students have found the game of Human versus Zombies very interesting, especially because it is both physically and mentally engaging. The need to develop a working plan, organize the team members, and use physical energy to rescue people from the ‘potential harm’ that the zombies pose on them is very interesting. However, this game has been found to be relevant for the veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is related to their participation in various wars in the past. According to the research by Doug (73), it has become clear that some veterans always get affected by memories of the war.

The stress may be related to the fact that they committed mass killings during such wars. Others may be suffering from guilt that they failed to defend a friend or killed innocent civilians who were not part of the war. Some suffer from the memory of seeing a colleague going down from a friendly or an enemy’s fire (Lopp 98). These events can have serious negative impact on the veterans. This game is considered as one of the best activities that can be used to fight anxiety, depression, and any other form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

According to Cash (29), one of the best ways of fighting anxiety is to engage in a physical activity. This game involves heavy physical activity. The participants must run whenever a zombie comes in sight. They have to carry their victims to safety every time they suspect that zombies may attack them. They may also need to engage the zombies physically as though they are in the battle-front. These physical activities have massive health benefit to the participants. As Robertson (83) observes, physical activities boots blood flow in all parts of the body, including the brain. The veterans who play this game stand to benefit from this improved flow of blood into the body. The brain will have improved supply of oxygen. This is one of the best ways of fighting anxiety and depression. The mind will feel more relaxed, and this will help reduce traumatic stress in this aging population.

Physical activities that this game involves help in eliminating any preoccupation of the mind (Marshall 87). Sometimes anxiety and depression among the veterans is caused by lack of activity that can help preoccupy their mind. These are people who were used to physical activities on a daily basis. When they are subjected to a different environment that lacks physical activity, they can easily develop anxiety. This game eliminates this boredom as the players get actively involved in these activities. By the time the game is over, they are always too tired to get bored or develop feelings of sorrow and loneliness. This means that it would be beneficial for the veterans to fight PTSD.

This game also engages the mind as the warriors try to develop plans that can help them win the war. The participants will need the military skills in order to plan attacks and rescue missions in an efficient manner. According to Regel and Josephs (40), this may be the most interesting part for the veterans. They get the opportunity to use their military skills in an environment where no one gets harmed. When they plan these wars, it helps them relive their military lives, but in a positive way. The idea of using the skills they learned in the battlefields to win the game is very relieving, especially when they are team leaders. According to the research done by Chamberlain (113), in such instances, the veterans may have a series of psychological benefits that may help fight anxiety and depression because of a number of reasons.

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For those who were living with guilt of not having helped their friends in the battlefield, this game offers a rare opportunity for them to relive the events and correct this mistake that has been affecting them. By helping other team members not to be affected by the Zombies, the veterans may feel that they have done justice at last (Beck 121). This will fight their depression that could have affected them for years.

Those who were living with guilt of having killed innocent people during the war are also offered a second chance in life to correct this mistake. They have to use their skills and physical strength to save innocent people from zombies. The near-reality nature of this game makes it easy for the participants to feel that they are in a real war and have to correct their mistakes. Success in such missions helps them psychologically, making it easy to fight PTSD (Russell 74). Some veterans have had to live with regrets as to why such wars had to involve massive loss of lives. Some would argue that, in such wars people did not have to die. This game offers them an environment where they engage in a similar war, but no one gets hurt. This will be pleasant to their mind.

The game of Human versus Zombies is one of the best activities that can be used to help veterans fight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. The nature of physical activity boosts blood circulation to the brain and all other parts of the body. This is one of the best ways of fighting stress. Psychologically, this game offers the veterans a rare opportunity to relive their days in the battlefield and correct their mistakes that have caused them psychological pain for years.

Works Cited

Beck, Paul. A Zombie’s Guide to the Human Body: Tasty Tidbits from Head to Toe. New York: Scholastic, 2010. Print.

Cash, Adam. Wiley Concise Guides to Mental Health: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

Chamberlain, Diane. Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders. London: McMillan, 2013. Print.

Doug, Nelson. Making Peace with Military Post-Traumatic Stress: Getting Help and Taking Charge of Your Healing. New York: Balboa Press, 2013. Print.

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Goulston, Mark. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley, 2008. Print.

Lopp, Michael. Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager. Hoboken: John Wiley, 2012. Print.

Marshall, James. Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies. Toronto: Chizine Publications, 2012. Print.

Regel, Stephen, and Stephen Josephs. Post-traumatic Stress. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.

Robertson, Simon. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Litigation: Guidelines for Forensic Assessment. Washington: American Psychiatric Publishers, 2003. Print.

Russell, Jesse. Humans Vs. Zombies. London: Book on Demand Ltd, 2013. Print.

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