Daily Archives: May 16, 2017

Playing Tetris Can Help Reduce The Impact of Emotional Trauma, Study Finds

Amazing! Downloading it now 😊

http://www.sciencealert.com/playing-tetris-can-help-reduce-the-impact-of-emotional-trauma-study-finds

Even though the game itself is kind of nerve-wracking…
There’s nothing quite as intensely manic as reaching the final levels of Tetris and struggling to control those high-speed tetrominoes that plummet to the bottom of your screen like hell-bent comets from the sky. But despite the high-pressure nature of the famous arcade game – or perhaps even because of it – research suggests that playing Tetris and other games like it can help reduce the intrusiveness of emotional memories associated with trauma-related clinical disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“This work is the first to our knowledge to show that a ‘simple cognitive blockade’ could reduce intrusive memories of experimental trauma via memory reconsolidation processes,” said Emily Holmes, senior author of the study. “This is particularly interesting because intrusive memories are the hallmark symptom of PTSD.”
There’s nothing quite as intensely manic as reaching the final levels of Tetris and struggling to control those high-speed tetrominoes that plummet to the bottom of your screen like hell-bent comets from the sky. But despite the high-pressure nature of the famous arcade game – or perhaps even because of it – research suggests that playing Tetris and other games like it can help reduce the intrusiveness of emotional memories associated with trauma-related clinical disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“This work is the first to our knowledge to show that a ‘simple cognitive blockade’ could reduce intrusive memories of experimental trauma via memory reconsolidation processes,” said Emily Holmes, senior author of the study. “This is particularly interesting because intrusive memories are the hallmark symptom of PTSD.”
Researchers from the Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in the UK wanted to investigate whether it was possible to improve upon conventional recommended treatments for PTSD, including various forms of psychotherapy, which often commence at least one month after the patient has experienced a traumatic episode.
A previous study by some of the same researchers had already shown that playing Tetris within four hours of viewing traumatic material could reduce involuntary memory flashbacks to the disturbing content, but the practical applications of these findings were limited.
Obviously, it’s not very likely that victims of traumatic personal episodes such as assaults or serious car accidents will be agreeable to playing video games in the hours directly following the incident. So Holmes and her team increased the timeframe to see if traumatic memories could be disrupted 24 hours after having been experienced. In the experiment, volunteers were shown films that contained scenes of traumatic content as a way of “experimentally inducing intrusive memories”.
Twenty-four hours later, the volunteers returned and had their memories of the traumatic film reactivated by watching a series of still images from the film. After the trauma refresher, half the group got to play Tetris, while the other half were asked to simply sit quietly. The volunteers then completed a personal diary over the course of the next week, where they referenced any memories of the traumatic content to which they had been exposed.
The findings, published in Psychological Science, show that the volunteers who played Tetris experienced significantly fewer intrusive memories than those who hadn’t been similarly distracted.
Importantly, the ‘reactivation’ of the traumatic memories (in this case induced by watching stills from the film) alongside the video game session appears to have been a crucial pairing in disrupting the future involuntary recall of negative experiences. Other experiments conducted by the group ran the reactivation and Tetris sessions in isolation, but it was only when they were combined that the volunteers experienced fewer intrusive memories over time.
The researchers theorise that games like Tetris constitute an engaging visuospatial task capable of creating a ‘cognitive blockade’ that can disrupt the subsequent reconsolidation of visual intrusive memories. Consequently, the recall and impact of negative emotional memories associated with the trauma is lessened in the future.
“Our findings suggest that, although people may wish to forget traumatic memories, they may benefit from bringing them back to mind, at least under certain conditions – those which render them less intrusive,” said co-author Ella James.


Anxiety Induced Paranoia

Two days now I have been battling bouts of panxiety Which in my world us an actual thing. It’s the place where anxiety mixes with paranoia and bad thoughts set in. Yesterday I saw my landlord in the trailer court. My first thought is, “Oh, God, is he here to tell me my yard’s messy, blah blah blah”…I try to point out, my rent is paid, my utilities haven’t been turned off, my yard is mowed, my trash is not piled up, there is NO reason to think he has a problem with me.

Panxiety gives zero fucks.

On the way to pick my daughter up from school, the car seemed to sputter a bit and suddenly I got terrified that it’s about to keel over. I tried logic, again. It’s probably just water in the gas, you can get some fuel treatment, it will be fine”. On the way back, it didn’t do the sputtering thing.

My kid was playing outside with seven other kids and one kid’s mom was out there and she was so loud, I swore she was yelling at the kids. Spook says the mom accused her of making fun of her kid and threatened to “do something” bad to her. Now not having heard this, and knowing my kid is in the pathological lying phase of childhood…I’m not sure how much stock I put into it. But this woman was just so loud and overbearing, it set my panxiety off even more.

The one good thing from the panxiety, after a second dose of Xanax, was that I was going nuts with the anxiety and spinning thoughts so I got up and decided doing dishes would distract me. Then I cleaned the kitchen floor, the bathroom, I put more laundry in the wash, cleaned an old fan from the shed, even cleaned the mirrors and windows. All the while feeling like the 14 year old girl who went to school and lived in terror of being confronted by bullies. I just got it in my head this mom was going to come knock on my door or something. Panxiety.

Then my kid let a boy ride her new bike but he took off on it around the entire park and refused to give it back to her. I had to hunt him down and tell him to give it back. He defended himself by saying she said he could ride it. I said, you don’t run off with someone’s back when they tell you they want it back. I may have used a firmer tone than necessary, not yelling, just PMS-y. So then I waited for his angry parents to come knock on the door to bitch me out…

At 8 p.m. my dad called to say they were coming to town with that mattress and box spring their neighbor gave them and I was in desperate need of new-ish so I couldn’t complain when it was free and they were transporting it. But being put on the spot sent me into panxiety because I had to get my old mattress and boxspring out, which I managed. Then I saw the mess under the bed so I went to vacuum it and BAM. Sweeper just quit, I hit something, probably a damned lego or something. One more thing I gotta fix or hope I can fix. Then I got all paranoid about them coming inside because my stepmonster either says the house smells like cat pee or she doesn’t like the scented wax melts I burn cos they irritate her allergies and…Just didn’t want to hear it. Fortunately, I am “burly” (my first husband described me that way, he thought it was a compliment) but I got the box spring and mattress inside without their help.

Was a little irked they went to my sister’s first to take her stuff because showing up at 8:15 knowing my kid’s bedtime is 8:30 and my sister doesn’t have a little kid to put to bed but hey…free stuff, free delivery, shuddup, Morgue.

Slept ok, didn’t wake up in spinal agony thanks to a bouncy mattress without springs protruding. YAY.

Today the panxiety has manifested because tonight is my kid’s school carnival and crowds don’t help my issues. Four hours my stomach acid has been churning (in addition to hella cramps) and I have another four hours before the shindig starts. The professionals preach about avoidance behavior and immersion therapy but what SANE person would enjoy situations where anxiety manifests as paranoia and burning stomach aches???

I will go, I will survive. (Gloria Gaynor, anyone?)

I just wish my brain would stop sending me signals that bad things are going to happen. It’s very convincing. I know it lies but knowing that doesn’t make the physical symptoms and fear go away.

So, yeah. Panxiety is a thing. The Dufas Statistical Moron (DSM) manual really needs to add this as a legit condition. It’s a hell all it’s own.


Graduation

So we went to graduation.  My middle one was number six in her class of 350+ so that was a great achievement.  The valedictorian ended his speech with “Let’s get graduated and get the hell out of here!” So stupid.  But the speeches were short and my child’s name was called early so the grandparents were able to leave early and get a jump on going home with the long drive.

It was the first time I heard all of her achievements called out at one time, so I was really proud.   She got four separate scholarships to go to Mississippi State University, so she is covered as far as that is concerned.  I am so thankful.  But I worry about my youngest one with her reading problems. I think I will be helping her a lot with papers and whatnot as she gets older.

THe middle one just came in this morning from the school-sponsored graduation event, Project Graduation.  They went to a fancy restaurant to eat then went to a party ranch out in the country south of here.  She hasn’t told us how it went–she went straight to bed after being out all night.  But I hope she has had fun.

Everyone else is still sleeping, so I just might go back down, too.  Probably not.  But maybe,  I can’t decide.  Here’s to everyone having a good day.

 


[Take Note Tuesdays] Mental Health: Developing Coping Strategies

[By Mike Ehrmantrout] Coping with symptoms of mental illness can be a daily struggle for the mentally ill. Each person develops his or her own strategies to cope with these […]