News / Health

    Interactive Video Helps US Soldiers With Combat Stress

    Interactive Video Helps US Soldiers With Combat Stressi
    X
    March 09, 2013 2:16 AM
    Soldiers around the world who fight in war zones often face similar issues once they return home, including trying to get back to their normal routines. They may have problems readjusting and experience severe anxiety known as post-traumatic stress that can even lead to suicide. Psychological counseling may help, but so may interactive videos designed to help soldiers deal with combat stress. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about a video that s helping some US soldiers who return from war.
    Interactive Video Helps US Soldiers With Combat Stress
    Deborah Block
    Soldiers around the world who fight in war zones often face similar issues once they return home, including trying to get back to their normal routines. They may have problems readjusting and experience severe anxiety known as post-traumatic stress that can even lead to suicide. Psychological counseling may help, but so may interactive videos designed to help soldiers deal with combat stress. One video is helping some US soldiers who return from war.

    Army veteran Robert Menendez knows this scenario all too well. This video simulation brings back memories of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    “I was always having dreams, you know, certain things that happened during deployments, especially my last one, that has to do with other people we may have lost,” he said.

    Like the actor in the video, Menendez often felt anxious and angry. He became distant from family and friends.

    “So I only told people that I felt comfortable with who had experienced it and may be going through it as well,” he said.

    So, a military friend suggested he download this free, interactive video called The War Inside. It dramatizes different scenarios about the challenges of coming home after combat. Menendez identified with a soldier experiencing post-traumatic stress who is trying to understand and control his behavior.

    “I think, once I acknowledged that I did have issues, it actually helped me cope with it," said Menendez.

    The War Inside is produced by WILL Interactive. Sharon Sloane, the company's founder, said the scenarios are based on real stories.

    “I think it’s very important to give someone something that he or she can use in the privacy of their own home when they can really get in touch with their feelings. They give people the opportunity to experiment with choices in what they want to do to handle a situation,” said Sloane.

    Those choices are in the form of questions that pop up on the screen during the scenes and users can think about how they would respond. Menendez said, depending on the answer he picks, the outcome will be different.  

    “It tells you what could happen and, if you had done something else, what would happen then. I started trying each individual reaction and some outcomes were better than the others,” he said.

    The War Inside has been viewed by tens of thousands of soldiers, individually and in groups. It’s an effective tool, said psychiatrist Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, a retired army colonel.

    “Sometimes it resonates with their war-time experiences. These are realistic. It brings them back to being in Iraq, but that engages them and draws them in,” said Ritchie.

    Even though Menendez still struggles with post-traumatic stress, he said the video has helped him open up to family and friends, and control his anger.

    “If somebody invites me somewhere, and I don’t want to go, and they ask me again, I say I don’t want to go. Instead of slamming a door in his face, I’ll just say 'I’m sorry,'” said Menendez.

    While no video can erase the trauma of combat, The War Inside is helping ease its lingering effects.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    March 11, 2013 8:48 AM
    This could have helped a lot of people who came home after Vietnam.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.