Tetris – a poor girl’s EMDR?
A recently done study at the Oxford University revealed that playing tetris after a traumatic event may reduce the amount of flashbacks after the event. Flashbacks are a common part of a post-traumatic stress disorder which might follow witnessing or participating in an traumatic event.The idea is based on the fact that occupying in an visually orientated activity prevents or reduces the forming of visual images of the trauma itself.
I got myself some first hand experience regarding this in July 2009 when a car hit me and my bike. I ended up summersaulting in the air but landed on my feet just badly bruised so I was “okay”. Or so I thought.
Little did I know that taking the bike to repair and going to the doctor wasn’t the end of it. Some weeks after the event I started to feel really weird. I had these sudden fear attacks and my heart was beating like mad. When I was riding my bike I thought I was constantly just millimetres away from dying in an crash. I felt surreal and outsider and hopeless. Never before in my life I had given up hope for the world to change for the better. Now I did. I also started to burst into cry every now and then. I even considered the final solution of ending it all tho I’d never, ever would’ve done that before. Overall I felt so bad, irritated and anxious and depressed that I couldn’t but wonder had I totally changed as a person.
Finally it was my mom who realized that it might be a post-traumatic stress disorder I was having. That realization was the key to me getting better, bit by bit. I have to say, it took almost a year before I could say I was alright. And still I sometimes wonder whether it left me some permanent marks.
It’s probably too late for me playing Tetris but I’m trying it anyway. While I play, we shall see how the applications utilizing this knowledge develop for the best of all traumatized people. And yes, the headline is just my personal association to the EMDR (Eye movement de-sensitization and reprocessing) therapy.
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