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A scene from "Virtual Iraq" (Source:  University of Southern California)
A scene from "Virtual Iraq" (Source: University of Southern California)

"Virtual Iraq" aims to help soldiers overcome Post Traumatic Stress

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New Pentagon figures show 40,000 U.S. troops have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder since 2003. But Army officials believe many more are keeping their illness secret. A study released last month by the Rand Corporation puts the number much higher. It found that 300,000 - one in five veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan -- suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or major depression. Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker says officials are encouraging troops to get help, military or civilian. Fort Drum in Watertown has begun expanding its mental health programs. The VA is also scrambling to create new therapy methods to treat PTSD. In the May 19 issue of The New Yorker magazine, North Country writer Sue Halpern profiled one experimental new treatment called "Virtual Iraq."

Halpern told Brian Mann the story of one Marine named Travis Boyd who used the "virtual reality" computer simulation to heal from his wartime experience.

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Author Sue Halpern

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