Schizophrenia is a spectrum mental disorder involving a disconnection between thought, emotion, and behavior. A person with schizophrenia may exhibit faulty perception, inappropriate actions or feelings, disconnection from reality and personal relationships to fantasies and delusions, and a series of other mental fragmentations. Researchers have attempted to find ways to help those with schizophrenia better manage their symptoms, with the latest technique involving technology.
According to BBC News, a pilot study conducted by researchers from King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and the University of Roehampton found that video games could help people with schizophrenia control their symptoms. Participants were asked to play a video game while connected to an MRI scanner. With the video game, participants were to move a computerized rocket through various mental strategies – the pilot test showed that individuals were better able to identify what originally seemed as external voices to internal voices.
In a sense, this form of treatment is similar to neurofeedback therapy – a tool used to help people control what is normally involuntary bodily process such as skin temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and brain waves. Since those with schizophrenia are more visually and audibly sensitive, delusions and hallucinations can be particularly frightening for them. Thus, video games provide a way for people to alter their perceptions of the voices they hear through the brain’s movement of a particular object – in the pilot study’s case – a rocket.
Although the study provides preliminary data, the results seem promising, and researchers are believing in its abilities. As we look toward the future, hopefully even more treatment options will become available to those with schizophrenia so that they can have various methods to work with, to whatever suits their learning style and needs best.
If you have schizophrenia, make the decision to seek treatment today. With different resources available, you can learn to better manage your symptoms. Treatment may involve therapy, activities, as well as medication. Don’t wait any longer, and seek the help you need today.
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