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Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2010 Feb;13(1):103-7.

A soldier suffering from PTSD, treated by controlled stress exposition using virtual reality and behavioral training.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Combat Stress, Military Institute of Medical Services, Warsaw, Poland.


This article presents a case of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a 30-year-old soldier of the Polish Military Contingent in Iraq who narrowly escaped death three times. The first time occurred when during a change of guard he was unintentionally shot by his colleague. The projectile penetrated the victim's helmet, slid along its internal shell curvature, and left the shell causing only a scratch on the scalp skin. Another traumatic event was experienced by the soldier a month after the first incident. As a guard of honor, he was "shot" in the same rear head area with a cap of a cream tube, inadvertently stepped on by a colleague. The third event occurred a couple of days later, during a rocket attack on the Diwaniyah base. After this incident the soldier was evacuated to the Clinic of Psychiatry and Combat Stress in Warsaw. Multiform PTSDs that developed in this soldier are described in this work. The course of his comprehensive therapy during his two stays, with a total duration of 8 months, in the clinic is discussed. Also, a detailed description of the therapy controlled exposition to combat stressors in virtual reality (VR), supplemented with behavioral training consisting of desensitization of an aversive reaction to contact with a weapon at a shooting range is presented. The comprehensive treatment activities resulted in full remission of the PTSD symptoms. The soldier continues his service in a logistic support unit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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