CHRLOTTE, N.C. -- Video games are more than entertainment, they can be therapy. 

According to the VA, up to 20 percent of the veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan leave the military with PTSD; many, undiagnosed and untreated.

A study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health shows some are finding help by playing their favorite video games.

Researchers said video games helped some veterans distract themselves from PTSD symptoms including anxiety, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.

Ryan Waldo is a marine veteran in Charlotte who tries to get other vets involved in gaming. 

“I try to find the guys that are clearly not going to go to any kind of therapy prescribed to them from the VA,” Waldo said. 

He says it’s helped him with PTSD symptoms.

“You forget about whatever it was that was bothering you because you gotta focus 100 percent on the level,” Walso said. 

When playing to help with PTSD, the type of game doesn’t matter as much as the distraction it creates, the connection with other players, and meaning taken from the game.

Nonprofit Stack Up helps connect veterans and help with mental health through gaming.