Virtual Reality Used To Treat Mental Health Problems

Virtual Reality Used To Treat Mental Health Problems

virtual reality has already revolutionized the gaming industry allowing players to immerse themselves in incredible new worlds built with a dazzling attention to detail but the technology is now being adapted to become a rather unlikely tool scientists across the globe have been experimenting with VR to provide therapy for some serious mental health issues and thanks to years of intricate research many issues are now being addressed in groundbreaking ways for example for many people everyday situations such as riding on an underground train can trigger a disproportionate response but thanks to a team of experts at Oxford University these people may no longer have to worry a simulated trip on the London Underground in virtual reality has been created to help sufferers as part of the study 30 patients took part in a half hour session to face their fears 7 simulated journeys were carried out in a specialized virtual reality lab they were then tested for their responses when faced with travelling in both a train and a lift professor Daniel Freeman reveals how each patient experienced more pressure throughout the treatment but so far professor Freeman and his team have generated some very positive results from just 30 minutes in they are using the right techniques there were large reductions in paranoia immediately afterwards over half the patients no longer had severe paranoia importantly the benefits transferred to the real world and its hopes that one day the VR treatment will be escalated into a full clinical trial but traveling on a packed London train is only one of the experiences that many struggle with survivors of trauma suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can have it even worse whilst this may look like a scene from Call of Duty it couldn't be further from a game it is in fact a simulation from the brave mind program developed by the Institute of Creative Technologies the ultimate aim for the team is to recreate battlefield experiences to help US soldiers suffering from PTSD Director of Medical virtual reality skip Rizzo reveals how big V ARS role is in providing this much-needed therapy VR is an evocative technology it can bring out emotions that sometimes can't come out in other ways and this is where VR shines you can put people in simulations that bring up an emotion and then teach them ways to deal with that emotion in an appropriate fashion and thanks to the team's hard work the brave mind program has now been introduced into more than 50 hospitals across the u.s. VR therapy isn't just for extreme cases though it can also be helpful in treating day-to-day phobias this service from the virtually better clinic in the US helps patients to overcome their fear of flying a short journey from the airport lounge to the seat of the plane seems simple enough to most but for those who dread flying this experience is associated with beating hearts sweaty palms and severe anxiety by taking patients on simulated flights they can confront their fears with the guidance of a virtual therapist a life changing experience for many who are held back by this particular phobia and it doesn't stop there virtually better also has similar programs to help people with phobias of lifts and Heights but whilst VR is proving help in overcoming fears it's also helping to stimulate Minds the virtual forests from Alzheimer's Australia Vic aims to engage dementia sufferers the therapy immerses them in a calm peaceful world where they can hear butterflies fluttering and watch the snowfall the sensory therapy application stimulates their senses and allows for them to interact with the virtual world for 30 minutes for residents who are highly agitated and find it difficult to engage for even five minutes this experience according to consultant Juanita can be a revelation the virtual world will give a person living with a cognitive disability an enormous amount of possibilities like feel good about themselves have some control in their lives feel important feel valued because anytime we are taking their opinions they feel valued and the self-esteem is going up immediately when every role have been taken from them this giving it back that is priceless it is priceless using state-of-the-art gaming technology Unreal Engine 4 the designers have been able to create a fully immersive virtual environment one they hope will provide dementia care on multiple platforms from helping stress soldiers and paranoid tube travelers to stimulating the minds of the elderly VR is completely changing psychological therapy innovations in the field have already helped a wide spectrum of people and its continued development promises a renewed hope to many more

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13 thoughts on “Virtual Reality Used To Treat Mental Health Problems

  1. I lived with undiagnosed PTSD for many years, it caused severe social problems. Every attempt I made to socialise in the real world, always went horribly wrong, it resulted in a severe PTSD episode, which for me, involved blackouts. I have since entered the world via social media, I was able to learn to socialise from the safety of my room in groups on Facebook who have also lived with a mental health condition. I am now able to socialise in the real world more successfully. I still have a ways to go and have yet to experience dating, but I now feel I have a chance to achieve this yet.

  2. – "Hello. You are calling Dr.Jones' VR clinic, how may I help you?"
    – "Hi, this is Mr. Smith speaking. I just heard about your VR treatment and believe it might help me with my problem".
    – "What do you suffer from, Mr. Smith?"
    – "I have an irrational fear of hot, passionate sex with very attractive women".

  3. I wonder how many people will go insande from spending all their free time in virtual reality in the near future.

  4. That's pretty awesome. Hopefully one day I can get over my phobia of public speaking, with such device.

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