HOW CAN VR HELP PANIC AND ANXIETY PATIENTS?
Here I will focus on the key highlights and the practical things you can explore today, starting by exploring how VR can help anxiety. I will explore how VR can harness this power over our minds to influence the underlying thoughts, feelings, and emotions that underpin our everyday life. How to deal with fear, anxiety, and pain, how we interact and empathize with others, and how we can learn to reshape our memories.
SO HOW COULD VR HELP?
Anxiety can be treated in three different ways, often used in tandem. These are self-treatment such as Meditation, treatment from a professional therapist and medication.
Virtual reality glasses or video glasses offer something in each area bar medication. In theory, as we continue to make advances in tracking chemical and circuitry in the brain, you could prescribe a particular experience to trigger a rebalancing of your brain chemistry, but it remains early for this.
There is already a multitude of meditation and relaxation apps like Headspace available online and on mobile. The problem is that these apps do not automatically provide a soothing environment to practice in and risk providing more distraction equaling more anxiety. VR can obscure a user from the physical environment and its distractions.
Guided meditation VR, created by Josh Farkas is the most discussed and provides a set of environments that can be matched to your mood along with audio guidance. I’ve tried it, and it’s impressive. The smartest feature is that you can use the app to track your heart rate before and after the experience.
Virtually based therapies are not new to professional treatments for psychological disorders. Research institutes such as the USC’s institutes for creative technologies and Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab have advanced the use of VR as a therapeutic tool for decades. Exposure-based therapies, in which patients are exposed to their anxiety or fear in a controlled environment, are particularly susceptible to VR.
Patients can be put into highly realistic virtual environments that can be fully controlled and modified by therapists at a relatively low cost. Similarly, pain relief has received lots of focus on AppliedVR and DeepStreamVR developing applications to reduce pain for patients. Research has proven that virtual therapy can be so efficient that it reduces pain from 50% to 90% in clinical trials (Infinite Reality).
SO WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN?
The best place for VR to start dealing with our anxiety is a targeted therapeutic tool.
Delivered I a controlled clinical setting with carefully produced experiences the incredible benefits are already demonstrated. These will probably improve as technology gets better. For everyday use, spy camera glasses and VR can offer new ways to get that moment of relief from anxiety and feeling of security. That is a sort of virtual hot bubble bath.
Perhaps this could also facilitate the development of improved habits and practice activities such as meditation activities. But as with all of VR presently, we must recognize the consequences of where this new technology could take us. When the moments of immersion become sustained escapism, we have to start talking regarding addiction instead of treatment.
About The Author
Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates, restaurants and electronics stores with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner for all matters.