A new solution for anxiety disorder
Anxiety costs 1 trillion dollars to the global economy.
Millions of people around the world are affected by it on regular basis, and there are only handful of treatments.
Mental disorders can stop people from leading healthy lives, a larger population doesn’t realize they are victim to anxiety until things turn out worse. Anxiety and Depression Association of America has listed the available approaches, and there is a need for improvements and more treatments.
Virtual Reality Therapy (VRT) is making a great progress. It’s a combination of technology and therapeutic practices. VRT may not be suitable for every patient, but it does wonders for people who develop severe anxiety in response to accidents or traumatic experiences in life.
It was till 1970 that virtual reality (VR) was considered an illusion, or something that doesn’t exist. This technology gained a physical shape between 1970 and 1990, but the research was limited to flight simulations, military trainings, etc. It started gaining momentum between 1990 and 2000, research could mimic a physical body to 3D model.
After the introduction of quality graphics after year 2000, it became a lucrative option for scientists and investors.
Virtual Reality started seeing progress in Therapeutic practices soon after quality graphics integration. Some of the early tests were when Max M North and his 2 fellow researchers used virtual reality therapy to reduce anxiety symptoms of a 28-year-old male.There are many cases when virtual reality therapy came to rescue anxiety patients.
One of the recent case was when Inmaculada Gomez and her 3 fellow researchers in 2018, made a virtual environment for a 15 year old boy to improve his anxiety symptoms.
This therapy exposes people tosimulated environments to help them overcome psychological barriers. If someone has a fear of flying and because of it that certain someone is unable to travel out of the country, it can affect his/her quality of life.
A trained professional can carefully look into the patient’s case and create a simulated environment to give patient a chance to overcome the fear of flying.
During sessions, in a controlled setting, a patient can be guided to aboard a plane, the tests are carried out repeatedly, which helps reduce the patient’s fear of flying. Once the fear is gone, the patient’s anxiety reduces significantly.
There are less than 4% people who report nausea, dizziness, or blurred vision. VRT helps people overcome their fears without having to face real time situations that actually cause the anxiety. People learn to control their fears by themselves, and if things go out of control, therapist can intervene at any moment.
No one can escape anxiety, we all experience it, but if it becomes a problem it can affect a person’s normal lifestyle.
As the cost to set up virtual environments is going down, it can be a potential solution with long term benefits.