In the last few years, Virtual Reality (VR) has grown massively. With its devices becoming easier to acquire and cheaper, VR is opening up to new possibilities. In recent times, popular games like Minecraft and Assassin’s Creed are expanding their horizons into Virtual Reality to enhance their gaming experiences. With the arrival of social distancing, VR seems like a promising technology to help people get together to create new connections. One area that has been getting a lot of traction and positive results from VR usage is therapy. From helping veterans treat their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), up to assisting Senior citizens in combatting dementia, VR is a brand new tool that can aid mental health.
Interesting Studies and Findings: VR Put to the Test.
VR Therapy for phobias and trauma:
One of the best ways VR can be used for psychotherapy is to have a safer way of implementing a treatment called "Exposure therapy." PTSD is a disorder that involves intrusive thoughts associated with traumatic events and often involves flashbacks and nightmares that make someone relieve a traumatic experience.
Exposure Therapy typically puts the patient into contact with what they fear. The American Psychology Association suggests that VR may be a great solution to this therapy since it can be safer and cheaper for the patient. Many studies have shown positive results when applying this therapy to war veterans suffering from PTSD
VR Therapy for ADD/ADHD:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a widespread disorder that shows symptoms between childhood and teenage years. VR brings an immersive environment where you can simulate a classroom or any other context in which various distractions can appear and be controlled during the session. This helps children in teaching them to ignore any intrusions and focus on the important first. Most of the applications attempting to do this today are academic, and commercial ones have not yet been released as of today, making it an area with vast opportunity to explore.
VR Therapy for Alzheimer and Dementia:
Studies have demonstrated that VR can be an excellent option to treat dementia, memory loss, and other illnesses that may come with old age. Activities through VR can simulate the patient’s motor and cognitive processes that can help fight Parkinson’s disease. With this technology, patients with dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease can stimulate their brains and remember memories, resulting in a cheaper and more effective alternative than traditional treatment methods.
The Possible Market:
The value of VR in therapy for mental health improvement is magnificent. It has quickly become an essential tool for treatment, but there has not been a significant advance in software development yet. This opens up a lot of great possibilities for this technology.
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