Technology as a treatment – Step’s in to relieve the symptoms of trauma, stress and anxiety in virtual experience

Posted on Posted in IT

The evolution of virtual enviroments has seen the increase in helping resolve medical challenges.. Just recently  I was reading an article on treating anxiety and PTSD and the use of virtual enviroments to help relieve and retrain the patients.  Anxiety Induction is the the latest techniques used to give patients a better coping  startegy in different treal world situation, to help improve their effectiveness in dealing with the issues and prevent  the potetntially harmful effects of exposure to traumatic events. The treatment is well known to soldier who suffer from PSTD from being in Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.

Because Virtual Enviroments (VE) have improved controlability, some of which we see in some of today console games as well, they can be utilised more effectively in Psychotheraphy and Neurology treatmenst that require anxiety induction  to analyse such things as attention, learning and memory, executive functions and the control of emotions and reactions. In the past the patient  will have just been exposed to things such as disturbing images, time constrained difficult mental tasks and even make people stand up and do a presentation to the public. VE’s are also seen as a great tool for the younger generation where by the medication are prohibitive in some cases, and  we find our teenagers and under 25’s suffering in silence. The use of Virtual Reality environments for the treatment of phobias emerged in the 90s and  then usually implied expensive special purpose hardware.  But in todays world it has become a low cost solution,  and systems such as Virtual Spectators, which is easy to install and use for people without expertise in informatics.

 

 

To Read More and if you are a sufferer check out these sites: Virtual RET, Lab mag and University OF Warwick

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