Technology has literally taken over the world and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it. It has managed to help a lot of people in so many ways, it is like living in the world of the future since people wouldn’t really expect these techs to be around if you asked them about it a couple of years back.
One of them is the virtual reality, it is common for people who love to play video games, since it will enable the player to have such an incredible and phenomenal experience making it seem like they are indeed in that world as well, which is why it is referred to as virtual reality.
Studies have shown how virtual reality has indeed made people make them feel like they took a step into the future, it is not even used as a form of treatment for mental health but there are also some physical and mental dangers using it, keep reading to find out more.
A woman wearing a VR headset
Virtual Reality For Anxiety Treatment
The National Health Services or the NHS reported that Oxford University conducted some research and experiments on how virtual reality could help with serious mental illnesses.
They have spent millions of pounds for this particular project, wherein patients will be in a room and they will wear a virtual reality headset then do some tasks that they are finding difficult in the real world.
Researchers said that people with severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety are the target of this research. These patients have virtual reality coaches that would help them get through the simulations so they could conquer some situations that they find difficult.
When the patients were asked how their experiences were like, they mostly said that they think the virtual reality makes situations fairly easier compared to the real world.
If the trial proves that the patients that underwent these virtual reality treatment tests are able to have a better outlook then they would consider the trial as a success and it could help them treat these mental illnesses.
Oxford University, in partnership with National Health Services as well as other universities and mental health institutions and organizations, are working together to make this project possible. They were even awarded £4 million National Institute of Health Research.
Daniel Freeman from the Department of Psychiatry in Oxford University even said that their project proves that technology does have a way of making things more excited and powerful especially when it comes to treating mental illnesses and this is the very first time it has been implemented in the NHS.
He also mentioned how this project would totally change the patients’ lives since it would have the power to help them overcome their illnesses. With the help of the virtual coaches that comes in the headset, it would guide them through scenarios and help them practice some technique to try.
This is something that would not let them be pressured to get better, the virtual world would easily help them to adjust by their own pace. Freeman also mentioned that this virtual reality treatment automated and that the computer-generated virtual coaches are the ones leading the therapy, and they hope to help more people and have them get access to this kind of psychological therapy.
The project is set to have its own easy to use design and would continue to have a trial on patients from the National Health Services.
Dangers of Virtual Reality
Researchers may have found how virtual reality could definitely help them with their psychological therapies but there is also a danger that comes with it.
A behavioral neuroscientist from Stanford University, Walter Greenleaf, who has been studying virtual reality in medical settings for three decades now, said that virtual reality does not just affect the eyes even if that is the only thing that it involves with. It could also lead to motion sickness.
People who look into a virtual environment would change their view of the real world especially if they use it pretty often.
The way that people would interact will also be changed and this is what they scientifically refer to it as the ‘vengence accommodation conflict’. If this is used medically as a form of treatment, then there is no harm done since it wouldn’t be considered as addictive but the real world is still way too different from the virtual world.