People Can Overcome Their Fears with Virtual Reality
Virtual reality is making waves across the world and can be a great tool for different reasons including business and gaming and the health sector could be a part of that niche if utilizing in the correct way.
A study recently made by researchers from the Oxford University may have stumbled across a possible solution to address paranoia with state of the art virtual reality situations. The research was made possible and fully supported with funding courtesy of the Medical Research Council.
People suffering from paranoia normally doubt about honesty on others with the belief that these people are ready to render them some form of harm. A good example is when folks tend to shy away and distant themselves from social situations or avoiding eye contact which, to folks, is a form of avoiding harm. These people with physiological disorder like to be alone and do things on their own most times.
With 30 people participating in the study, participants were divided into two groups – one on the Tube and another on a lift – with the assistance of computer avatars. One group were asked to protect themselves in the way they normally would while the other group will approach the computer characters and provide long gazes and/or standing up to them.
It turns out that the group where were encouraged to approach the computer graphics showed a remarkable drop in paranoid delusions that resulted in more than 50% of them no longer suffering from severe paranoia. The research and study has shown that virtual reality is very important in controlling people suffering from chronic paranoia.
“Paranoia all too often leads to isolation, unhappiness, and profound distress. But the exceptionally positive immediate results for the patients in this study show a new route forward in treatment,” said Professor Daniel Freeman from Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry.
Encouraging patients to try something out of their usual context does take a lot of courage, a great chance that could result in good or bad consequences. But in this case, the process of being able to get through that barrier rendered something good and probably to make better how people battling with paranoia can deal with social situations when it actually happens in real life.
“Virtual reality assisted treatment has great potential because, as the price of the equipment makes it more accessible, much treatment could be delivered in people’s homes,” adds Professor David Clark, a member of the study team.
As many companies rise up to explore the virtual reality market, the price of the equipment will be drastically reduced and affordable to many homes. This will afford much the opportunity to treat people with paranoia or other related sickness as it may apply. By and large, as many testify to the positive effect of the equipment after use, more companies will also join the train of progress and this will further reduce the price of the equipment with time and more people will be able to buy. At the end, the manufacturers will make more profit from the production and sale of the equipment.
With virtual reality on the rise in the market, this should be a good discovery as it can potentially help lives and broadens its scope not solely limited to business or gaming endeavors but also expand its tentacle to health related and other sectors.