Depression and psychosis

As change can be very challenging, health issues like depression, paranoia, etc can be by-products of change. The use of virtual reality (VR) is helped treating these.

"...commercially available headsets......will become fixtures in the consulting room, helping young patients to relive experiences that trigger mental health crises and to deal with them..."

Paul Biegler, 2017

For 2+ decades, VR has been successfully used for the treatment of spider phobia, fear of flying, post-traumatic stress, etc. It uses a controlled exposure to a fear of a situation as a way of learning how to handle it

"...in depression, negativity can be so persuasive that even a passing glance from a stranger can be taken as disapproval and a reason for self-loathing. One of the most effective treatments is mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which teaches people not to engage with negative thoughts, but simply watch them......the key is to adopt a sceptical mindset agreed stored is not as bearers of bad news, but more like habitual liars should be watched at a respectful distance..."

Paul Biegler, 2017

Use VR to watch a thought, ie

"... Participants will enter a virtual world where avatars do things designed to trigger classic depressive thinking, such as the 'dismissive glance'..."

Paul Biegler, 2017

Rather than being consumed by self-hatred, the participants will select their thoughts from a pop-up menu, ie visualising thoughts in a non-judgemental way so that you don't engage with them or get swept away by them

"...by observing your thoughts without reacting to them, they can slowly fade away..."

Paul Biegler, 2017

By gradual exposure, VR can help reduce the sense of threat that is causing the depression, paranoia, etc.

 

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