The Use Of VR Technology To Treat Phobias And Other Anxiety Disorders: [Essay Example], 1078 words GradesFixer
close
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by professional essay writers.

The Use of Vr Technology to Treat Phobias and Other Anxiety Disorders

downloadDownload printPrint

Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you.

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

Get your price

121 writers online

blank-ico
Download PDF

Over the past decade, virtual reality had massive breakthroughs, with its usage extended into various fields, such as arts, film production, medial, video gaming, and even military training. The virtual environment is presented through a head mounted display (HMD) composed of separate screens for each eye, stereo earphones and a head-tracking device. The users of the device can navigate freely in the three – dimension virtual world with a real sense of presence. With the involvement of real-time computer graphics, sounds, smell and other sensory, virtual reality technology invites and immerses its users into real-world interactive experiences.

Pssst... we can write an original essay just for you

Any subject. Any type of essay.

We’ll even meet a 3-hour deadline.

121 writers online

Among the multiple fields that adapted the technology of virtual reality is clinical treatment. A number of VR applications have been developed for the mental health field including the treatment of anxiety disorders, which is a type of health diagnoses shown by the feelings of worry, fear and anxiety. There are many anxiety disorders and scientists have found that phobia is the most common one which is defined by intense “fear of a situations or objects that actually pose little or no danger”. The patients usually would do anything possible to avoid interactions with their phobias by behaving irrationally and unreasonably. Phobias can be divided in three categories: agoraphobia (the fear of open spaces, unfamiliar or uncomfortable environments), social phobia or social anxiety disorder (intense fear manifested by the patient when he faces social situations, must perform in public or be part of social settings) and specific phobia. Specific phobia is the kind of unreasonable fear related to exposure to specific objects or situations and can be divided in five sub-categories: animal, natural environment, situational, blood-injection-injury and other.

Many people believe that phobias cannot be cured and the existing treatments are ineffective so they don’t even try to seek possible treatments. However, various treatments have been used to treat phobias and most of them are effective and convenient. The most commonly used treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. Basically, what CBT does is guiding the patient to view and confront their fear through a different angle and learn to control his feelings and thoughts. Another possible method is suggested after scientists found out that phobias are usually related to particular “fear memories” which can be disrupted by exposure to a tarantula. However, more researches and instructions need to be conducted on this method. Another treatment, exposure therapy, might be the reason why patients want to avoid treatment: they don’t want to confront with their fear. However, exposure treatments have been proven to be the most durable method with the intensity of exposure is added up gradually. For example, from photo of the object to a video and eventually to the real object, and the whole process is carefully monitored and guided by a therapist.

For the past several years, technology has been developing unprecedently rapid, making virtual reality an ideal tool for mental health application. With more researches and studies conducted, computers and VR devices now operate faster than before, create better quality of graphics and the cost of experiments has been significantly reduced, which also proves the effectiveness of virtual reality as a treatment for mental health. What really makes VR intervention stands about among other types of treatments is that it invites patients to a real – life experience that can be modified based on different preferences and needs.

Need help with writing?

You can order professional work according to specific instructions and 100% plagiarism free.

Various studies have been conducted using VR as psychological conditions treatment, and VR interventions were proven to be successful for multiple types of phobias, including Agoraphobia, social phobia, spider phobia, and fear of heights. Like exposure approach, VR therapy is also based on the idea of exposure and interaction while preventing potential dangers that might happen in exposure approaches. The idea that VR is controlled by therapists and is designed based on each patients’ needs and feelings make the patients feel safer and willing to participate and engage actively.

According to an experiment conducted on 12 patients with panic disorder, both VR therapy and imaginal exposure are effective in treating Agoraphobia. The researchers divided the patients into three groups: VR assisted cognitive therapy group, imaginal exposure group, and a control group. In the VR therapy, patients were exposed to 4 situations: in an elevator, a market, a square, and a subway, with the number of people in the crowd controlled by the therapist. The researchers found out that both the VR cognitive therapy group and the imaginal exposure group improved on their level of fear towards crowd with decreased anxiety and the VR cognitive therapy group achieved this within shorter period of time.

In an experiment designed for spider phobia patients, a virtual tarantula was created through VR technology. After the treatment, 23 patients were tested on their improvement. About 83 % of the virtual reality treatment group showed low or moderate level of fear when tarantulas were presented in real life.

In order to deal with the anxiety and fear some people have when they are in a social situation, researchers focused on treating public speaking anxiety as an approach to social phobias. In a study conducted on students from public speaking classes, scientists found that VR treatment group showed significant alleviation on their level of fear after only 4 treatment sessions that lasted less than 15 minutes.

The first study conducted on VR technology as therapy for patients with height phobia was in 1995. In this experiment, patients in VR treatment group received 7 sessions of VR exposure each week. There are three situations in the experiment: a bridge, a balcony, and a glass elevator and were presented to the patients at different level of difficulties based on the patients’ reactions and improvements. The VR treatment group later showed obvious alleviation in anxiety, distress, and fear when they were put in high positions. However, the researchers were not sure if the result was caused by VR or not because the participants also went through vivo exposure while the research was conducted.

There is no denying that VR technology opens up a new possibility of treating mental disorders and has already yield promising results. However, some scientists claim that there is no direct and definite proves for VR’s superiority over other treatments. Also, some patients might still prefer traditional therapies over VR because they feel uncertain about this newly emerged technology. So, although there are multiple potentials for adopting VR as a therapy for mental disorders and phobias, more researches, studies and clinical experiments need to conducted to draw conclusions on VR’s effectiveness or advantages over traditional treatments.

infoRemember: This is just a sample from a fellow student.

Your time is important. Let us write you an essay from scratch

100% plagiarism-free

Sources and citations are provided

Find Free Essays

We provide you with original essay samples, perfect formatting and styling

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

The Use Of VR Technology To Treat Phobias And Other Anxiety Disorders. (2021, March 18). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 13, 2021, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-use-of-vr-technology-to-treat-phobias-and-other-anxiety-disorders/
“The Use Of VR Technology To Treat Phobias And Other Anxiety Disorders.” GradesFixer, 18 Mar. 2021, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-use-of-vr-technology-to-treat-phobias-and-other-anxiety-disorders/
The Use Of VR Technology To Treat Phobias And Other Anxiety Disorders. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-use-of-vr-technology-to-treat-phobias-and-other-anxiety-disorders/> [Accessed 13 Apr. 2021].
The Use Of VR Technology To Treat Phobias And Other Anxiety Disorders [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2021 Mar 18 [cited 2021 Apr 13]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/the-use-of-vr-technology-to-treat-phobias-and-other-anxiety-disorders/
copy to clipboard
close

Sorry, copying is not allowed on our website. If you’d like this or any other sample, we’ll happily email it to you.

    By clicking “Send”, you agree to our Terms of service and Privacy statement. We will occasionally send you account related emails.

    close

    Attention! this essay is not unique. You can get 100% plagiarism FREE essay in 30sec

    Recieve 100% plagiarism-Free paper just for 4.99$ on email
    get unique paper
    *Public papers are open and may contain not unique content
    download public sample
    close

    Sorry, we cannot unicalize this essay. You can order Unique paper and our professionals Rewrite it for you

    close

    Thanks!

    Your essay sample has been sent.

    Want us to write one just for you? We can custom edit this essay into an original, 100% plagiarism free essay.

    thanks-icon Order now
    boy

    Hi there!

    Are you interested in getting a customized paper?

    Check it out!
    Having trouble finding the perfect essay? We’ve got you covered. Hire a writer

    GradesFixer.com uses cookies. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy.

    exit-popup-close

    Haven't found the right essay?

    Get an expert to write you the one you need!

    exit-popup-print

    Professional writers and researchers

    exit-popup-quotes

    Sources and citation are provided

    exit-popup-clock

    3 hour delivery

    exit-popup-persone