February 13, 2018

Study: Virtual Reality Therapy Seems to Reduce Paranoia in Psychotics

Anxiety, Paranoia, depression. We often happen to overcome these terms in the recent days. The people who suffer from such disorders tend to perceive threats where there are none, try to avoid public places and contact with people, spend a lot of time alone. And if you hear the numbers, you will be shocked.


To help reduce the sufferings of people with psychotic disorders who are combating anxiety and paranoia, a team of researchers in the Netherlands used virtual reality-based therapy along with standard medication and therapies for the treatment.

Clinical trials involving 116 patients were divided into two groups where only one group practiced social interactions in a virtual environment. In the treatment, participants were exposed via avatars, to social interactions that triggered fear and paranoia in four virtual settings: a street, a bus, a café and a supermarket, in 16 one-hour sessions over 8-12 weeks. The participants were even coached to deal with their feelings in different situations and behaviors.

Though this technique couldn’t increase the time of interaction of the participants with others, it showed progress in the quality of the interactions.

“The addition of virtual reality CBT to standard treatment reduced paranoid feelings, anxiety, and use of safety behaviors in social situations, compared with standard treatment alone,” said lead author, Roos Pot-Kolder, a researcher at VU University, Netherlands.

Virtual Reality is helping the participants to make more quality interactions, reduce the fear and build more confidence. However, it is so ironic to see that, the mobile and virtual reality technologies we consider as addictive and not good for the brain are the same technologies which are used to ease paranoia and anxiety issues(related to the brain) today.


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