While major progress has been made in the treatment of PTSD over the decades, there can never be enough tools combat the potentially life-destroying consequences it brings. Now we can add virtual reality to the list of treatments for PTSD, according to a report by the BBC.
Cracking the Tough Cases
VR has a long history as a form of psychological treatment. Since the early 90s it has been used by cognitive-behavioural therapists as a way to treat phobias, such as arachnophobia and the fear of flying, in a safe and controlled environment. Using a method known as “exposure therapy”. This form of therapy also works for various anxiety disorders, including PTSD.
This new therapy, referred to as 3MDR (modular motion-assisted memory desensitization and reconsolidation) is showing promise as a method to tackle especially resistant cases of PTSD. It’s still in the early phases of development and the researchers are looking for veteran candidates for whom other forms of PTSD have not worked.The treatment is specific to combat-related trauma and involves walking on a treadmill while being exposed to the treatment via VR. So far, two-thirds of resistant PTSD candidates have shown a significant reduction in symptoms. Apart from the UK, trials are also happening in the Netherlands, Israel and the US.
The Virtuality Group Arcade Machine Experiences. The 1990s saw huge developments in virtual reality. With the rise of the arcades and arcade games, it was only a matter of time, before developers started coming up with new and exciting concepts and ideas. A company known as The Virtuality Group was at the cutting edge of virtual reality, launching a wide range of arcade games and machines that let either one or a couple of players immerse themselves into amazing 3D visual experiences. This happened in 1991, a year before the movie The Lawnmower Man further introduced the Virtual Reality concept to a wider audience of people.