Over 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorders ranging from general worries to paralyzing paranoia. The people suffering from such disorders are under the strong and sometimes incessant perception of paranoid and destructive thoughts. This drives the patient into isolation, both physical and mental. The feeling is as horrible as it can get.
Despite trying medicines, therapies, alternative treatments and even TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Simulation), the person suffers and the researchers are continuously striving for effective solutions.
A team of researchers in the Netherlands might have hit upon an engaging method-Virtual Reality. Yes, the technology which has found admirers in the gaming and entertainment industry could possibly be the therapeutic complement.
The clinical trials upon 116 patients have raised hopes as the virtual reality exercises have led to relatively more amicable social interactions. The usual reclusiveness felt by the patients was eased while they worked in the virtual environment. The method seems to complement the medication and regular cognitive behavior therapy.
The current procedures are effective in reducing anxiety but not the paranoia where the perceived threat overwhelms the patient. The scientists guided the participants to explore and challenge their fears in various situations. The engagement with Virtual Reality helped the patients to better their quality of social interactions.
The technology seems to build back the confidence of the patients by allaying their fears and negative thought processes in a controlled environment bit by bit.