Virtual reality will become the new normal for healthcare.
Technology is constantly advancing accessibility and medical care. Specifically, in the mental health field, virtual reality (VR) is being used to manage anxiety. While VR is not currently accessible for everyone, it is a step in the right direction for technological solutions for mental health symptoms. Here are the top 3 reasons virtual reality will become a mainstream solution to the mental health crisis in the future.
Virtual reality enables safe exploration
The digital world is filled with fantasy. The immersive experience can provide the feeling of excitement or dread. Games can make you motion sick or allow you to take on the persona of a stone-cold killer. There is no limit to the imagination and activities that you can act on in virtual reality.
The creators of VR content enable some personalization of character and the scenes in the game or virtual world. Your mind can take a trip to wherever you want to travel without putting yourself in physical danger. Interacting with avatars of other players creates socialization outside of a keyboard. You can make long-lasting friendships online in general, but VR adds an element of intimacy because of the physical projections.
Using VR to create environments for therapeutic purposes could help patients to move forward from trauma, phobias, anxiety, and depression. Virtual reality could indeed become the new reality when it comes to mental health management.
There are no limits to treatments
Limitations disappear when a virtual world is invented on a case-by-case basis. Whether it is exposure therapy, remaking traumatic events, or creating a loved one to speak to them one last time for closure, VR can be used. There are negative and positive impacts to any mental health treatment, but the potential to help people on their mental health healing journey can not be ignored.
Facing your fears could be done in a controlled environment. Training therapists to use this tool would include programming options and the ability to join the client in the virtual world. Consistent monitoring would be required to make sure the journey into the virtual land is safe mentally.
The world is leaning on technology
In this pandemic world, virtual activities are the new normal. Commonplace uses for the technology are remote work, healthcare visits via Telehealth, and communications with friends. When the physical world is dangerous, the digital world takes over to bridge the gaps caused by physical danger.
Technology is only continuing to improve and the evolution of technology has increased due to the current climate. When the world is leaning on technology for daily activities, education, and the workplace the next logical step is incorporating it into healthcare treatments.
Social media is constantly reviewed by researchers to ensure the information is safe. This is an impossible task that has villainized online platforms. There are dangers to any new frontier investigated by society, but it doesn’t mean it should be avoided. Social media can be dangerous to mental health, but will always exist. Modifications and moderation of digital products like social media and virtual media are key.
Canceling the virtual world is impossible, so it must be embraced. As the generations continue to evolve there will be an increased reliance on technology. Using the advancements to benefit society is a clear way to support those with mental health challenges. Interactive technology is here to stay, so let's use it in the best way possible, to help others.
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