Social Anxiety Disorder Archives - Psychiatry Advisor

Social Anxiety Disorder

A company called Psious has developed various virtual/augmented reality programs to treat various phobias, including flying, needles, heights, enclosed spaces, open spaces, public speaking, and driving. Each treatment contains various virtual reality scenarios to elicit elevating levels of anxiety in patients with different phobias. For example, a patient with a fear of heights will first experience a simulation of standing at the edge of a 10-story building, working their way up to a 52-story building. During treatment, the therapist receives biofeedback from their patient and has the ability to control and customize the program to suit the patient. The effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy for the treatment of phobias has been shown in many studies, including a meta-analysis of such studies that showed that virtual reality was just as effective, if not slightly more effective, than traditional exposure therapy.

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Virtual reality has been explored for several decades as a treatment for various conditions including anxiety, PTSD, and phobias. Often, researchers use virtual reality devices to immerse patients in virtual exposure therapy, a form of behavior therapy where patients are exposed to feared or traumatic experiences. As advancements make this technology more affordable, virtual reality…

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