Virtual Reality: The Healing Behind Mental Health  

Hospitals and therapists have a new way to treat patients in the 21st century. Access to medical professionals and therapies has increased in recent years, but we’re still a long way from being able to provide reliable treatment to everyone who needs it. In order to tackle mental health issues in a timely manner, researchers and therapists are turning to virtual reality for help. Virtual 3D animations can now be utilized to study and treat patients suffering from PTSD, phobias and addictions. Efforts to overcome mental health stigmas have led to powerful scenario simulations in which psychological difficulties are triggered. In many situations, therapists no longer have to travel alongside their patient’s to uncover and heal exactly what they are dealing with. All therapies can be initiated and monitored in one place, through one method- virtual reality.

This technique provides effective coaching as the simulations are graded in difficulty and repeated as often as necessary. As a result, the most powerful mental changes happen when individuals are presented with the situations that cause them distress in which they learn how to feel, think, and behave effectively. It may be hard to believe that an artificially computer-generated environment can provoke the mind and body to behave as if it’s real. Therefore, the lessons and strategies patients learn through testing their fears in VR transfer to real-world situations. Still, the possibility of totally revamping the way mental health counselling is approached through VR is in its early phases. Yet, what has already been seen demonstrates huge potential, not only for therapy but also for assessment. Instead of relying on what people can remember of their thoughts and feelings, VR will allow clinicians to run powerful situational tests. Not only does VR allow us to simulate reality, but also situations that are unrealistic, which can help in tailoring specific treatments.

Virtual Reality changes the possibilities and remedies behind solving mental health issues. Cutting edge realism techniques have also been employed by Dassault Systèmes 3DEXPERIENCE solutions, which offer infinite possibilities in the area of patient care. Now, Virtual Reality has made its way into the life sciences industry as a tool for medical research and healthcare. The 3DVIA Virtools can develop various environments for the treatment of PTSD, phobias, addictions, patient behavior, and many more. Life science has finally found a way to improve patient outcomes and regimens through the use of VR, which may finally bring an end to mental health struggles.

Rebecca Shpektor

Rebecca is currently a senior at Boston University majoring in public relations and mass communications. She loves creative writing, binge watching episodes of Black Mirror while cuddling with her Pomsky puppy, and eating sushi in excessive amounts. One day, she hopes to explore every country.