We saw in my apartment crawling on the wallspider, and start to climb into the opposite wall in a panic - you have arachnophobia, fear of spiders. Can't sleep without light? You have niktofobiya - fear of the dark. There are more exotic options. How do you, for example, fear of money - chrematophobia? Or kumpunofobiya - fear of buttons? Or penteraphobia - fear of the mother-in-law? Yes, there is. The number of the most diverse phobias has already exceeded 40,000. And it seems that every day more and more new ones appear.
What is phobia?
It is human nature to be afraid and anxious, becausethis is one of the defense mechanisms that allowed us to survive the course of evolution. The reasons for something to be afraid of each have their own, and as a rule, over time, these fears can pass by themselves. However, there are cases when ordinary anxiety develops into panic, and the inherent feeling of fear turns into a phobia, which greatly hinders a full life.
Our phobias are uncontrollable fear, often accompanied by inadequate response to any situations, objects and objects.
Causes of phobias
The most common cause of phobias isstressful situation. A person could get some kind of negative experience in the past: a spider bit in childhood, fell off a bicycle and got hurt badly, swallowed a button and choked ... People may not even remember what exactly happened in the past, but being in the same situation in the present can cause panic attacks. Another reason could be a hereditary factor. Many of our fears, such as heights, snakes, spiders, etc. associated with our instinct of self-preservation and there are many people.
How does virtual reality help in the treatment of phobias?
There are several ways to cure phobias, but inRecently, the method of treatment has become increasingly popular with the help of virtual reality. Back in the 90s, doctors saw great prospects for using virtual reality (VR) to treat various psychological disorders. However, the computer graphics of the time compared to today did not reach the desired level of realism.
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Substantial progress in the quality of visualization andcheaper equipment has led to the fact that today VR-technologies are becoming very popular and most importantly an effective tool in psychotherapy. According to some studies, when using virtual reality, the effectiveness of the treatment of mental disorders can be 30 percent higher compared to traditional methods.
There is such a thing - exposure therapy. Under the supervision of a specialist, a person is asked to imagine what he is afraid of and then perform certain imaginary actions with this object. For example, a man is afraid of spiders. He will be asked to imagine that he sees a small spider in a corner of the room, and then will be asked to look at it closer. Then, gradually approaching the imaginary spider, he imagines that he takes the insect in his hands.
In the present situation, the patient is watchingby their behavior from the side and trying, according to the doctor’s advice, different methods of self-regulation. This method is effective. But not all people have such a lively imagination to imagine the object of their fear well.
When using virtual realityIt is not necessary to present an uncomfortable situation. For a man it makes the computer. He creates a three-dimensional image, which is perceived as the space around the observer. And further with fears or other negative experiences, it is already possible to work “outside the head” of the patient, in an external, virtual environment.
The spider example is just one of many. Today, virtual reality shows efficiency in treating fear of heights, claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces), agoraphobia (fear of large open spaces), aerophobia (fear of flying), public speaking, and death. There is evidence that virtual reality even reduces the sensation of pain.
Harm of virtual reality
Perhaps the only negative consequencestay in virtual reality is cyber pumping. Our brain confuses virtual reality with ordinary, therefore we are swayed in VR. You see the terrible there, and the body reacts here, as if everything is really happening.
The most important advantage of VR therapyis the very possibility of treatment within the virtual space. The patient does not interact with real objects and situations causing fear. This allows a person with a phobia on a subconscious level to understand that everything is not as scary as the brain represents.
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