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A new study shows VR treatment assists individuals with agoraphobia

Virtual reality headset sessions assisted individuals with conquering uneasiness and completing their regular assignments with greater ease

A computer-generated virtual reality (VR) experience intended to assist individuals with agoraphobia has recently seen some level of success. It is being considered for those individuals who are adversely affected by certain conditions and scenarios that lead to high levels of dread and misery.

Based on observations, researchers hint the method empowers members to assemble certainty and get past their feelings of trepidation and make them more capable of carrying out their day-to-day tasks. These include many of the actions they had recently stayed away from. According to the study, the individuals that had the most severe mental issues benefited the most from the treatment approach.


According to Prof Daniel Freeman, the lead specialist in the work, from the University of Oxford’s psychiatry division, the VR treatment prompts a genuine advance change in individuals.

The VR experience begins in an interesting location, which is a virtual advisor’s office. Then it moves on to situations like the participant opening the front entryway of a building or being in a surgical scenario with a doctor. It is clear that each of these experiences takes them through shifting degrees of trouble. Members are instructed to complete some objectives, like requesting some coffee, whilst they connect to the person on the other end on a visual level.


According to Freeman, the circumstances do have a genuine feeling, as the virtual scenes created scenes that let members feel ready to take a stab at something new or move toward the circumstance in an unexpected way.

Freeman described the experience, hinting that it is likely that a part of one’s brain recognised that the virtual reality experience is not genuine and that one can persevere. They get the courage to try new things or things that seemed difficult previously.

Freeman emphasised that following VR exposure to phobias, individuals can get ready to apply their skills in real-life. He said that it leads to an assumption that if a person can face something in the virtual world, they can do so in the real world, or at least, be better equipped to.


One of the individuals who participated in the research said that before using the VR experiment he used to have a hard time whilst going to visit his dad’s grave. He described the circumstance as deplorable and acknowledged that subsequent to utilising the VR framework he acquired a greater deal of certainty.

According to the participant, the VR experience aided him in all aspects of his issue. He said that after the VR sessions, he had the mental strength to get to his father’s grave, lay down flowers on it, and return back safely.

Writing in the Lancet Psychiatry diary, Freeman and associates reported how they arbitrarily assigned 174 psychosis-affected patients the VR therapy alongside their usual modes of therapy. A total of 172 other patients were just instructed to continue their usual treatment.


Based on the findings upon studying both groups, those exposed to the VR therapy had more improvements compared to the other group.

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