09 / Feb / 2021

Being a human comes with all sorts of baggage, oftentimes dealing with emotions that cloud our judgments on a daily basis. However there is only so much that a person can bear, like debt that accumulates over time. Sweating, trembling, giddiness- when the stress levels increase so much as to hinder our mundane activities it means you've crossed into the health burdening territory of anxiety.

The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 7 percent by country. Globally an estimated 284 million people experienced an anxiety disorder, making it the most prevalent mental health or neuro-developmental disorder. Social anxiety often stems from teen years and has variety of factors. These might include genetic problems, personality {being innately shy} or life problems {any violent experience}. Most people experience these symptoms of social anxiety during confrontational or attention-drawing situations. There exists a constant underlying fear of embarrassment, criticism rejection and most importantly failure. Unfortunately these implications are extended into almost all aspects of life like Public speaking at an occasion to a job interview or simply ordering food from the restaurant.

Fortunately for every problem there is a solution or at-least a solution in progress. Before using virtual reality as an avenue for treatment, non-exposure therapies were used to activate the fear that the patients felt would conjure anxiety for them. But these methods had certain limitations for example, imaginal exposure wherein a patient imagines the stimuli that triggers anxiety-instilling fear. However, the it was difficult for the doctor to know and understand what the patient has actually imagines.

Virtual reality helps bridge this gap while having the same goal: Patients learn how to overcome anxiety by replacing it with relaxation. Therapists can now use VR to help their patients maneuver difficult situations. But what VR does differently is, it creates real life situations in an environment that can be seen and controlled by the therapists. It this element of control that sets VR apart from other modes of therapy and is also the driving force behind its popularity. The extent of use of VR in anxiety treatment is also modified by its ability to be used remotely from anywhere without actually leaving the office. .The sole purpose of VR is to recreate a vivid representation of the world we actually live so that the feeling of actually being present there is real.

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