Virtual Reality Therapy Might Be the New Treatment for Your Repeating Problems

A new pilot study shows that virtual reality may be the response for your returning problems and nightmares.

Nightmare disorder is a condition in which someone experiences reoccurring nightmares that cause significant levels of anxiety and stress. Even though the majority of people are required to endure periodic headaches of some kind, the frequency of bad dreams associated with the disorder can considerably impact a person’s livelihood, and it can typically exacerbate other mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

But brand-new research from the Boston University School of Medicine showed that using virtual reality as a treatment tool for nightmares resulted in considerably decreased levels of anxiety, less headaches, and decreased headache strength.

” Current treatments for problems required too much time or taking a drug that basically knocked you out for awhile, so we required a treatment that was short, non-toxic and effective,” stated research study author Patrick McNamara of the Boston University School of Medicine.

The study, which was published in the journal Dreaming, included 19 clients who went to eight treatment sessions over the course of four weeks. The clients were provided Oculus Rift headsets that enabled them to see imagery associated with their nightmares which they were then able to control and edit so that it was less frightening.

” We created the treatment so that it can be changed and embellished,” McNamara informed PsyPost. “For instance, some individuals’s headaches are identified by threatening/arousing images while others are defined by extreme controlling images. The VR app we developed enables users to choose to deal with whatever images type most characterizes their particular nightmare history and therefore this ‘individualized medicine’ technique may more effectively help individuals with chronic headaches. The next step is to develop a version for kids with persistent nightmares.”

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