Virtual reality (VR) is being used in a wide array of medical, military and educational establishments. Recently however, the interest in VR technology has caught the eye of psychologists and therapists. Using VR head-mounted displays (HMD), people with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be treated using visual stimulus.
Those suffering with PTSD often suffer anxiety, nightmares and uncontrollable feelings about a traumatising event. Using HMDs they are able to recreate a fabricated version of the incident in an effort to come to terms with the event in a safe environment. The aim is to trigger the patient using what they see and hear. As the images are aimed to relate to the memory so that people are able to face what they see to better understand what happened.
Research is being done into integrating olfactory senses into these treatments as an attempt to illicit a response through sense of smell. Reliving these memories can often be triggered by what we see and hear but also by what we smell at the time. However the issue remains that some PTSD sufferers have a problem with olfactory identification deficit, meaning that they have issues recognising smells.
There is still research being made in this area of combining technology and psychology as an effort to treat PTSD. VRFocus will keep you updated on the latest VR content.