Virtual reality helps troubled vets Scientists have found a way to treat patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And they hope use it on the soldiers who come back from Iraq or Afghanistan. War veterans will get their treatment right after coming back from the war zone. Therefore, they don’t have to wait 20 years to come back to the normal life.
Scientists are working to convert virtual war game scenarios into the simulation program for the returning vets. There was a Virtual Vietnam program developed for vets in 1997. Inspired from that program, they are developing new Iraq like simulation for Iraq veterans. A new simulation will be as familiar as possible with the real situation in Iraq.
The question is why we need virtual reality for phobia treatment? The psychologists are often treating patients by exposing them to the things which causes the phobia. Treating patients that way can be very slow and extremely expensive process.
Nowadays, psychologist prefers a use a virtual reality for patient treatment. You can completely control virtual reality simulation programs. Also to create environment that is needed for exposing patients to their fears. If the patient is feeling comfortable, then it is possible to increase an intensity of the simulation.
The only problem is virtual reality is real enough? You can simulate vision, sound, touch, vibration, but it is difficult to create smell, wind or heat.
I believe that virtual reality has a future in medicine and problems can be overcome. Also we should be careful that virtual reality would not become too real. It should be used only to help people not provide them alternate life.