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Virtual Reality Therapy Could Help People with Depression Find Drug-Free Relief

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

When most people think of virtual reality (VR), their minds go to video games and being able to be in the middle of the action that right now they can only view on a TV or computer screen. But for some, VR therapy might soon become a viable and safe treatment for depression.

VR Helped People be Less Critical of Themselves

Part of the pain of depression is self-deprecation, feelings of failure, and hopelessness about the future. Researchers at University College London (UCL) and University of Barcelona – ICREA say they’ve found VR therapy may help depression sufferers be less critical of themselves, as well as reduce the other often paralyzing symptoms of depression.

The team recruited 10 women and 5 men around the age of 32 for the experiment. Before being selected, the would-be participants went through a screening process. Once selected, they were asked to measure their depression symptoms over the previous 2 weeks. Then the group was asked to envision a scenario in which they returned home to discover they left their keys at work, and to rate their reaction – harsh or critical, or soothing and reassuring. Then they were asked to rate how scared they were of being compassionate to themselves.

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