Virtual reality as therapy for recurring nightmares

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Adriana Gil
@adrianagil
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Summary

  • Virtual reality to fight against nightmares

Some people suffer from recurring nightmares. A new therapy in virtual reality could make it possible to fight against these very distressing dreams which return regularly.

According to Freud, dreams are the expression of our unconscious which uses its own symbolic language to express itself and to convey messages. When it wishes to convey an important message but that it is not understood, our unconscious will then repeat the same scenario regularly and reproduce the same dream. Which, in the case of particularly distressing or traumatic dreams, can be particularly difficult. A new therapy, based on virtual reality, could help these people to face these very disturbing dreams.



Virtual reality to fight against nightmares

For some people, recurring nightmares are a real problem. They wake up regularly, in the middle of the night, in a state of extreme anxiety during these traumatic dreams which come back regularly. In addition to the sleep disturbances that this causes, these people are afraid to sleep and this obviously affects their psychological state.. Also, a neurologist had the idea of 鈥嬧媢sing virtual reality as therapy for these patients suffering from the same traumatic dream that comes back very regularly and poisons their nights.

The concept is quite simple. If a patient suffers from a recurring nightmare in which he finds himself in front of a shark, the therapist will suggest that he view videos showing a shark. However, the images will be retouched and the shark in question will have a wide smile without threatening teeth or will have a very small mouth. If it is a dream with a weapon, it will, for example, be replaced by a flower.



In a publication in the journal "Dreaming", Patrick McNamara, an associate professor of neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine, explains: "". Although the initial results are encouraging, further large-scale studies are needed..



The neurologist actually explains: "". Note that this is not the first time that virtual reality therapies have been used by psychiatrists.



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