Source: Agencia ID

Source: Agencia ID

Therapy based on the use of virtual reality helps 89 percent of patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to have a normal life.

Dr. Vanessa Carreño Martinez, who works at the Virtual Teaching and Cyber-Psychology Laboratory of Faculty of Psychology in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and at the company Virtual Health Solutions, explained that about two percent of the population attending to health services has this condition and most of them are women.

OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by exacerbated symptoms; i.e. exaggerated increase in heart rate and respiration, excessive sweating, tremors and nervousness. These symptoms are caused by repetitive thoughts not allowing the person leading a normal life, Martinez Carreño explained at a conference in the “Sundays in Science” program, organized jointly by the Mexican Academy of Sciences (AMC) and the General Directorate of Science Dissemination of UNAM. Both institutions are board members of the Scientific and Technological Consultative Forum, AC (FCCyT).

OCD patients are characterized for having repetitive and unpleasant thoughts, impulses or mental images, leading them to perform an action or ritual to relieve the resulted anxiety. For example, a person with OCD, instead of washing his hands once, makes it several times and can even use harmful chemicals to be “clean”.

According to Carreño Martinez, only 40 percent of people with mental disorders seeks health treatment. People commonly confuse this type of disorder with exaggeration. However, if not treated as soon as possible, this condition can worsen resulting in patient’s isolation. Therefore, insists Dr. Martinez Carreño, it is important to seek health service when such behavior begins to affect the person and those around.

There are different types of approaches to treat this disease: psychiatric treatment (using drugs), cognitive behavioral therapy (works with thought and behavior), and treatment through virtual reality.

Using a 3D visor, virtual reality therapy helps patients cope their most feared situations to overcome them. This type of treatment is also used to alleviate phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. The number of sessions depends on each patient. “Virtual reality offers many advantages to controllably confront patients to situations,” explains the expert.

The Virtual Teaching and Cyber-Psychology Laboratory was established in 2000. It emerged as a project of technology implementation on psychological treatments, part of the InnovaUNAM business incubator.

We are linked with InnovaUNAM and our work is backed by the University, even if we are now functioning as a private clinic. The aim of this service is to attend the entire community,” she concluded.



Source: Agencia ID