How apps and virtual reality therapy can help OCD patients

With OCD, as with phobias, there is often a safe ritual or behavior that the patient believes helps them overcome their fear and makes them feel safe, but the rituals actually reinforce the fear. Michael Ambrose, Licensed Clinical Psychiatrist Take care of my obsessive-compulsive disorderHe says, “We’re not trying to get used to fear, but instead we’re trying to build a second learning path. It’s important to interact with things that can dispel your fear.”

Over-prediction of negative outcomes is a hallmark of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and avoidance behavior reinforces fear. When people with OCD confront their fears through exposure therapy, they know they have overestimated the idea. As they progress through increasingly challenging exposures, they become more effective and their lives open up.

Ambrose stressed how important it is for people with OCD Looking for a specialist. “There are many conditions in DSM-V (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) can be treated by a professional, but OCD is not one of them. Spending a lot of time talking about the obsession and trying to get to the root of it doesn’t help the person with OCD. They need exposure to help them feel comfortable with the uncertainty.”

Where can people find help?

International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation It provides an extensive list of resources, but that doesn’t mean securing an OCD treatment is easy. Many therapists trained in ERP have waiting lists, and many do not have insurance. ERP sessions can cost $300 an hour or more, depending on the location. After the first two barriers relate to time and money, one of the biggest barriers to facing OCD is learning how to manage between treatment appointments.

Smith saw how technology could bridge the gap between appointments and made it his mission to create an OCD treatment platform that would allow anyone anywhere to access support regardless of where they live or how much money they have. NOCD accepts many insurance plans and has cash payment options for uninsured members. The NOCD app is free and available to everyone. Provides access to community support groups as well as to self-help tools.

Another convenient and affordable OCD treatment option is TalkSpace, where the patient can choose to meet with the therapist on live video, via text messages, or through audio or video messages, and pay for Services They want. Rachel O’NeillTalkSpace, licensed professional clinical consultant, said: “I’ve had moments with my clients where I can be part of a home or office environment through a live video session or video message, in a much more connected way than I’ve ever been able to be in an traditional office.

see a patient in they A space is useful, especially if the fear is present in that space, but what about when the fear is associated with something that a person is unlikely to experience? Many obsessive and intrusive thoughts are also taboo, immoral, or illegal, so they can be difficult or impossible to emulate. If the goal of treatment is exposure, how do you get it?

Virtual reality can help people with OCD

Nadkarni said: “In vivo methods can sometimes be expensive, as in the case of flying treatment for aerophobia, and some patients may also be more willing to try VR therapy, as it can be considered safer, because the patient knows it can be stopped. run it”.

Mariaskin innovates with real-world exposures for her clients, but she also uses skylight Virtual reality glasses for some OCD subgroups, such as claustrophobia. Customers wear an Oculus Go device, and the processor creates a specific virtual environment where the walls gradually get closer to it. “We control the point at which the walls stop, and we can be very precise in creating exposures that meet patients wherever they are,” she said.

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