Any bad news seen on TV causes you nervousness? A police siren ringing in the night makes you tremble? Are you deeply disturbed by the problems you read in the newspapers? Well, you might suffer from GAD – generalized anxiety disorder.
GAD is a recognized pathology, registered in the official manual of psychiatric pathologies, and is very disabling because it has a significant impact on the social and professional life of the patients.
Anxiogenic symptoms significantly worsen the symptoms and, even more, more and more patients are evoking this diagnosis, psychiatrists agree.
Terrorism, economic crisis, global warming, and even a minor bad news affect patients with GAD.
Today, the media seems to only broadcast the bad news and this is fascinating for the public, for many reasons. However, this is not healthy at all because such news affects the public at a mental level.
Suffering from GAD? Embark on a 45 minutes virtual trip
The French doctors experimented a new method to treat patients with GAD and to allow them to leave the cruel world that harms them so much.
A team of psychiatrists from Marseille, in France, thought about “sending” GAD patients for 45 minutes into another universe, a much more soothing one, using new technologies and 3D vision.
A full moon party, Amazonian waterfalls, or traveling through the solar system is what would make you happy? The Marseille doctors will provide.
“For patients, the effect is primarily cognitive, anxiety usually preventing them from visualizing soothing places, creating a reassuring experience that marks the senses and memory,” says Dr. Eric Malbos, one of the experiment’s authors.
The second effect is physiological, “by decreasing the activity of fear structures in the brain and slowing the heart rate”, explained the doctor. This allows, finally, a muscle relaxation, for these stressed, tense patients, who often suffer from neck or lumbar pain.
The study protocol pursued by the team, provides the treatment in six sessions of 45 minutes virtual trips, with relaxation exercises to continue at home. “The results show that 80% of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) patients are less anxious, happier, and perceive a better quality of life,” said Dr. Malbos.