Healing Potential Of VR And Psychedelic Therapy In The Metaverse

Metaverse is revolutionizing the entertainment, gaming, work & commerce, and even socializing sectors. Its impact on the healthcare industry is also getting demonstrated. What is Metaverse? Metaverse involves the merging of three main technological trends which have the potential to individually and collectively impact healthcare. Care could be delivered at a low cost yet the patient’s outcome could be vast. 

People have encountered telemedicine healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, 95% of healthcare entities offer remote treatment, which has made it easy for doctors to handle minor conditions quickly and reduce the majority of caseloads. 

Virtual Reality [VR] is another major technology, which offers next-level immersion and opens an array of possibilities. In therapies, the environments using VR can be customized to individual patients. Psychologists and psychiatrists already use it in aversion therapy. Patients are exposed to situations that increase their anxiety. How they interact with the situation that makes them anxious is monitored and controlled in a safe environment. 

Another innovation is VR psychedelic therapy for treating mental health issues. The pandemic, ugly politics, social unrest, fear & hate news, taxing social media, and more have led to record levels of psychological health problems. To resolve the mental health epidemic, psychedelic drug-assisted psychotherapy is promising. You can learn more about psychedelic healing on the PSYfront blog. 

Psychedelics psychotropic are illicit drugs and carries serious legal ramifications. However, they are gaining public approval for treating mental issues like PTSD and depression. In research settings, Psilocybin has shown promising results for treating psychological disorders and addictions. 

VR allows the creation of scenarios that resemble specific emotionally loaded conversations or traumatic experiences. Patients with major depressive disorder can’t respond to prescribed depression medication but using psychedelic and combining it with VR has helped. 

Healing in metaverse

Several clinics are focusing on treatment-resistant conditions and launching virtual healing therapy in the metaverse. The patients attend virtual mental health sessions along with real-time mental health providers. 

One connection between VR and psychedelics is their ability to change perceptual experience, particularly visual processing. Another common point between VR and psychedelics is their capability to evoke awe in patients, which can have therapeutic and cognitive implications. The metaverse is not replacing therapies like Ketamine IV infusions but offers the patient an option to start sessions with a mental health provider. Mental health has no borders and it is getting worse. With mental health healing in the metaverse, psychiatrists can reach lots of patients. 

In VR psychedelic therapy, VR is used mostly in a pre-dosing and liminal phase when patients emerge from a psychedelic experience. It supports the experience and allows the patient to have more bearable and lasting effects. 

The concept here is to offer patients more control over their healing. Their healing process is predominantly composed of the psychedelic drug, the therapist, and context. The therapist and drug are not under the patient’s control but the context is in their control but is not used properly at the moment. Offering a space inside the VR the patient can take full control of the context. There are several challenges to introducing VR in psychedelics but experts are working on it.