Could Virtual Reality Assist Mindfulness in Those with BPD?

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Could Virtual Reality Assist Mindfulness in Those with BPD?

Could Virtual Reality Assist Mindfulness in Those with BPD?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects nearly 4 million people in the United States alone, according to Very Well Mind. Characterized by unstable moods, self-perception, and behaviors, BPD may cause individuals to dissociate – disconnect from thoughts or sense of identity – which can be very distressing. If you’ve been diagnosed with the disorder, you may experience impulsive behaviors, self-harm, suicidal ideation, inappropriate and intense anger, and/or chronic feelings of boredom or emptiness. A variety of treatments are used to help treat BPD, including dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and medications.

Technology has become more widespread in the world of addiction and mental illness recovery. An example of this includes neurofeedback therapy, which measures brain waves (clients can typically see these displayed on a computer like a video game) to produce a signal that can help individuals learn how to regulate certain chemicals and internal body functions. Virtual reality is now being considered for research in the realm of recovery – which could potentially help those with BPD. With virtual reality therapy, a client would essentially focus their attention on mindfulness skills presented – previous research has shown that it has helped distract burn patients during their burn care as well as helped people apply tools they’ve learned in therapy to real-life scenarios.

A 2016 study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology sought to explore the effects of virtual reality on a 32-year-old female diagnosed with BPD. The individual was experiencing difficulty concentrating, intense emotional reactivity, and more. The virtual reality headset gave her the illusion of “floating down” the river while listening to mindfulness training audio tools. Results from this case study showed that the client experienced less urges for suicide and self-harm, less urges to use substances and reduced negative emotions after using virtual reality therapy. Thus, it seems that virtual reality could possibly become a beneficial factor to addiction and mental illness recovery treatment centers.

If you have been diagnosed with a mental disorder or substance use disorder (SUD), it’s important that you seek help from a reputable treatment center. There are a variety of reputable, research-proven methods that can help you move forward towards living a happier, healthier life.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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