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Jackson Padgett
Instructor: Malcolm Campbell
English 1103
March 26th, 2015
Can Virtual Reality Help You?
Virtual Reality is at the forefront of the growing technical world. Every day you see new
technology, that you thought was never possible or would never make it to a mainstream market.
For me that was the case with virtual reality systems. I thought these overpriced systems would
stay behind closed doors and never reach the public eye. But recent strides made by leading VR
companies have shown that we could start to see consumer friendly VR systems in our homes as
early as 2015.
Recent studies have shown a growing trend in the use of virtual reality in helping people
who suffer from social disorders and mental health issues. For a while now few companies and
individuals have been using VR systems to treat different phobias and social stress. But not until
recently have Virtual Reality became so advanced and can better portray a real world
environment. Universities like Duke have implemented VR systems in there school of medicine
to help treat phobias. Showing that only 6 to 12 sessions are needed to receive maximum
benefit. The possibilities are endless and it will be interesting to see how much can be done in
the medical field alone with virtual reality.
One of the main problems encompassing our military today is Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD). Studies show that at least 20% of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD

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and/or Depression. Before the use of VR, the most effective treatment with PTSD patients, was
imaginal exposure therapy, using the imagination as the one means for exposure. Virtual Reality
provides a more clear representation for patients who cant visualize a traumatic event during
imaginal therapy. Generally the therapy process includes teaching tips and tricks to help the
patient cope with traumatic events they are about to be exposed to in the virtual world. In some
cases the therapist might feel the need to re-traumatize the patient and re-expose them to what
actually caused or triggered there PTSD in the first place. Overall the use of Virtual Reality has
shown to be way more effective than any previous ways of treating PTSD.
The one company taking the lead in Virtual Reality therapy is The Virtual Reality
Medical Center (VRMC). Over the past ten years VRMC has been using there VR systems to
help patients with anxiety disorders and training for both military and civilian populations.
VRMC is a major supporter of the military and provide PTSD treatment, Stress Inoculation
Training, and Combat Medic VR training programs. VRMC uses Virtual Reality-enhanced
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (VR-CBT) to treat clients with panic disorder, specific phobias,
agoraphobia, and social disorders. The main goal of VRMC is to provide a world where you
experience real life situations without ever leaving the therapy office. These real life experiences
are made to stimulate various experiences related to your phobia or disorder. VRMC being a
smaller company with only few locations have started to branch out and sell their VR systems
and programs to the consumer and giving them the opportunity to receive treatment without ever
leaving there house.
This brings me to a growing concern in the public eye. Many feel that with the all these
advancements in virtual reality that the consumer might get addicted to the virtual world and
may virtually cease to exist in todays society. But can you blame someone who suffers from

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severe social stress, and is nervous to go out in public every single day. Why not just stay in and
fire up the VR system and experience a world with no stress, no pain. This growing concern is
not unwarranted as history has shown how technology can keep people from leaving the house.
Like with the video game World of Warcraft, where you create a character in the huge mystical
world of Azeroth. Many players became addicted to the online game, making friends with other
players and becoming personally attached to their character in the virtual world. The game has
been well documented over the years and has proven to be one of the most addicted video games
if not the most addicting in history. The reason for this is you are essentially living in another
world while you are playing. There are tons of other players in the world and you have jobs and
roles in your guild like you would in a company in the real world. So what is stopping people
from making an online Virtual World with the VR systems? In this case the end result may be a
more addicting experience then World of Warcraft ever was. You may have the opportunity to
fully immerse yourself in a Virtual environment via the capabilities of todays VR systems.

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Works Cited
"The Virtual Reality Medical Center." The Virtual Reality Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 11
Mar. 2015.
"Veterans Statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide." Veterans PTSD Statistics. N.p., 14 Feb.
2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2015.
"Virtual Reality Therapy for Phobias | Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences." Virtual Reality
Therapy for Phobias | Duke Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar.
2015.
Wiederhold, B. K., and Stephane Bouchard. Advances in Virtual Reality and Anxiety Disorders.
N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Winerman, Lea. "A Virtual Cure." Http://www.apa.org. N.p., July-Aug. 2005. Web. 10 Mar.
2015.
Wood, Molly. "Video Feature: Signs That Virtual Reality Is on the Verge of Taking Off." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

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Jackson,
Your EIP is very in-depth and well researched. You seem like you have plenty of
information from your sources. It was great that you listed the downside of Virtual Reality and I
think that you can definitely expand on that. For a suggestion, you could probably go further into
what exactly the VR systems can do (the perspective from the user). Also, it would be beneficial
to include future applications of the technology; for instance, when could we start seeing these
devices in our homes, and if so, would they be affordable. Overall, your EIP is in good shape and
I think that the topic is really cool.
Brett Morgan