What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are behavioral conditions characterized by severe and persistent disturbance in eating behaviors and associated distressing thoughts and emotions. They can be very serious conditions affecting physical, psychological and social function. Types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder, pica and rumination disorder. There are three main
Taken together, eating disorders affect up to 5% of the population, most often develop in adolescence and young adulthood. Several, especially anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are more common in women, but they can all occur at any age and affect any gender. Eating disorders are often associated with preoccupations with food, weight or shape or with anxiety about eating or the consequences of eating certain foods. Behaviors associated with eating disorders including restrictive eating or avoidance of certain foods, binge eating, purging by vomiting or laxative misuse or compulsive exercise. These behaviors can become driven in ways that appear similar to an addiction.
Virtual Reality Therapy for Eating Disorders
Several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of virtual reality-based exposure therapy for patients with eating disorders. Virtual reality can be a vital tool to reduce the desire or impulse towards food and normalize eating patterns. With food exposure and body image environments, patients can confront their distortions, and achieve a realistic self-perception. We aim the therapist to manage serious conditions associated with eating behaviors that negatively affect health.
VR Environments that help
The restaurant environment is designed to control the intake and compensatory behaviors that generate a greater impulse or fear of eating.
My body image
These environments offer the crucial infrastructure with which one can discuss about the distortion of their own image, which they can now observe objectively through their real silhouette.
VR Therapy involves gradually introducing the person to different environments to discuss and address their concerns of the eating disorder. It may involve just a few sessions of therapy, after which the end goal is the person confronting their thoughts and managing their fears.
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