Can Virtual Reality Help People who are Addicted to Gambling?

We can all agree that virtual reality (VR) technology will revolutionize the online gambling industry. Imagine playing your favorite online slot and immersing yourself in the world and graphics of the game. However, virtual reality technology is not limited to better video game interfaces. Addiction and compulsive gambling might be curable with the help of VR. Let’s look at how VR therapy works and how to find help if you or a loved one suffers from gambling addiction.

Virtual reality… what is it?

The term “virtual reality” (VR) refers to the use of computer-generated environments that are populated by 3D-modeled objects and scenes. This tech allows users to feel as though they are immersed in a virtual world that follows their every move by utilizing pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays. In order to experience this simulated setting, users don special headgear called virtual reality (VR) headsets. Many businesses are now incorporating this technology into their training programs, marketing strategies, and daily operations. It’s also entering the casino game market.

VR is not a new invention; it’s been around since the 1950s. But as technology and software advance with time, programs are becoming more realistic. Let’s look at how VR is being used to help problem gamblers.

Just what is the definition of compulsive gambling?

When gambling for fun, it’s important to set financial boundaries and stick to them. If this is a recurring problem, you may be addicted to gaming.

Problem gambling causes significant difficulties in one’s personal and professional life. Online slot machine play on a weekly or biweekly basis poses no health risks. However, you should avoid making it a habit to use it whenever you feel down. It can be difficult to distinguish between professional or regular gamblers and those with a gambling problem. Take a look at the following to see if you might have a gambling problem. Those who gamble can benefit from knowing about these red flags because they shed light on the research behind addiction and problem gambling.

Gambling addiction signs

Gambling addiction signs

If you ever find yourself doing any of the following, you might have a gambling or addiction problem:

  • Increased time spent gambling and preoccupation with gambling as a way of life
  • Wanting to increase your wagers in order to experience the same level of excitement and suspense but finding that you need to keep increasing those wagers
  • Gambling as a means of relieving negative emotions such as sadness, anxiety, guilt, and stress
  • Feeling agitated and irritable due to your inability to control your gambling despite your best efforts to do so
  • Using gambling as a means of recouping financial losses Risking one’s employment, academic standing, and other important considerations in favor of gambling
  • Telling fibs to loved ones about how little time you spend gambling

Is there a cure for compulsive gambling, and if so, what is it?

Counselors and specialists use many different tools to help problem gamblers. However, cognitive behavioral therapy has the most research and supporting evidence (CBT). The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is to change the underlying attitudes and routines that sustain problem behaviors like gambling.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that examines a person’s way of thinking and how that outlook affects their actions. For a gambling addiction, your goal would be to correct distorted thoughts about gambling and develop practical problem-solving skills for these thoughts and behaviors. Multiple studies have shown that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is effective for problem gamblers; however, therapists can go even further with the help of VR technology.

How does VR therapy work?

Unfortunately, not everyone can be helped by traditional methods like therapy and group sessions. Because of the importance of addressing the patient’s thoughts and triggers, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment method. When cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling aren’t enough, therapists must find ways to reawaken patients’ fears and negative beliefs so they can rewire their brains. In comes virtual reality technology.

You can’t help a struggling addict by avoiding situations where they’ll be exposed to their addictions and their feelings will be triggered. However, many therapists would rather not have their patients confront their addiction for fear of triggering a relapse. Virtual reality provides a morally sound setting in which to confront one’s debilitating fears and anxieties. The virtual reality casino is so convincing that it can trigger the same urges as visiting a real one.

How does VR therapy work?

One of the advantages of virtual reality therapy is the flexibility of the virtual environments. To prevent patients from becoming overwhelmed or being tempted to return to drug use, therapists and counselors can adjust the level of immersion in the virtual reality environment. VR therapy can even be started outside the casino so that therapists and guides can observe the effects before going inside. This can be amplified to the point where the patient is able to play casino games. Here the counselor will probe the client’s inner world by asking questions about their feelings and behaviors.

Is there any evidence that virtual reality therapy helps people who have gambling issues?

The field of virtual reality therapy has barely scratched the surface of its potential. Companies in the virtual reality space are collaborating with therapists, artists, animators, sound designers, engineers, and programmers to explore the technology’s potential.

Is it possible to gamble in virtual reality?

Virtual reality (VR) therapy as a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) tool raises numerous questions that needed to be answered in studies. To begin, do addicts feel compelled to gamble in VR therapy sessions where there is no actual cash at risk? The answer was found to be yes in a study that compared virtual reality-induced cravings to those for real-world gambling. Due to the realistic experience provided by the VR headset, players reenacted their typical gambling routines.

Is virtual reality treatment reliable and productive?

A second concern that needed to be addressed was whether or not virtual reality treatment could trigger relapse. The immersive environments made possible by VR technology give gamblers a true sense of their progress and the depth of their underlying emotions and urges, but could they be just as triggering as actually being in a casino?

Several tests were conducted to determine the treatment’s efficacy and safety. After receiving VR therapy and other forms of addiction treatment, patients were asked to fill out a questionnaire assessing their cravings and compulsions. The cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) alternative lacked the immersive virtual reality (VR) element. Two times as many problematic thoughts were identified by therapists during VR immersion as during imaginary exercises, according to the studies. They also found that the risks of relapse were not elevated with VR treatment. Intense desires to gamble did not vary with the presence or absence of fictitious stimuli.

Is virtual reality treatment reliable and productive?

Gambling addiction is the most common cause of attempted suicide among addicts. The development of innovative therapeutics has the potential to save many lives. Virtual reality therapy is a novel approach to treating compulsive gamblers. It’s safer than traditional gaming options and makes it easier for therapists to evaluate their patients.

Gambling Addiction Treatment Facilities

Reach out for help if you or someone you know has a gambling problem. If you or a member of your family is experiencing problems as a result of gambling, visit the OKBET Responsible Gaming page.

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