December 5, 2022
We all know social situations that make us feel uncomfortable, such as the first day at a new job. Usually, these fears diminish over time and our comfort zone expands. What happens, though, if the fears intensify until a person can barely cope with social situations anymore? Accompany Hope, a woman living with social anxiety disorder (SAD), through episodes of her everyday life and a particularly stressful situation: A presentation at university.
You will get an insight into the most common symptoms of SAD and learn how negative thoughts and the fear of being judged by others dominate the protagonist's daily routine. For affected people it can be a major help, if people close to them get familiar with the symptoms of SAD so they are enabled to provide support.
We do not recommend the VR experience to people affected by social anxiety or other mental health impairments because of triggering content. The content is not suitable for people under the age of 16. Experiencing forms of social discomfort can be a totally normal expression of developmental processes during early and middle adolescence (11-17 years). Mental disorders of adolescence and adulthood are only comparable to a limited degree.
The VR application “Hopohopo” was developed at the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam as part of the research project “Digital Inclusion in Context of Social Anxiety Disorders (DISA)”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.