Virch Egress Anxiety Disorder

Image from Bernd Helfert

Virch-Egress Anxiety Disorder (VEAD) also sometimes called "Ril-phobia" is an anxiety disorder characterized by intense fear of physical social relations after long term immersion in virtual realities, causing an impaired ability to function in three of the five basic life areas (family, social, work, education, or leisure). The diagnosis can be of a specific disorder (when only some particular situations are feared) or a generalized disorder. Generalized virch-egress anxiety disorder typically involves a persistent, chronic, fear of being visually or behaviorally observed and judged by others and of being embarrassed or humiliated by typical physical-social characteristics or behaviors. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others in physical-social settings.

Historical descriptions of physical-social anxiety can be traced back to the "Information Age" around 2012 CE when the first official diagnosis of video game addiction, internet addiction, and computer addiction were approved by the American Psychological Association.

In therapeutic models of virch-egress anxiety disorder, physical-social phobics experience dread over how they will present to others in un-edited real life encounters. They become overly self-conscious, or hyper-vigilant, and have unrealistic performance standards for themselves. According to the social psychology of hyperturing hu-psychological therapists these sufferers struggle to create an acceptable self-presentation to others but believes this is not possible.

Prior to anxiety-provoking physical-social situations, sufferers plan courses of action for potential physical-social failures to absurd degrees, in an attempt to prepare for every imaginable outcome. Their maladaptation to life inside editable, programmable virtual worlds, develops dysfunctional coping mechanisms, which seek to error-handling physical reality. After stressful physical-social situations sufferers will deliberately cycle through irrational critiques, ruminating on ambiguous or neutral conversations judging them to have been abnormal and embarrassing. These critiques spawn another round of maladaptive predictive error-handling calculations, re-initiating cycle.

Dividuals with physical-social anxiety disorder have been found to have a hypersensitive amygdala, for example in misinterpreting social threat cues. The anterior cingulate cortex, which is known to be involved in the experience of physical pain, is also involved in the experience of 'physical-social pain', for example perceiving negative group judgement, or group exclusion.

Virch Egress and Downloading Remedial Treatment

Any virtual individual, download or infomorph that is engenerated into a physical body may need specialised treatment to help them become used to their new body. Often the subjective speed and physical laws of reality are very different, or the physical body they have been downloaded into is different in quality to the one they are used to. Psycho-neural conditioning and tachydidaxy can often help with such a transition. Pharmacological treatments can generally be found in the Pharmacopeia Galactica current edition (online).

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Development Notes
Text by S Pearson
Initially published on 08 October 2010.