Time for the third entry for the Mental Health project with Crimson. I know the last one was a bit of a downer but I didn’t want to sugar coat the subject. I promise this a lot more positive.
As the title implies I adore video games. I will admit that I might be ever so slightly obsessed, just a smidge. The thing is a fair amount of my family including my mum claim that they promote violence and blame them for some of my issues such as my lack of sleep.
First off, no they don’t. Just putting that out there, they don’t. When I was younger I was very aggressive and got into fights a lot. Here is the funny part, when I started playing games that had a lot of violence, I started to get less violent myself. I would contain my rage and unleash it on NPCs when I got home. I stopped getting into fights after that as now I had a much better outlet for my aggression.
Secondly, they actually help me a lot. Not so much with the sleep as unless I have nothing to do the following day I don’t tend to play late into the evening. Normally I’m up because of college like I said in my previous post.
As I have said before, and sorry to those of you who read my content as you must be getting fed up of me constantly reminding you but I am Autistic. I am also a very anxious person who stresses out and panics easily. I also suffer from what I dub Empty days.
These Empty days occur fairly often recently. On these days I don’t feel anything as it’s like I’m only a hollow husk. That no matter what I do, little seems to snap me out of this hex and it normally lasts all day. I’m completely numb and dissociated. It’s like a mild version of depersonalization.
There is one thing that helps break me out of that state, it doesn’t work all the time but it does more often than not. Playing a game.
Honestly, I am not sure why but I have an idea or two. I think it’s because in games you by design are an active agent and have to get involved with the story or plot. You are forced to take part and I think that connection is what helps.
On top of that, games provide a distraction from my negative thoughts and feelings. Allowing me to escape into another world for a few hours to get away from the issues haunting me in the real world.
For example, a really bad day at work and want to vent out my aggression? I play a Yakuza game, at the moment Yakuza Zero. Stressed out and want to relax? My Time At Portia. Feeling lonely? Time to play a game with a community aspect like Final Fantasy XIV which I tend to play with either my best friend or the group she formed full of friendly and helpful players.
Sometimes I like playing challenging games when I am stressed to get my brain focused on the challenge at hand and pushes the issue that is causing me to stress out to the backburner for a bit. My go-to for this tends to be puzzle games like Professor Layton or Phenoix Wright or difficult games (at least to me) like Dead Cells.
Even playing a sandbox game in which I just wander around and stumble into adventures like Skyrim is great for helping me relax. In fact, I’m listening to a Skyrim Music & Ambience video as I’m writing this. It helps me focus and stay calm.
Side note, I keep getting recommendations for Stardew Valley as people find that game helps them relax but it doesn’t really work for me. Maybe I’m playing it wrong? I’m more of an Animal Crossing gal myself.
The problem is that now that I am currently in crunch time at college I don’t have a lot of free time so I can’t play as much as I would like. However, I only have a few weeks left to go. I can and will do my best!
While this post is about my personal experience, I do know and use a great resource for Mental Health that provides Mental Health resources for gamers and the gaming community. It’s called CheckPoint and can be found online and they even have videos on Steam.
I highly recommend you check out them out and will leave you with a breathing exercise they made which I use myself.