Hi, Adam here, I run this little podcast and I wanted to talk a bit about my own experience with mental illness and gaming. I hope to maybe find other people that experience the same things and to maybe learn some coping mechanisms.
I suffer from depression and anxiety. This is often a one-two punch that keeps me from living my life to the fullest. It greatly affects my socialization and by extension my gaming.
Have you ever seen a game that got you so excited that you talked about it for months before the release? You made plans with a group of locals to buy in and play, maybe even demo or run a league?
Release day comes and you are supposed to be at the shop, but you don’t want to leave home. It is just something inside you that tells you don’t leave, it will be uncomfortable.
If you power through that and get to the shop all you want to do is leave so you make excuses and bow out as soon as you can. You don’t go back for a long time out of embarrassment.
Why should you go back? Nobody likes you and they all think you are a flake. Depression usually takes over at this point
Another way anxiety manifests itself is not going to back to a shop because of conflict. It can be overbearing personalities or just genuine assholes, the little voice in your head just tells you to run and hide. You don’t question rules or shady dice rolls you just take it. You can also be forced into playing things other people want instead of what you want.
Conventions can be tricky, the journey to and from only works anxiety-wise if I am not traveling alone. I cannot make a long drive to an unfamiliar place without some companionship. Once there I seem to be OK, though going from the con to a hotel can be dodgy.
Depression for me is losing joy in things. I don’t want to play the games I bought. I don’t want to record the podcast. I don’t really want to do much at all except watch mindless TV or sleep. This usually continues on a cycle for me with ups and downs until I can shake it for awhile.
Fighting this stuff is hard. Support helps, but for me its always a physical presence that helps more than a quick note. if you ask how I’m doing, I’m probably going to lie. Swing by and see me. Maybe bring a game, that seems to work for me.