19 Sep
  • By Catherine Brody
  • Cause in

Anxiety & Gaming

Anxiety can be absolutely debilitating for those who have it, some more than others, and it can seriously affect your day to day life. For many, it is normal to experience anxiety a couple times in your life, but when its frequent activities, such as stepping outside because there might be a wasp or a bee or driving because you might cross a bridge, that’s when it might start to cause issues for you. Video game therapy can help those with mild and crippling anxiety.

The girl afraid of bridges could use them in a video game to get over the fear, in a safe area. Many people with anxiety get drawn to video games. Why not use this love of games for therapy and to help them?

There have been reported cases where video game therapy was quite helpful, and not just in anxiety or other mental health conditions. Healing or tanking in World of Warcraft might help teach someone who has ADHD how to focus better, as those jobs you must be focused. You can’t be a distracted tank or healer or your party could die.
I am one of the cases where video game therapy helped my anxiety, and I can’t imagine where I’d be without it. My therapist would have me run raids and dungeons in world of warcraft and communicate with strangers in order to overcome social anxiety and my anxiety over bridges I repeatedly ran a dungeon that gave me anxiety and eventually it got easier.

In the end, I could not be happier. I am able to go outside and socialize with others, go across some bridges without getting an anxiety attack. All due to the fact I was able to cross a bridge in World of Warcraft without an anxiety attack. Now, this is not to say that gaming should replace therapy and medications, as it shouldn’t. However, paired with the proper amount of talk therapy and the right medication, video game therapy can be a nice, affective addition to treatment for anxiety.