Online gaming makes me anxious.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

At times I can be a very shy person especially when I don't know the person who is talking to me. This happens face to face, over the phone and even online, I get very anxious and overwhelmed, so much so that I need to take myself away from that situation. I've refused to go anywhere because of this exact reason, I don't feel comfortable enough around lots of people either, in fact, I tend to feel panicked and like I'm backed into a corner so I need to find a way out to get some air. My anxiety isn't as bad as some people get it but it's been a huge part of my life for a long time now, gaming has been a great outlet for my depression but not so much for my anxiety. I've made lots of friends through it but I've also been trolled a lot and had some disgusting things said to me.

A few years ago my family and I were made homeless, our landlord wouldn't fix the mould in our house or fix anything in fact and he was taken to court over it because the mould was that bad. My family lost the court case and had to move out because the landlord no longer wanted us there, we then became homeless and ended up in homeless housing far away from where we were living. It was so depressing, there was nothing to do and I had to give up my tortoise because this place didn't allow pets. I gave her up to a Sanctuary here in Cornwall and now she has a best bud (I haven't been able to contact the woman about her in a while she doesn't reply to me). 

You might all think that we weren't homeless as we had a roof over our head, but technically we were we no longer had a home and was staying in units inside a complex type of building, there was a youth hostel right near it and they would tend to be pretty violent and dangerous to each other. So anyways I ended up falling in love with games all over again, I already had my PS3 but wasn't playing on it much, I was always busy with mates or college to want to play. My sister's handed me Assassins Creed 2 and BioShock, I wasn't sure I would be any good at them because I hadn't properly played anything in a while but I was instantly transported into a world of happiness and calmness whilst playing these games, where I was living didn't matter anymore because I could lose myself in these games. As time went on we were allowed to live in the house at the end of the units and we had rooms again! A kitchen and a proper bathroom, I was so thankful, I was a lot happier and gaming eventually started to make a huge comeback in my life. Back then I would play games that didn't require online interaction, then I started to when an ex-fiance got me into them, we would spend hours helping each other get through a game and I would love it. It wasn't until me and my family moved into a proper house that I experienced the hate that came with online gaming.

(Wall planner from StarCreationsCo)

I would actually avoid playing anything online because of how panicked it would make me, with the exception of Little Big Planet as it's such a chilled out game. Now, this brings me back to today and how I find it hard to play online games without getting panicked, it's not as bad as it use to be to be honest, I hate the kind of judgement that comes with it, people may say what a ridiculous thing to have anxiety over but what you have to remember is anxiety can be caused by so many different things, for me I get it over so many different things that I let it take over my life, I have learnt how to cope with it at times and how it is a big part of my life, for example, being too afraid to go out because I will faint and interacting with people in real life and in a game because I worry about how others view me are just two things that set my anxiety off. Overwatch is the best example for this, I wanted that game so bad that James got me it, I started playing the tutorial and it suddenly hit me, I'm shit at this game and if I don't do well there is a big chance I'm going to get a lot of hate for it, so I never gave myself a chance to actually play it online because I had seen so many streams where people get shit and I would rather avoid it. 

Gaming has helped my depression a lot but it makes my anxiety worse at times, I wish people would just play a game instead of spending their time abusing people. I feel sometimes like I should just get over it and play online games more, but ignoring people can be hard especially when gaming is something I love doing. Destiny has always been my go to online game because I feel the community can be less harsh to one another, bar the ones who have ridiculous requirements in order to play a raid through with them, they're the worst. I play Destiny more than I've played any other online game, I guess I like the fact that I can sit and play online by myself and that if I do play online it's usually only with James. We can have a laugh and play the game with each other for hours without annoying little trolls giving us abuse, we are lucky that when we play strikes people don't send us shitty messages because we keep dying (yet).

So I guess what I'm saying by this is that it's understandable to feel anxious about gaming online, the opinions of others can be worrisome and words can hurt, we all have different things that make us anxious so if you feel more comfortable playing an offline game there is nothing wrong with that. Others may call us n00bs for it, but self-care and doing what's best for your mental health and anxiety is what is best.


  1. Can totally understand a lot of this post.
    I understand how horrible it must have been to you being homeless as I have been in that situation before when I was in homeless accommodation and all I had was my PS3.

    Anxiety with playing online is something I think a lot of people suffer from, I think a lot of the time perhaps females are more prone to it since there's still such a stigma over females playing games.

    Even then, when you play online it feels like you're being judged most of the time by those you play with and against on your team. I can only play games online if I'm playing with friends, I feel less like I have so many people against me. I have had the odd bit of abuse when playing Overwatch but a lot of the videos online where people get shit are on PC where comms is more common, a lot of the time it's surprisingly relaxing save for a few assholes. You're always welcome to come on with me <3 I have made some good friends through Overwatch and they are always welcoming to new people to join in with us.

    Games can be a great thing and I am glad they have helped you so much with your depression, they really do help let you escape into this completely different world away from the world that is making you feel the way you feel.

    Jasmine |

    1. It was pretty crap but in the end it's lead me to the point in my life that I'm at now and I somehow found James which is a good thing lol

      Friends are so much easier to play with, even if they do have a laugh and a joke you know it's not going to lead to some kind of troing session where someone thinks it's acceptable to send abuse. People are so silly when it comes to that because they can easily get banned, why would anyone want to risk that in the first place?

      Thank you lovely I may take you up on that offer once my sister's give Overwatch back, I think I will probably fall on love with it tbh I know some of the characters already and I enjoy watching others play it so why should I be held back by anxiety when I want to play it.

      You're a little star xx

  2. I know how you feel, Elle.

    When i was in my teens, i use to play endlessly online with my clan and others online, always chatting and having a good time, be it World of Warcraft or Medal of Honor Allied Assault. I took myself away from gaming for some years, and came back round about towards the back end of the PS3 generation. I got the PS4 day one, the main reason I got it was because of Destiny, I thought I could rekindle the days of old with this game. How wrong i was, dont get me wrong I love the game, but unfortunately times had changed, and it wasnt me, but the toxic nature that had crept into the gaming social environment, I no longer felt comfortable and too anxious to even bother, so stuck to doing dungeons via match making and the odd crucible by myself and kept off the mics. Ive never done a raid, although Id like too, but the toxic and elite / serious nature puts me off, which i find a real shame, its also making me question buying Destiny 2 because i dont feel I'll be able to get the full experience due to it all.

  3. I get it. I've had social anxiety since I can remember. Even so, when Xbox Live first came out I was so excited to try it but was too poor back then. I finally got online when the 360 was released but instead of fun I had never ending sexist comments and even rape threats. I don't want to hear that stuff simply because I opened my mouth. It made me even more anxious and affected my performance.

    A few months ago I tried Overwatch for the first time and wow, that community can be toxic af.

    The nicest gaming community I've come across is StarCraft. Shame I suck at it :D

    Have you tried to find Discord communities for anxious gamers? I found a few but left because I seemed to be the oldest person in them. lol. It could be a good way to find like minded gamers?

  4. Wow, being homeless? I give you a lot of props. That's a harsh experience to go through. That can be severely depressing. I'm glad you and your family managed to make ends meet though.

    As far as the social anxiety goes, I can't say I can relate to be honest. I understand that the gaming community as a whole can be toxic (even with my male perspective) but I tend to take most people's opinions of me or my skills with several grains of salt. Honestly, in the long run, most people's opinions don't matter unless they're supported with SUBSTANTIAL evidence. Don't be hard on yourself. Everybody is the same vulnerable entity that has self-doubts, depression, and loneliness. We're all human beings. We are all deeply flawed individuals, not only do we have limited powers, but sometimes we're driven to become the Devil himself. People can be vicious. Some do it out of spite, others out of pain. All you can do is try to forgive & forget. As for me, I agree at times that playing online can be rough, but most of the time I put on a mic, all I get is dead silence or heavy breathing. In the times that I DO get a voice, it's usually co-operative. Once in several blue moons I will get some young kid that will try to start something but me, being 27 and having YEARS of Call of Duty experience, I usually wreck that type of person with disses so horribly hilarious that there are no comebacks for them. I've told kids on mics "Isn't it past your bedtime?" and stuff like that. Usually it's nothing. Shoot, I've had more angry comments from OVERWATCH than Destiny and Call of Duty COMBINED. I still shut them down and I usually do it with puns. If talking is the problem, just don't use a mic. You can always mute other people. Don't hate the game, don't hate the players, don't hate yourself. Get creative is all. You can live a great gamer life and have an online profile without worrying about what your teammate or opponent has to say. It doesn't matter in the long run. It's going to be some guy you'll rarely, if ever,get matched up with again.

    1. Also, just an f.y.i it's a bit difficult to read beige on a white background. I mean, I like highlighting text to make it white with a blue background as much as the next guy, but it makes it a wee bit difficult to scroll down and read everything (at least for the comments section). If you could find a more suitable color combo visually, that would be awesome. Other than that, good blog post!

  5. So sorry for the awful things that you went through & yes some people online are so mean I don't understand those kinds of people.

  6. I think most gaming communities can be fairly toxic at times, and I'll be honest, the Overwatch community (pc) has been so toxic this season! I'd honestly recommend waiting until season 5 is over before playing comp because it's an utter mess. I just end up muting chat mostly because people get tilted over anything, even when winning. I hope you find some better experiences in the future and don't let people get you down! Just block and report! <3 x


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