Suffering from severe anxiety, agoraphobia, and depression; Jason was able to find a community and a support group through his gaming friends. Interacting with people online under the safety of an avatar was far safer and more simple than leaving the house to make friends. At his lowest point, Jason contemplated and planned his own suicide, but his desire to help out his gaming friends kept him waking up each morning. He would help his friends pay for therapy, he’d help organize his friends’ appointments with local therapists and negotiate payment options, and Jason worked tirelessly to be sure his friends had what they needed to get help.
Finally, Jason decided that if he was really going to keep helping people, he’d have to address his own problems, too. Unsurprisingly, his gaming community supported him and helped him move forward to a healthier place. While mental health and managing severe disorders like agoraphobia and intense anxiety and depression is a journey, Jason was able to get himself healthy enough to start Anxiety Gaming, an official Mental Health Non-Profit.
If you’ve never been to Anxiety Gaming, I can’t encourage you enough to hit up the site. It offers a place for gamers to find help, vent, and generally get support as they work through their issues. While Anxiety Gaming has been creating an awesome community online, they’ve decided to take things to the next level and host an actual, IRL event: Game Against Depression. Check out the event’s trailer:
Game Against Depression will be a two-day event in Santa Ana, California from May 21-May 22 where Twitch broadcasters, professional skaters, pro football players, professional gamers, and musicians will gather together to celebrate mental health. The goal of Game Against Depression is to help erase the stigma behind mental health issues and empower gamers to fight back and get the help they need.
They’ll help you get connected with a therapist who fits your needs and personality with low to no-cost sessions, as well as hook you up with supportive and understanding gaming clans and guilds for your favorite games. And they’re even offering an Anxiety Gaming hotline during the event where you can feel free to vent and express yourself freely under complete anonymity. And don’t worry, if you aren’t in California, they’ll be streaming the event on their Twitch channel.
Anxiety, depression, and mental health issues effect a huge number of us–an estimated 16,000,000 adults in the US suffer from at least one major depressive episode a year and over 40% of adults in the US have an anxiety disorder–so it’s time that we start looking out for one another. Anxiety Gaming is doing just that with their awesome organization, and now they’re making it even easier for people to connect and get help with Game Against Depression. If you’re in California and can make it,you should absolutely go! The event is now FREE thanks to the generosity of Discord, so don’t let cost stop you from going. Of course, if you do want to donate to the event, you still can to unlock awesome rewards like having a pack of corgis released on stage. Seriously. This event is gonna have it all, y’all.
Are you a part of the Anxiety Gaming community? How did you get introduced to them? Will you be at the Game Against Depression event? What are you most excited for? Tell us about it in the comments!
Image credit: Lou-in-Candada/DeviantArt.com