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Gaming is a form of Escapism – But is it Good for Your Mental Health

Gaming is a form of Escapism – But is it Good for Your Mental Health

Gaming is a form of Escapism – But is it Good for Your Mental Health

Many people love to engage in gaming. Whether they’re playing a game on their phone, tablet, or computer, the activity provides a form of release. Gaming is a way to relax after a long day at work or school. People of all ages game. Children and teens sometimes use gaming as a way to connect with one another. Adults can find people with common interests, including games they enjoy. Here are some reasons gaming can help people deal with problems or avoid them.

Gaming and escapism

Life is full of challenging situations. There are joyful moments and difficult ones. Gaming is a hobby that helps people escape into a magical reality. Some people enjoy fantasy games with knights, royalty, and dragons. Others like shooting games or race car worlds. Depending on your interests, gaming is full of ways to escape your banal existence. Sometimes people play games to get a break from their problems, and other times individuals engage in these activities because they’re bored. Gaming can be stimulating for a plethora of reasons. It’s healthy to want a break from complex scenarios that life throws at us, but sometimes gaming becomes a tactic to avoid your reality.

Are you playing games to avoid your issues?

Some people engage in gaming when they’re attempting to avoid their problems. It’s easier to detach from reality and live inside of a game. If you fail in gaming, you have more opportunities to try your course again. There are games where you have multiple chances or “lives” to get it right. However, in life, the stakes are higher. You have one opportunity to face many situations. It can provoke anxiety in a person. That’s why many people prefer playing virtual games. They’re upset by what’s happening in their lives, and they want a way to “win.” It can become an unhealthy obsession. It’s best not to procrastinate dealing with your issues and face them. That’s not always easy, but you can speak to a mental health professional about whatever you’re experiencing. 

Gaming, anxiety, and depression

When you’re anxious or depressed, you’re likely uncomfortable. It’s hard to have those emotions and get through the day. Nobody wants to be sad or nervous. Gaming can distract you from these emotional states. It’s okay to take a break from your intense feelings sometimes. But, it’s not going to help your depression or anxiety to keep gaming as a way to cope. That’s a maladaptive coping mechanism. Instead of escaping into a game when you’re feeling depressed or panicked, practice mindfulness using zen meditation tools or talking these feelings out with a loved one. If you’re not ready to do that, you can journal about them. It can help to get your feelings out of your head and onto paper. The next step you can take is to consult a therapist.

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Talking about your mental health in therapy

Whether you see a therapist online or in your local area, it’s helpful to talk through your feelings. That way, you realize that you’re not alone. A skilled mental health professional wants to help you learn to cope with your emotions. If you’re already journaling, you can bring your notebook to the session. Maybe you want to read it aloud when you feel comfortable with your counselor. You can visit MyTherapist to learn more about mental health and how it impacts you. You might have healthy reasons for gaming, or perhaps you’re doing it too much. If you’re worried about your gaming habits, you can always speak to your counselor about them. No matter what your challenges are, your therapist wants to support you through them. Don’t be fearful of reaching out for help when you need it.