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Offline poppadr3w

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Video Games & Anxiety?
« on: March 01, 2014, 02:34:06 PM »
I used to be able to play games for hours upon hours without an issues. However, ever since my anxiety started kicking up a year or so ago, I have a problem playing video games. Even simple games such as Solitaire on the computer make me feel... uneasy. I'm big into gaming, so it is a huge blow to me. I've had my eyes checked, and they're great. I have nearly perfect vision. The only thing I can associate it with it my anxiety. Does anyone else have this issue?

And it's not all of the time. Sometimes I can play, say... Grand Theft Auto Online for awhile, then all of a sudden I get this sensation that I have to look away. I feel as if I am getting lightheaded or dizzy. My eyes don't hurt, but I may get head pressure.

I also have an MRI scan done of my brain, which came out clear.

If I take Xanax, it seems to calm me down a bit enough to play without incident, but it doesn't work 100% of the time.

I've also tried a neck pillow, since I thought my neck wasn't supported enough. I've tried "gaming glasses" that are supposed to block certain light waves that fatigue your eye. I've tried taking breaks and looking away, but sometimes the sensations start as soon as I start playing a game. I've tried eye drops. I've tried different lighting. I've tried everything! I just want to be able to enjoy my games!

Does anyone have any ideas? Or has anyone else experienced this as well?
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Offline christina10778

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2014, 04:06:06 PM »
I have the exact same issues.
And I do believe that it's all Anxiety.
I love playing video games, too.
But, it's like, when I started paying attention to the warnings and hearing crazy stories of Gamers having seizures or dying(only a few in third world countries...but that's enough for me, lol) I started to freak out.
I still play my games once in a while and I can get hooked for a couple of hours, but this weird intense feeling will come out of nowhere and an extreme fear will take over.
Sometimes I will start feeling "off-balance" or get a headache....but usually only once something triggers a crazy thought.
But, sometimes all I have to do is turn own my game system and it's all over...I end up going to Netflix instead of playing my game.
I have the same issue with certain music videos or sounds.

My little brother is a huge gamer....like seriously (him and his friends are crazy good) and he gets headaches, too.
And he doesn't have Anxiety....
But, he gets them from playing 24/7 in the dark, and being super close to the screen.
The doctor told him to not sit so close to the screen and to have some kind of light on when he plays.

It sucks though....
I love playing video games and games like Skyrim calm me, lol
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My Health Anxiety Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-5ZQ6ZyRtI4ccjpE_4QwQ/videos

My Blog: http://thoughtsineuphoria.wordpress.com/

1 Peter 5:7 - "casting all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 04:12:07 PM »
I have the exact same issues.
And I do believe that it's all Anxiety.
I love playing video games, too.
But, it's like, when I started paying attention to the warnings and hearing crazy stories of Gamers having seizures or dying(only a few in third world countries...but that's enough for me, lol) I started to freak out.
I still play my games once in a while and I can get hooked for a couple of hours, but this weird intense feeling will come out of nowhere and an extreme fear will take over.
Sometimes I will start feeling "off-balance" or get a headache....but usually only once something triggers a crazy thought.
But, sometimes all I have to do is turn own my game system and it's all over...I end up going to Netflix instead of playing my game.
I have the same issue with certain music videos or sounds.

My little brother is a huge gamer....like seriously (him and his friends are crazy good) and he gets headaches, too.
And he doesn't have Anxiety....
But, he gets them from playing 24/7 in the dark, and being super close to the screen.
The doctor told him to not sit so close to the screen and to have some kind of light on when he plays.

It sucks though....
I love playing video games and games like Skyrim calm me, lol

Sadly, I never got into Skyrim. I'm glad I am not the only one that this is not affecting!

The first time I remember the sensation happening was when I was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. It was out of nowhere. It wasn't as frequent, either. It also happened when I played Minecraft, but I always thought that it was me feeling motion sickness since the camera is kind of weird in that game.

Now it's almost every game. I hope that the new medicine helps, since video games do really help me calm down as well :/
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Offline christina10778

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2014, 05:42:24 PM »
I love Balck Ops 2 and Minecraft, too.
Although, I haven't played Minecraft all that much....
But, I also play stuff like Alice: The Madness Returns, Mini Ninjas, Left for Dead 2 (when I still had my XBox), Modern Warfare: Ghosts, Little Big Planet 2, Dead Rising 2, Devil May Cry, etc.
And I really want to play some computer games like Amnesia...but am afraid to, lol.

I hope you can play your games again soon  :yes:
Good Luck  :bigsmile:
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My Health Anxiety Channel: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8-5ZQ6ZyRtI4ccjpE_4QwQ/videos

My Blog: http://thoughtsineuphoria.wordpress.com/

1 Peter 5:7 - "casting all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 11:38:41 PM »
I love Balck Ops 2 and Minecraft, too.
Although, I haven't played Minecraft all that much....
But, I also play stuff like Alice: The Madness Returns, Mini Ninjas, Left for Dead 2 (when I still had my XBox), Modern Warfare: Ghosts, Little Big Planet 2, Dead Rising 2, Devil May Cry, etc.
And I really want to play some computer games like Amnesia...but am afraid to, lol.

I hope you can play your games again soon  :yes:
Good Luck  :bigsmile:

Why would you get rid of your X-Box?!

All I play on PC is Guild Wars 2 sometimes. I'm waiting on Titanfall to drop on March 11th for my X-Box One.

Happy Gaming!
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Offline idleman52

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 01:12:17 AM »
I totally understand you like you wouldn't believe. Ever since I bought a ps3 back about 4 or 5 years ago I don't think there was one game that i played or beaten where I didn't have anxiety. It would get so bad sometimes that I would just have to stop and turn it off. I'll never understand why it happens. Just like you I never had a problem with this when I was younger. So yeah I totally get you on the video game anxiety.
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"Relax!? You must be crazy!"

Offline ShawnW

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2014, 08:11:08 AM »
I'm 40 and have been gaming since Atari.  I'm a proud video game nerd.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  I can even get nauseous during gaming.  I have theories, but they are just theories.  But, I think it plays into nervous system hyper-excitability where stimulation of a stimulated nervous system sends it into a bit of overload and then you have symptoms.  The flashing, lights or overstimulation especially from a game like GTA can exacerbate symptoms.

Take a couple weeks off and get your head right.  Do things that don't involve technology and go on a little tech detox...camp...walks in the park...fish...etc  Then come back to it.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 10:47:43 AM »
I'm 40 and have been gaming since Atari.  I'm a proud video game nerd.  I know exactly what you are talking about.  I can even get nauseous during gaming.  I have theories, but they are just theories.  But, I think it plays into nervous system hyper-excitability where stimulation of a stimulated nervous system sends it into a bit of overload and then you have symptoms.  The flashing, lights or overstimulation especially from a game like GTA can exacerbate symptoms.

Take a couple weeks off and get your head right.  Do things that don't involve technology and go on a little tech detox...camp...walks in the park...fish...etc  Then come back to it.

I was surprised to see my thread bumped up here lol

Things have gotten a bit better overall, but the symptoms still arise. I don't play as much, but I do have to use technology daily at work (On a computer) and I have a smart phone...

I just miss gaming like I used to. I remember being awesome at Goldeneye and Mario Kart as a kid, now I can barely look at the screen at times. And it feels like I am not "totally there" when playing. Like, I'll play, but it feels like my mind is going on instinct rather than actual thoughts and strategy. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone else...

Otherwise, I try to just go in the gym or spend time with my fiancee and/or daughter. Or my family. I feel like I need a new hobby... I'll never quit gaming, but something more physical on the side without technology, as you suggested, seems like a good idea. Maybe I'll get more into the landscaping of our home and such.
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Offline paranoidandroid

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 01:22:23 PM »
Hey i actually had OCD about my vision for about a year before i realized it was OCD. you might be experiencing the same thing. I also went and had an MRI done, went to a neurologist, and ophthalmologist and none of them could figure anything out I was for sure i was getting glaucoma. Until my anxiety and OCD changed themes i realized it was all in my head. don't really think about my eye sight anymore since my anxiety and OCD got on to my worst fear in the world HOCD. : (
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Offline Fuzyyy

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2014, 06:43:23 PM »
I feel the same but not as frequent. I play call of duty and GTA a lot and sometimes out of nowhere my derealisation sets in, I feel totally detached like I'm not even playing anymore, thankfully it's not that often. I hope you can enjoy your games when you play more often. Personally I find that video games are one of the few activities that can distract my mind and actually help my anxiety.
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Offline CartoonCat

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2014, 08:52:20 PM »
I love gaming too, and it was my number one distraction activity for dealing with anxiety, worked like nothing else, until about a year ago, had a breakdown and the anxiety was intolerable, I started avoiding playing games in case they wouldn't calm me down as effectively as they used to, the thought that my foolproof remedy might not help any more was just unbearable, I couldn't risk not having that hope any longer. Makes no sense whatsoever and became a self-fulfilling prophecy, even causing anxiety that didn't exist before.

I was doing some Graded Exposure Therapy for agoraphobia at the time and decided to use it to help with the video game problem too, started taking little steps towards playing again, chose familiar games, or new ones I was really excited about trying, stuff I knew would hold my attention, and began introducing them back into my routine slowly. The first few times I picked days when I was feeling reasonably good, and played 2-player with my partner (who is also my 'safe' person) I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, stayed away from online multiplayer, didn't make any promises to myself about how long I would play for, could stop at any time. For a while I thought it was causing vision problems and various other symptoms, but it did get better, which confirms to me that they were anxiety, and within quite a short space of time I was happily gaming again, I don't play as much as I used to, but that's probably a good thing :)
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Offline Swedishworry

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2014, 03:42:46 PM »
Same thing here. I play alot of fps and when i get anxiety and derealization (brain fog) i feel like i cant follow in the game and cant concentrate at all and the game seems to fast. Someone who have had the same?
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 08:17:29 AM »
Same thing here. I play alot of fps and when i get anxiety and derealization (brain fog) i feel like i cant follow in the game and cant concentrate at all and the game seems to fast. Someone who have had the same?

I kind of feel the same way. I feel like rather than thinking about playing the game, my mind is relying on instinct. I don't strategize as much as I can/should, but I do fairly well overall.

At times I'll get that "too fast" feeling, especially when playing a fast-paced FPS game such as Titanfall or certain Call of Duty games. Even when playing GTA V I'd get that weird sensation where I couldn't look at the screen. It happened mostly when driving in the game (I guess there was a lot of visual stimulation). I also would get dizzy when playing Minecraft... Like if I were up in the air (Creative Mode) and would spin the camera to see something in a specific way, I'd get really dizzy.

I hope that this resolves itself. I played Titanfall the other day and I did OK when playing it. I turned it off after 2-3 games because of the lag :/   I also played Halo 4 last weekend with a friend and while I didn't play great (It's hard to transition from Titanfall to Halo!), playing the game in itself didn't truly bother me.
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Offline Swedishworry

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2014, 10:01:12 AM »
Same thing here. I play alot of fps and when i get anxiety and derealization (brain fog) i feel like i cant follow in the game and cant concentrate at all and the game seems to fast. Someone who have had the same?

I kind of feel the same way. I feel like rather than thinking about playing the game, my mind is relying on instinct. I don't strategize as much as I can/should, but I do fairly well overall.

At times I'll get that "too fast" feeling, especially when playing a fast-paced FPS game such as Titanfall or certain Call of Duty games. Even when playing GTA V I'd get that weird sensation where I couldn't look at the screen. It happened mostly when driving in the game (I guess there was a lot of visual stimulation). I also would get dizzy when playing Minecraft... Like if I were up in the air (Creative Mode) and would spin the camera to see something in a specific way, I'd get really dizzy.

I hope that this resolves itself. I played Titanfall the other day and I did OK when playing it. I turned it off after 2-3 games because of the lag :/   I also played Halo 4 last weekend with a friend and while I didn't play great (It's hard to transition from Titanfall to Halo!), playing the game in itself didn't truly bother me.

Exactly, i spent probably over 4000 hours of playing fps and this thing will pass, i have only feelt this in periods of high anxiety, about 2-3 times in 8 years. The mind is in hyperdrive when you have anxiety so its pretty natural its hard to concentrate on a fast paced video game.
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Offline poppadr3w

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Re: Video Games & Anxiety?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 11:56:35 AM »
Same thing here. I play alot of fps and when i get anxiety and derealization (brain fog) i feel like i cant follow in the game and cant concentrate at all and the game seems to fast. Someone who have had the same?

I kind of feel the same way. I feel like rather than thinking about playing the game, my mind is relying on instinct. I don't strategize as much as I can/should, but I do fairly well overall.

At times I'll get that "too fast" feeling, especially when playing a fast-paced FPS game such as Titanfall or certain Call of Duty games. Even when playing GTA V I'd get that weird sensation where I couldn't look at the screen. It happened mostly when driving in the game (I guess there was a lot of visual stimulation). I also would get dizzy when playing Minecraft... Like if I were up in the air (Creative Mode) and would spin the camera to see something in a specific way, I'd get really dizzy.

I hope that this resolves itself. I played Titanfall the other day and I did OK when playing it. I turned it off after 2-3 games because of the lag :/   I also played Halo 4 last weekend with a friend and while I didn't play great (It's hard to transition from Titanfall to Halo!), playing the game in itself didn't truly bother me.

Exactly, i spent probably over 4000 hours of playing fps and this thing will pass, i have only feelt this in periods of high anxiety, about 2-3 times in 8 years. The mind is in hyperdrive when you have anxiety so its pretty natural its hard to concentrate on a fast paced video game.

I guess that makes sense. Ever since I've started the Strattera relatively recently (A few weeks ago) I've felt alright. Not completely better, but I feel that at times I can last longer and watch the screen. Then again, I've been playing a different game lately (Mario Kart 8) instead of Titanfall or a shooter.
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