Hey all. I'm new here and found this place while searching for my problem, and I figured I'd give asking here a go.
I play World of Warcraft. I have for years (off and on since it came out in 2004), and I really do love the game. I have friends who play and I like meeting new people in-game, trying to maximize my skills with my character, leveling, all of that. I'm not "addicted"; I still work, go to college, go out with my friends, don't shrug off household chores to play... but I do like playing when I can. However, I've realized that it gives me anxiety. Playing the game in general doesn't give me anxiety. For those of you who have played, it's only when I'm faced with the choice of pugging do I get anxiety. If you haven't played, "pugging" is grouping with random people who are not in your guild/friends. I don't have this anxiety when I have a friend or a few go with me or we create our own groups, but since they're not always online or may be doing other things, it's not always possible to go with them, and I want to get geared up for raiding in the next expansion (which I can only do through running raids with pugs if my friends aren't around).
I know why it gives me anxiety -- I'm afraid of failing at my job (healer) and being ridiculed or kicked out of groups, plus sometimes having to get on voice chat with people I've never talked to before. I know I'm a pretty decent healer, and I've tried to take steps to prevent the anxiety, like looking up all the boss fights extensively beforehand... but it just doesn't seem to help. I don't want to be stuck not doing things because of my damn anxiety, ESPECIALLY not in a video game that I enjoy playing. I think it's partially due to the fact that I'm very shy/nervous around new people in the real world, and it carries over in-game. I do get anxiety with other games, but this is the problem that bothers me the most. Even if I do have anxiety when I play online shooters, I can generally just play through it and calm down in a little bit. It won't be as big of a problem when I'm regularly raiding with my guild next expansion, but I'd like to deal with this and actually be able to get through current content.
My question is, does anyone else have this problem? I feel like an idiot for having anxiety about playing a video game. If you do/did have this problem, what steps did you take to help fix it? Did you just play through it and eventually kind of get over the fear? Or just any suggestions in general to deal with this. Any help would be appreciated.