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Author Topic: Anxiety while playing my favorite video game  (Read 72 times)

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Offline Seinaru

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Anxiety while playing my favorite video game
« on: June 11, 2014, 11:17:02 AM »
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.
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Online Cuchculan

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Re: Anxiety while playing my favorite video game
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2014, 05:54:30 AM »
I would state the obvious. That this is a cyber world. I have always said that in the big cyber world out there, you can be anything you want to be. I once knew a girl on the net. Used to meet up with her in a room we both went to. We would mess around. She was always pretending to be dancing. That was her big thing. After about a year she told me she was wheelchair bound. But the net was her escape. She didn't have to tell people about her wheelchair at all. Nobody judged her. This was not real life. This was cyber life. The problem I see with some people is that they make cyber life into their real life. You are shy in real life. You are shy in cyber life. You need to learn to split the two up. Nobody can harm you in cyber life. Jump up and punch you or push you over. I know they can write bad things at times. But that is what the on / off switch is for. You seem to be good at the game you play. But you have to see it for it really is. Part of cyber life. A life where you can be anybody at all. You can make believe. I think that is what people have to do at times. Create with their minds. See themselves at somebody else in this cyber life. See yourself as this great powerful healer. Become that healer once you are on the net. Once off the net you are old real self again. Just try and open your mind up a bit more to the creative side of things in the cyber world.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

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