I grew up experiencing emotional abuse and neglect. When I joined the military and finally started making a life for myself, I was sexually assaulted. That trauma caused my life to fall apart, costing me my enlistment, my college scholarship, and my ability to competently live my life. As such, I have struggled with major depression and was diagnosed with PTSD. I have been receiving very intense treatment through individual and group therapy, medication, and residential treatment for over two years now.

What Gaming Means To Me

Whenever things would get too rough to handle in the real world, I could escape to video games. Unlike books and movies, games are a way for me to participate in the story. Even if I couldn’t feel like I was anyone capable of doing anything in the real world, I could drop it all and become a hero saving the world from a very clear and comprehensible evil.

In games, it’s so much easier to figure out who the bad guys are and to meaningfully fight them.

In the real world, fighting demons is a slow and difficult process, and it can be hard to understand what’s happening and why. This is why I have always particularly enjoyed RPGs and story-driven action games. Sometimes they can be too intense or fast-pace, so I have started playing turn-based strategy games like Civilization and X-Com. They have less pressure, but are just as immersive. Minecraft is great because I can play it however I want.

Jennifer Hazel

I'm a psychiatry doctor and passionate gamer. I run a resource called prescriptionpixel.com - an interface between video games and mental health.
This is a space for gamers to safely share their feelings, access personalised resources, and seek help without judgement or stigma.