Basically, I’ve struggled my whole life with anxiety, but I wasn’t diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder until late in my high school years. I also suffer from Social Anxiety, so basically approaching any new situation or group of people is terrifying for me. I don’t enjoy going out, because I might somehow make a fool of myself, and it feels like everyone is judging me a lot of the time.

At any given moment, I am usually thinking about the risks and downsides to any upcoming situation, and it’s rare that I get a break from my own (often negative) thoughts and self-doubt, which is also linked to comorbid depression. It makes study difficult, but the Social Anxiety part of my brain loves to kick in and tell me that I will again be judged if I don’t push myself to move forward in life.

It’s a long and complicated and interesting spiral – and even though I struggle a lot of the time, I’m still plagued with thoughts about not experiencing and of these problems for real, and feeling inadequate for not being able to cope with them.

What Gaming Means To Me

The sense that I’m in control of my own destiny to some degree, or that no decision I make it 100% final. In a game, I can often be more of myself than I feel confident to be in real life, which is one of the reasons I also feel that representation is important in games – so that everyone can have that escape. I also love being able to lose myself in other worlds, learn about the characters… mostly storytelling elements.

by Jess Zammit

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.