Gaming as Therapy

So if you've been following the news in the past couple of months you may have heard of a new trend in psychology that is using games as a form of therapy. Particularly MMORPGs on soldiers coming home with PTSD. I'm not in the armed forces or a psychologists however I do have some anecdotal evidence to support this method of therapy.  In May of 2008 I proposed to my girlfriend of 4 years; the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was ecstatic when she said yes. We were both still in college so we decided to wait until at least one of us had graduated before we had the wedding. I wasn't concerned at all that anything one go wrong; as it turns out I should have been. Due to a firestorm  of trouble over student loans, time management, vision of the future, rent, and life style choices (she wanted to party, I did not) our relationship began to fall apart. It was a very gradual decent however we were very good at communicating with each other and compromising however sometimes this just isn't enough. So in June 2011 we decided to call it off and went our separate ways. Even though deep down I saw this coming it was still one of the hardest and most painful losses I had ever experienced. Seven years of my life were gone along with my vision of the future. It took all of my strength everyday to keep going and not just break down at work or class. In my new found free time I tried to find distractions to take my mind off of what had happened. This is when I revisited Guild Wars after nearly half a year of playing it. I was incredibly surprised to find that my guild had not removed me but rather welcomed me back into the fold. I thought that was incredible for people who I had never met in real life. So after about a week of two playing and getting reacquainted with my guild mates I told them my story. The support I received was astounding all of them listened and gave encouragement. For the first time in about a month I began to feel like everything was going to be ok again. Just being able to escape for a few hours everyday and be able to think about something else along with having very understanding people there who I could talk to made the darkest moment of my life that much easier to bear. So if you were to ask me if video games could be used as therapy I would have to say yes. As long as it's in moderation and not just an attempt to check out of life for a long period of time and it's coupled with interaction with caring and understanding people than I believe it can work. I hope other will see the value in this type of therapy and that it can be used to helped many other people as well.
 
Cheers!

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Posted by RavenGunslinger

So if you've been following the news in the past couple of months you may have heard of a new trend in psychology that is using games as a form of therapy. Particularly MMORPGs on soldiers coming home with PTSD. I'm not in the armed forces or a psychologists however I do have some anecdotal evidence to support this method of therapy.  In May of 2008 I proposed to my girlfriend of 4 years; the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I was ecstatic when she said yes. We were both still in college so we decided to wait until at least one of us had graduated before we had the wedding. I wasn't concerned at all that anything one go wrong; as it turns out I should have been. Due to a firestorm  of trouble over student loans, time management, vision of the future, rent, and life style choices (she wanted to party, I did not) our relationship began to fall apart. It was a very gradual decent however we were very good at communicating with each other and compromising however sometimes this just isn't enough. So in June 2011 we decided to call it off and went our separate ways. Even though deep down I saw this coming it was still one of the hardest and most painful losses I had ever experienced. Seven years of my life were gone along with my vision of the future. It took all of my strength everyday to keep going and not just break down at work or class. In my new found free time I tried to find distractions to take my mind off of what had happened. This is when I revisited Guild Wars after nearly half a year of playing it. I was incredibly surprised to find that my guild had not removed me but rather welcomed me back into the fold. I thought that was incredible for people who I had never met in real life. So after about a week of two playing and getting reacquainted with my guild mates I told them my story. The support I received was astounding all of them listened and gave encouragement. For the first time in about a month I began to feel like everything was going to be ok again. Just being able to escape for a few hours everyday and be able to think about something else along with having very understanding people there who I could talk to made the darkest moment of my life that much easier to bear. So if you were to ask me if video games could be used as therapy I would have to say yes. As long as it's in moderation and not just an attempt to check out of life for a long period of time and it's coupled with interaction with caring and understanding people than I believe it can work. I hope other will see the value in this type of therapy and that it can be used to helped many other people as well.
 
Cheers!

Posted by ahoodedfigure

It seems that sharing a hobby with people and online connections were just as much a part of your therapy as the games themselves. I know that connecting to people breaks me out of depression sometimes-- and it helps when there's a shared activity that everyone can take part in. People don't even need to talk about their problems, although that helps; a shared activity can help turn on other parts of the brain, or whatever's going on, and help you break out of a loop. Good to hear it was helpful, no matter what was the cause of that help.