May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I want to do my part to help get the ball rolling. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety and depression have increased exponentially among adults across the United States. It’s time to actually start talking about this and trying to do something about it.
Many people think that the pandemic doesn’t affect gamers as much because we “like to stay inside and play games.” But studies show that the effects of social distancing hit us just as hard:
“The pandemic has already exacerbated feelings of isolation experienced by those who suffer from depression and anxiety, and with video games becoming a primary source of entertainment during quarantine efforts, in-game communication takes on increased significance. The trouble with this conceit is that the games space is notorious for vitriol and harassment.”https://gamedaily.biz/article/1932/mental-health-in-the-gaming-community-amid-the-pandemic-is-the-focus-of-a-new-mygames-survey
Well, shit. I can certainly admit that being cyber-bullied hits a bit harder these days, when online gaming is the main form of social interaction. I was harrassed live on stream recently, and while I can keep a straight face for the camera, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me on the inside.
It’s not only cyber-bullying. There’s also the depression you get from doom-scrolling or comparing your life to others on social media. All of these things add up, on top of the stress of actually dealing with the pandemic itself. We need to start doing something to help ourselves before we crack under the pressure!
My solution to most things is to try and educate myself about the topic. Honestly, I’ve never been to therapy, but I have read many books on self help and mental health. I have many many more still on my reading list!
(Side Note: I plan to share one of these books with you all FOR FREE later this month! Stay tuned.)
But books are static and these days people like VIDEO. Luckily, I found a MOOC from Coursera that is totally FREE and I want everyone to enroll with me and take the class!
What is a MOOC? It’s a Massive Open Online Course, meaning it’s 100% online and you can go at your own pace. Every lecture is a video with accompanying transcription, and there are often internet articles and other resources provided as well. I haven’t taken this class before, so it’ll be an adventure for all of us! I’ll create a channel in the Gluxbox Discord for anyone who wants to chat about the mental health topics from class.
If you decide to join the MOOC, leave a comment and let me know! Let’s get this conversation started.