I had a chat with a competitive Halo Player to get their point of view and find out a little about their story.
Professional Halo Player for Team Reciprocity Tyler ‘Spartan’ Ganza.
Do you yourself suffer from mental illness?
Yes I do. I suffer from depression and mild anxiety. I am prescribed medication for both. I have been for about three years now.
Have you been surrounded or know about mental illness?
Yes. My father suffers from Depression and Anxiety as well, but also deals with bipolar disorder, so he gets things a little bit more extreme than I do.
Do you think playing video games helps yourself (or others) cope?
For me personally it does. It provides an escape from reality and kind of makes me forget about things for the duration of however long I’m playing for. As for others, it depends on the person. I believe it heavily depends on each person’s personality and reactions to the video game universes they divulge into.
Do you think possibly playing is a bad thing for mental health?
I definitely think it helps. However, it could also be a negative if relied on too heavily. I think some people play video games a ton but also don’t get enough exercise or Vitamin D and that can end up making the depression worse in the long run.
Would you say being involved in the competitive scene can make things worse? Or have they made things better?
I’d say for me personally, it has made things a lot better, and also at times a lot worse. When I’m going through a depression phase, if things are not going well competitively I start to feel even more down than before. If I’m going through a depression phase and things are going great competitively, I usually feel amazing. It’s very situational, but it definitely has made things both better and worse at times.
Do you have anything you’d like to add regarding playing games and mental health?
Mental health is seriously underrated nowadays. Many people think that it’s just as simple as, “Be happy,” when in reality, it is not even close to that. Some people like myself just have chemical imbalances. Some people go through trauma that makes it hard to cope or find happiness. I think once people start to accept depression as an actual issue, more people will seek help and the problem in itself can begin to be resolved.
Writers Note: If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental illness please do not be afraid to speak up. Please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or speak to someone you trust. If you’re not from Australia please click this link to find the right place for you http://ibpf.org/resource/list-international-suicide-hotlines it ain’t weak to speak.