It’s World Mental Health Day today. This isn’t something I’d planned to have ImagiNation out for, but there it is.
As I have, doubtless, bored you all to tears over by now I suffer from depression and it has been particularly bad this last couple of weeks. That means all I can really bring myself to do is lay around and beat myself up for not working harder. My depression most often manifests in a bone-weary tiredness, lack of concentration and self-belief. Qualities obviously necessary in the self-employed.
Weirdly, people say I’m very productive but I would be a lot more so without these issues.
I believe gaming can help people with a broad range of issues and I know I have personally benefited from the escape and the opportunity to safely deal with some of the things that grind me down. I’ve also seen it help people with anxiety, social disorders, autism spectrum issues and others.
Gaming is many things, role-playing is many things. It can be purely a game, it can be an exercise in art and self expression. It can be taken seriously and it can be entirely frivolous. I’m not suggesting that every game session be therapy, but just that it presents a safe environment in which we – as players or especially the GM – have a massive degree of control that we don’t have in real life, and a safety net from the fact that outside the game there are no consequences.
Here’s a direct link to my game inspired by my experiences. Something I have made to explore these issues and their link with creativity. It’s a stereotype but it’s one that fitted well for the purposes of a game.
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Hardcopies can be bought HERE at close-to-cost.