How Destiny Has Helped One Gamer’s Social Anxiety

Mental health still seems to have a bit of a taboo around it, and when it comes to anxiety if you haven’t experienced it, it’s difficult to understand. 

Sometimes it’s as crippling as being unable to leave the house, and sometimes it only takes something small to set anxiety off. 

Something like accepting a game quest invite or request from someone you don’t know. 

Reddit user TheNerdyCook recently braved the internet to share his experience with playing with others online, and how the process has helped him with his anxiety. 

TheNerdyCook posted: “Fellow Guardians who suffer from social anxiety: next time you get an invite from a rando asking to do EP, do yourself a favor and accept… 

“Coming from someone who has terrible social anxiety, I know how difficult it is.  

“I know it is far outside your comfort zone. I know there are a number of reason[s] why your anxieties keep you from engaging with other Guardians. However, I ask you to please give it a shot next time someone messages you/sends you a party invite. I did this last night and had the most fun 2 hours I’ve had in this game in a long time. 

“I encourage you to do the same. Just try it once, and you’ll see how fun it is. You’ll see yourself wanting to do it again. All it takes is 1 second of courage.” 

The post, which you can read in full here, soon got a lot of attention from the Destiny community, as fellow gamers flocked to praise TheNerdyCook for his bravery, sentiments and encouraging words. 

Speaking to Gamebyte about why he decided to upload the post, TheNerdyCook said: “I’ve been playing Destiny on and off for over a year, but it wasn’t until I started playing Destiny 2 about 5 months ago, that I really started getting into it and playing it daily.

“I don’t know really [what prompted me to accept the request]. I didn’t accept at first. I don’t usually accept them, but I saw the person kind of following me around the map after they sent the request, so after a 2nd request was sent, I just decided to do it, just to see what would happen.  

“I just decided to face my fear of talking to strangers instead of backing away like I normally do. 

“It really was an amazing 2 hours, and for numerous reasons: The intensity of the upper levels of Escalation Protocol, the conversations and jokes the group was making while playing, the fact the more I played the more relaxed I got and actually started joking and talking with them instead of remaining quiet. 

“It was just all around a fun, and worthwhile experience. I look forward to more in the future.” 

Encouraging others to make the same leap, he continued: “I know how hard it is to just say hi to someone, whether it be in person or online. I’ve always been a shy person and recently I’ve become more and more cocooned in my fear of socializing.  

“This is a huge reason why I don’t do a lot of end game content Destiny offers. It requires you to play and converse with others, which isn’t a bad thing. On the contrary, it’s a good thing, but it’s hard when you [can’t really] feel comfortable enough or confident enough to put yourself in that situation.  

“I also know I’m probably not the only person to have this issue, and I just thought having someone who suffers from this speak out and encourage those who share the issue, might just grant them the courage I had; thus giving them one of the most fun experiences in gaming they could ever have.  

“Even if it was only 1 person I got to, I would feel like I accomplished something. 

“For the most part, I really do think gaming can help those who suffer from social anxiety and also depression which can stem from that anxiety. 

“Gaming by itself can be so therapeutic to someone by transporting them into a world far away and let them live out their fantasies and allow them to be someone else. Someone who doesn’t have the afflictions they deal with every day.  

“It has helped me tremendously with all my issues and Destiny in particular has really started to help me face those issues head on.  

“It isn’t easy by far. The contemplation and plethora of fears that can reel through a person’s head from jumping into social gaming can be paralyzing. But I’m learning the longer you do it, and the more you want to do it, the easier it can become.” 

If you suffer from anxiety it’s always helpful to talk to someone about mental health, like the charity Mind.