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Anxiety!

LyrLyr Member Posts: 420 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
Because ADHD got its own thread.

But seriously, I'm curious how many Achaeans have problems with anxiety (GAD, panic disorder, etc) and how Achaea helps or doesn't.. I personally have struggled with GAD and health anxiety for years. Usually if I can get into a bashing routine, the monotony calms me down. On the other hand, being jumped or something causes my anxiety levels to go up for a while afterward.
SybillaZhisana

Comments

  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    I think most extreme introverts (and I am an *extreme* introvert, unfortunately) can relate, whether they've been diagnosed with any sort of disorder or not.  The more monotonous aspects of Achaea can be pretty cathartic if I'm feeling overwhelmed.  I also like that I have all the time in the world to work on more challenging things, and that there is now a more helpful atmosphere for that.
    Melodie
  • MishgulMishgul ROTHERHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMMember Posts: 5,372 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    yes

    -

    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important

    As drawn by Shayde
    hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    I'm also absolutely sick of all the special snowflake shit around aspergers/ADHD/NVLD/autism.  There are NO positives.
  • DaeirDaeir AustraliaMember Posts: 6,288 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I had severe GAD when I was a child and it sort of involved into "pure" OCD as I got older, really knocked me for two during my highschool years. MMOs have always had this effect on me where they completely eliminate all of my symptoms whilst I am playing them, but make the symptoms during daily life much, much worse. Achaea is really no different - it kind of ate 6 months of my life and spat me out as a jittery mess once I realized what was going on.

    So now I play in moderation and find that keeping myself occupied with lots of different things instead of just one, all-consuming thing helps tremendously. So every few weeks I flitter back to Achaea and play for a few days or so.
    Hyraeth
  • NaminoNamino Member Posts: 108 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished

    image

  • AradorArador Member Posts: 1,696 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Wanted to watch the link but spent 10 minutes watching your signature instead.

    MishgulMelodie
  • NaminoNamino Member Posts: 108 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I know, right? Sometimes I forget what I'm doing when I log int o the forums now.

    image

    Mishgul
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The kind of anxiety I had was considered "expected" by my GPs over the years. They considered my extreme weight loss, inability to sleep and eat properly and the constant need to hate people was merely due to my studies and work schedule. No help whatsoever.

    I don't panic, but it's more I have this weird perfectionist thing going where if it's not good enough I fear I would be judged by everyone and everything around me. From my own experience, and with Achaea, I've learnt to, well not exactly not give a damn, but more how to determine which situations should be attended to in terms of priority and not to be so neurotic about it. Achaea helped teach me that.

    House tasks, and bashing for a few hours on end really does help. I quite like it for that reason.
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

    ExelethrilHyraethSybillaZhisana
  • EntaroEntaro PlymouthMember Posts: 76 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I used to have anxiety attacks a lot, which led me into this downward spiral of not seeing anyone and being so afraid of meeting new people. Achaea helped me in regards to I could vent a lot of energy in ways I was too afraid to in real life.

    HyraethTrillianaSybillaWysteria
  • HyraethHyraeth Member Posts: 130 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I still remember my game-related meltdowns of 2004-2006 due to anxiety/social awkwardness issues with huge helpings of cringeflail.

    These days I just hide in the forest, catch butterflies and fish. Good for the blood pressure. Although I must admit I find repetitive motion in Achaea very soothing especially when I'm trying to stop myself from having angst-loops over RL guys. Achaea is the crush-killer. Go Achaea!
  • TrillianaTrilliana Member Posts: 1,989 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I was actually dealing with anxiety attacks last night when my rant happened. I've found that sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts and I've gotten really good at differentiating when I'll have a bad night on Achaea or not. I've been dealing with anxiety since I was really little, but never got any help for it so I found my own ways to cope. It's probably the only time I go hunting (if I'm not laggy) 
    meh


    EntaroZhisana
  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't think I've been playing Achaea long enough to know whether it has any effect on my anxiety, but yes I've had problems for a few years now (that I noticed) and often still have panic/anxiety attacks. I found that I get extremely worked up if I'm in a room in game and nobody's speaking, and try to overcompensate by throwing a barrage of questions around to get people talking. Then I get nervous that I'm talking too much and it just goes up and down from there...

    I have noticed that I feel more at ease about facing real-life situations because of Achaea, it feels like yes, I can be a socially anxious weirdo who's missed a load of lectures, but I can come home and be a superawesome chaos magician. It's sort of motivating in a strange way. 

    I'm trying to work Sybilla to be a person I'm happy with, and have started to develop some interesting RP avenues. It's silly perhaps, but I feel that if I can manage to make her into someone who can waltz up to people of authority and have a perfectly fine conversation with them, then I should be able to IRL as well. 

    Maybe I ought to check back with counselling though :/
    LyrAmunet
  • LyrLyr Member Posts: 420 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    @Namino, Ironically (or maybe not), the only time I've /r/trees'd, I had a four-hour-long panic attack.
  • TaniaTania Member Posts: 257 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I have social anxiety disorder. I last had a panic attack a few months ago, but before that, I hadn't had any since I was 19 and had first started working (so it was almost 8 years. It was a good run!).

    Achaea did help. When I was knew to Achaea, I even had difficulty speaking to strangers online, not just in person.

    I felt totally vindicated when I mentioned the other day to a coworker who's majoring in psych and is currently studying a unit dedicated to social anxiety that I have it, and he was surprised. I WIN, ANXIETY.

    Mostly. I admit to still being incredibly awkward sometimes (but way better than I used to be) and having difficulty with face-to-face interactions when I'm more nervous than usual (this makes dating extremely difficult. "He's too cute, I can't look him in the eye!" Awesome), but y'know, the fact that I am actually willing to go on dates in the first place is HUGE.

    I'm also seriously considering doing an exchange program and studying in Europe for a couple of semesters, to prove to myself I can do it. It's a constant struggle, but I will win every battle, even if the war doesn't end!
    Sybilla
  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Tania: You pretty much have the same thing I do. I'm really glad to hear that you've been able to manage it for so long without people even realising, it's really reassuring!

    Just wanted to encourage and cheer you on for studying abroad. It can be a really fantastic experience, and there's plenty of culture, history, cuisine etc. throughout Europe to keep you more than occupied if you do decide to go for it. I ended up studying in London (I've been in England ~10 years), which is probably the last place you'd want to find a socially anxious person, but honestly it's turned out to be a pleasant challenge. I enjoy the anonymity if not the crowds, and that's an aspect that really helps.

    I'd be more than happy to answer questions about England/London if you want to PM. Hope you've had a lovely weekend so far.
  • TaniaTania Member Posts: 257 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    I've always wanted to go to Europe! Canada is a baby, comparatively (at least for written history), and most of the history we cover in school is European. Unfortunately, none of the school my school has exchange programs with is in the UK, but I am hoping if I make it to Europe, I can travel about a bit!
  • SienaSiena Member Posts: 202 ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    I can relate by having been teased all my life for things I can't really help. I've dealt with depression a lot since the age of 12 and suicidal thoughts off and on since then till I about eighteen. Achaea can be a double edged sword. Just recently with the whole Bal'met event, Achaea became a stress as oppose to a stress reliever. However, recent in game decisions changed that thankfully. Achaea is a good escape from life every once in a while though. It's not that I am an introvert. I love being social and spending time teaching kids and with people (even though I'm very shy) I just don't get out very much/don't have time/or my friends don't have time for me so Achaea is like my one constant social outlet where I can interact with people who are not hitting on me or extremely drunk (fast food graveyards bleh)

    Anyways, I haven't formally been diagnosed with anything nor am I willing to go to the doctor to find out. I freqently stress over some things that I have panic or anxiety attacks....heck I even woke up with one today.

    For me, running, sleeping with my labrador (and just having her constantly around) and friends/music help. When I am in a middle of an attack I usually need to speak with someone to calm me down. I GREATLY appreciate all my friends from here. You know who you are.

    image

    Trilliana
  • TanaarTanaar Member Posts: 284 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    edited February 2013
    I firmly believe that Achaea has helped me overcome my social anxiety disorder. Forming relationships in a low-risk, low-consequence setting has allowed me to develop compensating strategies, gain self-confidence and self-awareness, and helped me practice skills.

    When I first started playing Achaea, I was an introverted mess, with difficulty holding down friendships and facing up to responsibilities. Now I find myself more than adept at maintaining long-term relationships, though I still struggle with the closeness that others enjoy, and frequently escape to solitary activities and the 'safeness' of Achaea.

    Thank you, Achaea!

    ETA: @Jules there's your positive.
    ValdenJulesSybilla
  • JulesJules Member Posts: 2,169 @ - Epic Achaean
    That's actually really great, Tanaar.  All I'm saying is that there isn't an upside to the cluster of issues/disorders in and of themselves, and some people try to make the inference that having these problems is some sign of special talent or gifts, when I really, really don't think that's the case (and neither do many researchers).  It may be that some people affected with these problems do have special gifts, but I doubt it's any thanks to being a aspie, or just an introvert who panics at the idea of making chit chat.  Overcoming them, or at least having good coping mechanisms, it a big positive though. 
  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'm starting to struggle a bit with the new RP avenue I'm trying out, because it involves going up to people in authority, often of opposing factions, and have a conversation with them in order to actually get something (and not just "a chat"). I'm pushing through it, because I'm enjoying the challenge, but OOCly I'm completely frozen and hare-in-the-headlights at the screen trying to manage the interaction in a way that won't make me panic.

    Not entirely sure how to compensate it, it helps to think that they're just OOC people playing the part of IC authority, they're probably lovely to have tea with IRL, but I'm still finding it a bit difficult. I worry that my (character's) motives won't come through as RP, and that my presence is OOCly annoying them. If you've gone through something similar, would you mind sharing tips about how to overcome this?

    Hope you're all having a good start to your weekends :)
    Valden
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 5,107 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2013

    Hi @Sybilla!

    First, I wanted to apologise if I came off as a little harsh in our interaction. That's actually really out of place for Melodie - she's a fairly kind and generous person. But the amount of irony and awkwardness in the situation is really high for her too, plus this is a difficult time in general for her. Please know I'm not going to eat you, I promise!

    Ways to handle rough RP - Having had to do a lot of this lately, and that I tend to really stressed out about a lot of it too, I've found the following things help:

    Focusing on one line of conversation at a time. When you're talking to someone, don't worry about every little thing they've said/done all together - break it apart as you're talking, and address each thing in your head, and as needed, respond. This will make things a lot less overwhealming, especially in the face of a Divine who isn't too pleased with you.

    Remember to breathe, and relax. I've often found myself having just stopped breathing hardly because I'm so caught up in what I'm doing. I have to focus and tell myself to slowly breathe. I'll also close my eyes for just a few seconds, and that usually lets some of the stress drain off.

    While RPing, if possible, fill your background noise with something. A movie, music, something that helps to listen to, while isn't overly distracting from what you're doing. Music helps me remember not to let myself get lost in the stress of my situation.

    When done, if you're feeling really stressed - take a break. Find something else to do. Once you're 100% relaxed again, go over what happened in your head, sort out all of the details, figure out what you did well, and where you feel you can improve. I also usually remember information I can use for later. Keep logs for this reason! It'll help you not stress out about it later.

    Practice! It's so important to practice. The more you do it, the more -consistent- you are about it, the more you'll form good roleplaying habits. Practice also helps increase your confidence in general. As you face more situations, things that were once terrifying become almost easy to do. Not always, of course, but in several examples.

    Remember this is always, always, always just a game, and you should be having fun. Not every moment is going to be fun, of course - but don't let the bad stuff drag you down, and remember that in a roleplaying game, unless you're blantly breaking the game's rules, there's no "wrong" way to play. You're just playing a role, and how you react is often perfectly valid, whether positive or negative on your character.

    Hope this helps! If you want to chat a bit more, feel free to send me a PM or an in-game message. :)

    SybillaTrillianaZhisana
  • ValdenValden Member Posts: 544 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Sybilla said:
    I'm starting to struggle a bit with the new RP avenue I'm trying out, because it involves going up to people in authority, often of opposing factions, and have a conversation with them in order to actually get something (and not just "a chat"). I'm pushing through it, because I'm enjoying the challenge, but OOCly I'm completely frozen and hare-in-the-headlights at the screen trying to manage the interaction in a way that won't make me panic.

    Not entirely sure how to compensate it, it helps to think that they're just OOC people playing the part of IC authority, they're probably lovely to have tea with IRL, but I'm still finding it a bit difficult. I worry that my (character's) motives won't come through as RP, and that my presence is OOCly annoying them. If you've gone through something similar, would you mind sharing tips about how to overcome this?

    Hope you're all having a good start to your weekends :)
    I have this same issue. Sometimes I feel as though Valden should react in a certain way but I just lock up and can't formulate it into words, quite often in social situations I have the same issues so I'm using Achaea as a safe avenue to try and work through that problem. I'm always scared that I'm going to tread on toes in an RP situation and ruin it for someone.

    That and tips would be most welcome.
  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    @Melodie wow a lot of good tips there, thank you so much!

    Don't worry about being harsh, I fully expected to meet resistance when Sybilla went to meet priests, and if anything it helps me hone my RP against opposition, which is all good. 

    The thing that frustrates me is that when I-the-player am met with those situations I lose track of what Sybilla is/would say/do, and start acting panicky, shy and nervous, when I don't necessarily believe she'd be like that in all and any of those situations. I'm struggling to keep in character, basically, and only just started my forays in fleshing out interactions (only recently learned TMOTE), so I really don't want to go down the avenue of seeing her as an avatar of myself in-game, because I'll move away from what I want for her as a character.

    I also feel that because I-the-player (and by extension, Sybilla) don't know very much about all aspects of Achaea, I'm stumped when it comes to having to defend my choices. That's something I'll struggle with when Melodie will start questioning her about occultism. I wanted to go on this big trip so that I could know a little bit about everything, and be able to hold my own, and interact with people I normally wouldn't. So far, though, there's been a healthy dose of mistrust - which is to be expected - and I'm hoping it'll get easier with time.

    @Valden: "I'm always scared that I'm going to tread on toes in an RP situation and ruin it for someone." Exactly! Before Sybilla set off, all she worried and talked about was the trip, and I realised I was monopolising interaction so I asked Amunet to help with that. She suggested I include them when I leave by writing letters, inviting them along, sending them interesting trinkets and so forth. It is a constant worry though that if others aren't participating it means I'm doing it wrong, and I suppose it's a line of thinking I ought to get out of. :/ 
  • AmunetAmunet Spokane, Washington, USAMember Posts: 752 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    People definitely aren't ignoring your RP, @Sybilla! Everyone gets so excited when they receive letters from you. When you send a letter to someone, Fire and Spice is immediately abuzz with everything you're writing to us about. You're definitely doing this the right way. If I've been slow to respond lately, I'm really sorry - I've had mid-terms going on this past week, and all of the drama that comes with moving out of one house and trying to get into an apartment, has left my Achaea hours a little sparse (and those I have had filled with House/Order/City leadership things that need to be done that I've been neglecting for IRL). I have a three-day weekend this weekend, so hopefully I'll be around and able to respond more actively.

    I gave you over to @Melodie specifically because Amu and Melodie hate each other. I knew it would end up being a tense, uncomfortable experience - a challenge, in other words. By all accounts, you handled the situation very well, and everyone you've met has enjoyed speaking with you. Just remember that having a "negative" interaction with someone doesn't mean that the player behind the character hates you - or even that the character hates your character. You have to be able to separate the role from the player.
    My avatar is an image created by this very talented gentleman, of whose work I am extremely jealous. It was not originally a picture of Amunet, but it certainly looks a great deal like how I envision her!
    ValdenSybillaMelodie
  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited February 2013
    Thanks @Amunet, that's really reassuring to hear!

    I think it'll be useful to have a good mix of negative interaction with the good, I find it easier to work out where my/Sybilla's boundaries are when they're challenged by others, so I'm quite looking forward to it. I just find it OOCly difficult to speak to authority, and well-established 200+ year old players are still quite intimidating. I'll learn with experience, I suppose, the more I do it the easier it becomes.

    Edit to add: No worries at all about delayed replies, they're nice to receive but don't feel pressured to! We're moving house this weekend too, so I'm using Achaea as an excuse to relax and take my mind off it. Hope your exams and move goes well!
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