So Stressed, I’m Pulling my Hair Out

C Hambright discusses how The Legend of Zelda: the Ocarina of Time helps her control her trichatillomania and her anxiety, despite her mother’s insistence that games are worthless. 

My mom never let me have video games. She insisted they were bad for me and I would be wasting my life. I finally convinced her to let me have an N64 when I was about thirteen, but only if I bought it. So I did extra chores around the house for what felt like forever and finally saved up enough money to buy my own video games. I got The Ocarina of Time. 

I played that game so many times I could do it with my eyes closed. I never knew there could be such a perfect mix of puzzle solving, killing things with swords, and androgynous heros. The best part was it made me feel far away from life. I didn’t have any friends at school because I was on Ritalin, which while enhancing my performance in school, stifled my creativity, social skills, upped my anxiety and caused trichatillomania (compulsive hair pulling). So in my time at home which when I was a kid free of amphetamines I would be drawing or making movies, I played video games. Link was my best friend. Not only did I have a fantasy world to escape to that wasn’t a book, video games also really helped my keep my hands busy, which meant more hair, which meant less kids making fun of me in school. 

Jump to fifteen years later and I’m definitely not on drugs anymore. I finished college. I have friends. I’m in a healthy, committed relationship. But with a full time job that I hate, I find it hard to come home and make art or music. I am just too damn tired and angry. Reading and TV leave my hands free to pull at my hair (the trichatillomania persists). The only thing left to do is get lost in a video game. Nothing helps me relax more than the feeling of solving a puzzle and killing things. I still have this nagging feeling, my mom’s voice in my head telling me video games are a waste of time, but look at it this way: if I didn’t have video games to get lost in, I would be stressed out, angry and bald. I think they are pretty damn good for me. 

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  7. aceofwands reblogged this from beckz0rz-archive and added:
    I am never as happy as when I’m playing games - especially something nostalgic like Ocarina of Time, or a new Pokemon...
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  9. beckz0rz-archive reblogged this from gamessavedmylife and added:
    Oh dear. This one hit close to home. My sister is severely ADHD, and there used to be days that the only thing she could...
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