Gaming and how it lets me escape

Hello. This is my first time talking about something like this to others outside of my friend circle.

I would say I’m just a average gamer, plays a handful of games, whether it be something like COD or a casual MMO. I like gaming because I believe it helps me escape from the world around me. I have a job that isn’t too intensive and overall I have a good relationship their with my employer and fellow employees. A few are good friends.

However, I strain away from going out at all. A few times a month maybe but mostly I want to stay home and away from people. I would say I have undiagnosed social anxiety. I fear of going to people’s homes with multiple people, engaging in basic social activities. I’m using this as an excuse to not have any social interaction.

Am I the problem or are others that don’t understand the problem? This is something that has bothered me for the last few years, I’m only 25 years old.

I’d like to hear if anyone else knows what this “reclusive”(?) state of mind is.


Hey there @wolfie887,

First off: well done for reaching out here and sharing about all of this. I know it’s not necessarily easy nor comfortable to do so. You’re in a safe space here.

To answer your question: you are not the problem, and other people are not either (except if they don’t try to understand or don’t respect your limits - then there’s a behavior issue there on their end). The issue is the thing behind this discomfort and fears that you experience, could it be anxiety or something else. I myself struggle with social anxiety - been struggling with it for at least when I was a kid, and I’m 28 now. I would love to hear your own experience. What are your fears made of when it’s about going to someone’s home? Do you identify other situations that you tend to avoid because of fear?

In the future, it might be good for you to talk about it with a therapist, just so you could have a clearer idea if this is anxiety, or if it is the expression of some introversion for example. Staying at home/not wanting to socialize is not bad! But it stems from fear, then that’s what might be the problem. Anxiety and fears are useful to us, but sometimes they are misplaced compared to the circumstances. When this happens, it starts to limit our own freedom live, which is also when we might need a little bit of help to work on it. :hrtlegolove:

PS - Gaming helps me escape too. It helps me alleviate my anxiety, depending on the type of game and what it gives (immersion, focus, tasks/goals…). As anything else, it can be a great coping mechanism, as long as it remains chosen and under our control. <3

Yea, I know how you feel. (Mind you I’ve literally been gaming for a 4hrs now and it’s almost 4am.) I don’t like talking to people either. Whether it’s social anxiety or simply not liking being around people, depending one which you feel you could either call this social anxiety or being antisocial in general. It all depends on if you’re afraid of how you interact with people, or that social interactions just drain you and stress you out and that’s what causes the anxiety.

I have both, I can’t be around someone for too much or I’ll either get 1. Attached or 2. Drained and paranoid. Either or depends on my interactions with them and starting interactions are my main struggles in the first place, which is the social anxiety. The reclusiveness is just me being tired from the social anxiety and interactions if that makes sense.

No, you are not the problem, and it is not always the other person’s problem either, it’s just how you handle social situations and the fact that it stresses you out. What I have learned from this, is that your have to push yourself to stop caring about the situations being awkward or uncomfortable. Things like that happen all the time, it’s always going to be awkward at some point (mostly the beginning), and it’s something you have to bare with until you’re able to loosen up a bit, which depending on the person, can be easy or take a while. But be known if things are not awkward but tense, it may not be the best people to be around.

Take gaming online for example. If you’re gaming online multiplayer, you’ll have to learn how to verbally talk to strangers you have never met, it’s good practice, for the both of you.
Things might be awkward until you learn how things work and how to control the situation.

Though, I will tell you I know it’s difficult. It’s ecspecially hard for extroverts to understand this way of thinking. My sister doesn’t like being around me for this very reason, my social anxiety is like a “weirdness” to her, as she is used to always going to parties or talking with people. I would love to get to know my sister, but I am aware of how difficult that is because of my inability to speak up. I wouldn’t know what to talk about. And that sort of barrier of them percieiving you as odd is usually what makes you stumble your words and give up and not speak anymore, close yourself off to the world and hide. Because it is not only easier, but it’s what helps your mental health.

Idk how it is for you, but I have learned that not being around people at all has always helped my mental health greatly, if I’m around them too much, my energy is sucked away and I go into an abyss of all the mental disorders I struggle with and end up relapsing. You could defiently say I’m allergic to people. Maybe that is how you feel?

Don’t be discouraged by having social anxiety, it is possible to get through it without therapy if you push yourself but also find a middle ground. Like just joining a voicechat and not being around actual people and going to their house. And trying to get yourself to come up with a convo. Though I usually stay quiet unless I’m spoken to so I can’t give much advice with that. Sorry I’m just trying to throw ideas out here. Idk how bad it is for you.

If you can afford therapy tho, I would recommend it, they could give you some techniques to use I’m sure, it’s just about finding a good therapist tho that’s the issue.

I’d say if you’re comfortable being alone and doing your own thing, only to talk to people are work and not like parties or bars or anything that’s compeltley fine, not everyone wants to have alone time with a person, or go to a loud party that makes you depersonalize from reality, that stuff isn’t for everyone, so don’t push yourself. Ppl like me don’t even see a reason for social gathering unless they’re about something that’s actually interesting. Just going to a random house gathering event with a bunch of people you don’t know or ever care to get to know seems extremely odd to me, and scary. Although if it is a gathering with just your friends, is see that anxious feeling to be from the anxiety. Perhaps you’re one to take socializing more slowly, if that’s what it is I totally understand as well.

Really tired rn so sorry if this is a mess, I’ll be heading to bed now.

Hopefully this helps,


Thanks for the reply. A therapist has been on my mind for a couple years now but financially I don’t believe I could afford it right now. I’ll want to save some money for it.

Yes, I think so. I do not like going to the doctors for example out of fear what could be wrong with me. Thats me being a hypochondriac. Or standing up for myself when someone walks over me. I just let it. I know it bothers me but I do nothing about it. I guess thats another reason why I would rather be alone playing games, gets my mind off it until its left my head.

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This may have been a long read but I really appreciate the insight you gave. When talking about how you interact with your sister, it sounds very close to me. She thinks the same as her, why am I wanting to spend all this time playing games and not go out and interact with others? She too finds it odd. Overall, that’s my whole family’s perspective of me. I know they want better for me but I sense the disappointment I give them. I recently made the step of telling them of how I’ve been feeling on the situation and it did made me feel better but their reaction was overall like they didn’t understand.

I’m most comfortable as long as its people I already know too. Maybe one or two new people, I’d be okay for the most part but yea, a whole new group of people just terrifies me. Like an example of when a friend ask me to go a bar for his band. I went and was okay in the beginning but after a but, looking around seeing random people he knew and I didn’t know any of them, I panicked and left. To this day he holds it over me and I get it but it doesn’t help.

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