pokemon final

Playing Pokémon Go helps with my mental health

July 5th 2018

Yes, I'm 26 and I still play Pokémon. But it helps get me out of the house which is necessary for my OCD recovery.

Pokémon Go.

It sent 90s kids back in time to relive their childhood when it was released in 2016 and it seems like the whole world followed suit. It very quickly became the most talked about thing on the planet for months and the hype was very real.

Now, a couple of years on, I still play it. Granted, I’m a massive fan of the little pocket monsters and I’ve got the Pikachu tattoo to prove it. But I still get laughed at by some people when I run out of a room to catch a Pokémon that’s a few streets away only to return empty handed, the little rascal having got away from me.

So why do I still play when most of the world has stopped?

It’s fun. It’s exercise. It’s part of my recovery process. It sounds silly when I say it but it’s true; playing Pokémon Go gets me out of the house, it helps me interact with the world around me and look up from my phone, I’ve made new friends on my quest to be the very best (like no one ever was) and it makes me happy.

With my OCD, I sometimes find the thought of being outside for prolonged periods of time quite daunting and with the warmer weather, this feeling is amplified. The main cause of this spike in anxiety is the increased likelihood of me coming into contact with flies and insects.

However, the thought of completing my Pokédex, hatching eggs, taking control of gyms and earning coins and tackling raids with friends and strangers alike alleviates some of the anxiety that I feel. I’m fed up with people that moan about it, say it’s for children and belittle something that quite frankly has become integral to my overall well-being and health, both mental and physical.

I’d love to know if you play Pokémon Go and how (if) it has helped you at all, or in fact if there is anything that you do as part of your recovery that’s out of the norm!

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