Pokemon and Mental Health

I’m pretty sure that if I sat down with my past self right now and told her that Pokemon would be a huge part in helping with our mental health, I’m pretty sure that I would have laughed in my own face. I was definitely that kid in elementary school that made fun of the “nerds” who played Pokemon. Which is pretty ironic considering I am and literally always have been a giant nerd.

Back in July, when Pokemon Go swept through the United States I decided to give it a shot. My boyfriend taught me how to play it and it took me less than half an hour to realize how much I loved this game. The more I played it, the more confident I felt in walking around by myself, and more often than not I actually looked forward to leaving the house. I started to feel more comfortable about leaving the house with no makeup on, or with a full face of makeup. Slowly but surely I began to care less and less what people around me thought about me because I am so excited to go out and try and catch new Pokemon.

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This is a screenshot from very soon after I began playing the game, I was very proud of my small collection of Pokemon.

So even though now that the game has slowed down I still play it. I feel as if it gives me a sense of purpose in some small way. It makes me feel like I have a reason to go outside and it gives me something to enjoy my time. It’s odd how much an app could change me, but it made me want to get outside and get walking. I love being outside but I would always feel self-conscious so this was a big change for me.

Coping with mental illness is difficult, and it can be incredibly time consuming to figure out something that even comes remotely close to working. People can suggest lists and lists of things and some things may work while other times nothing will work. Things can work for a short amount of time and things can work forever. I find that for me, things work for very short amounts of time, or I trick myself into thinking that they work and then they stop.

I just know that coping with mental illness feels almost impossible most of the time and sometimes it definitely feels better to just sleep all the time and not do anything, but it’s always great to have a brief reprise when you can actually find something that seems to help.

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 So my favorite Pokemon is by far Eevee. She’s absolutely adorable and if I could have one as a pet I would totally want one. I was so excited when I caught the first one, it made me so happy!

Do any of you out there still play Pokemon Go? What’s your favorite Pokemon?

I hope you all have an amazing night and remember that whatever you use to cope is good, don’t let anyone look down upon you for trying to make positive changes in your life.

Sincerely,

Meagan

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