(Names have been changed)
My name is Teddie. I am 42 years old and married to my wonderful wife Chie. We have been married for 14 amazing years now. We have a great relationship and an exceptional life. I really couldn’t be happier. I have anxiety issues and depression. What? Yes, I suffer from anxiety and depression. I didn’t know that until just a few months ago. I stumbled upon a tweet about some organization Russ Pitts and Susan Arendt were starting, Take This. They said in the tweet we should all check it out. I’m a big fan so, of course I did. I read everything about Take This.
I knew the way I felt day to day. And I knew something was off. It’s been off for a while but I didn’t know what was happening to me. I also didn’t tell anyone either. Reading about Take This and reading the information on the site…It was like a light bulb went off in my head. “Hey, I understand what they are talking about.” “I know that feeling.” “That happens to me too.” I knew, just from what I was reading that I understood my problems. Because of Take This I was able to identify what was happening to me. Just knowing and understanding was a tremendous help. It was a huge relief.
Take This also gave me the courage to tell my wife and talk to her about it. She’s a doctor, she had her suspicions but we never talked about it. She just brushed it off because, well, she was worried that by bringing it up, I might get mad or feel worse in some way. I was pushing her away at times because of my issues. I brought it up and we talked and it has been a massive relief to her as well. I can talk to her about it any time now. When I am having a particularly bad day I can ask her for help. Honestly, just mentioning it to her that I am struggling seems to help me. Even when I am having a rough day, I can sort of be objective from a third person point of view and say to myself “You know what’s going on here.” “You know what’s responsible for the way you feel.” “You can get through it.” And it works! Talking about it to my wife and taking that step back for a minute helps me. That’s how I deal with anxiety and depression and I would have never been able to do that without Take This.
I have always wanted to somehow get into the video game industry. I tried writing but I simply am not very good. I tried podcasting, but it just exacerbated my anxiety and depression. That experience really took a toll on me. Fairly recently, I started a Twitch channel. I wasn’t sure how I’d react to it to be honest. My wife and friends gave me a ton of encouragement though and I thought, well, at least I will be able to control my interactions with people as the broadcaster. Maybe it could work. It did! I truly enjoy streaming and I have met some wonderful people while doing it. I find streaming somehow therapeutic for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, the anxiety and depression still sometimes get the best of me. A few weeks ago I went through a bad day. I was supposed to stream that day at too. I sat in my chair, in front of the PC, for what felt like an eternity. I felt like I was suffocating but I had to stream. I set a schedule and I felt I had to keep to it, especially if I wanted my channel to grow, get partnered and make money. It was just too much pressure, I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to handle streaming that day. And then I had an idea. In my stream title, I wrote “Fighting Anxiety, One Stream at a Time!” I don’t know why I did that and why it somehow made things better, but it did. I now make sure to have that in my title every time I stream. It reminds me that it’s alright to have anxiety, but while I have it, I also can deal with it. I deal with things in odd ways, I guess. But it works for me and I would never have been able to stream and deal with the anxiety without Take This.
Earlier this week, while I was on stream, someone mentioned that they decided to click on my channel because of the title, “Fighting Anxiety, One Stream at a Time!” When she said that, I began explaining the issues that I deal with. There were only a few of us in chat but everybody was so supportive. It seemed everybody wanted to share their anxiety and depression issues, offer support or do both. It was one of the most uplifting moments of my life. I realized right then that my goals on Twitch were all wrong. Instead of trying to grow the channel to become a “Twitch Star,” I decided that I simply want to help people. And by helping others and talking about anxiety and depression, I found that it helps me too.
Russ, Susan and everyone at Take This, Thank you so much for helping me identify, share and cope with my anxiety and depression. You help me every day and I just can’t express to you my gratitude and what a positive difference you have made in my life. Thank you!
Fight mental health stigma in gaming. Support Take This on Patreon!