How Punishing Games Became a Problem for One Gamer With OCD

Alex Carlson was kind enough to share his experience being diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with us in 2014 — a powerful story of how the support of a loved one can make all the difference.

Today, I’m still struggling, but I know that my battle is not a losing one. I can say with confidence that I’ve conquered the limitations that were brought upon me in high school, and while I have many people to thank for this fight, I will always, always put my mother at the top of the list.

I will always recommend to anyone who is struggling with mental illness, OCD or otherwise, to not only get professional help, but to communicate and talk with your loved ones. They may not have all the answers, but they will support you. They will help you. They will love you even in your darkest hour and will continue to love you even at the end of the road.

Now he’s taken the time to explain how OCD has affected his gaming life. You might expect that the biggest problem would be open-world games like Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs 2 — games that fill a map up with collectibles and capture points that many of us feel driven to clear out — but for Carlson, those aren’t the problem. Instead, he describes the trouble with difficult games like Bloodborne and Downwell, and how intrusive thoughts of failure can make games impossible to continue, and impossible to get past.

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