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As a tank, I fight daily in Final Fantasy 14 against my depression

We grow on our mistakes. This is not only an inspiring proverb, but also the basis of classical hero journey and generally a good basic attitude towards life. But what happens when we feel like this we would be a little smaller through each mistake?

For me, mistakes of every kind are a nightmare that pursues me every day. On the other hand, to arrive needs a daily struggle to tighten slowly. I do not only lead these in real life, but also in the virtual world of Final Fantasy 14, in which I can test my limits in a controlled environment.

Content warning: The articles of Mental Health Week deal with different aspects of mental health and sometimes include examples of negative emotions and unhealthy behaviors that can cause negative reactions in some people. Please be careful with texts that potentially contain triggering topics for you.

Important note: If your self has depression or self-destructive thoughts: you are not al1. Please get help. For example, in the German Depression Help under 0800/33 44 533 or free advice centers.

What is the worst thing that happens? All!

Even as a kid, I was always overcooked. Errors frustrated me very strongly, made me overly sad or angry. I reported, for example, in the class and gave a wrong answer, poured the weeks to me and I never revised myself voluntarily in each subject.

This frustration was stronger over the years and developed into massive self-doubt. I got right anxiety to make mistakes. In my head, even the smallest misfortune began to escalate to escalate and grow to horror scenarios. Any architecture at the uni-caused stomach cramps because I believed to fly out of the university to disappoint my parents to be disconnected and from all leave soon under a bridge.

My brain went through any opportunity how something could go wrong and ended the question: why not everything at the same time? Everything below perfection became unbearable. I was never good enough.

Am I the mistake?

After all after my time at the university, I moved further, because I feel that other people somehow condemn me because of my shortcomings. I hardly tried something new, because whoever does nothing, does not go wrong.

Stephan Zielke @Gamingund cats

Stephan has been suffering from depression since his youth due to failure-legitimate depression and could partly not leave his apartment for days. Only in a therapy three years ago he learned correctly. Only therefore, he first brought the courage to apply to the mich as a freelance author, where he has been providing you for two years with guides. He still has good and bad days. Therefore, he tries to use the techniques from advice as well as possible in everyday life so as not to fall back into old patterns. Video games play an important role for him, as well as the support of his wife and colleagues.

Learn guitar? Any false note and crashed attacked almost physically. Go to the gym? There they laugh me out if I do exercises wrong. Apply for my dream job? They do not take me anyway and or throw me out directly when I make the first mistake.

Depressive phases became more numerous and longer, so I hardly left the house. Slowly I got the feeling that something is wrong with me. Maybe I am the mistake?

At some point, the thoughts drifted into suicidal, so I sought professional help a few years ago. A true relief. In therapy, I learned many techniques to focus my thoughts less for mistakes. An advice I received, led me recently about detours to Final Fantasy 14.

mmos as a safe place

Video games have been a soothing effect on me since childhood. Errors in games are not permanent and can be solved anytime anytime. I always liked MMOS. You are a great way to maintain social contacts, even if you reluctantly leave the house. In human beings, I do not feel well in real life until today, in games do not disturb me.

Two advice I received against depression were to focus on small victories and challenge daily checked.

But just thoroughly me much. Controlled challenge in everyday life are difficult to accomplish. Especially in the last two corona years in which I could rarely leave the house than before.

Daher kam mir die Idee, diese Herausforderung an einem Ort zu suchen, an dem ich mich voll und ganz wohl fühle: der Welt von Eorzea in Final Fantasy 14. Dort hatte ich schon viele Jobs auf maximale Stufe gebracht. Worum ich jedoch immer einen Bogen gemacht hatte, waren die vier Tank-Jobs. Eine Rolle, bei der ein Fehler von mir sofort die gesamte Gruppe wipen kann. Also direkt zwei meiner Urängste auf einmal: Versagen und direkt damit andere Menschen enttäuschen. Ein Alptraum, aber an einem Ort, an dem ich mich wohl fühle – und genau das macht den Unterschied aus.

Tanking anxiety

Als Tank steht man an der vordersten Linie und beschützt seine Mitstreiter vor den Gegnern. Das heißt in MMOs häufig, dass die Gruppe sich auf einen verlässt. Es ist ein unausgesprochenes Gesetz, dass Tanks wissen wo es lang geht, die Bosse auswendig kennen und schnell reagieren, wenn etwas schief geht.

Durch diesen Druck sind Tanks oft die unbeliebteste Rolle in MMOs. Viele Spielerinnen fürchten die Verantwortung, dass jeder Fehler für die Gruppe sofort ersichtlich ist, was häufig als tanking anxiety* bezeichnet wird. Für mich ist es jedoch perfekt, um mich täglich etwas mehr abzuhärten.

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Jeder Fehler ist sichtbar, aber jeder Pull ist ein Sieg

Anfangs stand ich Todesängste aus bei dem, was man in FF14 den Wall-to-Wall-Pull (kurz W2W) nennt. Dabei ziehe ich alle Gegner zusammen, bis ich eine Wand/Tür/Barriere erreicht, die sich erst öffnet, wenn alle Gegner tot sind und muss geschickt defensive Fähigkeiten rotieren oder mein Charakter liegt sofort auf dem Boden.

Die ersten Male, als ich bei diesen Manövern gestorben bin, wollte ich mich am liebsten ausloggen, das Spiel deinstallieren und mich im Bett verkriechen. Doch besonders neuen Tanks ist man in der Community immer sehr freundlich gegenüber, gerade weil es nicht viele gibt, die den Job überhaupt machen wollen. Heiler sprachen mir gut zu, dass ich es einfach nochmal probieren soll und die Gruppe lobte mich, wenn es dann bei zweiten Versuch funktionierte. Gerade dieses positive Feedback meiner Mitspieler ermöglichte mir erst die Grenzen meiner Versagensängste auszureizen, ohne darunter zusammenzubrechen.

POV You Are Tanking Duty Roulette: Leveling - Final Fantasy 14 Kleine Siege. Mittlerweile feiere ich jeden fehlerfreien W2W-Pull als einen kleinen Sieg. Habe ich einen schlechten Tag, weil ich vielleicht einen Fehler auf der Arbeit gemacht habe und nun das Gefühl habe, dass alles um mich herum zusammenbricht, dann springe ich in ein paar Dungeons. Dort ziehe ich mich mit jedem einzelnen erfolgreichen Pull, besiegten Boss, einem gut gesetzten Cooldown und jeder Auszeichnung als wertvollster Spieler aus meinem dunklem Loch.

Sogar an Extremes und Savage traue ich mich seit Kurzem heran. Das sind schwerere Versionen von normalen Kämpfen im Spiel, bei denen das Potenzial zu scheitern oder Fehler zu machen natürlich noch viel größer ist.

Kleine Schritte sind besser als stehenzubleiben

Für den einen oder anderen mag es bestimmt ein wenig lächerlich klingen, aus dem Tanken in einem MMO so eine große Sache zu machen. Denn am Ende des Tages ist tanken nicht einmal so schwer.

Aber der Kampf gegen Angst, Depressionen und Selbstzweifel ist sehr anstrengend. Auch nach einer erfolgreichen Therapie, sind sie nie ganz verschwunden. Es sind manchmal banale Dinge, die einen durch den Tag bringen und viele kleine Zahnrädchen müssen ineinandergreifen, um nicht in alte Muster zurückzufallen.

So schwappt das Selbstbewusstsein aus dem Spiel mittlerweile auch in mein reales Leben über. Wenn ich mal wieder einen Rückschlag erleide, denke ich hin und wieder an Final Fantasy 14. An irgendeinen Boss, der auf mich eingeprügelt hat und der mich nicht brechen konnte, obwohl ich zuvor durch viele Fehler an ihm gescheitert bin. Dann finde ich genug Kraft, mich nicht den ganzen Tag im Bett zu verstecken. Und das allein ist manchmal der größte Sieg.

An important request: Since our articles from the Mental Health Week are more sensitive topics that have partially requested us a lot while writing, we ask you for a friendly and understanding comment culture at this point. Thank you and have fun reading!

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