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Mental Health in Gaming – Finding the Male Kingdom Hearts

Men's mental health is somewhat of a taboo subject, even in 2019 which has heralded the likes of Russel Brand to take a step up and invoke the masses in recognising that men aren't made of stone.

From feeling a lack of ‘Masculinity’ to full-on suicidal states, societies status quo has always been ‘Man Up’ or ‘You are the man of the house etc’. I have had both statements thrown in my face from my own family during the breakup with my ex-wife. It’s time that these stereotypical and sexist attitudes towards the expectations of men were dropped. In their place? The expectation of Men being allowed to be human.

Previously on Reggie Reviews…

Whilst my previous article had exposed my thoughts and feeling throughout the most difficult time of my life, I want to share with you all how I’m coping 4 months on from my split, but why?

I have always maintained that if Reggie Reviews involvement with Mental Health helps just one Gamer, then we have fulfilled our goal. Not only is this a therapy for myself, but I also hope to prompt another person to speak up and overcome the hell that is crippling depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, mental abuse and lack of self-worth.

This is a subject I still can’t communicate to my immediate family, simply because caring is linked to financial solace or an overbearing wave of negativity regarding my current situation washes any form of drive away. As cheesy as this sounds, I honestly don’t think I would be here writing this right now if it wasn’t for my writing team, friends and you, my beautiful readers!

Identifying Stereotypes

I’m as camp as a row of tents. ‘Hi, Hon’, ‘Thanks babes’ and the like corrupt my vocabulary due to me finding it hilarious and because it’s showing blatant affection for fellow human beings. It just sounds nice, however, some people think I’m a homosexual. Let’s clear something up: being camp has no correlation to homosexuality and the fictional ‘all gay men are camp’ narrative is old and tired. From a personal perspective though, what does my sexuality have to do with my personality?

Men shouldn’t have to fall into such categories, another example would be my relationship with my kids. As my readers know, I love my kids more than anything in this world, even Pokémon. Something I have always found annoying is being a hands-on Dad in a public setting, and it’s not due to making the effort to do so. It’s the weird looks I get for diving around a ball pit, singing my kids ‘Baby Shark’ (Absolute banger of a song!), making kids around me laugh and just having a good time.

Some would suggest that my behaviour in this regard is unwarranted, hell, some more or less look at me as if I’m a descendant of Jimmy Saville if i’m honest. Again, the male stereotype is to sit there and more or less ignore their children until Mummy comes along to provide some much-needed affection. That, readers, is not how I roll.

Looking after You

At the end of my previous article, I expressed my love for a good Yankee Candle, a face mask and a nice soak with a bath bomb. Surely Males are too masculine to take 10 minutes out for themselves for a pamper right? Again, one of the main causes, in my opinion, of the decline of self-worth in males is making time for themselves.

This recent study shows no links to aggressive behaviour with Video Games because we all believed that time you played GTA would someday induce a subliminal code word to become an utter basket, right?

Lead researcher ‘Prof. Andrew Przybylski’ stated: “The idea that violent video games drive real-world aggression is a popular one, but it hasn’t tested very well over time. Despite interest in the topic by parents and policy-makers, the research has not demonstrated that there is cause for concern.”

Mental Health in Gaming

It’s no secret that the gaming industry is a male-dominated one, however, steps are being taken to make it more inclusive. Not as many as this writer would like, but it’s happening. Gaming as a pastime or profession is a great way for males to blow off some steam, or just to escape reality for a while and wind down. Much like this writers lighting of a Bourbon Wood Barrel candle pre-writing.

Gaming also has a positive impact in a family setting. Our very own Mikein2D is a testament to that statement, in fact, his daughter helped him review ‘Just Dance 2019’. By the way, still waiting on those dance move recordings mate!

Everything mentioned in the past few paragraphs is a misconception and inappropriate expectation of a man. A Man is someone who loves his kids, A man is someone who isn’t always OK, ‘Manning Up’ can be a soak in a bath or a gaming session, or maybe just abolish that phrase? I could go on and on.

The ‘Reggie Feed’

I reverted into myself recently, constantly in tears and at odds with myself on what the hell I had become. I stopped writing, stopped talking, stopped going to work and became very ill as a result. I found the strength to get to the doctors and start counselling sessions, many of you have shown me support on my personal twitter @reggieboysmooth with my updates. I love you all for that!

I am now breaking down my mental barriers, taking control of my life and realising who I really am. In the progress, I have found a new day job which will allow me to see the kids more, embraced my new circle of friends and best of all, I’ve started to feel excited about the future again.

In closing, no Man will find Kingdom Hearts trying to live up to the expectations of others. Find out who you want to be, write everything down, seek counselling, speak to friends, create a blog or whatever you need to do. Then, take your first step towards a happier existence, I feel that I am starting to. Most of all, wear your heart on your sleeve and be who you want to be, and never fall in line with expectations or stereotypes.

Stay Classy, World!

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