Pokemon Go! and anxiety.

Whether you like it or not, Pokemon Go is everywhere. If you go into any town or city you will find people out and about catching Pokemon on their phones. It is the latest fad that has everyone hooked and like everything popular, it can get bad publicity.

The unfortunate side to this game is it has been utilised for the wrong purposes. People have been mugged, stabbed and trespassing but I don’t think the game is to blame. The sad thing is it is people who are to blame. With anything positive there are always a small percentage who will spoil it for everyone else and its that negativity that you will hear on the news. You need to be sensible when playing a game like this and I have seen a lot of parents allow their kids to run around with an expensive phone unsupervised. This doesn’t make the game bad it just means people need to be more considerate to the issues it could cause.

On the 27th of July 2016 Midlands Today news showed a report about Pokemon Go causing children to venture off the railway stations and onto the tracks. As a player I am aware that you are not required to do anything like this. Pokemon spawn from a distance and never encourage you to do anything that could harm you. What it comes down to is the person themselves. If a child is out with a smartphone at a train station alone then that already should be a problem. The developers need to work on several issues that could encourage this behaviour but there is a certain responsibility of the user or the someone responsible for that user.

I have been a huge Pokemon fan ever since I was kid in the 90’s. I have been playing the hand held console games all the way through my childhood through into being an adult. I attended competitions for the regional championships in 2015 and got sucked into playing the game competitively. Pokemon Go initially seemed like a huge money grab as mobile games have a reputation for such gimmicks but upon its release I gave it a chance. What Pokemon Go has done is help people on the autistic spectrum. I have read multiple articles of parents of autistic children watch them flourish and socialise with others through a common interest. It has got them out of the house and engaging in the world and that is a huge positive. For me, it has given me the power to have control over my anxiety. Travelling on public transport can be a real struggle for me but this game has taken away so much anxiety that I am not even panicking about going outside anymore.

Since the games release in the Uk just over a week ago I have walked over 20km to get out to catch Pokemon. I wouldn’t have believed you if I had said I had been out so much without worrying about needing the toilet and my IBS being triggered. It was obvious that my IBS was based around anxiety and was a mental problem rather than medical and this makes that clear. I can even see this game eventually getting me through my anxiety all together so I can begin to enjoy my life once again.

Pokemon Go! has got very mixed opinions from the public. It has positives and negatives just like everything in life. What we have to remember is to not take this all so seriously. It is an amazing social experience to see so many people uniting over Pokemon and it makes my life that little bit easier. The public spend far too much time complaining and putting things down and I know I’m also guilty of doing this. It’s a game that provides that down time for you to escape this world filled with problems for a moment and allows you to have fun.

People need to treat each other with respect and let each other enjoy whatever it is that brings them happiness. This game has already given me memories I will remember for years to come and its only been out two weeks so far. I know I’m going to be out and about playing this for a long time.


Spotlight Sunday will continue next week as normal. I felt this needed to be expressed since I have an awful lot of negativity towards what is essentially a game that helps many people.

I recently completed 6 paintings on Perspex of anxiety monsters and I am considering making some prints for the MessyMiscreation store.


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