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Twitch Psychiatrist Dr. Kanojia has made an insightful (and downright hilarious) analysis of social anxiety during a recent broadcast, comparing the anxiety disorder to Leeroy Jenkins in World of Warcraft.
“The first thing to understand about social anxiety is that’s not your brain trying to f*** you over — your brain isn’t trying to keep you from making friends, although that’s the result,” Dr. Kanojia said in a Twitch stream. “Right? It’s not trying to make you feel bad. Your social anxiety is trying to protect you — because somewhere along the way, you learned the lesson that being seen is being in danger. So what you’ve gotta do is actually track back and, first of all, figure out that — understand that your body is gonna do this to you. And it’s not that you’re wrong — it’s not that your body is stupid — it’s just your body doesn’t understand. It got bit by a dog, and you see a dog, and it’s gonna freak the f*** out because that’s all it knows how to do.”
“So, the first thing is to understand that it’s trying to help you out, and even if you understand that it’s trying to help you out, that can give you some power over it,” Dr. Kanojia continued. “You can start to notice the social anxiety. So, cultivating the observing self. Cultivate that part of you that recognizes, ‘Oh, this is my social anxiety acting up again.’ Be prepared for it. Just acknowledge that it’s happening. See that it happens. And recognize that there’s a part of your brain that’s trying to help you out.”
Dr. Kanojia made a pretty good explanation, but he must have realized that he was on Twitch and speaking to gamers, so he went with a tried and true analogy that he felt would be better understood by his audience.
“It’s like Leeroy f***ing Jenkins,” he added. “Leeroy was trying to help — he was like, ‘Alright guys, let’s go! Leeroy, let’s charge! Let’s down that raid boss.’ Leeroy’s f***ing everything up, but he’s trying to help. He’s just helping as best as he can. That’s all he knows how to do. Right? So, that’s what your social anxiety is doing.”
As strange as it may be, Dr. Kanojia found a way to help people better understand themselves through the medium of gaming. It certainly makes sense — he’s the founder of Healthy Gamers, an organization that seeks to help gamers combat video game addiction while also recognizing that that doesn’t mean total abstinence from their hobby. He’s a private psychiatrist in Boston, Massachusetts, who regularly streams on twitch.tv/healthygamer_gg to speak with people in his chat and fellow Twitch streamers alike.
[Images credit: WoWHead]