How Grand Theft Auto V Helps My Depression (no, really…)

Here comes the rain again

[From our community blogs comes this short-but-sweet take on using video games in unique ways to help deal with the rigors of stress, depression, and autism. Do us a favor an tell GuerrillaOcelot ways you’ve used our favorite hobby to help improve your day-to-day life in the comments below! – Wes]


Yeah, I don’t have a humorous way to start. No, wait! 

“Knock, knock.”

Who’s there?

“My blog post.”

Come in.”

So, I’m a young adult with depression, social anxiety, and autism. I’m a special flower. It doesn’t take much to stress me out or leave me in a quivering mess on the floor. Over the years I’ve found that one of the best tools at my disposal for de-stressing is good, old-fashioned rain. The liquid that falls from the sky. Angel tears. God’s sweat after a particularly savage leg day workout.

The sight and sound of rain hitting the pavement at night, the wind howling, thunder rumbling overhead; the heavier the downpour, the better it gets. The sweet irony of stormy weather calming my jagged nerves isn’t lost on me either. The trouble is, I don’t get much rain where I live. Even if I weren’t such an antisocial basket case, I certainly couldn’t walk the streets of my neighbourhood on a rainy night without losing a few limbs in the process.

So, what’s a fella to do when Mother Nature and deadly human beings fail him? Load up Grand Theft Auto V.

Start GTA V up in my PS4. Load in single-player. Enter Director Mode. Change the time of day to dusk and the weather to thunder. When I’m having a difficult time, this quick sequence of events grants me access to my therapeutic security blanket. The immersive first-person mode, coupled with the well-designed streets of Los Santos and an excellent rain simulation creates the perfect, calming atmosphere for me. I just walk the neon (and rain) soaked streets from the relative safety of my couch and feel my worries melt away for a brief moment. I finished the main campaign two years ago and GTA Online is a hive of scum and villainy. I only keep this 60GB behemoth installed on my hard drive as an immersive weather simulator. I’ve turned a violent action game into a simple therapeutic tool.

Does anybody else use games in unique ways to help them with their issues? Is there someone out there who only plays Final Fantasy XV for the food porn when they’re tempted to cheat on their diet?

Apologies if this blog is edited or formatted weird. I did this on my aging iPad. I’m not going to the other side of my house to use the PC for this. Besides, it isn’t raining over there.