John Hanke Encourages Pokemon Go To Help With Mental Health!

Pokemon GO Mental Health Improvement

Trainers, John Hanke recently published a tweet on his personal account here that encourages the Use of Pokemon Go to help combat Mental Health issues.

The link he included leads to an article from the Psychology Today website and a guest post that has found in a recent study that not only can Playing Pokemon Go lead to increased “Letters and words memory” but can also reduce negative mood!

We at the Hub think that this is a fantastic idea and wanted to share a few personal accounts of how Pokemon Go has helped ourselves and our nearest and dearest over the years:

KittyPokemon’sALot – Senior Writer for GoHub

“The last few years have been fairly terrible from a personal standpoint, with far too many deaths in my family, and then the pandemic on top of all of that. It probably sounds daft, but it sometimes feels like the one consistent thing in my life is Pokemon GO. When I’ve just wanted to curl up and never leave my bed again, Pokemon GO has encouraged me to go outside, to interact with the community and my friends, and to write. Taking AR photos during the first lockdown in the UK was a way I could feel created, even when stuck inside my house for months on end. Pokemon GO has become a little comfort blanket for me, part of my lifestyle, and it’s something I know will have events and things to look forward to, even when the world makes it feel like there isn’t anything to look forward to. Whether it’s a new shiny, or a community day, or a new raid boss, it’s something that changes when life seems to be standing still.”

“I appreciate that so much. This year has been so unkind to everyone, and seeing the changes Niantic have made to allow us to play from home has really helped, especially as a semi-rural player. I’ve felt pushed to better my local area for play, taking it from no gyms and only 2 Pokestops to 5 gyms and 10 pokestops. It’s given me something to focus on and pass the time with, and it’s made me smile when not a whole lot else has seemed to be able to. Early on in the game, it has also helped my anxiety tremendously. I didn’t raid at first because I have anxiety and I was scared to meet up with new people, but over time I interacted with the community online and then felt I was able to make an appearance on the edges of the group, before eventually finding some of my very best friends. I’m not someone who makes friends easily, and Pokemon GO has really helped me make some friends as an adult for the first time in a long time. I’m a lot more confident in new situations and with people, I don’t know, and the community I’ve found has been so lovely and I feel very lucky. It has its drama, of course, any large group of people does, but there are some truly good eggs I’m proud to call my friends (Shout out to Scott, Scott, Matt & Amoret in particular!).”

In the summer of 2017 I had a full mental health breakdown. I was signed off work, I was incapable of making my own decisions or looking after myself and I found it very difficult to interact or respond to anybody. Around that same time, raids were introduced, Pokemon players gathering to work together to catch never-seen-before legendary Pokemon.Up to that point, playing for me had always been a solitary experience, there was no need to co-operate or co-ordinate with anyone else. It was Ho-Oh that finally drew me out my house for my first legendary raid in December 2017, I joined up with my local Pokemon Go community and after spending time chatting online was finally convinced that I would not be ridiculed for my lack of experience or ‘good’ pokemon.I’ve always kept that first Ho-Oh as a reminder of where I used to be mentally. Pokemon communities can be a very positive influence on peoples well being. I know having that common ground with people I didn’t know gave me back my confidence to talk to others, to get back into the world and ultimately sped up my recovery. On the rough days Pokemon Go keeps my mind busy and it does me good to keep that interaction with the outside world going, it helps remind me that things are not as bad as they seem.

MeteorAsh – Junior Writer for GoHub

I started playing Pokémon Go when I was figuring out things in life and trying to chalk out a course or direction for my career. I was confused and susceptible to overthinking even though I had the support required to do whatever I want. In other words, I felt low all the time. It was 24th October 2017 when I downloaded Pokémon Go on the insistence of my fianceé (then my girlfriend). The Halloween event was up and I was immersed in catching new Pokémon from Gen 1, 2 and 3; lost in the Lavender Town theme running in the background. I finally had a new sense of excitement in my life. Seeing people playing from 2016 and having maxed out Dragonite, Lapras, Tyranitar etc pushed me to be even better. Pokémon Go requires grinding and seeing myself rise up in levels while adding new Pokémon as friends made me relive my childhood. No more was I susceptible to submit myself to the unnecessary worries of life. Each 10 km hatch, each new Pokémon on the radar and the struggle to get done with higher tier raids made me feel fulfilled and driven than ever. Thereafter, it was easy to extrapolate thia into my life.

Pokémon Go brought about a sense of purpose, passion and high spirits in my life <3

Parting Thoughts

This year hasn’t gone exactly as everyone expected. The pandemic has caused changes to almost every aspect of people’s lives and whatever your opinion on Niantic, at least they have implemented changes to our much-loved game to make it more accessible during a difficult and trying time.

It is also refreshing to know that some of the little joys we still have left can help us in ways we didn’t even realize!

It can be tough out there, Trainers. So stay safe.

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