How Escape Rooms help in recovering anxiety issues

There are many types of people who visit The Great Escape and escape the room with the same focus and zeal maintained right from the beginning. Except a few, who panic at the first few mins of the hour and hence, lose at the Escape room game. Where we feel it as an accomplishment for entertaining many such people, getting tagged as an anti-depressant among all the other therapies is our crowning achievement. For some, The Great Escape was the source to cope up with anxiety, depression and many more situations which needed treatments. Here’s the story of one such player at our Escape rooms; Neha, and how playing at The Great Escape helped her cope up with the General Anxiety Disorder.

“To someone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), the idea of being locked in an escape room with a ticking clock seems like a living nightmare. I’m pretty sure, I’ve actually had nightmares similar to the concept. However, escape rooms have been more therapeutic than not. You can cope with anxiety through medications, meditation, exercise, yoga, and many more but these are not so helpful when applied to real life. When things genuinely get overwhelming, I can’t just say, “hold on, let me yoga real quick.” Life doesn’t work that way.

I always over analyze and overthink. I cannot merely slow my brain down; it’s like my thoughts are on a hamster wheel, and every time I get a break, I realize I’m in this perpetual circle of restless thinking. GAD is characterized as “excessive anxiety and worries, occurring more days than not for six months, about some events or activities (such as work or school performance),” and typically accompanied with several other symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability (DSM-IV TR).

When I first heard of an escape room, I was excited, yet nervous. To those of you that don’t know what an escape room is, here is the gist: you are given one hour to break out of a room, but to do so you must solve all of the puzzles, riddles, and clues. When I tried my first escape room at The Great Escape, I was with friends that I felt comfortable with. They explained what I was getting myself into so that I wasn’t nervous. Knowing that you aren’t locked in is a tremendous comfort, but the ticking clock was still in the back of my hamster-wheel head.

As soon as the door closes, the timer starts. It is a bit overwhelming at first because you don’t know where to start. I frantically began searching around the room for anything that could give me anything. Before I knew it, five minutes went by and my anxiety spiked. To a normal person, five minutes doesn’t seem long, but to me, it looked like I had wasted so much time. I was in my head trying to solve this, but that’s the thing… escape rooms are not an individual endeavor; they are a complete team effort. So, for those five minutes that I felt like a failure, I was perfectly normal. My teammates hadn’t found anything, and it was okay. We were all frantic together, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like a spastic ball of stress. We finally found a clue, which led us to another, and then another, and then another…. but the most important part was that I wasn’t alone in my frantic behavior. We were all under pressure, and it was fun. The pressure was good pressure, not unrealistic self-made, exacerbated pressure.

While participating in the escape room, I realized that my anxiety was beneficial. When typically my over-analytical, restless nature had been a downfall, it was finally a strength. I was constantly working to solve a puzzle, or searching for a clue. The ticking clock surprisingly helped my anxiety because I learned to be excited, rather than anxious; it’s like playing a minute-to-win-it game where the fun clouds the anxiety. However, the most important thing that the escape room taught me was that you are never alone. I learned to celebrate my anxiety and use the people around me to get through the tough days because, just as in an escape room, life is not an individual effort. No one can get out by themselves.”

Now you know that there is no need to fear escape rooms. The next step is to book an escape room challenge at The Great Escape.

Check out our challenges and pricing from our home page.


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