At his lowest point, Jason Docton, Anxiety Gaming’s Founder, had reached 97 pounds and hadn’t left his apartment for 48 months. After years of hard work and a troubled childhood, he succumbed to depression, anxiety and the agoraphobia which made it impossible for him to leave his apartment, resulting in him dropping out of his pre-med studies.
It was through gaming that a fellow player asked Jason for his advice on how to deal with depression. Then another reached out, wanting to talk about the anxiety they were facing. Under the guise of avatars, real people were talking candidly about the mental health issues that confronted them. Though plagued with thoughts of suicide, Jason told himself,“I should help people before I go through with this.”It turned out, lots of fellow gamers needed help. People would contact him and say “Well let’s talk more about it tomorrow,” and so he’d have to get up and talk with them the next day. Now there was a reason for Jason to get up and do something—to help others.
Helping others ultimately led Jason on a search to find others to pay for the treatment they needed. Once he started getting a $560 disability check each month, Jason began paying for therapy sessions for the low-income gamers he was in contact with, people who would have gone untreated without the financial help. Jason then started calling therapists directly, to setup payment arrangements with them and ask them to consider going lower on the sliding-scale so that his funds could stretch further and help even more gamers he was connecting with online.
As a result of Jason’s dedication and efforts to help fellow gamers, Anxiety Gaming was founded as a 501(c)(3) Mental Health Non-Profit, committed to educating and treating mental health issues within the gaming community. To date, Anxiety Gaming has helped 30,000 individuals improve their lives through the therapy they receive. In 2018, Jason re-branded the organization to Rise Above the Disorder to expand his mission of providing free mental health care with compassion and integrity to people of all backgrounds.