I dont know if anyone else has this issue, but I do really like playing hearthstone.
I also have like super bad anxiety, which keeps me from playing ladder, even though I have great decks. I can play maybe two or three games, and even if i win all of them i get too nervous to keep playing for some reason.
When it comes to battlegrounds or non heroic duels, i can play fine. It's just arena and ranked play that make my anxiety go through the roof.
Used to get this whenever I got close to legend. No issues after achievement lol
There's even a term for that: ladder anxiety. At least I managed not to give a shit about my BG ratings and now I'm enjoying the game much more - if I don't like the heroes offered, I just insta concede and move on to the next game.
I used to get incredibly anxious playing Ranked because I was bad. Then I got good, and started getting anxious at high ranks when I was trying to get to Legend for the first time. Then I got to Legend, and I weirdly started feeling anxious whenever I was actively trying to climb - I guess subconsciously I thought if I lost games I was letting down my Legend status or something. I've avoided this in recent years by not explicitly setting myself the objective of going to Legend. I just play on the Ranked ladder and let myself end up wherever I naturally wind up. It means unlike when I was trying I don't end up Legend every month (usually I get to Diamond 2 or 3ish), but the game is a lot more fun to play. I even enjoy the months where I DO set myself the task of climbing to as high Legend as possible - it's stressful, but in short bursts rather than a permanent fixture of the game, that stress comes across as nice little shots of adrenaline.
Ok, I'm gonna write one of my patented walls of text here, but I think this one might be worth a look. Definitely worth a laugh or two if nothing else.
I used to have extreme performance anxiety. It manifested in all sorts of ways, some of which were incredibly embarassing, and I'm not gonna lie, the first time I was expected to perform sexually, I thought I was going to have a fucking heart attack.
A series of events happened in life that completely and utterly cured me of all anxiety, so much so that I have been accused of going too far in the other direction, particularly by judges who get ticked off by how rude I am to opposing counsel at times. I can't in good conscience recommend anyone go out and make any of these events happen to you, but at the end of this I'll recommend ways you can have similar but less dangerous cures to anxiety.
So, first I got in a car wreck in which I was thrown 40 feet away from a vehicle. When the bystanders got to me, I was laughing hysterically and they thought I was in shock. I was NOT in shock. I was laughing because I knew the absurdity of the whole thing, that I had been chastised by my family for driving a Firebird because it was a gas guzzler and not practical, and yet if I had bought any of the cars everyone had recommended, I would have died or been a vegetable after breaking my neck on the hardtop roof of those vehicles. Instead, I got up and walked away from an 80 mph car accident.
Second, I got shot in the head. Literally, I walked up on a car jack in progress, the guy turned with a pistol and attempted to blow my brains out. It was a small caliber weapon and I caught the bullet at a shallow enough angle that it ricocheted off my skull leaving me bleeding profusely and concussed, but also leaving me one of the few folks that can say they survived a bullet to the head.
Third . . . I can't talk about. It was really bad and all I can say is if I live the rest of my life and all the normal bad shit of a life comes my way, this will in all likelihood remain the top of the list of horrible shit to happen.
If all of that sounded like a weird flex, I guess you could take it that way, but the point was not to brag. The point was, anxiety CAN be cured by changes in perspective, and it usually takes highs and lows in life to change perspective.
I wouldn't recommend hitting a tree at 80mph or taking a bullet to the skull to cure ladder anxiety, but I WOULD suggest you take a look at the best and worst times of life and see if they can derive some perspective as to how utterly, insanely irrelevant a game on the internet is.
Hope it helps.
I am going to sum up this crazy life experience (sorry because this happened to you) by giving you the following advice:
Whenever you experience anxiety, frustration, anger, or any other destructive feeling that is usually based on an exaggeration of what really happens, you can take a look at the worst things in your life or in the life of others to put your feelings into a bigger context. I am not scared of pretty dark thoughts/humour, so what works for me is the sentence "In ______(insert country/continent/city), people die right now". Sounds pretty dark, but thinking of starving children in very poor countries will put your anxiety about loosing a card game into perspective. It can also help you understand how great your life actually is and be more thankful of the people and things in your life. Another way of thinking that helped me greatly is to consider the actual consequences before you do something. What is the worst that can happen when you do something and is that really that bad? You could lose a game of ladder and lose 1 star, but how bad is that on a scale from "Oh, I broke a fingernail" to "Oh, I just got stabbed and am about to die" (just an example)? You will quickly notice that even going 0-3 in arena is certainly not the end of the world (I know that because my personal worst was 0-8). You can also try to compare the worst with the best outcome because oftentimes, the result will be somewhere in between. So if my worst arena streak was a 0-8 and my best was 3 12-win-runs in a row, I can expect that something in between will happen, so I am not unhappy about 4-5 wins and not scary if I go 0-3 once.
Feelings like anxiety often occur due to a lack of perspective/experience in a certain area and people are over-reacting because that's what helped us survive when we were Neanderthals. They are a stress reaction if you aren't mindful to your own feelings and they also worsen your overall performance. This vicious cycle will make you think that your anxiety is justified, but it usually isn't. The fact that you notice and understand what happens in your body is the first step to cope with this. Put things into perspective and it will eventually go away after you gained some more experiences and realised that ladder isn't so scary after all.
Not alone, it is what happens when we play a ladder were you only face aggro brainless decks played by 10 years old kids that never stop doing BM and roping (i asume they have 10 years cause if not they must have a memtal ilness)
Actual anxiety disorder and ladder anxiety in HS are completely different things, although obviously someone who has an actual real anxiety disorder may suffer from ladder anxiety by proxy.
My girlfriend has anxiety disorder and it effects every aspect of her life. She’ll often go to bed crying over something as little as a stomach bug as she’ll be convinced it’s terminal.
For people who don’t suffer from anxiety disorder but cannot stand the stress of laddering I can recommend 1 thing, which is to just set a time limit. Say an hour. Instead of evaluating your progression after each game and taking the full effect of each loss, evaluate your progress over that timeframe. You are guaranteed to lose a lot of games playing HS, you cannot prevent that, but you can increase your winrate to guarantee that over a period of time you will progress.
@Shodwrisen than is insane, man. Glad you’re okay but that’s crazy lucky.
Me too. 100% Happens all the time and that's why I hardly queue in Standard. I also found that most of the time if I play rank, it would take 3-4 games to reach the ease of playing competitive. Sometimes I watched streamers while laddering because it would make me less nervous as well but less focus on the game I played.
I always felt that for every competitive thing. Doesn't matter if it's a digital game, board game, sports, or even a real skill competition like design, coding and others. But I never thought it was anxiety. I always thought it was Adrenaline that doing its job to keep my spirit and focus up so I can give my best.
I always remember that with the current ladder system, you have nothing to lose on the ladder. You can't drop below the rewarding ranks, so you don't lose your rewards. That was different back in the day, where I would also eventually not want to play ranked for fear of losing all my ranks and rewards, but these days I just remember that and keep playing.
I know it might not be so easy for you, but you have nothing to lose on the ladder, so don't worry about it.
I always thought of HS being a bit like backgammon. Sometimes you just low roll and lose, which is necessary for the game to be exciting. For me, I got a little bit of FOMO from not completing quests, but by focusing more on other, more important things in life and almost purposely missing quests and losing ranked games, helped reminding me that this is just a game and nobody else cares how well I play it.
I think this game can be used as opportunity to push that anxiety a little. Miss some quests. Lose some ranked games. Trash an arena run, because the deck you drafted was boring. Remind yourself that this game should have no power over you.