I set out to find a World of Warcraft character that resembled my personal mental disabilities. There was one character who seemed to stand out the most, a character appearing to embody Chronic Anxiety. That character is Tyrande Whisperwind. As I discussed in a previous blog, anxiety can be very limiting and debilitating for those living with it. Let’s take a closer look at her and anxiety, and discuss how she embodies the condition and why she is so relatable.
Who is Tyrande?
Tyrande is the leader of the night elves, but she has been through a lot in her role. Sometimes stress can bring on or trigger anxiety. Tyrande knows this all too well as she has watched her entire home burn down in front of her eyes, her husband being abducted many times. She has become separated from her husband on many occasions. She adopted an orphan, Shandris Feathermoon, and raised her after her family got murdered.
Anxiety can stem from the stress that’s out of proportion to the impact of an event. This includes the inability to set aside a worry, or restlessness. There are many other symptoms, such as ypervigilance, fear, and even being paranoid. As my therapist describes it, “The fear of the worst-case scenario.”
Tyrande & Anxiety
In my therapy, I learned that sometimes trauma could cause or bring on anxiety, and the anxiety can stay. Tyrande does tend to overreact when she is trying to find her husband after he’s gone missing again. He’s been abducted at least twice that I can think of, and at one time, she’s given a choice to save him or a temple. The temple is the temple of Elune, who is the goddess that Night Elves worship. Tyrande becomes torn between her sworn duty as priestess of the moon and as a wife to Malfurion. She ends up choosing to save the temple, though she and her husband are reunited.
She stormed off after Anduin, the King of Stormwind City and leader of the Alliance, informed her that there was not enough manpower to get her revenge. Tyrande wants revenge against Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, the Warchief of the Horde at this time. Sylvanas ordered the burning of the World Tree which gives Night Elves their immortality. The reason she wanted revenge was due to her home getting burned by Sylvanas. She allowed the vengeance to consume her, she’s become very irritable, even going as far as saying she’s hypervigilant. She has become a night warrior after
begging the Goddess of Elune to share her vengeance with her. This could be considered an overreaction, which could be a result of her anxiety, as anxiety can manifest as overreacting to situations and stress.
How I Relate
I suffer from anxiety. After having been through some trauma-related situations myself, I do tend to overreact. I get irritable, especially when I can’t find something or get forced to face a fear. This is especially true if I am not ready to face that fear. I love my family as much as Tyrande loves hers, and I understand her desire for revenge. She worries about it when her husband has been kidnapped, even though she has tried to hide the anxiety before. These are indicators of anxiety and can be traits that can be debilitating even when you try to not let it happen. Anxiety takes over your whole world and life.
Being able to compare yourself to those you love in video games, can be as helpful as the therapy itself. I am helped by being able to relate to these characters, including seeing how some might overcome the issues or problems they face as a result of their mental health issues including Anxiety. Find that one character you relate to in your favorite video game, who are they and why?