Cosplay Saved Me: Dealing with Anxiety
Vailence, VAY-LENCE with a hard A, Martyn
Yay! Vailence is such an amazing and fun spirit. She was nice enough to shed some light on how Cosplay has helped her anxiety and how she believes it can help others too.
Cosplay devotee, Janette ( alias Vailence) has suffered with an anxiety disorder since she was a young teenager. Her anxiety symptoms would manifest in randomly strange and frustrating ways. One episode she clearly remembers occurred when when she was just 13 years old. She had been shopping with a friend when all of a sudden she began to sweat profusely and an overwhelming feeling of doom came over her forcing her to leave the store. Her rough childhood in a dysfunctional family caused major anxiety and left her confused and depressed. Fortunately, Janette discovered a way to deal with her anxiety in a unique, fun and very creative way.
"Cosplay is a jumbled mess of all of the arts," she says happily. It channels all of her
interests in theatre, acting, photography, modeling and nerding out. Cosplay gives Vailence the comfort and ability to be another version of herself that is exactly the way she wants to be. At the conventions, Valience is able to instantly connect with everyone in the room. She finds herself being more open, social and confident. Being surrounded by like-minded people who all share the same passion is one of the many awesome experiences Vailence encounters at every cosplay event. "I make all my costumes by hand so when somebody recognizes the time and detail I put into the character costumes I make, it's the most rewarding feeling! It's like having an immediate inside joke with someone once they excitedly recognize your unique character and they want to take a photo with you. I love being able to literally wear my all interests on my body and not be judged negatively."
Now, with Cosplay on the upward trend, Vailence thinks that everyone should try it at least once. There is much less social drama compared to other industries she's worked in. Cosplay is not necessarily about pretending as it is about self expression. The Cosplay community is one of the most accepting and positive communities out there. There is something so freeing about being dressed up as someone's favorite character. It's almost as if you are suddenly famous and you get to walk around in the shoes of your favorite character. These are some of the experiences that are so healing to those who suffer from anxiety or PTSD.
Follow Vailence @VailenceMartyn