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Tragic Things Dr. K Got Streamers To Admit

Dr. Alok Kanojia, also known as Dr. K, has a distinct knack for getting gamers to open up about their most intimate secrets, and he's used his experience and training in psychiatry to help gamers and content creators tackle some of their biggest mental health concerns. Dr. K heads up Healthy Gamer, an initiative that aims to help educate gamers on mental health and help them reach a more holistic vision of their overall health — one that focuses on the mind as well as the body. 

In an interview with NPR, Dr. K explained, "We need to stop thinking about just medicine. If we said you had a physical problem, imagine we had no gyms, no nutritionists — it just doesn't make sense." As noted by Dr. K, people need to think of mental health as equally important as physical health, and gamers are at risk for some serious consequences where both are concerned.

High profile streamers like Valkyrae have frequently spoken about how streaming affects their physical health. Meanwhile, even more streamers have noted the mental toll it takes. For example, Corpse Husband has openly spoken about his experiences with agoraphobia and depression, while Hamlinz took a lengthy break to deal with his own mental health after the death of his grandfather. No matter what issues streamers experience, Dr. K gently leads them through meditations, exercises, and strategies to help find balance and mental peace. It's not always an easy journey, though, and many streamers have ended up discussing tragic details while streaming with Dr. K.

This article contains discussion of mental health. If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Toast thinks people will use him

Disguised Toast rose to fame alongside streamers like Corpse Husband and Valkyrae, recently surprising fans he revealed he was leaving Facebook Gaming to head to Twitch. Much of his deal had to do with seeking better pay, and Toast was quick to warn new streamers to be careful with Twitch, despite his move. Toast has always been concerned about streamers being manipulated because of their kindness, it turns out. 

Toast told Dr. K that he's scared people will take advantage of him because he presents himself as a kind, nurturing individual. Toast used an analogy from "Game of Thrones" to illustrate his point, saying that he wants to be respected like Daenerys Targaryen, who commanded the attention and praise of others. Though he views himself as a nice person, Toast also wants people to think twice about crossing him.

Admittedly, no one has done anything to betray Toast just yet, but he thinks the time could be on its way, as he's watched people he's gamed with start "drama" elsewhere online. "It sucks when people you believe in disappoint you," Toast said.

Pokimane sometimes feels sad for herself

Pokimane has unfortunately had to deal with obsessive viewers and toxic messages in the past, including some who track her every move and constantly critique her. Despite her success, the streamer told Dr. K that she sometimes pities herself. While she feels fortunate in a variety of ways, she explained that she feels she can't have a normal life now, especially because everything she says is instantly being reinterpreted by the public.

"I just wish I could feel like I could be worthy of the benefit of the doubt," Pokimane tearfully told Dr. K in an interview. "Instead it's the complete opposite." As an example of her plight, Pokimane shared a story of a video that "went kind of viral." That particular video took her words out of context, she said, explaining that "It's amazing what ominous music and someone delivering lines very well" can do for an argument. Seeing someone she didn't even know critiquing her in an unfair way made her wish that she could have viewers look at her in a more generous light.

Pokimane said that most people who talk poorly about her in public eventually come around, DM-ing her apologies and changing their minds about her, but that doesn't mean that the initial attacks don't hurt. Dr. K gently reminded Pokimane that it's okay to feel bad about being treated poorly, and that her emotions are valid.

LilyPichu gets real about her parents

LilyPichu is known for her adorable voice, her time spent with Offline TV, and her friendships with other streamers like Sykkuno and Pokimane, but fans got to know her even better when she sat down with Dr. K. During that stream, Lily opened up about her strained relationship to her parents, who expected perfection throughout her life.

Lily said she struggled with depression in high school, which led to her feeling like a failure in the eyes of her parents. She began making videos about voice acting and playing MMORPGs as an "escape," which only led to more arguments with her parents. "I was very suicidal and very, very depressed," she said. The symptoms of her depression made Lily feel like she couldn't do simple things like go to school or maintain good grades, which only made her parents more upset.

Eventually, things came to a head, with Lily's parents threatening to force her into psychiatric care if her condition didn't improve. At one point, Lily said, her mother even told her she wished Lily was never born. While Lily made it clear that her relationship with her parents is great now, her past experiences have had a lasting impact on how she views herself and her relationships with others.

xQc wants to make his dad proud

There's no denying that xQc is a bad boy of streaming, with too many bans to count and an ever-shifting reputation in the gaming world. That being said, he's a fan favorite for a reason, and he continues to draw in a loyal following of viewers. Despite his success, however, xQc admitted to Dr. K that he's still just trying to live up to his dad's expectations.

Dr. K pinpointed the issue, telling xQc, "Here's the problem, you say that you needed to create systems of validation because you weren't getting validation from your dad. I think the issue here is, it's not validation you weren't getting from your dad, it's your fundamental sense of value." Because xQc grew up thinking he was inherently lesser than others (apparently because of his father's influence), he wasn't able to construct a healthy way of looking at success.

xQc admitted that he doesn't seem to feel a lot of emotions, but he doesn't have a problem succeeding and giving his best. Dr. K reminded xQc that emotions aren't a bad thing, and even if he sees himself as performing well, that doesn't mean he can't also tap into his feelings. Together, the two worked through xQc's feelings about his dad, and Dr. K helped guide xQc down a path of finding his self worth in himself, not others.

Alinity opens up about her eating disorder

Alinity has always been rather open about tragic details in her life, including her battles with eating disorders and mental health, so it's no real surprise that she spoke to Dr. K about the same things. However, in her interview with Dr. K, Alinity talked about her experience with an ED in a clinical, observational tone, attempting to get at the root of why she felt she needed to manage her eating at the time.

"I figured it out," she said excitedly. "It's a control thing. I've always had a control problem, like my eating disorder, everything. It's about not being able to control things in life. I can't control what people think about me. That upsets me." She began crying suddenly, overwhelmed by emotion. "For me, the way that I've always coped with stress is by being able to control things. So when I was younger, it was with food." Alinity explained that by honing in on one aspect of her life — food — she was able to feel like she had some influence over the world and her surroundings. Now, she says, she organizes instead.

Alinity then admitted that she had a difficult childhood, growing up in political unrest in Columbia in the 1990s. From her father's imprisonment due to his relationship with Columbian cartels, to her mother's battle with cancer, Alinity went through many changes in childhood, which ultimately influenced her need to control things.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Asmongold admitted he can be lazy

Asmongold made a name online through his "World of Warcraft" streams, and is a top viewing choice for any gamer who loves fantasy. More recently, he's been in the news for taking some time off to care for his mother, who passed in 2021 after years of declining health. While Asmongold's love for family is apparent, viewers have often criticized his notoriously messy room and appearance. It turns out that he might be his own worst enemy.

"I think I'm probably a victim of my own laziness," Asmongold admitted to Dr. K. He said that he always has ideas for new content and streams, but rarely finds the motivation to make these dreams a reality. Asmongold also said he has trouble maintaining relationships because he likes to be isolated. "I'm not really agoraphobic, but I like to be alone," he continued. Eventually, messages and invites begin to pile up and he feels bad for neglecting others, so he just doesn't ever reconnect.

Ultimately, Asmongold said that he spent years putting off things in order to not feel a "negative feeling," which ultimately prevented him from having positive feelings as well. Asmongold's interview shed light on issues that viewers had commented on for years, making it clear that his situation is more nuanced than the internet assumed.

Ice Poseidon talks about autism and being bullied

Ice Poseidon infamously lost almost his entire viewer base in a matter of months after being swatted while on an airplane. The streamer seemed to invite controversy and was eventually banned from Twitch, forcing him to move elsewhere online. Dr. K brought out another side in the streamer, however, in getting Ice Poseidon to share about his experiences with Asperger's and bullying in school.

Ice Poseidon said that he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a form of autism, when he was young. As a result of his Asperger's, Ice Poseidon often withdrew into himself and avoided others, including his parents. Though he described his parents as "good people," he said that they never understood him as a person and couldn't determine what he needed to communicate, which understandably made him mad. This in turn led to behavior issues, which only made things worse for Ice Poseidon.

"I got bullied like crazy in school,"he said. "I have really bad stories I could tell you about things that happened with me." Throughout the discussion, Ice Poseidon emphasized that he thought both his parents and his school simply didn't know how to deal with him or give him what he needed, which resulted in a miserable childhood.

Mizkif struggles with ADHD and anxiety

During a chat with Dr. K, Mizkif frankly discussed his experiences with ADHD, all while moving around the room and looking for various objects. He said that he's struggled with ADHD and anxiety for most of his life, and that being part of the online community has only heightened his stress. 

Mizkif's ADHD isn't a tragic detail of his life, per se, but it has increased the anxiety he experiences around streaming, making it difficult for him to get the rest he needs. One of the worst parts about experiencing anxiety, Mizkif said, was how it affects his sleep patterns. While he doesn't have trouble falling asleep, he often wakes up in the middle of the night and feels a "tension" in his stomach that keeps him awake. "I feel like I just did an ab workout," he said. When Dr. K asked Mizkif if anything in particular bothered him enough to keep him up at night, Mizkif said that he thinks about streaming often. The pressure of maintaining a following takes a bigger mental toll than many viewers would expect.

"I have a lot of stress constantly ... and I'm thinking about streaming all the time," Mizkif said. When other people get off work, they can relax, but Mizkif said streaming "is a lifestyle" that has good and bad aspects. People who stream for a living have to think about managing their content and staying relevant. Dr. K attempted to help Mizkif find some strategies for managing his stress, which Mizkif seemed open to.

Scarra doesn't like what he sees in the mirror

William Li, who goes by Scarra online, founded OfflineTV and started a major streaming brand, but he still has moments when he doubts himself. Scarra told Dr. K that he doesn't like his physical appearance, and he worries that he's just not attractive enough for others. 

When asked what he saw in the mirror, Scarra said, "I don't know ... aside from the fact that I don't like to see the reflection that looks back physically." When pressed on what he meant, Scarra clarified, saying, "I wish I was skinnier, I guess. I wish I was more healthy." Dr. K continued asking questions in an attempt to encourage Scarra to ditch logic and talk about how he really felt about his body.

"At the most basic level, [I feel] that I'm fat and I could be better, " Scarra finally admitted. Dr. K then flipped the script on Scarra, explaining that if he belives he "could be better," that means he sees himself as inherently bad or broken. Ultimately, Dr. K told Scarra that he will have to confront with the dark parts of himself in order to feel cohesive as a person and experience happiness.

What do we do when a champion falls? Dr. K offers hope

Byron Bernstein, who streamed "World of Warcraft" under the name "Reckful," died in 2020. The streamer had previously spoken quite openly with Dr. K about his experiences with depression, which included discussing his brother, who died by suicide when Reckful was young. Reckful and Dr. K spent several sessions discussing depression and its potential treatments, and Reckful admitted that speaking with Dr. K helped him feel better. Over the course of these sessions, Reckful said he struggled to feel fulfilled, though he could recall happy memories, like getting his artwork accepted into a gallery show. Dr. K suggested that Reckful's success in various fields — like art and video games — was a way that he could distract himself from depression, but those activities couldn't actually "fix" the depression, leading to a constant cycle of emotions.

After Reckful's death, Dr. K posted an hour-long discussion about grief and loss in an attempt to coach viewers who might be struggling with the news. In addition to providing viewers with concrete tips about what to do if they're feeling the symptoms of depression, Dr. K used the time to memorialize Reckful, who was both his friend and mentee in many ways.

"So what happens when a champion falls?" Dr. K asked his audience with tears in his eyes. He continued, "It's a personal battle and all of us fight it. And you have to fight it, but you don't have to fight it alone." Dr. K explained that gamers can learn a lot from Reckful, both in terms of how much he gave his community and how much he taught others. 

Dr. K said repeatedly that everyone should get help when they need it, and begged viewers to take advantages of resources available to them. Dr. K's chat flooded with hearts and well wishes, showing that the community wants him to take care of himself, too. 

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.