Mental Health and the Hobby – A Special Interview With Dr. Nahumck Part 1

Hello, 40K fans! I’ve got something a bit different from the usual philosophy lineup, but not too far a deviation. Mental health in the hobby is a topic that has gained steam in recent years. It should come as no surprise then that as we talk about the themes behind 40K’s narratives that we touch on mental health as well. Philosophy and psychology are connected in many ways, after all, because they are all about finding the best ways to live our lives. Also, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles on gaming in 40K!

With that in mind, I took the opportunity to speak with Dr. Christopher Nahumck, a clinical psychologist and a long-time Warhammer hobbyist. This is part 1, where I interviewed Dr. Nahumck (Chris) with some general questions about himself, the hobby, mental health, and 40K’s themes. This is also a great opportunity to break down some of the stigmas we have about mental health and open up the conversation about the ways we can navigate the modern world.

Please Send in Your Questions!

For part 2, I would like to do something a bit special. For those who feel comfortable doing so, message me on my Facebook page ( Captain Morgan’s Librarius) with questions you’d like me to ask Chris about mental health in the hobby on a follow-up interview we will plan for a couple of weeks from now (depending on when my recording rig arrives). This will be an audio interview that we will publish here on FLG as well as on my YouTube channel. Submissions discussed will be read completely anonymously. If you don’t have or like to use Facebook, then feel free to email me at with your questions instead.

Remember, by sending in your questions, you are consenting to have them read on the air. Depending on the volume of questions and the time we have, some may not be selected, and priority will be given to clear and concise questions. Whether you are curious about mental health and the hobby as a topic or are personally struggling with mental health issues, your questions are all welcome.

If you are in a crisis and need immediate assistance, please seek out local professional help as soon as possible. I have linked help hotlines listed by country here with as reasonable accuracy as I can determine. Remember that there’s nothing wrong with seeking help when you need it.

Without further ado, on to the interview!

Hi, Chris! Tell me a little bit about yourself. How long have you been a psychologist? 

I’ve been a Psychologist since June of 2015, but I’ve been doing psychotherapy since 2006 during my first Master’s Program.  I’m licensed in California and live in Los Angeles County

Do you have any particular subspecialty?

I work mainly with Depression and Anxiety, but also focus on Grief and Loss, as well as Men’s Issues. 

How long have you been in the Warhammer/wargaming hobby?

I started in 40k in 2000, when I started working for Workshop in the Glendale Galleria.  Before that, I had played Battletech and D&D with friends since I think the 5th grade.  It’s been a long, and good time.   

What faction(s) do you play and what attracts you to them?

I currently play Space Wolves and Tau, though I have some Inquisition models and would like a small force once their rules are out.  I also am keeping the Necrons from the latest Indominus set to paint up for my son.  I’m convinced I can finish them in a day.

I’ve played Space Wolves since the beginning, and I really like their Viking feel (though I do lean hard into the werewolf side as well for some characters).  They were my first army, and I enjoy that they seem like some of the most gregarious and emotionally large marines.  Wolf Lords and Russ himself embody a Savage Nobility that really resonates with me.  They are who they are, they do what’s right, they don’t care if you like it.  I also like the development of Russ in the Heresy, it’s good stuff.  I’m hoping he returns, and my personal army is a Lost Great Hunt looking for him.  I am torn between wulfen Russ and Old Man Odin Russ though.  It would be an exciting development. 

I’ve played Tau since the first came out and I was working at GW.  I like that they seem “good” but there is a sinister side to it, where those outside (and in) aren’t really given the whole story.  We still don’t know a lot about the why’s.  I like that.

And I love the Inquisition.  There is something about the gravitas of taking on the challenge of “safeguard the future of humanity by whatever means you deem necessary.”  Inquisition characters have always been my favorite humans to play because the stakes are so high and the differences between legal and actual power are fun to play out.

For a laugh, what faction do you dislike the most and why?

Hmm…  I’d say Night Lords, but I know that if I read Aaron Dembski-Bowden’s trilogy that would change.  I think every faction has something really interesting and cool to it, it just needs the right focus and interest.  Lore wise anyway.  On the tabletop, I play what I play because they are different styles of play.  Nothing to really dislike. 

Who is your favorite character in 40K? 

Russ.  He’s got so much character development. 

Who is your least favorite character in 40K?

Erebus.  I think the subreddit dedicated to him says it all. 

What is your dream army that you think you’ll never have? 

My favorite legion is actually Alpha Legion, I’m just too far down the rabbit hole at this point to start them.  The dream army would be the Omega Project stuff that’s out there where half the models are loyalist and the others are chaos like they are changing the cloaking image.  I’d have every unit set up like a crusade army so it would be a nice mix of all the loyalists out and about as a combined force.  Would be awesome.

Which 40K author would you want to write your death scene in a novel?

Aaron Dembski-Bowden hands down.  He is my favorite writer in the setting, and he does no wrong (unlike Magnus).

Hobbying and Mental Health

What are some of the biggest benefits that you see for someone in this hobby struggling with mental health issues?

Hobbies in general are fantastic for mental health. A good hobby will have multiple ways to access it, and will be there for you when you need it, and will also understand when life needs your attention and it gets placed on the shelf.

Our hobby is great because it has so many elements that make it accessible. Building models allows the physical working of things and depending on how creative you choose to be with converting, can really let your artistic side out. This flows into the painting part of the hobby, which is really like a 3D adult coloring book. People have asked me how I know what to paint, and I tell them it’s actually easier than canvas painting because everything is right there for you.  Both these parts of the hobby can function in similar ways to knitting, or adult coloring books, or even a sudoku game. It doesn’t have to be overly mentally taxing, yet it’s not mindless.  It still requires focus, which is good, because the mind zones in and doesn’t wander. In this way, it’s good at helping with anxiety, as it brings the focus to the moment, rather than worrying about the future.  It also helps with depression, because you can see progress as you move forward.  Few things feel as good as a newly completed unit to add to your army (and what person ever really finishes an army).

List building allows us to access critical thinking and strategy, which is similar to crossword puzzles or the like. It allows us to think through what the units will do on the board and how they will perform. It also allows us the creativity of us telling stories about how things will happen. This can translate into some interesting real-life help, because if you can imagine and think through how your toy soldiers are doing heroic (or dastardly) things on the battlefield, then maybe you can apply that to your current problems.

Playing the game also involves strategy, theory of mind, and social interaction.  All of these are good things. Theory of mind is the ability to understand that other people have their own experience and that they are able to think things differently than you.  It typically develops in children by the age of 5, but sometimes doesn’t for people on the spectrum.  Theory of mind can also become warped in individuals dealing with clinical anxiety and depression, as they often isolate and then imagine many negative ways that people think or will interact with them.  Actually playing and having a good game, and seeing that the other person can be competitive and yet kind in the process can help the individuals dealing with clinical issues have proof that their assumptions and beliefs about themselves or others don’t necessarily match reality.

There is the social component of all of this that is both the Social Contract and an enormous base of support if you choose to engage in the correct places. The Social Contract is there to help us understand how to interact with other people and how to engage in a Game Theory best outcome.  Almost all of us will not be top-level competitive players, and even most of those top-level players strive to be those who play as good players.  I’ve heard and seen top-level players at early tables or smaller events walk their opponents through the game to help them learn and get the most out of their armies.  They don’t try to win based on gotcha moments.  When they are at the top table, most of them are kind people who are excellent ambassadors of the Hobby.  The thing is, the point of any game is to be able to keep playing.  The Social Contract helps us to understand how to do this.  Further, some in the community don’t have the best social skills or interactions with others, and this sort of environment can really help them learn life skills that can be transferred to other areas of life. These interactions can go beyond playing the game and end up in social interactions with friends through face to face, text, or internet-based interactions.

Finally, there is the solo imagination aspect of the game.   This is where I end up spending most of my time.  This would be the lore in the rule books, codexes and supplements, novels, stories, audio dramas, and podcasts (both official and fan-based) that expand the setting and make it come to life as more than just toys on a tabletop or art in a case.  Entire worlds of discovery and slaughter await our enjoyment.  Big ideas and themes live here, and the podcasts allow us to dive deeper and hear others discuss our favorites and those we love to hate.

Also to note: you only have to interact with the parts of the Hobby you want to.  If you like to play but don’t like painting or building? Commission the army.  If you don’t have the money to get a new army? Rescue some eBay marines and make them your own.  Don’t like playing? Paint up what you like.  Just like the Lore?  Read on and leave the playing to the rest of us.  It really is whatever you want it to be.

A good Hobby allows you to take your mind off the world when you need to escape, connect with others whom you share interests with (something hard after school), and can also let you put it on a shelf when you need to.  I got into the Hobby and then after four years started grad school, which meant I had to step away for almost a decade of playing.  I still read and listened to podcasts, and sometimes painted, but when life was more important than escape, the Hobby understood.  

For you personally, what part of “doing” the hobby brings you the most satisfaction?

I love converting up stuff to make it look the way I want.  I’m getting into airbrushing, which is really speeding things up.  That’s good as now I have less time to paint.  I’m enjoying all of it really, and super looking forward to Crusade and getting my Lost Great Hunt into some narrative adventures.  I’d have to say though, that the novels are what keeps me going.  I don’t have the time to really do everything I want to do painting and modeling wise, but I read some every day, even if it’s just a few paragraphs.

Do you think that there is an impossible standard in the community for hobby skills? How would you help someone counter this feeling?

This is something that I struggle with, as I see so many cool things.  I know I am a good solid painter, but I’ll never be a Golden Demon winner (nor do I want to try).  I think a common problem is seeing others work as superior to your own, even when it’s technically the same quality.  It is something that many people do, and it’s an issue in the hobby and in life in general.  We see other people’s highlight reels and live our own blooper reel.  I know where all my mistakes and smudges are on my models, and I miss those on someone else’s at first glance.  

Everything is always a work in progress.  It’s important to understand what your goal for painting is.  If you want to win a Golden Daemon, good luck, but you likely won’t be playing many games with that piece.  If you want to play games, constantly hold the model out at arm’s length as you will see them on the table, not in your hand the whole time.

Keep your goals as actionable targets, then you will know if you’ve hit them.

What advice do you have for someone who feels like they have to be good at “everything” in the hobby (painting, conversions, etc.) in order to be a part of the community?

You can do everything, but it’s hard to do everything at once.  Start small.  Learn where you can.  Ask for help.  I find most people in the community are very welcoming and open if you ask in a respectful (but not sycophantic) way.

Also, nothing you do makes you a part of the community.  No one has to qualify.  There aren’t any gatekeepers who will bar you from enjoying what you enjoy about the Hobby.  You may fit better in specific communities rather than others, but if you like these cool, weird little plastic warriors then you are in the community.  

Inevitably even the best painters have to deal with criticism, and you can’t be out in the world without expecting it to happen at some points (i.e. “You didn’t drill your gun barrels!”). What advice do you have for someone who has anxiety about criticism of their hobby skills?

All that matters is your own opinion.  Also, don’t believe anything from random people on the internet, they don’t know where you are at in your journey or what you are looking to do in the end.  Often asking the right questions can help with receiving the right feedback.  This is often something like “how can I improve the highlights/wet blending/weathering/whatever” and then taking the feedback as possible advice.  Possible is the main word.  You’ll often get people who will argue two different things.  “More weathering!”  “Less weathering!”  

There are always technical skills that can develop, but your toy soldiers are yours to play with and paint, so as long as you are happy?  It’s really not anyone’s input that’s going to make your day.  You want a pastel army?  You do you.  I’ve seen some painting that’s amazing, but not at all in the style of the Heavy Metal Team.  Grimdark, Blanchistu, even the Borderlands comic style looks cool.  There isn’t a real wrong way of doing it.

Oftentimes depression can rob you of the love of or the desire to do things that you normally enjoy. What advice do you have for someone who is struggling to bring themselves to the hobby because of depression?

This is where the multifaceted part of the hobby comes into place. If you need to step away, that’s ok.  I think, at the beginning of COVID, many people thought “I’m gonna get so much done!  I’ll paint all my backlog, SO MUCH PROGRESS.”  The truth was that most of us either haven’t changed how much we’ve done, or we have painted and modeled even less.  And let’s not talk about games played.  Right now, everything is basically on hold.  Even the new edition is on hold until we can actually play because we don’t know what works and what doesn’t on a large scale.  Right now?  Nothing is normal, so don’t pretend that it is.  It’s ok that it’s not ok right now.  It won’t be for a while in the US, and other countries are on their own timelines for things.  

Regardless of whether it is COVID-related depression or a more typical depression, the best way to get through is to start small.  Small, reasonable goals will help break a funk.  Maybe it’s just build the legs.  Maybe it’s just paint the radishes on the knights.  Maybe it’s working on some terrain.  Maybe it’s none of those things.  Reading is the hobby.  Listening to podcasts is the hobby.  Watching Youtube painting videos and battle reports is the hobby.  List building is the hobby.  Daydreaming about a conversion is the hobby. Do what you can, and if it’s literally nothing, then the hobby will be there when you are ready.

If the depression is so bad that you find nothing is possible to do, and nothing in life is getting done, that’s definitely a time to reach out for professional help.  Probably past time, if I’m being honest. We all need help sometimes.  And a good professional can help you in ways that friends, family, and even medication can’t.  The help can help.

Gameplay and the Community

Being social is one part of the wargaming hobby, but many can struggle to get out and be around others as part of social anxiety. What are your thoughts on this?

Social anxiety is a real struggle, and if you’ve never experienced it then it might be hard to understand.  The benefit of wargaming is that there is a purpose to being together, and a shared desired experience, unlike, say, trying to date or just interact with others without parameters.  Wargaming is trying to have a fun time with like-minded (hopefully game wise at least) people for an afternoon or day.  It makes it easier to understand the expectations and engage with others.

Some good tips for how to go about engaging if this is something you struggle with is to focus on what’s happening on the table rather than your opponent.  If you discuss how their army is painted, or why they like their army, or what their favorite unit is then the discussion is more indirect and allows you to become comfortable without having to reveal too much about yourself.  Most people in the hobby are happy to talk about their passion projects, so asking questions brings eventual closeness and maybe friendship.

If you are new to a gaming group or store, I’d also talk to the management to find out who organizes events and who the more influential members of the local group are.  They can give you tips on who would be good to play first, who the more competitive players (not a jerk player, some of the most competitive players in my area are the same one that will go above and beyond to help a new or struggling player), which players to avoid, and how the local meta tends to play. This can let you plan your engagement with others and build the skills and supports to overcome the anxiety and enjoy the hobby with others. 

Do you ever struggle to get out the door to go to a game night?

Almost all the time to be honest.  Before COVID game night was my late night at the office, so it made it harder to get in.  I’m also not a great player, and the local scene is filled with hard playing tournament veterans, some of them top ITC players.  I’m working to make it different, and when things return to whatever normal is I’ll be back at it, but it’s always a balance between what’s possible and what my responsibilities are.  COVID safe socially distant 40k is something I’m working out to try to learn the new edition and get that sweet Crusade stuff started, but most of the time it’s just too much on my plate to be able to commit to a weekly game, much as I would love to.

As with every community, there are diverse opinions and topics can easily steer toward subjects that make people uncomfortable. What advice do you have for someone who worries about these kinds of interactions on game night?

I would avoid politics or religion on game night, as you never know what people think. And, for me, if someone is saying something offensive, I would gently ask them not to discuss things in that way.  If nothing changes, I would bring it up to the manager/owner.  If they don’t do anything?  I speak with my money and stop shopping there. Games Workshop put out a great statement on inclusion and diversity, and I think that really should be the way we handle things.  I want to play more people when I can, not less. 

 Is it okay to only want to game at home, or is it healthier to go out to stores?

This is a personal preference, I think.  It’s not unhealthy to want to play at home.  Some people might not like the local scene and don’t want to play the way their local store does.  Someone else might not even have a local store.  In our society, we often assume that extroverts are healthy and that introverts are unhealthy.  From a psychological perspective, the difference between extroverts and introverts is how they recharge their emotional and psychological batteries.  Someone can be incredibly social and still prefer solitude to unwind and recover at the end of the day.  Another person could be a shy wallflower who wants people to watch and be surrounded by strangers they don’t talk to.  One isn’t really better than the other, but rather it’s about knowing what it is that’s best for you.

Interpersonal skills vary from person to person, and loose rules create many opportunities for disagreements at the table. What are the best ways to manage ourselves so that we can respond to difficult interactions with others?

There are many podcasts that deal with this, but I would ask someone who’s an organizer or a judge to adjudicate disagreements.  I’m playing to have fun, not win.  Other’s might be, but if nothing else, a rules disagreement that develops into a difficult interaction lets me know who I don’t want to play again in the future.

I think a good way to handle this is preemptively.  Ask your opponent what their army does, or if there is anything you should know.  Make sure you are clear on what the terrain traits are.  Always state your intention, so if you want to charge with a unit, measure the charge distance before you start the move in the movement phase, so that it is clear early.  Discuss beforehand what kind of take-backs are ok and how you will handle a mistake that matters. I always let my opponents see my list and tell them what each unit does.  Transparency is your best friend.

It can be hard to tell people when you have a hard time being around others due to mental health issues and some of the stigma attached to them. What are good ways to prepare and fortify ourselves as individuals so that we can be brave enough to trust others with this information, or to bear the challenges privately among strangers at events?

I wouldn’t give others a full diagnosis during a tournament or game night.  Honestly, I think this is where a good community is your best support.  Start with small revelations, and see how they go.  You don’t want to dump on others, but after the event or between games it can be good to say something small like “Thanks, I needed this.” 

Another thing to remember is that most of the time people are more focused on themselves instead of others.  If you are uncomfortable, they might not even notice.  Mental health issues impact 25% of the population every year, and during COVID I’ve seen some surveys that indicate the numbers are now over 50%.  Almost all of them aren’t having psychotic symptoms, and instead are dealing with anxiety or depression.  Most of the time, others won’t notice, unless it’s very severe.  

When it’s working at its best, the Hobby helps with mental health, so going to an event can be investing in that mental health, rather than a trigger for it.  Maybe that is a hard reframing for some, but it can make things better.

What advice do you have for the more extraverted or social gamers who may not be aware of the stress that social events can cause some of their more introverted friends?

Checking in with people during and after the game is important.  The point of any game is to keep playing, and if you want to foster those relationships so that you’ll keep having people say yes to playing you, make sure you are investing in them.  Not everyone is as comfortable with things as you are, and therefore it is incumbent on you to check-in.

Narrative and Themes

What would you say is your favorite story in the grimdark setting? I’d love to hear why.

My favorite stories tend to change based on the day or my mood.  There is a truth that exists in the setting that even though it’s always a minute to midnight and the galaxy is ending and everything is crushed by overwhelming oppression or fear or even just bureaucratic dysfunction and red tape there is still hope for specific people, for specific days.  In that way, the setting mirrors real life.  The universe doesn’t care about you, and in the end won’t miss you at all, because everything you’ve ever done and every person who might even know your name will one day be erased from existence and dissolved down to atoms and the heat death of the universe.  But… today?  Today what I do matters a great deal, and it matters a great deal to those around me.  My life has meaning in the moment, even if there is no longer-term echo throughout time in the physical material of the universe.

One story that has always been something that has stuck with me, and I cannot remember the name, was a short story about a recruitment world for the Dark Angels where they didn’t know about the Imperium, but they did know about the Chaos Gods.  They refused, however, to worship them.  Instead, their religion was a fight against them, and their prayers and ceremonies were hexes against and curses of the Ruinous Powers.  There’s something appealing about that kind of stance, a defiance that goes that deep as to become a religion. It feels right in 40k.

I have been loving the Horus Heresy, mainly because they have done such a good job of making each faction feel like it is raw and authentic, and have done a lot to ensure that the characters feel true to life and that their reasons ring true.  For me, this is what is fun and worth reading.  The little bits that make things come to life.  The heroes don’t always win.  The heroes fight each other as much as anyone else.  Who the heroes are depends on what you bring to the table, not some objective place.

Do you see value in fiction as a way to cope with reality? How effective do you think Warhammer’s setting is in this sort of experiment?

Good literature allows us to understand the lived experiences of others.  Fiction can be a way to escape, or better understand reality.  Warhammer does a good job with this most of the time.  Especially the really excellent authors.  It’s also the case that one can dive as deeply into it as they want to.  A reader can look at, say, Master of Mankind, and read into the Emperor speaking with Land about the 12th and take away many different possible thoughts.  The Emperor thinks of his creations as weapons and doesn’t care about them, and easily discards them if they aren’t functional.  So, of course, Angron is right to hate his so-called father for not helping him and treating him poorly.  He was right to rebel.  Or…  The Emperor rarely actually speaks, and Land interprets his psychic communication in the same way that he would approach the situation, so the biological superweapons known as primarchs would of course be referred to as number designation by a follower of the machine cult.  

The level of playing with the ideas presented can be as basic as “cool, I liked it” to “I will write a dissertation on this passage,” and both are ok.

As a psychologist, what are the themes that attract you the most to the setting and the lore of Warhammer?

It’s the universal human themes.  Struggle, community, acceptance, fear of rejection, power corrupts, actions have consequences, ideas and emotions have physical effects on the real world and change things. Because these themes are larger than life in the material the manifestations are bigger than they would be in the real world.  The mirror between the two is fairly clear to me as well.  It’s odd just how much of it is true in a deeper meaning sense than one would think some made-up stuff in a garage with plastic toys could be.  And I love it for that.

One of the criticisms I often hear about the lore of 40K is that it is so comically dark that it can become depressing to read. What are your thoughts on this? 

It can be, but I think that can often be a reflection of the reader as much as the author.  I think it is important to remember as well that while the novels tell stories, it is a shared universe.  Not just with the authors, but with the rules writers, and the players.  You, as a reader and hobbyist, are just as involved in setting the tone.  Maybe it’s depressing, but maybe the tragedy that you are reading about is why your army plays a certain way and that gives you hope.  Nihilism is often self-defeating.  Meaning is what we make of it, and what we read into the situations we find ourselves in, whether through a story, or on the tabletop, or in life.  It is what we read it to be more often than we realize.

Is being immersed in a narrative environment where “everyone is bad” harmful or helpful for someone struggling with depression or other mental illness?

Again the perspective of the individual is what matters.  It’s not that everyone is bad, it’s that no one is purely good. Lorgar isn’t bad. In fact, he’s probably more right than anyone else. He has major daddy issues, wants to worship his father, and seems to know a deeper truth (though there has never been any actual confirmation that the Emperor wants to be a god or that it’s even possible — and there probably shouldn’t be confirmation either).  In Black Legion, the followers of Abbadon laugh at Sigismund when they find out that the cult of the God-Emperor has taken hold and is now the religion of the Empire of Man.  “The Word Bearers won.”  Lorgar, the major mover behind the Heresy and devotee of Chaos in all its form created the cult of the Emperor and the faith that is often so effective against Chaos.

In therapy, we can discuss this, and how the things that people do in their lives often set up the very things that they end up not wanting or are fighting against.  Lorgar wants a world that he eventually does create, but because of how he goes about it that the world will never look the way he wants, and he ends up working for the opposition.  In your own life, you don’t have to follow that example and can lead your own life differently.

Is it silly to discuss this in therapy?  Maybe.  And maybe these are universal myths that we draw upon for our understanding of what it means to be human.  Therapists talk with clients about their hobbies, pop culture they consume, politics, religion, anything.  Literally everything is talkable.  So, of course, this would be too.

I think we can generally agree that stark black/white good/evil narratives are not only unrealistic and simple but create opportunities for naive viewpoints on life. How do you think we can find a useful balance between harsh truths about people and society versus being naive?    

There is a phrase in therapy called “meeting the client where they are.”  If you have someone who wants to stop drinking, but they can’t really commit to abstaining, and they avoid discussing it when it comes up, then they are not at the action stage of change.  They might be in the contemplation, or thinking about it stage.  They may be in pre-contemplation. Which would be exploring what it might be like to think about changing.  If the therapist is too far ahead of the client, then change takes much longer and can negatively impact therapy.  Hard truths may be difficult for people to hear, because they may not be in a place to hear it. With children, we seem to be able to understand that we need an age-appropriate way of explaining things to them.  I think the same thing exists when it comes to harsh truths about people and society.  People can handle what they can, and pushing them past that point will either make them further entrenched in maladaptive ways, or make them shut down.  If you instead prepare them for it and help them feel like those harsh truths have difficult but achievable solutions, it may make things easier on them.  

Which also brings up the question of what are the harsh truths.  Things are almost always more nuanced and complex in real life, and the truth of what is actually going on and motivating the situation makes Alpharius look simple and Tzeentch smile (if they were real outside of our collective imaginations that is).

In your opinion, can any character depictions in 40K become a useful or relatable representation for people struggling with PTSD or other mental health issues?

Absolutely, though I wouldn’t pick a particular book for everyone to read without talking to them.  One of the ways that PTSD is treated is that a person finds a place that is safe (subjectively) for them to tell the story of what happened over and over and over again until it doesn’t hurt them anymore.  Any depiction that shows others dealing with similar situations can be helpful in normalizing the experience and giving hope for resolution and improvement.  We can always get better, and even fictional accounts can become resources for perseverance.

An Ongoing Conversation

Dr. Christopher Nahumck is a clinical psychologist in private practice in the greater Los Angeles area. He can be reached at, and local gaming stores when COVID allows.  If you feel like you need psychological help, reach out to a therapist in your area.  They will be more than happy to help.


If you found this interesting, please check out my page Captain Morgan’s Librarius. This is the space where I test these ideas in their first drafts, and also talk about all the other parts of the hobby that I enjoy from painting, community, gaming, and all the rest. My Facebook page is also the best place to converse with me about this and many other topics in 40K. I also have a YouTube channel for video versions of some of these articles. Likes and shares are appreciated. I hope you enjoyed this week’s read, and I’ll see you again next time!

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Chris Morgan

40K philosopher, LVO Judge, Chief Librarian of Forge the Narrative, Blood Angel enthusiast extraordinaire, and slayer of traitors, xenos, and heretics; I'd rather be playing 30k right now or neck-deep in a good book. Follow me on my FB page - Captain Morgan's Librarius

2 Responses to “Mental Health and the Hobby – A Special Interview With Dr. Nahumck Part 1”

  1. Reecius September 8, 2020 7:49 am #

    Excellent, insightful article with a lot of pertinent information. I know when I have been down in the dumps the hobby has been a constant source of joy and escapism so I can see how it would help others as well.

    • Chris Morgan September 8, 2020 4:27 pm #

      It was great to be a part of the conversation on this topic. Our follow-up interview should be fun as well. I appreciate you letting me dump all these words on your site, bro haha.

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