The Demons We Face

WARNING! SPOILERS FOR SILENT HILL 2 BELOW!

Mental health in the United States has often been overlooked. People suffer from depression, suicidal ideations, anxiety, and other psychological illnesses. These illnesses can stem from traumatic events or chemical imbalances in the brain. The demons we face are worsened by the lack of accessible mental health care in the United States. Many people succumb to their demons due to a lack of help. However, people need to know they do not have to suffer alone. God is by their side, even when it seems no one else is. Their family and friends can also help them navigate their illnesses. In Silent Hill 2, a supernatural town exposes the inner demons of various people who find themselves there. 

Silent Hill 2, the second game in the famous horror franchise Silent Hill, features protagonist James Sunderland. James goes to the titular town of Silent Hill, Maine. He received a solemn letter from his deceased wife, asking him to return to the area, as this is where they vacationed together frequently. Upon James’s arrival, the city does not look like the picturesque resort town he remembers. A dense fog has descended upon the area, and the town appears neglected and abandoned. On top of that, monsters start to appear in the town. James must make his way through the area and monsters to get to the special place James and his wife, Mary, used to stay.

James’s Wife, Mary

Welcome to Silent Hill

As James progresses through the town, he meets various characters who came to Silent Hill for multiple reasons. Eddie is an overweight male who felt that his life was not worthwhile. His peers consistently bullied him most of his life for being overweight. Before coming to Silent Hill, Eddie violently wounded a former high school football player that did not stop bullying him.

Angela Orosco ventured to Silent Hill to find her missing mother. Through the game’s events, James learns that Angela’s father and brother abused her sexually, mentally, and physically while she was growing up. The abuse gave her numerous mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and suicidal ideations.

James’s Demons

Pyramid Head, one of the more important antagonists of Silent Hill 2

As James ventures further into the story, he meets more and more dangerous monsters. These include Pyramid Head, the nurses, and Maria, a counterpart to James’s deceased wife. The closer James gets to the special place, the more odd things seem to happen. The letter loses the writing upon the stationary; eventually, the paper and then the envelope themselves disappear. Finally, James fights against two manifestations of Pyramid Head, followed by an image of Maria that turns into a monster. The ending that occurs is wholly dependent upon the number of playthroughs the player has finished, along with specific actions performed throughout the game.

After the player finishes the story, they learn that James’s wife had a terminal illness that required her to stay in the hospital for quite a long time. James became frustrated with the disease and his wife’s condition. Silent Hill calls James to either overcome the guilt and frustrations that developed, or be consumed by them. Silent Hill, in Silent Hill 2, was a place where people would come to deal with their inner demons. Demons like shame, guilt, and depression are all apparent in some of the characters of Silent Hill 2.

Fighting Alone

James in a run-down apartment.

Despite Eddie, Angela, and Laura being present in Silent Hill for various reasons, James mostly fought through the town alone. Eddie and Angela also spent a lot of time alone, dealing with their monsters. These characters could show how many people with mental illnesses tend to fight the condition alone. Some folks do not show others the pain they are going through, nor do they believe others would understand said pain. Some feel like a burden if they do share their issues or reach out for help. God, however, shows us that this is not the case.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

Everybody has their demons that they face. They do not have to be powerful, intimidating monsters to have a profound effect on a person. Unfortunately, these demons mostly go without seeing the light of day, as a lot of people do not like to talk about the issues that are affecting them. According to an article published by Front Public Health, two-thirds to three-quarters of people who committed suicide did not seek professional help. The article also explains that depression alone does not cause suicidal ideations. Other demons can affect people just as hard.

Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

The above verse includes a portion of God’s words to Joshua before Joshua’s conquest of the Promised Land. God went forth with Joshua during this mission that God requested, and God never abandoned Joshua during this conquest. This verse, however, applies to anybody from any time in history. God shows us time and time again that He does not abandon His children. King David wrote about how God leads His children in Psalm 23. Psalm 23:4 states something very similar to Joshua 1:9: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

The Good Shepherd

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God stayed with Joshua throughout the conquest of the Promised Land. Cities like Jericho fell in miraculous ways. When various governments imprisoned Paul, God remained with him. Many biblical heroes overcame significant hurdles because God stayed with them. He will not forsake us, for he is our Good Shepherd who does not abandon his flock.

God remains by our side through any danger and assists us in the way He wants us to go. How amazing is that? Even when we feel alone, and our demons overwhelm us, God still is next to us, ready to comfort us. He is more significant than our afflictions. He is bigger than our hurts. As a certain Junior Asparagus came to learn, God is even bigger than the Boogieman. Nothing can separate us from His loving embrace.

Please Find Help

To those of you who are facing their demons, please seek help; you do not have to walk alone. Your monsters may not take on frightening physical manifestations like those in Silent Hill, but they are real. Professional psychiatric treatments and counseling are excellent in helping people put names to their issues, like identifying if you have depression or PTSD, and getting started on the path to healing. Physician help can also get you needed medications should your demons be medical. Finally, find good friends you can lean on for support. A reliable friend or family member is exceedingly helpful in making bad days better, and they may even save your life one day.

To everyone else, please keep your eyes open for your friends and family members who are fighting mental illnesses. The illnesses they face are just as real as physical trauma or disease. Their illnesses can be even more frightening than the monsters seen in Silent Hill. Please be by their side and help them find the help that they need. Be a beneficial presence in their lives.

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My brothers and sisters, I pray for you continuously and hope that you are making it through these dark times. Remember, God is always with you, wherever you may go!

Cody Massie

I am a firm believer that God can show Himself wherever people dare to look. I love looking for his fingerprints in video games especially! I have been gaming since I was young, and I am continuously fascinated with the medium.

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