In games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent where the character is descending into madness, it is hard to know what sounds are in the game and what sounds are in my head, and even harder to differentiate between real sounds and hallucinations from the in-game characters perspective. Another good example of my struggles with what is real is F.E.A.R 3. There is a child crying somewhere off-screen at certain points. That child cried the entire game, or I exaggerated the sound with my brain; I�m still not really sure which. These games show me characters who survive terrifying hallucinations, letting me know it can be done.
Horror games where the character hallucinates, or there are chilling off screen sounds, offer a unique opportunity. Hallucinating, whether the sounds are in the game or not, while in a safe environment without any real world consequences gives me a chance to practice being crazy. Confronting the hallucinations helps me to control and cope with them. The more often you hear something that isn't there whispering into your ear, the less scary it gets.
Through years of therapy, medications, and even ECT, the hallucinations have stuck around. Thankfully, my ability to cope with them, due in part to my practice with horror games, has increased tremendously.