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Gamers With Depression

I want to share my story of gaming and depression with other people in hopes that they can relate and hopefully gather strength from the knowledge that depression is not everlasting and can be fought, that video games don't cause depression and violence.

Author: maxedits576

Gamers With Depression: Sense of Belonging

Posted by maxedits576 Wednesday April 3 2013 at 8:11PM
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The real world can be tough, horribly unfortunate, and cruel. Lousy circumstances can break any person's spirit but this is where that sense of belonging manifests. Say you had a bad day at school. Maybe somebody teased you about your raggedy clothes, or bullied you into giving up your snack, or maybe you got in trouble with the teacher. Whatever the situation was, you were now upset, maybe even depressed. You didn't want to go outside after school, you wanted to go home and be alone because when you were alone, you were not being judged, teased, or abused. Of course, this left a void....I believe this void is the reason we turn to video games.

 

You finally fit in. Whether you were saving princesses, defeating some resurrected evil, or simply trying to beat your friends to the finish line, you belonged. You had a purpose! You were the hero that the kingdom expected to save the day. You were the underdog everyone cheered for. You were important. Nobody could call you weak or useless, nobody could bring you down. This is the belonging you needed. Through this medium, you could pick yourself back up again and hopefully apply it to the real world.

 

How could you be depressed when there was a whole world waiting for you to save them? It is easy to be swallowed by the increasing pressure of real world stress so I think being able to go into a world where none of that matters and immerse yourself in it is a fantastic way to dig yourself out of depression. Not only was this an escape, but also a learning tool with regards to handling certain situations in the real world. Anytime you got pushed down you could think back to when your favorite character got back up and stood his ground. Not to say that you should pounce on the bully, but that your mentality was strong and determined not to let this person bring you down.

 

What was your first game that let you escape reality and gave you a sense of belonging? Did you still get that feeling as you became older?

 

Gamers with Depression: An Introduction To My Situation

Posted by maxedits576 Tuesday March 26 2013 at 10:31PM
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"Video games lead to depression." This is an assumption that is witnessed all around the world with no regards to the reasons behind it. When a horrible crime is committed, it is not uncommon to hear that the assailant played video games and that they were depressed and that this depression led them to commit violence. What you tend not to hear though, is that over 70% of the human population on Earth, plays video games. Now granted, they may not incorporate games into their lives as heavily as some do, but whether you play Angry Birds on the train into work, slice a few fruits on your tablet while you are in the waiting room at the dentist, or spend 8 hours a day perfecting whatever game it is you enjoy, we are all gamers. It isn't fair to fit every single one of us into this huge mold and then berate us but media outlets do it anyways for their own motives.

Regardless, that is not what i want to talk about. I am a gamer. I have been playing video games since i can remember. I was born in 1992 and i remember my first gaming system being the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). And like, i would assume, most kids of my generation, Super Mario Kart was the first game i remember playing. The colors were vibrant, the music made me want to dance, and the characters made me want to believe. I wanted to believe there was a little mushroom man racing around on a rainbow track somewhere. I  wanted to believe that Mario and his buddies were having a great time. I wanted to BE one of his buddies. That sense of belonging, I believe, is where the link between depression and gaming is made.

I have struggled with depression for a very, very long time. My parents divorced before i could remember, my father struggles with epilepsy and the seizures that accompany it, and my mother and her husband at the time thought that physical abuse was a good way of parenting. I have been overweight for quite a while as well which combined with all those other things led me to develop a very low self esteem. The kind that people notice without you having to say a word.

All of this is to say that my depression lead me to my love of video games. Video games did NOT make me depressed, or increase the severity of it. I actually believe that gaming has combated the depression to a level that is not detrimental to my well-being.

Did depression have or continue to have an impact on your life? Do you think gaming help or hurt your battle with it?

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