#1 Posted by s10129107 (1167 posts) -

Does anybody use games to deal with or avoid/ignore depression.

I was forced in a new living situation where asthma has hamstrung my ability to exercise properly and eliminated my main strategy for keeping on an even keel. I found myself playing many hours of videogames and avoiding the world until my PC failed (6 years of playing modern games at high settings, she will be missed) and i was forced to evaluate my life.

What do you use besides medicine to deal with and handle depression. For me it has always been, exercise, eating regularly and keeping busy. Having no job, asthma flairs, no health insurance and no money to eat proper food i just don't know what to do.

#2 Posted by klingers (5 posts) -

I'm doing a Psychology degree at the moment and my dissertation is going to be on using video games as a form of stress relief. I haven't really noticed any research out there for or against the efficacy of video games in dealing with depression, but this sounds quite interesting.

I know I've used video games to relieve anger and stress in the past. I can't really remember whether I used video games to help me when I went through a minor depressive phase (not really depression, but it was very minor symptoms) . I'd be quite interested to see whether people do use video games to deal with depression and if people use it to help deal with it or just ignore the effects of depression.

#3 Posted by LaszloKovacs (1133 posts) -

I was in a similar situation (minus asthma) for a pretty long time, and unfortunately I don't have a ton of useful advice to give you other than the old "hang in there, it'll get better". (It really will, it just might take a while.)

I'm in a much better place now - working again, living in a place that's much healthier for me, in a functional and happy relationship - but at the time I basically just drank myself stupid every afternoon after I woke up, so I wouldn't notice how hungry I was from only eating shitty microwave ramen a couple of times a day. It got worse when I didn't have games to help me ignore it. Obviously that went pretty poorly!

Ultimately, I got help through my university's student health center and got medicated and into therapy and for what it's worth I am worlds better now. If you're not taking classes and you don't have insurance, you probably won't be able to go that route, but ignoring a problem and/or distracting yourself from it isn't a feasible solution, whether you're using video games as a tool or something else. Being depressed makes you want to not do anything, but the only thing that's going to help is being proactive.

Maybe look into free clinics or other cheap healthcare alternatives - a GP won't be super helpful long-term but at least they can get you started on a medication that works for you, and that can get you going in the right direction.

#4 Posted by Lord_Xp (599 posts) -

I don't use video games to deal with depression. But I do use it to relieve my anger. Nothing like shooting an non-existent person/creature/alien/pixels to make me feel better.

#5 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (4445 posts) -

I play games as a fun aside to my real life. If I happen to be sad or angry or just generally upset, video games provide a safe fun outlet for me. Just like with all media, Video games can be a good escape from the harsh realities of real life. What's important is to not use it as a crutch. I wish you the best of luck and will tell you from experience, it gets better.

#6 Posted by BaneFireLord (2878 posts) -

Heavy metal. That's also my go-to cure for heart break, boredom, exhaustion and illness.

#7 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

when i was younger i did. but now i find Gin a far better way to bury depression.

#8 Posted by frankfartmouth (1016 posts) -

Yes, I use games to escape the horrors of reality. I'm in a similar situation but much worse. I've developed so many bizarre health problems over the last 8 years, I'm barely able to function in society anymore. I can't be exposed to hardly any indoor environments without reactions so severe that it lays me out for days. I've held it together in a similar fashion as you the last 3 or 4 years--exercise, strict diet, controlling exposures--but despite my best efforts, it's pretty much a losing battle. The last 2 years, I've taken to living outdoors year round, which is a real bitch from hell, but it's all I can really do to just buy myself some more time.

Video games are a lifelong passion, so they've come in quite handy. I watch tons of movies, too, and read a lot of books, but games are a little better at just offering a quick, inexhaustible escape. I can't take anti-depressants, I'm completely intolerant to them--like lots of meds--so there's really not much else I can do, except stupid shit like keeping a feelings journal or yelling into a pillow or other such lifeskills-type stuff that isn't going to do a damn thing.

#9 Posted by TheFreepie (82 posts) -

I probably do sub-consciously. I spend a lot of the time on the computer and it helps me forget about my real-world problems, for good or for bad.

#10 Posted by GnsDemon (107 posts) -

I know I went into a deep low in my life for about 8 months or so after I got laid off. I used games and the internet to occupy my time. I ended up meeting so awesome people and all in all came out with gains and worked through that tough time. I maybe wouldn't call it depression, but who knows. I didn't feel good about myself for sure. League of Legends got me through those months.

#11 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19158 posts) -

Definitely. I'm miserable, but video games are my only passion and the only thing I can keep going to to make me happy. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play.

#12 Posted by Cathryn (540 posts) -

I've found that if I've had a really bad few days and need a surefire distraction, certain games can be a big help in getting my mind off of things and changing my focus (Persona 3, particularly the FeMC route in Portable is generally what I go with).

#13 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

Not having a job doesn't help. I would suggest fixing that. Sometimes when I'm stressed I'll break open a bottle of vodka and play video games. Not sure if it's the vodka or the games that I depend on more.

#14 Posted by Snail (8473 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

Definitely. I'm miserable, but video games are my only passion and the only thing I can keep going to to make me happy. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone who's among the top posters is or has been depressed at one point, one way or another. There was a time when I was leaving my room for little more than an hour a day and spent a vast portion of my time posting here, and there were still people with much higher post counts. I spent so much time on this website it actually felt... different. Like I still love it, but I was wasting so much time here. It was a feeling akin to when you stare at one word for a long time, and then suddenly that word just looks weird. I don't know, when people spends that much time talking to other people they don't know on the internet, doesn't that suggest there's something wrong in their real lives?

I feel like I wasted too much time playing games during that time as well. But if I hadn't been playing games I would have wasted time in a different way. Still, there are definitely ways of spending time that are more enriching than hours upon hours of playing FTL. Or posting on Giant Bomb.

#15 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11017 posts) -

Certainly, I've played games as an escape, but really only during some particularly low points of my life. I've never used them to shirk responsibility, and now that I have medication I intend to never get to that point.

@Snail: Listen man, these posts were acquired over 4 years of community interaction. I CAN QUIT ANY TIME I WANT.

Online
#16 Posted by EpicSteve (6442 posts) -

During my time in Afghanistan videogames were the only outlet. There wasn't any other luxury. So a lot of men became gamers as a form of escapism from the harsh realities of the job and to not think about home. Also in a less deeper sense, just have something fun to do.

#17 Posted by Yummylee (20585 posts) -

@Snail said:

@FluxWaveZ said:

Definitely. I'm miserable, but video games are my only passion and the only thing I can keep going to to make me happy. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't play.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone who's among the top posters is or has been depressed at one point, one way or another. There was a time when I was leaving my room for little more than an hour a day and spent a vast portion of my time posting here, and there were still people with much higher post counts. I spent so much time on this website it actually felt... different. Like I still love it, but I was wasting so much time here. It was a feeling akin to when you stare at one word for a long time, and then suddenly that word just looks weird. I don't know, when people spends that much time talking to other people they don't know on the internet, doesn't that suggest there's something wrong in their real lives?

No suggestions or theories needed, I will straight up tell you my life is a load of shit :) Speaking purely for myself of course, and FluxWaveZ as it would appear.

It's only fairly recently occurred to me how high my post count is, though... It's admittedly kinda sad, but what's even worse was how I never even realised how much frequent posting I've done across the 4 years I've been active.

#18 Posted by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

I think gaming can be really dangerous for people with depression. I like to drink as much as I like games. I mostly drink for the appreciation of the craft quality of the beer or liquor I'm drinking and my appreciation of games is similar. If I try to use alcohol as self-medication to try to deal with depression or stress, all I'm doing is forcing myself into a cycle of avoidance that keeps me from dealing with the real problems and issues that are driving the depression, only making things progressively worse. The same goes for games.

It's great to have an a passion and appreciation for games, but using them to distract yourself from problems you might be able to do something about usually only prolongs your depression.

#19 Posted by buft (3298 posts) -

@s10129107 said:

Does anybody use games to deal with or avoid/ignore depression.

I was forced in a new living situation where asthma has hamstrung my ability to exercise properly and eliminated my main strategy for keeping on an even keel. I found myself playing many hours of videogames and avoiding the world until my PC failed (6 years of playing modern games at high settings, she will be missed) and i was forced to evaluate my life.

What do you use besides medicine to deal with and handle depression. For me it has always been, exercise, eating regularly and keeping busy. Having no job, asthma flairs, no health insurance and no money to eat proper food i just don't know what to do.

for me the easiest way was playing games, though i can still exercise i found the community aspect of MMOs to be alluring since its much easier to make new friends and deal with people on a less than personal basis, i do raids and stuff but its much more about community, thats not for everyone of course.