Guilditorial #3: Video games, anti-depressant?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Guild McCommunist, May 29, 2010.

  1. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    So if you follow me or my blogs or whatever, you know that I've been having some rough times lately. I've gone from very depressed to meh sad to average back to meh sad and over and over again. But the one thing that's pulled me out of a rut is not talking to people, not dwelling on my problems, but video games. That's right kids: video games are anti-depressants.


    It's kinda hard to believe when you look at some of the gaming stories. People raging and getting incredibly angry over video games, people growing fat and lonely because they do nothing but video games, etc etc. But for a gamer like me, it's quite the opposite.

    A few weeks ago I got super depressed. You may remember some of my emo boo-hoo blogs from back then. I literally laid in my bed for two days straight, eating and drinking practically nothing (one meal per day, one glass of beverage per day, no snacks or drinks in-between). It sucked. It was the worst I've felt in my entire life, I'll say that right now. I'm lucky that I eventually was able to get up and realize I have a world to conquer, but I was still in the dumps. But after those two days, I booted up my Xbox, and God, I felt happy. Just being able to join a party of my friends and play Left 4 Dead 2 with our hootin' and hollerin' brought a smile to my face, and reminded me of the golden days where none of the crap I went through was a problem. It was ecstatic. When it was finally time to turn off the console, I did, and I still felt good. It wasn't a temporary high, it was a real cure.

    And then today I get some harsh news. "That girl", who "wasn't ready for a relationship" was in a relationship... Not with me of course. I felt pretty bad, not enough to do the whole "sit in bed all day and mope", but kinda "wow, this really sucks" type of thing. I didn't want to play video games but quite honestly I willed myself to. I boot up Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and I start playing the campaign. I throw a grenade, a terrorist flies into a concrete pillar, and I laughed. Legitimately laughed, not a forced one like I usually have to do. It felt so damn good I almost had to change my pants afterward. And being able to hear the commentary of my friends when they play other games was just as good.

    Even just playing an hour of Prince of Persia, alone with no one to talk to, was good. It kept my mind off things.

    The frustration in games even helps you get over things. You feel sad or angry? Well now you're angry at zombies or terrorists that don't even exist! Go ahead, blow their heads off, dismember them, all because they were cheapass aimbots! Go ahead, shout "That's right bitch suck it down!" (as I do). They won't even care.

    So, what am I trying to say here? GBAtemp has a lot of sad blokes here that are good people, and the one thing they love the most, video games, can easily be the cure. Join up with a bunch of friends in an online game, laugh your ass off, share the memories, and you've got friends and you've got an escape.

    Kinda pointless, I know, but I need to say it.
  2. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

    Jan 22, 2009
    United States
    Well said Guild! Probably should have been in the blogs (probably would have gotten more attention there too. [​IMG] ) Yea that's right games nip depression in the butt. Just don't try to play COD as it will probably make you mad instead of happy.
  3. xist


    Jul 14, 2008
    Sorry to put a downer on this but games don't beat depression...they help you out if you're feeling low, but as someone who has actually been diagnosed as depressed in the past i know from experience that real depression is a lot more oppressive than something that can be pushed aside by gaming.
  4. Thoob

    Thoob LOLmonade.

    May 28, 2009
    Yeah, so true. I'd probably play Mario or something if I needed cheering up!
  5. Jolan

    Jolan Unlimited Bear Works

    Mar 20, 2010
    Netherlands, currently
    I grew out of depression thanks to God of War.
    Simply playing through the first two games has helped boost my self-esteem and made me a happier person in general.
    I know, there's lots of blood, gore and sex, but it felt like venting, it really did.
  6. Guild McCommunist

    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

    May 6, 2009
    United States
    The Danger Zone
    Quite honestly, hyper violent games are great for getting over your sadness. It may seem psychotic but there's something therapeutic about sawing a bad guy in half with blood shooting everywhere in MadWorld or blowing the limbs off hordes of zombies in Left 4 Dead 2.
  7. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    Northern Virginia
    Well, as someone who's actually been on Anti-Depressants for the last...Oh, how long has it been now...2-3 years? I actually agree with Xist, what you have to consider and come to acknowledge Guild, is that any sort of "anti-depressant", as you deemed video-games is a conscious choice.

    Your Choosing to play video games, ultimately, video games don't beat depression. Anti-Depressants are a drug that change the way the brain works correcting chemical and natural imbalances with specific, identified neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which controls happiness.

    I suppose, adding on to what Xist is saying...In my opinion your using the term "Anti-Depressants" rather loosely. Anti-Depressants are a drug, yes, but they're taken in controlled dosages. They do not equate to instant gratification. That's something you tend to associate with a drug addict.

    Rather, you should look at "Anti-Depressants" as a sort of catalyst, catalysts speed up reactions. Anti-Depressants aren't an answer, they're merely a step you can take, moving forward and acknowledging your problems. Yes, they're incredibly helpful at times, but ultimately it's the choices and decisions that you make that can lead you out of a depression.

    I hope you'll stay friends with the girl. As an empathetic guy, I can tell you, we're asshats! And a future opportunity may come in time. The better friends you are, the easier the transition from a different kind of relationship to another.

    I think that non-violent video-games, more along the lines of Mario, as someone else mentioned would be a more therapeutic example of stress release which is more along the lines of what you've been feeling. Violent video-games like Call of Duty, do at times cause more frustration than they're worth. I'm not an FPS gamer, but those sorts of games, at times, to me seem more like semi-controlled anger management sessions than anything to me, that is, until you explode.

    Feel better, going driving now, do what you can to keep yourself upbeat!

  8. Xarsah16

    Xarsah16 GBATemp's Official Village Dingus/Idiot

    Oct 6, 2007
    Stress release is definitely the term for it. However, any game that has the potential to be enjoyed by the person could be a stress release. For example, the wii game No More Heroes is violent as hell, but because you're slicing goons in half with the beam katana (a lightsaber with a different name to avoid lawsuits [​IMG]) and blood is flying everywhere, it feels good because that pent up anger inside is finally being released. Especially physically, because it relys on the motion sensitivity of the Wii. Also, violent games such as God of War (previously mentioned) and even Halo can be this gratifying.

    I personally get so bent out of shape over tiny things, and it annoys the crap out of me. But when I sit down and play a game, I feel so much better afterward also.

    On a side note - I've also been diagnosed with Depression before and I've been on Prozac for years. The gratification from video games doesn't always help, but it does alleviate some of the stress!
  9. Slyakin

    Slyakin See ya suckers

    Oct 15, 2008
    United States
    Soviet Slyakin
    Yeah, I COMPLETELY understand this. I had to deal with 3 huge deaths in one day. My favorite teacher, who was hit by a drunk driver, my grandfather from some shock of some sort, and my grandmother, who had a heart attack.

    I hated everything. Everything. Everything. I wanted to kill that drunk, and then kill myself. I had no hope. No hope at all.

    Until Mario Galaxy 2 came out.

    When I first saw Yoshi jump out of his egg, everything lightened, and I'm semi back to normal today, although I still have bouts of depression.