How video games help your brain to fight depression?
The mental health of human beings can be both resilient and highly sensitive.
Some strong people endure many hardships and struggles in life without letting their mental health gets affected.
On the other hand, many people fight depression and anxiety caused by unfortunate happenings in their lives.
When we talk about depression, its levels and causes can be multiple. Psychologists determine the condition, circumstances, and several other things before deciding what type of treatment the patient might need.
Medicines, therapies, counseling, and mental exercises are frequently used to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.
One more thing that may be highly underrated as of now to curb depression is playing video games. They might actually be accommodating for patients suffering from depression.
We will discuss about it further in this blog. But first, let’s throw some light on recent statistics regarding depression and mental health in general.
Some eye-opening statistics
- A study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation showed that 10.7% of the world population suffer from mental illnesses. Approximately 4% of those are suffering from depression.
- According to statistics released by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), only 36.9% of people suffering from anxiety disorders receive treatment, although these are highly treatable.
- ADAA also states that nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
- WHO says that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and contributes majorly towards the global burden of disease.
- WHO also reveals that several psychological and pharmacological treatments are highly effective for depression.
How can video games be the ultimate cure for depression?
- Used as cognitive behavioral therapy
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a technique used to treat patients with psychological disorders, including depression. It involves coping strategies, emotional development, and helping to focus and solve a current problem.
Games are increasingly being used as a part of cognitive behavior therapy and show positive results among the patients. All of the elements that make CBT successful can be obtained by games. Plus, it provides entertainment as well, which adds to its success rate even more. The patient stays consistent when he enjoys something.
The positive effects of computer games used as cognitive behavioral therapy in children are backed explicitly by a study published in the Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry.
- Builds confidence
One of the most common symptoms of depression is losing self-confidence. It is a vital trait for a healthy mind, and the lack of it worsens the mindset, which results in demotivation, fear, and hopelessness.
Playing an amusing game where you repeatedly ace challenges and win rewards can restore your confidence. It will promote feelings of self-accomplishment, which paves the way towards better mental health.
- Helps focus
Suppose you are playing an action-packed game like Battlelands Royale, where you need to defend and attack simultaneously. Such games require precision and focus, which is one of the most required elements in treating depression.
Treatments aim to improve the patient’s focus so that their analyzing problem-solving skills can work typically. Games provide this opportunity in a fun way. They enhance focus and are beneficial for long term treatment goals.
- Stimulates brain functions
As a result of an improved focus, games further act as a stimulant for the brain. The challenges that need to be finished within time, scoring, and securing extra rewards really put your mind to work. It is also a good source of distraction from the inner turmoil a patient is facing.
- Strengthens problem-solving skills
Playing strategy-based and learning-based games is an excellent practice to polish the problem-solving skills of patients. The gaming interface often calls for critical thinking to pass a certain level or beat the opponent. As a result, the concentration and focus problems that a depressed patient has can improve.
- Flourishes creativity
Many video games give a let-go to your inner creativity. Art and craft games and games like Minecraft thrive your creativity to the fullest. If you are suffering from mental disorders like depression or anxiety, playing these games frequently, the boost in creativity will help manage your symptoms.
- Helps in learning
What can be a better distraction for a distressed mind than learning fun activities? A variety of games are being developed on the idea of helping the player learn a new craft, a language, or any useful thing that you might find interesting. Not only will it keep you busy, but also help you overcome feelings of gloom and stress.
- Brings positivity
People who suffer from depression experience hopelessness to such an extent that it interferes with their daily tasks and health in general. They feel that there is nothing worth left in their lives, and the future is totally bleak. Incorporating games into their routine will give them moments of achievement and positivity.
- Provides motivation
Once you start playing a game that keeps you hooked, lack of motivation will be a thing of the past. Games help you stay motivated, and you will anticipate playing the next level and score high to beat your fellow players or opponents.
Stigmas attached to video games
There are several harmful effects of specific games, which raises a concern about whether they are safe for people with an already deteriorative mental state. Some of them are:
- Privacy issues due to the use of webcams and voice recording
- Promoting violence and unnatural fantasies
Note that these issues are not only related to games but are general internet security issues that will also be a risk while doing browsing, using social media, and other activities.
To stay safe from these adverse effects, the need for safe and trustworthy platforms is critical.
There is one more stereotype attached to gaming that promotes social isolation and develops an aversion to socializing in players. That can be tackled effectively by limiting play time and providing frequent opportunities for socializing.
The truth is that video games can actually benefit a patient suffering from mental illness and several other neurological diseases as well.
Choose reliable Gaming platforms
To stay away from the usual stereotypes attached to gaming, wise selection is vital. Choose safe gaming platforms like Unlimited Gamez Mo, where you don’t have to worry about violence and privacy breach. Or, if you are downloading gaming apps, read the reviews about them first to get an idea about what to expect.
Rest assured, you will be able to cope with depression via fun games in a safe environment.
Several learning-based games, strategy games, and even some action games that are free from adverse effects can be the key to fight symptoms related to depression, as explained in detail above. There is a massive variety of fun games to choose from on reliable platforms.
However, you must be careful before selecting a game to avoid falling into the trap of harmful effects of gaming and keep the playing time to a specific limit. Only then will you be able to reap its benefits.
Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blogging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne