I know, a lot of you are probably groaning at the sight of yet another article about video games and mental health. Let me first say that my views are my own and by no means reflect anybody here at PlayStation LifeStyle.
I can’t speak for anybody else but I’m guessing many can relate to what I’m about to say. Part of the reason I game is to DESTRESS from personal issues, family, social, educational, and work reasons. Video games are a huge reason why I’m alive today.
I’m 36 years old and I suffer from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, so yes, I suffer from mental issues. Video games didn’t cause the problems I have. They helped save me from taking my own life many times. I’ve been bullied, I’ve almost been a victim of a drive-by, I was a victim TWICE of sexual abuse among countless of other things. I tried the counseling route and all they cared about was when I was making a payment. I’m on medication, but let’s face it, all that’s doing is shutting me up.
No, what helps me the most is video games, writing, and watching sports/wrestling. That’s what keeps me above the ground instead of under it. That’s why I’m an aspiring game writer. If I can work on a game that helps somebody else with their depression and potentially keeps them from taking their life, that would mean the world to me. I want to give back to what gaming has done for me, which is help save my life.
A lot of friends have been made by gaming. Friendships that I already had have become stronger because of gaming. Gaming is one more thing that brings my five girls and me closer together. At the end of the day, I’m not robbing anybody, I’m not killing anybody, I’m not selling/buying drugs, and I’m not out having sex and bringing a bunch of babies into the world. I’m at home gaming or at a friend’s house gaming. Now again, I’m not calling out anybody who’s done those things I’m just saying video games not only saved my life but also kept me out of doing those things. I’m one of many and I’m taking a stand and telling my story and hope others will stand up and do the same.
BBC Radio published an article stating seven reasons playing video games is good for you. Some of the highlights included the fact that gaming is very sociable. In 2014 there was a report done by Pew Research Center that states that over a third of teenagers had made new friends while playing multiplayer games online. Things aren’t like they used to be. It’s not as easy as walking up to somebody and striking up a conversation without somebody thinking you have an ulterior motive. Another benefit listed was that gaming helps fight mental illness. There have been many times where I played a game that dealt with elements of something I was going through and seeing how it played out in a game helped me cope with my own situation.
Another thing I’ve seen in my time playing video games is relationships have blossomed or even become stronger when both people are gamers. There are so many positives to gaming that can help a lot of people. I’m living proof of this.