July 25, 2020 4:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Video games and mental health. A beneficial aid to our wellbeing? Or a crutch we lean on when life gets too much?

Mental health is a rather sensitive subject and it can affect people in many ways. Anxiety, depression, and stress are just a few examples that we all experience, some more severely than others. We sometimes take on hobbies and pastimes as a means of escape or relief from the struggles of real life.

Playing video games is one such hobby (or passion) that allows us to temporarily break free from the harsh realities. They help us feel safe in a world that we have some kind of control over, even if it is only a virtual one. Video games come in all genres like platformers, arcade, action, simulation, just to name a few. We can lose ourselves for hours when playing our favorite games, I know I sure have.

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Lost in my own little world playing on my Nintendo Switch

Video games and mental health – the benefits of video games

The Legend of Zelda is one such series that I have been playing for such a long time. It has brought me great joy over the years and has helped me a lot with overcoming my own issues. I loved playing all the sidequests and helping the NPC’s. It has also taught me to help others in real-life as well and to think about other people and not just myself.

Multiplayers games have also helped me learn to be more sociable with others. I used to be extremely competitive when I was younger that I would only play to win (Just ask my brother Jack). I eventually learned to play just for fun and let others win from time to time. Of course, now I don’t have to “let people win” as I struggle just to keep from being last. What goes around, comes around I guess.

Mike64

Those were the “N64” days!

Video games and Mental health – Too much of a good thing?

Video games can help us in a lot of ways. They can be a means of escape and make us feel safe, teach us life lessons, and how to play with others. Video games are also very beneficial in learning but as with everything, video games should ideally be played in moderation.

It is true that while we can feel safe playing video games, especially those who suffer from anxiety or depression, it is also possible that we can rely on them perhaps a little too much. We can become dependent on them as a means to avoid our issues rather than deal with them directly.

Those suffering from mental health issues should find assistance that can help them learn to manage their illness. Video games are kind of like a plaster (or band-aid). They can cover our wounds to protect it from getting worse but in order for a wound to heal, it needs proper treatment.

Still, some video games that are story-driven (and even some of those that aren’t) can feel very relatable to our own situations in a way. Such games can teach us valuable lessons that address mental health and encourage us onto a path to seek advice for our own issues. Video games can be very beneficial to our well being as long as they don’t become an excuse to run to and hide from our problems.

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When reality gets too much.

 

 

Video games and Mental Health – Taking the next step

To anyone suffering from mental health issues, we thoroughly recommend that you seek assistance. BetterHelp is an e-counseling organization that is dedicated to providing advice to those suffering from mental health issues. Their staff is highly trained and experienced. If you would like to know more about how BetterHelp may be able to help you, please choose any of the links below for more information.

Anxiety – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/anxiety/

Depression – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/depression/

Stress – https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/stress/

 

If you are interested in any of our other articles that touch on the subject of video games and mental health you can find them here: https://miketendo64.com/?s=Mental+Health

 

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This post was written by Mike Scorpio

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