There may be a link between video games and depression. Gamers, people who spend a lot of time playing computer games, are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. This has been determined by Australian scientists in a study.
Computer gamers who spend more than 33 hours a week in virtual worlds are 15 percent more likely to report stress and anxiety and 25 percent more likely to have depression than those who play “only” about 21 hours a week.
This was shown by interim results of a worldwide study by Daniel Loton at Victory University in Melbourne, Australia. Their goal is to compare the academic achievements, friendships and relationships as well as the physical and mental health of computer gamers.
“Both groups complained more about stress, anxiety and depression than in previous studies,” Loton reported. “What’s most alarming, though, is that people are moving toward an area that’s clinically noticeable.”
Multiplayer also showed other coping strategies than casual players. They were more prone to avoidance behavior and less able to deal with problems than others, Loton noted. “That could be because many gamers also used their games to relax or flee from difficulties.”
While some problems are obviously caused by excessive computer games, this employment does not seem to affect the success and satisfaction of work and study.
Many players were even slightly more successful in the study, they had fallen through less frequently and had achieved higher scores than they had expected, reported Loton.
New study shows: Video games could help with depression
Researchers at the University of California, are breaking new ground in the treatment of depression. Games could play a therapeutic role in the future.
Depression is one of the widespread common diseases. It is estimated that approximately four million people seek psychiatric help each year in Germany only – 400,000 of them go to hospital.
There are different therapeutic methods to help those affected – according to a recent study from the University of California, Davis could in the future belong to video games.
The novel therapy method was tested on 160 students. Among other things, it is about confronting patients playfully with their personal memories.
According to the researchers, Subuhi Khan and Jorge Pena, it does not matter if depression is caused by internal causes, such as genetic factors, or external factors, such as traumatic experiences or relationship problems.
The researchers compare the novel therapeutic approach with a training. The rehearsals played six three-minute games and got a sense of control over their illness by repeating these playful training sessions.
According to Khan and Pena, such games could help to initiate cognitive changes. However, the researchers still have doubts, because the measured effects could only have been short-term.
Whether games can actually – and especially in the long term – be a proven remedy for depression is still unknown. Further studies on video games and depression are needed.
In the meantime whatever you decide to believe here, hiking through the woods is still one of the best things to do to clear your mind from time to time.