|Geeks could be more susceptible to depression.|
Photo: Anna Cervova, public domain.
It’s a fact that women suffer from depression more frequently than men.
My casual observation has also led me to understand that a high number of geeks and roleplayers in particular suffer from depression and related issues.
I’ve dealt with anxiety on and off, and I find that writing as a form of escapism is preferable to taking pills, but if my symptoms were more severe, I doubt I could cope without therapy or medication.
Depression and gaming could be related in a few ways:
- Gamers tend to move around less, and sedentary behavior is related to depression.
- Gamers and geeks are often introverts by nature.
- A lack of positive, hobby-related motivation for geeks to exercise and eat better, which may increase risk for depression.
This always leads me to wonder about my hobbies and how they could negatively contribute to my attitude and outlook on life. As a female, I’m already more likely to suffer depression at a higher frequency than men; as a writer, my job indicates a sedentary lifestyle. Add gaming and writing for fun to that and I’m sitting–frequently.
Here are some things I’ve done to combat the blues:
- IRL. I can’t get too caught up in a game world or real-life stress and deadlines pile up and cause anxiety.
- Weight management. Since losing weight, I’ve had less aches, pains, stress, and negative feelings.
- Socialize. I try to hang out with friends and family a few times per week. I have to budget for it, but it’s necessary to my sanity.
- Participate in active geeky things. I love to LARP and I’m a big fan of Wii Fit. This stuff keeps me active and helps my mind get some exercise, too.
For me, depression is occasional and situational. If you have troubling thoughts or are having difficulties, talk to a professional right away.
Please feel free to leave additional tips here!