Video games can be an incredible force for personal healing and coping - here’s the full story of how Zelda helped one of our writers with depression.
i agree whole heartly that gaming is a great inspiration. For many people it is a ray of light in a world where just about everything else is horrible.
You're absolutely correct. Derek's story moved me, I'm glad he's in a better state of mind now. I can relate to a certain extent.
Want to help yourself, heal and be stronger? First of all, CLEAN YOUR ROOM. Then go watch Jordan Peterson videos on his YT channel.
Go get professional help cause Zelda’s only gonna last for so long...
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I have great sympathy with anyone who is in the bad place to contemplate suicide. No judgement on the guy and I'm glad he's doing better and wish him well. However I actually hate articles like this. Big websites publish them to 'prove' the power of gaming. Like all those articles about how playing a game healed a relationship or a marriage or mended a friendship. These websites like these stories because they selfishly use them to prove gaming is mature, yet these same websites complain when there is a game with mature content. I understand why they would want to publicise this but, even if 'Derek' is a pseudonym his story should have been kept private. Gamesradar have acted irresponsibly by humouring him in believing that playing a game can cure him. Zelda is not enough, the reality is he will still need a lot of love and real world assistance to help him get through this.
I actually didnt read the article at all because I am sure they played it up on the heavy dramatic side but i know that individuals are affected in their own ways as well. Im sure the article took it to a cringy place but games do affect people and can be come a driving force for people in many different ways.
Did you read the article? Your takeaway makes it seem as if you didn't even skim through, some of the things that you have mentioned are actually in the story.
Literally the final words of the story: "And that’s when Breath of the Wild dropped its final lesson on me. There are no more princesses to save, dude. It’s time to save yourself." Cynical people like you should read the articles you hate so much.
I would think something like this would just be a temporary relief from their depression. Sort of a calm in the storm thing. Having known people that deal with depression, there are times when an outside stimulus will help them feel better for a while, but eventually, the world will weigh them down again. Taking everything at face value, I'm glad someone was able to find some relief, but at the same time, they should probably seek more professional help to help them overcome it without the need to have an external stimulus, or possibly take some medication to help them. Assuming everything is all good after such a short period of time can be worse than not having a relief, as it sets up a false sense of security, where a regression can actually make the person feel worse than before. At best, I feel gaming can be therapeutic when looked at in the broader picture, but shouldn't be considered a treatment. No professional therapist would think that one thing would cure depression. It's a complex psychological thing that requires guidance. Typically, there is more required to actually cure it for the long term, and more often than not, it's more about treating the symptoms than curing the disease, as many people don't actually recover fully. In short, it's very rare where a single stimulus will cure someone of depression, and those kinds of things tend to be epiphany moments which allow a person to accept the problem and wish to become better. However, that moment of clarity isn't a cure, and it typically requires quite an effort to overcome it on a personal level. If the person didn't have to work to be better, then I question if they were really clinically depressed. More often than not when I hear people say they're depressed, they are just mopey and sad a lot, but not actually depressed. Not saying that's the case here as the author claimed to be suicidal, but that's just what I've noticed, and a lot of people seem to self-diagnose themselves and simply assume they are depressed, instead of just being unable to deal with their troubles in life.
In the article, he makes it very clear that BotW did not save him. It provided an outlet for escapism through a character which he draws some parallels to life's difficulties. The article quotes a doctor who says escapism can be helpful for people with depression. You could probably substitute many different types of distractions which provide a form of escapism. I have no problems with a site publishing such articles. Gaming is no cure for clinical depression but if someone out there has similar feelings and wonders why gaming makes them feel even slightly better then at least they may understand why that is so. Websites do not need to prove gaming is mature. It's just a form of interactive entertainment which is a business. No harm was done here publishing such an article.
Amen Veneno Buddy of mine suffer from Depression . we meet every Wednesday to play games , it keep him in better state of mind.
Yes thats how i see it. Games dont cure anything but they create a positive atmosphere which can then facilitate positive change in our lives.
Umm ok. This individual does not need a video game or a book or a movie or anything like that this person needs a real psychological help.
If he say Horizon had saved his life I wonder if you say the same thing Edmix. Anyway, kidding aside I do agree with you.
@Kun- nope. I'd say the same thing. I even used an example with the last Of Us in one of my comments.....this person needs real help. Relax bud, not everything is about Nintendo vs Sony vs MS etc. Can you seriously not talk about any subject without thinking its part of some agenda? lol
Do you have depression? No? Then obviously you don't know what it's like. Maybe he is getting help...but a psychologist can't be there all the time in between and when that happens you find whatever you can to get you through one more day through your empty life. It's better then drinking yourself silly or getting high off a number of high end drugs. F*** sake..
No one has read the article and are jumping to conclusions thinking they are all qualified psychologists. Typical "I don't have it but I know what's best" attitudes.
I respect a person who publicly show concern for those who have depression. I tell ya Fox personally if my buddy Jason did not come by each Wednesday to play he would suffer Deeply in depression. no escape from loneliness, barely able to hold down a job. as his only friend I feel obligated to help him.
It's good AND bad. It can help you through hard times, as it has me. During the darkest time of my life, it helped to pull me through, and at least helped me to learn to be happy again. It is an amazing way to escape reality. BUT, you cannot get stuck there, which also happened to me. It's great as a brief respite, but no matter how tough things get, we are supposed to be down, struggle etc. at times, as it teaches us to deal with uncomfortable moments, inspiring us to make changes or move past things. The old cliche, ya can't have joy without pain is so damn true. I still play games a lot, but I never let them interfere with life, no matter how bad it might be going. It's like a whisky before bed. It's great to relax and forget, but ya can't drink all day, everyday without really paying for it later on.
A video game is not a sustainable help in life. He should get real help asap.
No kidding. I find when I'm playing games the most it's because I'm depressed and don't feel like being around people which is what I should actually be doing. Using games to escape from the real world is not healthy if you're neglecting other important things.
The escape can be good at times I think. However, games(or whatever else may influence a person's mental state) should be looked at as just one way to help people cope, but not as a singular cure. While I wish the person the best if he is depressed, and glad at least someone recognized his depression other than himself(which is usually a big problem in itself) through gaming, it could be disastrous to assume this person is all good now because of a single game. Those that care about him should maybe look into getting him professional help if he's been open about it, as if he thinks he's cured, then he's recognized the problem. But generally with these sort of things, the recognition(usually coming from a pivotal moments which could be from this game perhaps), is only the first step to a much larger journey to becoming more able to cope with life. The game itself won't be around for ever, and if it becomes a substitute for living because of any regression back to a depressed state(or another game perhaps), then it's what I feel would be what you are talking about....which would be using games to escape the real world, leading to an unhealthy state where things continuously becoming less of a coping mechanism, and more a substitute which eventually can't satiate the needs the person actually have. To put it in perspective, people who are clinically depressed take years of therapy, and often a lifetime of medications to help them cope. It's extremely rare for an individual to simply be better in the span of 7 months(time since game released). It would certainly be impossible to say if this person is actually cured within that time frame, as such things take observation and discussion with people who are actually able to diagnose depression, and not one's own current viewpoint, or the viewpoint of others who seem to have little knowledge of how depression effects a person, and how it can ebb and flow to any number of outside influences.
Agreed, As good as this story was to read, I can't help but feel the game is just providing him a temporary form of escape. Once that game is done and over, you're right back to square one. And even then, it's not doing anything good for you in the long run, despite how harmless it may feel.
That is also mentioned in the article. It's as if no one bothers to read the actual story before writing a comment.
damn bro this guy needs a chill pill.
I was depressed and then pokemon saved me ... go nintendo!!... not
Go get REAL help! Something majorly wrong if a video game keeps you from killing yourself. Need to rethink your life and your priorities
Author needs to get the Canyonero
that seems to be where you dont understand how bad depression can be. at its worst, depression prevents you from thinking clearly, that your life isn't worth living and that the priority is to ease yourself from the pain of living. when one cant think properly, priorities go out the window with the rest of your life. while i'm not saying that gaming should be used as the cure for depression with nothing else, it was because of Journey that i started putting myself first when i was battling with depression and wanted to kill myself on a daily basis, and it was Hellblade's story that made me feel comfortable to talk to people about my psychosis. Gaming is a form of therapy for a lot of people, be it to calm down after a stressful day, or wake you up after a boring day at work. some people play games to win competitively, others play to succeed cooperatively, and some take on the difficulties alone. if the author were to just use video games to help with their depression no good has come from playing the game, but if the game helped the author see the "light" and want to make themselves better, what harm has been done?
I'm with you. These people have no idea what depression is.
I dunno, songs can help, books can help, movies can help...why not games ? If You are in the pit, sometimes one simple thing can make You see the light and hope again. One single sentence, or one story twist that strikes the right chords...
Or online games? No kidding. A few years back I was depressed and got to play with a lovely girl who became a girlfriend so hey, that helps.
True, one thing can highlight one's problem for the person during an epiphany. However, it still takes work to overcome actual depression. Depression isn't just a state of mind, but a complex mental disorder which has psychological and chemical reasons for why it has certain effects on people. Feeling better after some stimulus is rarely a long term solution, and a lot of times people who find relief in those releases sometimes form an unhealthy need to constantly seek out those releases which can lead to an addiction. It's fine if someone finds some relief through whatever stimulus may do it for them, but it is no substitute for professional help, nor should it be viewed as something acceptable to assume someone is now cured after such a short period of time.
Ironic since looking at how overrated this games is gives me depression.
BUT YOU CAN CHOP DOWN TREES!!!
Chop down almost any tree. 10/10
Grow up, kid! Depression isn't a joke.
Everything is a joke. You're the one who needs to grow up. I have depression, but that was hilarious.
Excellent piece, and well written. I wish you the best. There will also be other inspirations out there for you, so keep on keeping on.
This game was a masterpiece
Weak genes..............let em die.
Grow up, you immature little, twat.
@fastnslowww Fuck You, you heartless piece of crap. Someday your world might turn upside down. Luckily there are good people in this world that would help you not just assholes like yourself.
That’s a terrible thing to say. Imagine you were in a situation like that. How would you like it if someone told you, you should just die. Have some sympathy, you dumbass.
Some heartless people in this comment section here. Not everyone need others to get out of depression. Music, Poem, Games and just about anything can help. It depends on the person.
Not really I would argue more people in this comment section are recommending this individual get real help... You know what could help with depression? Actual real psychological help...
@Edmix while i do understand where you are coming from with that comment. I believe it's more of the case that every now and then we all need that nudge, or kick to get us moving. at least that what it was like for me. I knew i needed help, and it was Journey that gave me that nudge i needed to actually start the proper healing. In many ways i see Journey as the game that saved my life, as i don't think i would be here without it. everything from the music and art style to the beautiful story of life, death and the After that really resonated with me.
Nope. Exercise, medication, and a trained professional can help. No Dr has ever told me I need to sit around on my ass more for my life to get better. Doing something difficult requires real hard work, not entertainment.
Doctors aren't always right.
Agreed. Chances are, if its hard and you don't want to do it, it will give great psychological growth. Depression many times needs to you to get out of your comfort zone, speak about the issues that hurt you etc I've yet to hear any psychologist say play video game to fix such issues. I love gaming more then the next guy, but folks...theses issues are not as simple as "play The Last Of Us and tell me how you feel in the morning"
You have such a limited scope. Video games can be a huge psychological help to people. Especially with depression. When you find a medication that can help me, let me know. I've tried them all. And psychiatrists are almost always an expensive way to waste time. Exercise is great for depression, but it's not the only thing. Video games help us cope with the world around us. For me, it was Shadow of the Colossus. For this dude, it was BOTW.
@Wearelegion have you looked into Ayahuasca?
Holy f*ck you got problems if this game cured you.
Or no problem at all.
Nobody cares about your sob story....
But you still come to this article to comment. So...
If you have depression, anxiety and suicidal toughts than plese go and seek professional help and start learning about these conditions as much as possible. Explore the underlying issues in your subconcious that could cause these feelings with the guidence of a professional. Don't just mindlessly take SSRIs (as these are just temporary solutions, sometimes don't even help and could make the problem worst let alone the dlfact they can destroy your liver and kidneys.) and the like. Get tested for thyroid issues, gut issues, glucose sensitivity and if you have silver fillings, have those changed to whiet fillings. These are just a few things you can do. Video games are just an escape not a cure.
The Splatoon series did the same for me.
Jesus, the crap people will say to get attention these days. Go talk to a therapist; no one wants to hear your whining.
Grow up, kid, and educate yourself about depression before speaking.
If you are claiming a video game saved you from depression / suicide....likely you are not saved and still going to be in a bad way in the future until you get help properly dealing with your issues. This game likely just side tracked you from those thoughts for a bit.
He basically states in the article that the game itself didn't actually save him, but it was what resonated with him and made him realize that he needed to start focusing on himself.
Time to throw out my pills and buy Zelda! Stupid Doctors, right.
I had this happen to me with The Talos Principle. i was struggling with depression and with my religious faith, but that game brought tears to my eyes with its spiritual themes and emotions.