Video games have been proven to be a more efficient method of overcoming depression than counseling among teens.
Please read the source that say it’s a SPECIAL video game that does this and not ANY kind of video game.
“Depression can be devastating among youths, yet fewer than 1 in 5 depressed teens are treated, in part because they are reluctant to seek a therapist’s help. So researchers in New Zealand created the SPARX videogame as a way to deliver cognitive behavioral therapy, packaged in a fun and appealing way. The acronym stands for “smart, positive, active, realistic and x-factor thoughts,” strategies designed to fight depression.”
Dark Souls, of all things, helped me get the grounding I needed to fight my depression. I’m not going to go for ridiculous hyperbole and say it “cured me”. I am not cured. I am /stable/ thanks in no small part to the work of my therapist and the wonders of Sertraline.
Playing Dark Souls started out as a particularly ludicrous form of self harm. I wanted to die, so why not simulate that over and over in one of the most depressing videogame worlds in recent memory?
I kept playing, I kept losing, and I kept dying, but, over time, I started to get better. I died less. I moved forward, a little at a time. Slowly and carefully. I learned to forgive myself for my mistakes and dust myself off and try again. Far more than the CBT I had previously tried, Dark Souls taught me that it’s OK to lose, and that small amounts of progress are still progress.
In an environment that unforgiving, you are forced to take any small victory you can get. By slowly hacking away at a seemingly insurmountable problem, I was able to see, in real time as I whittled it down from impossible, to unlikely, to plausible, and finally, to inevitable.
When I eventually got back to work, I found I was much more able to treat problems as small sequences of events, rather than huge obstacles to be overcome “all-at-once”, and I was able to see that, in real life, the expectation that I never fail, that success must be both immediate and continuous was utterly ludicrous, and that not being able to live up to such ridiculous standards was not a failing of mine, but of the people who were setting the bar so unattainably high.
The difference is, I think, that this way, I taught /myself/ these things, rather than simply being told them, the way my previous therapists had. It forced me to evaluate my own beliefs about myself in a way that didn’t feel like it was doing that at all.