Playing Video Games Reduces Depression and Anxiety – New Study
The two most frequently occurring mental illnesses that prevail in humans irrespective of age or status include depression and anxiety. Children, teenagers, and even adults have been a firm target of depression and anxiety.
Common symptoms of depression include an off mood with low self-esteem, loss of interest in activities that used to bring joy in the past, suicidal thoughts, etc. Common treatments that are effective in improving mood include psychotherapy or persistent medication.
Can playing video games help people with depression and anxiety?
While there are negative stereotypes associated with video games, some studies have shown that playing video games can be a helpful treatment for people irrespective of age.
For the longest time, playing video games has been considered a waste of time. People have always thought that playing video games is unproductive and unhealthy. Well, it's now time to talk about how playing video games is beneficial for people with mental health conditions.
How does playing video games help?
A new study that a UCL researcher-led states that boys of age 11 that played video games almost regularly were less likely to develop depressive symptoms after three to four years.
The study evaluated more than eleven thousand children enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study, a project that was followed for children born during the early 2000s in UK.
At the age of 11, these children were evaluated, and the researchers collected data about how often and how long they played games. Other factors, like social media and internet-for-entertainment usage were also taken into consideration and data collected about that.
Afterwards, at 14 years old, the children filled a questionnaire about their possible depressive symptoms.
The results stated that the kids who engaged in playing games more often or once a month at age 11 had significantly lower depression scores at the age of 14 than those who did not spend much time playing video games.
Researchers thus concluded that playing video games is a great option to indulge in as a replacement for social interaction when those needs aren’t being met physically through active sports and other games, for whichever reason.
Another scientific study says that two brain parts are stimulated whenever a person plays a video game. The first part, usually called the reward pathway, is the part of the brain responsible for processing goals and motivation. The second part is the hippocampus, mainly responsible for memory and learning.
While a person is busy playing a video game, they remain focused on a specific goal and target. The person is motivated and fully determined to reach the set desired goal. The closer the person gets to the destination, the more the reward pathway is activated, and there is a rush of happy hormones that boost and elevate the player's mood.
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