Tag Archives: depression

Depression and teen video game addiction: Encouraging friendships could be key

Video gaming is subject to bad raps for supposedly inducing among teenagers addictive playing. But while playing for more than four hours could be a cause for concern, it is not a plain and simple indication of depression.

The link between depressive symptoms and excessive playing must not be ignored, however. New research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reveals that the effects of game addiction could be tempered by the use of mobile applications and social media platforms in aid of socialization. The facilitation of socialization and formation of friendships online could be instrumental in warding off depressive symptoms. This led researchers to claim that not all video game addicts are vulnerable to depression. Gamers (mostly boys) who interact with their peers through such platforms then display better-adjusted behavior.

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The study comes on the heels of frequent research on compulsive video gaming, which is recognized as a modern psychological disorder. Rehabilitation centers for video game addicts have come into existence, while children, teenagers, and young adults are the focus of most research. Common observations derive a link between aversion to socialization and increased propensity for habitual gaming. Longitudinal studies to the effect have been undertaken in countries such as China and Singapore, with respondents observed for manifestations of anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms.

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While the link between these psychological issues and video gaming remains tenuous, parents are reminded that compulsive playing remains an unhealthy lifestyle choice. Gamers should be taught early on the balance between doing what they love and living life without a controller in their hands.

Jonathan Lauter, M.D., is an accomplished psychiatrist with a celebrated career spanning several positions in various organizations, most recently as the director of ambulatory behavioral health services and associate professor of psychiatry at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. For more reads similar to this, visit this blog.

What People don’t see: The Struggles of Depression

Most people equate sadness with depression, but the latter is far beyond the former. Sadness is a normal human emotion; depression is a legitimate mental illness. This is just one of the many long-held stereotypes about depression. Many people fail to see that depression is more than just sadness and individuals who suffer from this mental illness face struggles in their daily lives:

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Insomnia and hypersomnia: These two are hallmark symptoms of clinical depression. People who are depressed have racing thoughts that keep them awake until sunrise. On the contrary, there are times that they sleep too much to escape those thoughts.

Suffering in silence: They will most likely hide their illness for fear that people will fail to understand their condition. The truth is, most people would say, “You don’t look depressed” upon knowing that their friend was diagnosed with depression. Depression is clearly more than just a facial expression. Smiling and acting bubbly in front of people do not mean that they are not battling with anxiety and feeling of inadequacy.

Physical health problems: They might experience significant weight loss or weight gain and unexplained headaches, muscle pain, and back pain from time to time.

Overworking and being unproductive: To escape from the feeling of worthlessness and anxiety, they tend to overwork. There will also be times that they will criticize themselves too much which can result in loss of energy and unproductiveness.

Constant thoughts of suicide: The feeling of being trapped in hopelessness makes them feel that committing suicide is a lot easier than dealing with their life problems.

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Although it might be difficult to empathize with people who suffer from depression, loved ones should be vigilant of the signs and symptoms and consistently provide support.

Jonathan B. Lauter, M.D., is an accomplished child and adolescent psychiatrist. For more helpful articles regarding neurobehavioral disorders, visit this blog.