Posted in mental-health, Parenting, Teen

Could Gaming be the Reason Teen Depression is on the Rise?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy week with working and Christmas shopping and writing. So, it has been productive. I had lunch today with a couple of friends from my writer’s group. I haven’t seen either one of them in a long time and it was good to see them.

Oddly enough we didn’t talk about writing. We talked about personal struggles and dealing with life. It was good to talk with them and open up about our fears for our kids and the trials we’re dealing with in our daily lives.

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

It made me think about how different my childhood was compared to my own children’s. With the advances in technology, I find my kids spend more time in front of a computer screen than they do running around outside playing games like Kick the Can or Capture the Flag. This got me thinking about how teen depression is on the rise and it wasn’t a huge leap for me to think the advances in technology are to blame. Is that a fair conclusion for me to draw? Click here to see a study regarding this question.

The answer isn’t quite as simple as a definitive yes or no. Because there are some positive aspects to video games. Gaming is a great coping mechanism and it improves hand eye coordination and teaches teamwork when teens must work with another player to accomplish a goal. However, there are some negatives. Gaming can become addictive and it is isolating. It doesn’t provide the physical activity a young person needs to develop a strong body and physical activity, or exercise is a great way to combat depression.

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Especially in the Midwest, where it’s winter for nine months of the year, it’s important for kids to get outside and get that Vitamin D from the sun, and it’s equally important that they get outside and move their bodies.

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Statistics show that teen depression is on the rise. Exercise and getting out into nature are excellent ways to combat depression. Gaming doesn’t have the positive physical effects that exercise does. Exercise and getting out into nature are not only good for your soul they’re good for your body as well.

So, what is the answer? The answer is two-fold. I believe moderation is the key when it comes to gaming. Limiting the amount of time kids are on the computer is a key component to combating depression, but we need to also teach teens other coping mechanisms as well. We need to teach them to value nature and to respect our connection to it, and to get them into the habit of exercising at least one hour a day.

Photo on Visualhunt

This summer, I’m planning on taking my kids for a hike at least once a week. It will be a great way to stay connected to them and hopefully will develop some excellent ways for them to cope with the turbulent teen years they are about to start. They’ll be getting out into nature and exercising at the same time. I’m also going to insist they get outside for at least one hour during the day. We are fortunate that we have neighbor kids near us, and they do get together and play football or basketball when the weather permits.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

What about you? How do you feel about gaming? Do you think it’s the cause for the rise in depression? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

8 thoughts on “Could Gaming be the Reason Teen Depression is on the Rise?

  1. I agree to a certain extent, but I don’t think it’s just gaming–I think that all social media is extremely isolating for kids. Worse, I think that isolation turns into depression due to so much negativity on those social media platforms. Getting out there and doing things, exercising are all good ways to combat depression, but it’s a deeper social issue, one that’s very difficult to combat. Great post though–very thought-provoking!

    1. You raise a good point. I didn’t get into the social media aspect of it and maybe I should have, but then my post would have been too long. 😉 You are so right, there is so much negativity on social media. I’m glad my kids are involved with that at this point. I’ll have to write another post on social media. Thanks for bringing that to my attention and thanks for stopping by!

  2. It’s a different culture nowadays that requires boundaries for sure. If you haven’t watched the movie ‘Abominable’, you should get together with your boys and watch it. Lots of great messages, especially the teens getting out into nature. Great post, Lisa! Enjoy your holidays and family time, my friend!

    1. Oh, I didn’t think of that. I was focused on gaming, but you’re probably right. Diet has a huge impact on our moods. I may have to do some research on that. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I appreciate it! 🙂

  3. Gaming for me has had a positive influence. I was lucky enough to find a supportive group to game with, which I feel has personally helped my social anxiety and depression. It gave me an outlet to switch off the negative thoughts in my mind. I do think it is highly addictive though and there needs to be a balance between real world living and online living. Nature is one of my real world escapes.

    1. I’m glad gaming has had a positive effect for you. I think there are a lot of positives for it. I have heard that gaming does help with depression. I agree that like with most things you need balance. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

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