Study: Videogame Addiction Leads to Depression

Aug 1, 2010
Since there isn't any other way, I guess I will argue with personal experience. I could be called "Addicted to gaming", have not much of a social life and I am happier than most I have met. It's all a choice. If you choose to be happy, you will be.


Sep 22, 2009
Well, yeah, being addicted to games to the point where you're not sleeping, you're gaining weight, you're failing school work and you feel like you have no life does tend to make people pretty depressed. If that's not happening, then you're not addicted, but, yeah, teenagers do tend to not be very good at moderation; I can see that looking back at my own life and my own experience with gaming addiction.

Darth IB

New member
Apr 7, 2010
I can kind of see how that would make sense, at least for me.
The more addicted I become to a game, the more isolated I become from the outside world. The more isolated I become, the more depressed I become.
Fortunately I have awesome friends nowadays who pull me out of my games before I get properly depressed.


New member
Jan 7, 2009
I saw a post earlier detailing how the person in question felt their schoolwork and such suffered after coming out of their previous 'Dreamworld' (love the terminology there, by the way @ that poster, it is one of my favourite terms along with 'Otherworld.')

Gaming is not personally my main "hobby" if you will. My life is mainly commited to exploring my consciousness, my existence, my spirituality, etcetera. What that poster is describing is very much akin to the periods of lowness and lethargy I experience after coming "down" from a period spent in the otherworlds.
Why? What the majority call "reality" really has a tendency to be awfully dull. Wake up, go to work/school, come home, do homework/paperwork, begrudgingly fuck your trophy wife, sleep. Rinse, repeat.
We Humans are very explorative, inquisitive creatures. This cycle of the daily grind causes this lethargy and boredom because what we all fundamentally want to be doing is exploring states of altered consciousness, be it through drugs, music, gaming, reading, drama, dancing, whatever it may be. These are not vices or escapes, to my perception, but rather it is waking up from the sleep that is the daily grind.

We yearn for catharsis, and catharsis is rarely found in what we call "reality."
I'm sure many of us here have seen Inception, right?
The scene where Ariadne leaves after her first foray into constructing the dreamworlds and Cobb states "she'll be back" and explains that "reality" will never be enough for her is what I'm getting at.
Dreamworlds and Otherworlds and altered states of consciousness allow us to learn, work, play, explore, create and percieve and find real, genuine Catharsis. If people are becoming depressed because "reality" forces them to leave it behind, I am not at all surprised.

And here is exactly why I left College twice, have no job and no intention of getting one. THe more time I spend commited to exploring these Dreamworlds, be they through games, music, drugs, dance, cups of goddamn tea or anything else, the more alive I feel, the more real everything feels, and the more cathartic, jubilant and joyful my existence becomes.

For a race of creatures that are always talking about "staying grounded," it strikes me as hilariously ironic that this sort of catharsis comes from states that are so "up in the clouds" and "away with the faeries."
I am frequently told I need to keep my feet on the ground. I frequently ignore it and I am all the happier for it.

I am not sure what this post is supposed to achieve, but maybe someone will connect with these words.


New member
Jul 29, 2008
I don't believe it causes depression. People who already HAVE depression use it to avoid real life issues.


New member
Jan 1, 2011
It's other people being douches because you play videogames. This study has proven that people are douchebags. AKA welcome to real life :(


New member
Jan 25, 2009
I agree with this. I stopped playing video games for two weeks, and felt much better. Doing other things just feels better.
I'm still going to play 6+ hours a day though.


Witty Title Here
Apr 18, 2008
Greg Tito said:
Study: Videogame Addiction Leads to Depression

It's not the chicken and the egg after all: study shows that playing games "pathologically" leads to feeling bad and not the other way around.

A study conducted by Iowa State University psychologist Douglas A. Gentile suggests that kids that are addicted to games, called "pathological" by the study, are more prone to disorders such as depression. A sample of 3,034 kids aged 8 to 13 from the island nation of Singapore were asked survey questions every year from 2007 to 2009. Gentile's team surmised a link between game-playing and depression and his paper establishing that progression will appear in an upcoming issue of the psych journal Pediatrics.

"What we've known from other studies is that videogaming addiction looks similar to other addictions. But what wasn't clear was what comes before what. Gaming might be a secondary problem. It might be that kids who are socially awkward, who aren't doing well in school, get depressed and then lose themselves into games. We haven't really known if gaming is important by itself, or what puts kids at risk for becoming addicted," said Gentile.

Unfortunately for us gamers, the results of the study point to pathological gaming as increasing the chances of psychological disorders. "We found that in kids who started gaming pathologically, depression and anxiety got worse. And, when they stopped gaming, the depression lifted. It may be that these disorders [co-exist], but games seem to make the problem worse."

The important distinction of this study is that "the gaming precedes the depression. We don't know if it's truly causal, but gaming has an effect on its own, and you can't just ignore gaming and treat depression," he said.

Thankfully, Gentile was quick to point out that playing a lot of games doesn't necessarily equate to depression, but that other indicators might point to a problem. "A lot of videogaming isn't the same as an addiction. Some kids can play a lot without having an effect on their lives. It's when you see other areas of your child's life suffer that it may be addiction. Parents might notice that a child doesn't have the same friends any more, or that he's just sitting in his room playing video games all the time. Or, there might be a drop in school performance," he said.

What do you guys think? Have you noticed increased feelings of depression or anxiety when you play a lot of games? Could these be linked?

Source: U.S. News []


The conclusions Tito is supposedly drawing aren't supported by Gentile's methodology.

Tito, your subtitle is misleading and is contradicted by one of the quotes in your post: "But what wasn't clear was what comes before what. "

Please consider revising it.


New member
Dec 19, 2010
This is not ground breaking news. The fact is, your body has physical needs that playing video games excessively prevent your body from fulfilling. Your mind has needs as well, such as social interaction with people in front of you using your voice and requiring you to read what people are communicating with body language. Anyone who would not agree with findings such as this has not really put an ounce of thought into their life.

There are 6 concepts involved in personal wellness. They are: Mental, Emotional, Physical, Spiritual, Environmental, and Social. Basically, if you are doing activities that hinder the development or exercise of any 1 or more of these items, you will not be happy nor be able to reach your maximum potential. I can count at least 3 in this list that are cut off when playing video games.

PS. I loves me some good video games, but I have experienced this first hand. You don't need to be addicted, you just need to do a couple of marathon gaming sessions to understand this.


New member
Mar 23, 2010
I look at it like this . . .

. . . right now, gaming is one of the biggest scapegoats "professionals" have in regards to child behaviour. Your child has ADD/ADHD,? they probably spend too much time playing games. Your child has violent tendancies and outbursts,? they're probably playing too many violent video games. Your child exhibits symptoms of depression,? too much time playing video games.

etc., ad naseum . . .

The thing is - professionals need something a little more definitive to pin these "conditions" on, and gaming just happens to be a prime target. Parents, on the other hand, don't really want to delve deeper into the emotional causes behind their child's "condition," instead they're happy with a label and medication.

I'm not saying that there are some children out there who have legitimate conditions, simply that too many children are being labeled and treated with medication instead of psychiatrists actually doing their job to get to the bottom of what's causing the child to act in a certain way. Perhaps there's a bully at the school that the child doesn't know how to express to an adult about . . . or maybe the child's parents are seperating/seperated and doesn't know how to express thei feelings over it. Maybe the child simply doesn't recieve enough parental attention. There's usually some kind of catalyst that starts the child progressing towards their current behaviour, but no one is willing to take the time (or the responsibility) to get down to the bottom of things.

Instead, we keep seeing more and more tripe "studies" like this that only serve to get lawmakers all worked up, and continue to cast a further negative view of gaming as a past-time or hobby. Before we know it, these professionals are going to somehow link gaming to global warming, destruction of the rain forests and poverty in 3rd-world nations . . . and lawmakers will start banning games left and right because it doesn't fit in with society.

. . . and I guarantee you that the vast majority of parents and lawmakers that will read up on this study WILL NOT take the time to really think things through, and instead get their crusade fired up again while the motor is still nice and warm.


New member
Aug 2, 2006
Personally, I'd say my depression has a lot more to do with the economy sucking, but games as easy a foil as you could ask for.


New member
Nov 19, 2009
I seem to suffer from all of the things mentioned. It's just that, i am willing to do other things most of the time, its just that my friends never invite me to do anything, which leads me to a state where gaming is my escape from the world that i live in and i lose what friends i have over time.


New member
Jan 17, 2011
I think there's probably some truth to the idea that gaming causes depression. I occasionally binge-play games and tend to feel awful afterwards. Maybe it's just the feeling of having wasted time, or the natural result of sunlight deprivation but I think there might be more to it. And yeah, I've been to a doc about depression before and came out 'moderately depressed' at the time. Seemed so unscientific (they just ask you questions like 'have you considered suicide' and whatnot which all seemed too crude to actually diagnose what essentially seems to be a neuro-chemical disorder)

This was all a while ago, but I think I remember being told that depression is strongly linked to malfunctioning dopamine receptors. Dopamine is what your brain uses to tell itself that it's happy and is used as a reward mechanism for all sorts of things. Coincidentally, dopamine releases are one of the main things game designers try to trigger on a regular basis: that is they try to fire off our internal reward mechanisms to give a sense of achievement or joy or whatnot for whatever it is that we've done in the game.

I'm no neuroscientist, but it doesn't seem entirely far fetched that games might cause our dopamine receptors to become desensitised through over stimulation. That could in turn lead to a feeling of depression or addiction.

More research should definitely be done. But if a link is found, what would that mean? What would we do about it?


This is the most wittiest title
Oct 26, 2009
Aren't all 13-year-olds depressed every other day?

Anywho, I believe this study. It makes sense and I could even vouch for that myself through own experiences. Too much gaming type of escapism is not good for you. But as mentioned in the OP, gaming dos not equate depression, but it can, and in these circumstances it will, be a rather large factor in the scale.


New member
Oct 1, 2010
Like any habit that you have, unless it's an unconscious one, if you don't do it when or how often you're accustomed to it, it starts to bother you. This holds true for people that drink coffee or soda, or any number of other similar things.

That aside, however, any amount of gaming that would be considered "addicted" simply means that they're not doing much else, or spending a disproportionate amount of time on the game. A lot of people that play WoW, or pretty much any multiplayer shooter spend a gratuitous amount of time on them. The real way to test to see if they're addicted would be to take said people and remove the game(s) from them and see if they start showing the typical signs of withdrawal.