How Video Games can teach your Brain to Fight Depression?


The depression today affects a wide variety of people worldwide. Its development spreads very quickly and people usually need treatments to get out of it. But how the depression can be treated? Are there any special medications? What people feel during that condition?

What are the characteristics of the depression?

The depression is characterized with sadness, laziness, the person feels like it is useless, hopeless, that exists with no reason in this world, presence of anxiety, low self-confidence and self-esteem, negative emotions everywhere.

People who also have difficulties in their daily lives, need to finish all their tasks on time, they are busy all the time, and barely have time to be with their families, also experience lack of positive emotions and physical energy. They are mostly exhausted and wasted and the free time they have either they spend it resting or depressing. “People have also become pessimistic, and they keep on thinking negatively all the time, and they are hardly able to see things positively”, remarks Madison Zoe who is a motivational speaker at Game Period.

Who noticed that video games can make you feel better?

The fact that the video games can make you feel better and teach your brain how to fight the depression was primarily presented by the psychologist Brian Sutton-Smith in the 60s where he observed groups of children and adults while playing video games. He could notice that those groups were suddenly affected with positive emotions, with higher self-confidence and self-esteem, with excitement during the play and with a lot of energy. This was the perfect treatment against depression.

It is considered that the video games are neurological opposite of the depression, literally. The people Sutton-Smith has been observing have shown that two regions of the brain were hyper-stimulated – the region that is mostly associated with the goal orientation and the motivation and the hippocampus – the region that is associated with the memory and the process of learning. “By Playing game you can relax you can relax your brain muscles” says Kayla from Coupon Goo.

When people play video games are focused on one goal in the game, how to find a solution, get to the next level, solve a puzzle, score more points, fight with opponents, find some hidden objects, solve a mystery, or whatever it is, people get focused only on that. They have the feeling of determination, like they need to do that.

What are the video games designed for?

  • It is considered that the video games are designed to be educational mostly, but there are also some entertaining games that just relax you and put you in a good mood.
  • Every game has its first level easy, since the players are not good from the first time at some new game, and also this is considered for the beginners.
  • As they continue to play they learn the rules, the strategies, what they need to do in order to play the game and how to improve their skills in the game.
  • As players go in the next levels or reach to some point in the game, the game starts to be more difficult. They start to struggle, have to pass some obstacles that are difficult, might lose few times and start the level again from the beginning, and so on.
  • This way the players keep learning and improving. When the player gets at the end of the game, when finishes, there is nothing else to do. He/she knows that reached every level, solved every puzzle and ended the playing.
  • This is the reason why gamers when finish one game are looking for another that will keep them satisfied again. They feel pleasure during playing since they like to learn and improve themselves, that way they know that are good at least at playing video games.

If you have ever wondered how someone who has played “Angry Birds” and failed a lot of times in a row keeps playing. The answer is in the feeling of satisfaction and wanting to try just one more time in order to succeed. The brain starts being obsessive and the person ends up playing the game more and more.

So what is the real connection of the video games and the depression?

  • The 2 regions in the brain are those regions that when we are depressed get under-stimulated and shrunk within time when the person feels depressive.
  • When these regions are not stimulated and have low levels of activation, the person feels pessimistic, has no motivation, cannot expect success, and literally to do anything. Since the flow of blood in the brain is slower the person learns new skills with difficulties and is harder to get out of the depression.


The research studies have shown that the video games can help in the fighting of depression. But more the person is depressed, more is playing. Some of the people might end up being obsessed with video games and that later has its own consequences.