How to Get over Post Game Depression ? Just 4 Ways

post-game-sadness

You're playing the best game and now it's ended. Sadness and empty feelings are at their peak what to do now?. Most passionate gamers go through this, I myself experience this phase as my beloved games naming Life is strange series, Draugen, Firewatch, Sleeping Dogs old games like Commandos series, True crime, Delta force series, GTA Vice City, Metal gear solid campaign missions in strategy games like Red alert series, Rise of Nations, and many more were over.

We make memories within those missions. The Music, game environment,  and companion's characters like in Firewatch, Bio shock infinite "Elizabeth character, etc. These side companions form an emotional connection and we regret ending a game based on these feelings.

In this post, We will look into some solutions how to discharge these emotional feelings and move on.

 

Why do I feel depressed after playing video games?

 

feel-depressed-after-game

In order to answer this, we look into Keith Hillman a BSc in psychology. According to him, we humans tend to form a self-realization link with the characters or objects giving them life and meaning through feelings and emotions. 

 

Detaching from emotionally tangled things whether they are real or not is painful. If you face something that is fantasy but not experienced in real life you will naturally be drawn towards it as your mind will make you feel like it's a real event, in here case these are storylines within the game.

 

When the storylines are over you return back to the“present world” where lacking emotional high results in a sensation of emptiness. This empty space causes us to feel sad because there is nothing else going on that can replace it.

You may be going through tough times and these games have caused you to forget which seems like pleasure but in short, they have distracted for a brief moment avoiding the real problem.


Is post-game depression common among gamers? 

In order to answer this, we have conducted a survey on Reddit asking gamers how many gamers feel depressed or sad after finishing a single-player game.

We got about 73 votes and 7 comments. 20 of those participants voted towards feeling depressed 2 or 3 days straight and 29 participants voted that they feel sad but this feeling subsides on its own after few days.

This answers the question yes it is common among gamers to feel depressed after finishing a game  (post-game depression) 

The Reddit Survey conducted see here



Overcoming post-game depression :

 

I will propose some methods to deal with these down emotional state:

 

1) Have multiple games ready to play.

2) Try to deal with real-life problems.

3) Wait it out.

4) Plan a short trip.



1) Have multiple games ready to play:

 

To deal with sad feelings have multiple games ready. Download 2 or 3 games either from the same genre or different styles, first can be strategy, second can be the shooter, and third, can be a hidden object game.

 

An easy thing you can do is go towards never-ending games like some android play games ( Angrybirds, galaxy attack alien shooter, cooking madness, etc ) there are more levels to play than you can finish.

 

You can also work towards multiplayer games ( GTA V online, DOTA, PUBG mobile, etc ) where there will be no emotions to deal with as these game continues and never really finishes.

 

Read my post on how to find best games to play?


This will help in keeping you involve with games avoiding post-game depression. 


Some single-player games hold extra missions mostly in strategy type try to look for bonus levels. Like in commandos 2 I didn't know that collecting all the "bonus brown" books will enable me to access extra challenges. You can buy DLC, many games now have DLC available.

 

Play game to the fullest, explore the whole map try to complete all the extra levels and achievements. Don’t be quick in finishing, use stealth options. One interesting piece of advice I can give is increase the difficulty level. Too easy is boring and you will end levels without doing any real efforts. The more difficult a level is the more time it will take to end.

 

2) Try to deal with real-life problems:

Don't ignore real-life issues you might be facing. In my case, there were final exams and audits of a banking company where I work was going on. These were some major issues that were causing anxiety and I was ignoring them.

Games helped me to get distracted but when the storylines finishes I had no choice but to face them, causing more sadness.

I would suggest reading my post on: 


These help me to manage my life around gaming and will provide some useful insights how you can deal with some issues that are causing you stress.


3) Wait it out :


Reddit poll survey which I conducted above, shows majority of gamers choose an option of "sadness of finishing a single-player game end on its own".

 

So, it's best to give time getting over the high emotional state. When you finish a game at first it seems like, not a single game exists just like the one you were playing before, and not any type of entertainment can fill the gap but after few days,

I would find a movie and sometimes great Netflix shows like (Dead to Me, A good place, Derry girls and Schitt's Creek) to cheer me up.


Some movies you can try watching are Vivarium, The Fare, fantasy island, Abandoned.2015, toy story series, Beauty Mark, InTheHeartOfTheSea 2015, Bright., Cast Away. 


Go and watch these it will help you to ride the wave of sadness.


4) Plan a short trip:


A healthy way to get your mind off from the game finish. When you start a trip discover new things and socializing with people helps you overcome the depressing empty thoughts.

 

This trip might not be a big one but any small trip like a dinner with family can bring back the mood. I usually try to order some delicious food or usually go to the beach.

 

Any quality time outside of your gaming room will provide benefits to your mental health and can end post-game depression.

 


How long does post-game depression last?

 

If we look at the survey conducted and discussed above post-game depression for most gamers lasts 2 or 3 days and then ends on its own.

 

By looking at research done in University College London done mainly on boys gamers tend to develop 24% less depression than those who don't in 3 years' time. This shows that gaming does help in reducing depression rather than causing it. If your depression is consistent and getting worse go to a mental health consult.

 

Postgame depression is quite normal and many gamers go through this including me. It will pass and the ways I have shared in the post will make you ride this brief sadness like a surfer instead of drowning in it.


For more useful insights you can read my post on why am I losing motivation to play video games