How to Get over Post Game Depression ? Just 4 Ways

over-come-post-game-depression

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 the 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, 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, returning 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 made you forget hardships that seem like pleasure but in short, have been distracted you 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 asking gamers how many of those felt depressed or sad after finishing a single-player game.


The Survey we conducted about Post Game Depression common among gamers:  

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" while 9 of those voted that "they still feel sad to this day". 

So, almost 80 percent of the participants voted towards feeling sad after good gaming.


Poll results see here

post-game-depression-poll



Methods to Overcoming post-game depression :

 

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

 


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 a strategy, second can be the shooter, and third, can be a hidden object game.

 

Best 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.

 

Never-Ending Games:

Postgame depression is caused by the completion of a game but what if you can find lengthy never-ending missions in games like:

  • Minecraft (Best Game to play)
  • Company of heroes Skirmish
  • Anno 1404 Skirmish battles
  • Relic rescue 
  • Virtual Villagers


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 the involvement of 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. 


You can 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. In my case, I was dealing with final exams and audits of a banking company where I do my day job.  

These were major issues that are causing anxiety.

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

I would suggest reading my post on: 


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


3) Wait it out :


Reddit poll survey conducted above, shows a 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 to get over the high emotional state. 


When you finish a game it seems like, not a single game exists just like the one you were playing , and any type of entertainment can fill the gap but after a 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 watch 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 very healthy way to get your mind off from the game finish. 


When you start a trip you discover new things and socializing with people helps to overcome the depressing empty thoughts.

 

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

 

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

 


Summing Up:

4 Ways to Overcoming post-game depression :

  1. Have multiple games ready to play.
  2. Try to deal with real-life problems.
  3. Wait it out.
  4. Plan a short trip.



How long does post-game depression last?

 

If we look at the survey conducted and discussed 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