Survey Refutes ‘Loner’ Stereotype of Video Gamers

(HealthDay News) — A new survey challenges the notion that avid video gamers are antisocial loners. On the contrary, the findings suggest that gaming is actually a way to stay connected with friends and strengthen, rather than weaken, social ties.

The Pennsylvania researchers set out to gauge the habits and attitudes of regular gamers as well as the social interaction that group play engenders.

“In general, we were interested in how engagement with video games is related with perceptions of social support, based on the common belief that playing video games is socially isolating,” explained study lead author Benjamin Hickerson, an assistant professor in the department of recreation, parks and tourism management at Penn State in University Park, Pa.

via Survey Refutes ‘Loner’ Stereotype of Video Gamers.

Understanding Someone with Depression – Three Common Behaviors

As I’ve said before, I’ve been on both sides of the depression fence. I’ve suffered from clinical depression for almost forty years, although thankfully it’s been treated successfully for the last twenty. And although I haven’t had any family members with depression, I have had friends who were depressed and have been in relationships with men who have depression.

I’ve written about what it feels like to be depressed. What does it look like from the other side? You probably know if you’re dealing with someone who’s depressed. It may be your spouse, parent, child, sibling, employee, roommate or romantic partner. Unless you have personal experience with depression, you’re probably baffled, frustrated, and possibly hurt and angry. Even if you have suffered from depression, you still might be baffled. Your experience with depression, while probably fundamentally similar to this person’s, is going to vary to some extent. Continue reading

Doing Cocooning Right

We depressives are frequently drawn towards cocooning, the practice of hanging out in our homes for most of our free time. I think that usually that’s due to a lack of energy, but also a need to be “safe” in our own little nest.

Image: The Bedroom by Vincent Van Gogh

The Bedroom by Vincent Van Gogh

Given that it’s winter and many people who aren’t depressed are also cocooning due to the cold weather, why not make the most of it and actually celebrate cocooning? It also makes sense in these tough economic times because staying home is a lot cheaper than going out. So if you’re going to cocoon, do it right. What you want to do is find ways to do as much as possible from home, and also make your home cozy and inviting. Continue reading

Many U.S. Teens at Risk for Suicide Despite Treatment: Study

(HealthDay News) — A new study casts doubt on the value of current professional treatments for teens who struggle with mental disorders and thoughts of suicide.

Harvard researchers report that they found that about 1 in every 8 U.S. teens (12.1 percent) thought about suicide, and nearly 1 in every 20 (4 percent) either made plans to kill themselves or actually attempted suicide.

Most of these teens (80 percent) were being treated for various mental health issues. Yet, 55 percent didn’t start their suicidal behavior until after treatment began, and their treatment did not stem the suicidal behavior, the researchers found.

via Many U.S. Teens at Risk for Suicide Despite Treatment: Study.

Diet Drinks Tied to Depression Risk in Older Adults: Study

HealthDay News — Older adults who down several diet drinks a day may have a heightened risk of developing depression, a new study suggests.Researchers found that of more than 260,000 older adults in a U.S. survey, those who had at least four daily servings of artificially sweetened soda, iced tea or fruit punch were at increased risk of being diagnosed with depression in the next decade.People with a taste for sugar-sweetened drinks also showed a higher depression risk versus those who avoided the beverages. But the link was weaker than the one between diet drinks and depression, according to the study, which was released Jan. 8.

via Diet Drinks Tied to Depression Risk in Older Adults: Study.