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Did you know video games can help you deal with depression?

 
We’ve heard it all before: Video games cause anxiety. They’re too violent. They’re toxic for today’s youth. But here’s one we bet you haven’t heard yet: Video games can reduce an average of 57 percent of symptoms of depression in kids who casually play them.

 

Crazy, right? We’ve all grown up with the media telling us that video games will turn our brains to mush and make us act out, but according to a study at East Carolina University, that may not always be the case. Certain “casual” video games (family-friendly games such as Bejewled 2, Peggle, and Bookworm) can actually have positive effects on the anxiety level and overall mood of test subjects suffering from various forms of depression.

 

The games were even found to have both short and long term effects. After 30 minutes of play, subjects’ overall mood and anxiety levels improved, and after one month, the improvement was even more noticeable.

 

So what do the findings mean? Well, they certainly do not mean that all video games will make you feel happy and calm. The games used in this study were all family-friendly and non-violent, unlike so many games out there today. Rest assured that video games involving guns or other violent plot lines will not have the same results! It could, however, mean that there may be a way to use “casual” video games as a supplement or even substitute to standard therapies or medications for depression.

 

What’s your fave time-passing game to play? Gab about it, gamer girls!

BY BRIDGET RUNGE ON 2/21/2011 7:00:00 AM

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