Tag Archives: depression

Dark Souls, Depression, and Death

So I wanted to start off my first blog post saying: Hi, I’m Matty and I’m a train wreck of emotions. Some of my posts will be rants while others will be analytical essays. This one will be an analytical essay of one of my favorite video game series of all time… Dark Souls. Now some of you might be saying, “Matty, what in the hell does this have to do with mental health?” Well, that’s where I’m getting at. I have… depression. God, saying the word just makes me gag. Depression sucks but you probably already knew that. No one wants to deal with it and it’s even worse when you have no one you can talk to about it. There was a time, before Lexi and I got together, where video games were my only friend. I found solace in video games. Games that made me feel some sort of emotion. Games that I could sit down and play and get invested into the worlds they had to offer and forget about all the problems in my head for just a few hours and just focus on this game I’m playing right now.

Dark Souls… Saved me. In fact, most recently, the third game helped me when I was going through a rough patch. I had lost a good friend of mine, my girlfriend at the time left me for someone who I thought was my friend, and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. School was getting to me and I swear to god, I never felt more alone in my life. But there was Dark Souls.

Dark Souls is a depressing game. Your player character is a cursed undead branded by the mark of the undead, cursed to die over and over and over again until they are drained of their humanity and become a hollow. To become a hollow in Dark Souls is to become a shell of your former self. The more you die in Dark Souls the hollower you become. And trust me, you will die in Dark Souls, a lot. This may even cause you to never want to play again because of its extreme difficulty but that’s what I love about it. Dealing with depression is difficult. Like Dark Souls, you deal with depression by fighting or giving up. To fight is to push forward, and maybe even succeed, but to give up is to accept defeat, die and never play again. The game will punish you, but it also encourages you to keep going and try again and bring in friends to help you fight. Dark Souls almost seems to be an allegory for depression, and you know what, it is.

You have support in this life, you have people who care about you. Even when all hope seems lost, you do have people you can talk to. Just like Dark Souls, this world is a cruel and uncaring place but we can all tackle the hardships together. Talk to people, go out with friends, meet new people and don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling even when you feel like no one will understand.

Goodbye for now then. Be safe friends… Don’t go hollow.

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Posting the Suicide Hotline Isn’t Enough

So it’s World Suicide Prevention Day. And that’s a good thing to bring awareness to.

But how does one actually help the cause? I’ve seen a lot of posting of the suicide prevention hotline, and that’s all fine and dandy. Maybe some people aren’t aware that there’s help like that out there.

But here’s the truth.

Most of us are.

So posting it won’t help the vast majority of viewers. Instead you should make yourself available personally to talk to, and more importantly, treat others like you would like to be treated. Practice this in your everyday life, not just on Suicide Prevention Day.

It’s that simple.

Why Do Depression and Even Suicide Memes Sometimes Make Us Feel Better?

I would like to draw attention to the subreddit /r/2meirl4meirl. It’s a little corner of the internet, quite an active one in fact, where users constantly post memes talking about wanting to die or how depressed they are. This is a stark contrast from /r/wholesomememes, which is supposed to make us feel better. However, some claim that /r/2meirl4meirl makes them feel better than any other form of comic relief. Here is an example of a meme you might see posted on /r/2meirl4meirl:

The same phenomenon can also be seen in millenials. They literally bond over wanting to die. Why is this? Why does negativity make us feel better than positivity?

My point of view is that it feels good to us to have someone understand where we’re coming from, to be right there with us in our feelings. It lets us laugh at ourselves, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing, even when it comes to serious topics such as suicide. In any case, whatever form of comedy makes you feel better, you have nothing to be ashamed of. It appears to be a very normal phenomenon, at least in our generation, to find such jokes humorous and to find relief in them. Keep doing you! On the other side of the coin, if such jokes disturb you, stay away from them. We’re all different.

Please offer your opinion in the comments on this phenomenon.

Free iOS Apps to Help Your Mental Health

“There’s an app for that!” you always hear people remark. But is that true? Well, it is in part for mental health! Here are several apps that are designed with that in mind, in no particular order.

Simple Habit

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If you think you don’t have time to meditate, you’re dead wrong! This app allows you to meditate for a short five minutes each day, gradually improving your mental well being.

Youper

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Youper is an app that lets you have daily conversations with an AI (artificial intelligence) that aims to point out flaws in your thinking and reduce anxiety and depression. I’ve personally used it and felt much better afterwards. Maybe it’ll be a good fit for you too!

What’s Up? – A Mental Health App

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“What’s Up?” has so many aspects that it’s hard to summarize them in just a paragraph. In short, and this list is not at all exhaustive, there’s a daily diary for you to store your feelings in, calming breathing techniques, and forums to communicate with others who may understand where you’re coming from. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For a full list, see their description in the App Store.

To conclude, our phones can help us cope with our mental illnesses. They are not a complete remedy, but perhaps something we can implement along with other treatments. In any case, they’re free, so they’re worth a try!

Songs for When You’re Feeling Hopeless

It’s understandable to feel hopeless. This world puts us through struggles at every turn at times, and sometimes we just need someone to tell us that it’s okay, that your struggle is understood, and that you are not wrong for feeling that way. Sometimes music is a good way to get us through such feelings. At least it is for me. So, in no particular order, here’s my list of songs that you should listen to when you feel hopeless. Some will lift you up, and others will simply let you know that they understand. In any case, they have helped me when I’m in a dark place.

1. Heavy – Linkin Park

2. Long Dark Road – The Jokerr

3. I’ll Keep On – NF

4. Not Afraid – Eminem

5. Just Like Nothing – Prozak