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Anime/manga and video games that help depression and anxiety


Corbin

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I recently made a post on a list of recommended manga that people should check out, but that was more or less a work in progress. I know a couple of users seem to like anime and manga like I do, but it seems that my problem with anime is the lack of maturity found within the medium and how everything is about quantity over quality. There has been, in my opinion, a lack of good shows and games to watch and play these days. I have seen a multitude of Shounen, Seinen, Shoujo, and Josei that have taken themselves seriously, but I haven’t seen one that has caused a true attachment to my heart which so few have done. For anime, although I’ve found some, I struggle to find shows that are on the same level as The Wire, House of Cards, The *******, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones. For manga, I struggle to find books that are on the same level as The Sandman, Maus, Watchmen, etc.

My question is that can anime/manga and video games be used to help depression? Many people tend to frown upon video games, anime and manga as a waste of time. However, I want to know what people think about these three mediums, as well as understanding if they could help people with depression. Here are a couple of links I found that talked about depression:

 

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jeanlucbouchard/how-an-anime-series-helped-me-recognize-my-depression?utm_term=.cpG3gvLwv#.niXYP3Oy3

 

 

http://geekandsundry.com/how-video-games-can-help-with-depression-and-anxiety/

 

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/11/how_video_games_can_teach_your_brain_to_fight_depression.html

 

 

 

I heard that they’re good in moderation, but tell me what you think. Also, here is a list of the demographics I’ve mentioned above:

 

 

 

Shounen:

 

 

 

Welcome to the NHK!

 

Fullmetal Alchemist

 

Beck Mongolian Chop Squad

 

Pandora Hearts

 

A Silent Voice

 

Mobile Suit Gundam (to an extent)

 

 

Shoujo:

 

 

 

Natsume Yuujinchou

 

Fruits Basket

 


Seinen:

 

 

 

20th Century Boys, Monster, and Pluto

 

5 Centimeters Per Second

 

Haibane Renmei and Serial Experiments Lain

 

Anything by Satoshi Kon

 

Tokyo Ghoul

 

Steins;gate

 

Neon Genesis Evangelion

 

Berserk

 

Kara No Kyoukai

 

Shingetsutan Tsukihime (anime not recommended)

 

Anything by Inio Asano

 

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

 

The Flowers of Evil

Homonculus

Ultra Heaven

 

 

Couldn't find anything Josei. Sorry.

 

Edited by Corbin
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Gaming can help depression, I think, but there's always the risk that people will medicate themselves with it to the extent that they won't make any progress towards self-improvement. I'm certainly not one to lecture about medicating yourself with things like MMOs...

When I first started online gaming, I still had pretty serious anxiety. Terrified of phone calls, especially in public. Had to work myself up all day to even say a few words in the guild's Vent server, even with a friend of mine there. MMOs were the first place I started using voice chat with new people and working together on goals, which has changed a lot over the last several months. I got and still get occasional comments about a few quirks in my speech that are leftover from childhood speech impediments, but people just ask if I'm from such-and-such a country. Most don't comment at all, might not even notice.

At one point I was a recruit in a pretty hardcore PVP guild, when I was a new player. I have no idea how I got in there, actually. Those were some intense matches and I wound up moving for a more laid-back group, but I always respected the guy who ran it and try to bring some of his values into how I deal with people now. He had an incredibly mellow, team-focused attitude and believed that players had to keep their cool to avoid disrupting their teammates, and that anyone could learn to improve. Oftentimes he'd talk to players individually to see how they were doing.

Eventually I started leading small groups on my own, which helps other people have fun and gives me some actual company when I'm at home as often as I am. I wound up learning a little about leadership and phrasing when I had to recruit new members, too, from a friend of mine who started a cross-server Discord channel for people to hang out in and organize matches through. Still not very good at it, but I love how detached it is from all the in real-life right now and how I can get results, analyze the situation, call the shots, and win, even playing high-pressure classes that no one else wants to play.

In smaller games and modes, it really does start to feel like a community because you begin to recognize the players around you and make friends based on more than just skill levels. One friend of mine started playing long after I did, and when he wanted to try his first non-practice PVP game we got together a premade team for him before he tried solo queue just so that he could get used to it. You even develop respect for good players on other factions and feel more comfortable being part of the wider community on the forums, in-game, or on various channels. You meet people through people and some enemies turn into friends. One player I kicked from our group for being an intolerable asshat a few weeks ago came back, apologized, and is trying to be more chill about things with us.

I can't comment much on neurology, but I would say that having some success doing this has given me a confidence boost in other areas of life, where I'm less stressed about just asking for a shot, losing out, or "grinding out" the hours or the wordcount of a novel. It was fantastic to start off knowing nothing about something, maybe not even trying to play too well, but slowly picking up on things and getting a victory. A lot of my life's failures, like losing a job, or being unemployed for long periods of time due to depression, have felt irrecoverable with the clock just ticking down.

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I love this topic as anime and manga seem to be two mediums that most frequently deliver the most detailed and honest depictions of mental health issues whilst simultaneously (for the most part) remaining vague. I imagine this may be down to Japan's reportedly high rates of isolation, depression, and worse, and how the stigma around it all seems stronger due to their society's more traditional values.

Corbin, you listed quite a few I already thought of (like Welcome To The NHK and Flowers Of Evil), but here's a few others that I feel either explore these issues in some way or can help those who are feeling very low. They are of varying content ratings so please be sure to research them a little before checking them out. Also I'll say whether you should check out the anime or the manga.

 

All Audiences:

Tales From Earthsea (Anime) - fantasy/drama

One Piece (Anime or Manga) - comedy/action

Wolf Children (Anime) - melodrama

Summer Wars (Anime) - drama

Non Non Biyori (Anime) - slice-of-life/comedy

Hyouka (Anime) - mystery/magical-realism

Haikyuu!! (Anime preferred) - sports/comedy/drama

My Hero Academia (Anime or Manga) - action/drama

 

Older Audience:

Hunter X Hunter (Anime or Manga, 2011 anime is awesome) - adventure

Gantz (Manga strongly preferred) - horror/sci-fi/action

Bokkurano: Ours (Manga preferred) - sci-fi/drama

C: Control (Anime) - action

The Rising Of The Shield Hero (Manga) - fantasy/drama

Elfen Lied (Anime preferred) - horror/sci-fi

Paranoia Agent (Anime) - horror

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (newcomers start at Phantom Blood) (Anime or Manga) - horror/action/comedy

Noucome (Anime) - comedy/romance

 

You also might want to check out is GoBoiano.com's '12 Anime That Explore The Struggles Of Depression'.

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Videogame wise I say it really changes with my mood, though I always have certain genres and types I prefer over others. However here's a few recent examples:

Diablo III - a dungeon crawler that is a mindless breeze on easier difficulties, if you want to feel like busying yourself without too much thought put in, this is reccomended. I finished the main game with two characters when most my play was done in the background as I watched films and youtube vids.

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle - an anime fighter with tons of fan-service and charm, a story mode that you can essentially buy power-ups for (with in-game currency) after a few runs of the other modes. So general play goes in bite-size chunks, and can always be completed in another way if one gets frustrated.

Fallout 4 - an open-world RPG that completely immerses you in its atmosphere, lore, exploration and combat. A fantastic game for total escapism.

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I think it can. When you watch shows or play games, it takes your mind off of your problems. It if becomes a hobby, you can use that to make friends with other people. Since there are many online games now, people can learn to talk to others online before they do so outside of games.

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I think its alot more social and a better hobby then other things like tv books,art, any other solitary hobbies. Even though there is alot of people that act like a social leper if you play them at all espically when your older. I don,t bring video games up unless I know the other person is a gamer. Alot of people do alot of things that waste time social media going to bars abusing drugs starting drama, that no one ever says is a waste of time. If I didn,t play video games when I was younger and I didn,t have nerdy friends I probaly would be addict to drugs or in prison my friend I have from high school still doesn,t socalize much unless there are drugs most of the time and I have poor self control and end up drinking to the point where I start getting health problems and always want to try drugs out etc. I think it would help to have a second hobby though that gives you exercise and can help you meet people.

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I think the anime "Welcome to the NHK" is the best show on the subject matter of isolation. I actually felt kind of disturbed and intrigued by the show, which is rare. The idea of total societal withdrawal occurs a lot in Japan, especially. It goes through the difficulty of taking even small steps to effective recovery. While I like anime somewhat, this show felt genuinely good. It felt human, and I felt somewhat connected to the characters. I really enjoyed it.

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12 hours ago, XDV said:

I think the anime "Welcome to the NHK" is the best show on the subject matter of isolation. I actually felt kind of disturbed and intrigued by the show, which is rare. The idea of total societal withdrawal occurs a lot in Japan, especially. It goes through the difficulty of taking even small steps to effective recovery. While I like anime somewhat, this show felt genuinely good. It felt human, and I felt somewhat connected to the characters. I really enjoyed it.

One of my absolute faves despite struggling to finish it yet. I find it brilliant and relatable and heartwarming just as i find it cringeworthy, depressing, and heartbreaking. Truly a honest look at health issues and lost souls.

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22 hours ago, ParaDoxiPaladin said:

I love this topic as anime and manga seem to be two mediums that most frequently deliver the most detailed and honest depictions of mental health issues whilst simultaneously (for the most part) remaining vague. I imagine this may be down to Japan's reportedly high rates of isolation, depression, and worse, and how the stigma around it all seems stronger due to their society's more traditional values.

Corbin, you listed quite a few I already thought of (like Welcome To The NHK and Flowers Of Evil), but here's a few others that I feel either explore these issues in some way or can help those who are feeling very low. They are of varying content ratings so please be sure to research them a little before checking them out. Also I'll say whether you should check out the anime or the manga.

 

All Audiences:

Tales From Earthsea (Anime) - fantasy/drama

One Piece (Anime or Manga) - comedy/action

Wolf Children (Anime) - melodrama

Summer Wars (Anime) - drama

Non Non Biyori (Anime) - slice-of-life/comedy

Hyouka (Anime) - mystery/magical-realism

Haikyuu!! (Anime preferred) - sports/comedy/drama

My Hero Academia (Anime or Manga) - action/drama

 

Older Audience:

Hunter X Hunter (Anime or Manga, 2011 anime is awesome) - adventure

Gantz (Manga strongly preferred) - horror/sci-fi/action

Bokkurano: Ours (Manga preferred) - sci-fi/drama

C: Control (Anime) - action

The Rising Of The Shield Hero (Manga) - fantasy/drama

Elfen Lied (Anime preferred) - horror/sci-fi

Paranoia Agent (Anime) - horror

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (newcomers start at Phantom Blood) (Anime or Manga) - horror/action/comedy

Noucome (Anime) - comedy/romance

 

You also might want to check out is GoBoiano.com's '12 Anime That Explore The Struggles Of Depression'.

I did, but I wanted to go beyond that list, since I included a few. You have a good list, but I'm exploring anime that deal with depression as the ones I've mentioned above. I might as well add Wolf's Rain and Ergo Proxy to that list.

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