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Fighting depression and NS2

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  • Fighting depression and NS2

    Hello lads, brace yourselves that's a long one. But an important topic in my opinion.

    So I just came back to NS2 after a one month hiatus because I had to go home for Christmas.

    I didn't go there to celebrate. I was in no mood to celebrate. I went there to seek the support of my friends and family because I had reached a state of mind where I had lost pleasure in doing anything at all, my sleep schedule was FUBAR and even cooking the simplest meal was a struggle. There is a name for this: depression. In my case, a severe case of chronic MDD that has been with me each and every day over the past years, and gets stronger every winter.

    For those lucky enough to have no first-hand experience of depression, it is a downward spiral that leads to hell on earth, a maelström that rips everything apart in your life. Any kind of pleasure you can have in activities like seeing your friends, good food, fulfilling a task... gone. Even playing a game with cool people (wink wink). Needless to say, administrative tasks like finding a new job or creative endeavours that require self-confidence become nearly impossible.

    All of the above are socially described as "failures" and feed back into an already negative state of mind, making things worse after every iteration of the loop. Most of the time, you're not aware of the loop. And when you are, breaking free from this downwards spiral it is not as easy as snapping your fingers. It requires tremendous will and energy (two things which depression constantly takes away from you) and it also requires the courage to take off the "everything is okay" mask and ask for help. Because external help does really help.

    The reason I'm writing all of this here is because some of those problems are directly reflected in NS2 and therefore it might be useful to give you an insight to what's happening within. Not only for my own benefit: this condition is very widespread, alas. The numbers are ramping up each year and they are not accounting the people who are silent about it or simply unaware of their condition. NS2 has a fairly big player base so it is safe to expect that almost every game involves a person who suffers from depression.

    I tend to believe depression affects many aspects of my NS2 experience in various ways:

    - Generally irritable behaviour: more prone to blame others, less open to criticism
    - Bad decision-making because my brain is cluttered with dilemmas and didn't get proper rest
    - Over-talking, for the same reasons - can't filter important information out
    - Lack of self-confidence means less risk taking therefore less payoff
    - Inconsistency: I can make an excellent play and follow it with a terrible throw, I can be top 3 score and bottom row the next game
    - ...

    As you can see, it's not a very good state of mind to be playing NS2 considering how challenging the gameplay is and how toxic internet interactions can be. Nevertheless, the game brings in a lot of positive as well, especially on servers like TGNS. There is a sense of community, and a general trust. There is lighthearted humour and interesting conversations happening every now and then. And it feels real good to take part in a solid team play. All of them are very valid reasons to play NS2 :P

    I'm in a much better mood now, thanks mostly to the lovely people around me and some real time off. But I'm not out of the woods by any means. Especially since winter is still a thing, and my life situation is all but stable. I'm fighting my inner demons every day and sometimes I win, sometimes I don't. Every battle counts.

    All I'm asking for is a little bit of understanding, for myself and others in general. The level on TGNS is so good it can feel overwhelming at times, and the game itself can be unforgiving. Please don't expect me to always fulfil your expectations, and don't rub it in if I made a misplay: I really welcome criticism, but in moments like this I'm more prone to anger or despair so it might not be the right time.

    In general, I'm always trying to get better at the game. I watch a lot of replays, I ask people in-game to double check my decisions, and I'm trying to be where my team needs me the most. But sadly I'm not on par with the server average yet. I can only hope I will be one day. But most importantly, I want to enjoy playing this fantastic game with you people as much as I can, despite my faults or others', because it's a lot of fun every night!

    Oh, and if anybody wants/needs to talk I am usually available, so you can hit me up whenever: "jedd" on steam :)

    Thanks for reading me and feel free to elaborate your views and experience on this. I think it's healthy to have an open discussion about it. I'm gonna shut up now. See you in game!


  • #2
    There's a lot to say here but I don't really want to get too into this, so I'll be brief.

    It takes a lot to post about mental health on the internet. Not only is mental health a sore topic in our culture but the internet is also a place where people don't take you seriously/jokes are made/troll you/etc, you know what I mean.

    So thank you for bringing this up. For those of you fortunate to have never experienced this first hand please be open minded and patient. It's easy to think that it's 'made up' or 'not real'.

    Jedd this is something I've been dealing with for several years now. I'm not on these forums often these days but I'm around if you need to chat. Much easier to find on steam, same handle as here.


    • #3
      The better you get at NS2, the easier it is to forget it's fun, both for ourselves and others. We're all so fortunate to have such wonderful, flawed people to play it with!

      I've found the following comforting as I help family and friends dealing with depression:

      When there's a wind that blows and sighs,
      And clouds that seem to stay,
      Forever looming in the sky,
      To quell the brightest day;
      I close the door against the rain,
      Against the dark and more...
      And wait for it to pass again,
      Just like it did before.
      Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

      Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.


      • #4
        Jedd man thank you so much for posting this.

        I've observed that my in-game communication has grown increasingly condescending and caustic, especially when I'm commanding, which I do often. I'm exactly the kind of communicator you're describing and I would not be surprised if I'm literally the communicator you're describing.

        I tell myself that I "don't like" talking to people like that, but I have to do what's necessary to get the job done. That is obviously bull****.

        I should not need to be reminded to be first kind to people. Thank you for reminding me.




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