Manage Post-Sport Depression: You successfully complete your favorite video game, congrats. It’s time to overcome your feelings of emptiness right now.
It happened to me when I complete Breath of the Wild. I put off defeating Calamity Ganon for weeks, completing side quests, gathering Korok seeds, and upgrading the majority of my armor. I left feeling a little empty because it was over so quickly. I cross some intangible threshold, so it didn’t matter that I could restart the game and Ganon would be back, that I could keep exploring, or that I could open a new file in Master mode. Even if I went back to Hyrule, something would be different.
These emotions are typical. When readers “can’t stop thinking about the fictional world that has run out of pages,” as Clare Barnett from Book Riot explained, they experience what is known as a “book hangover.” A 2019 study defined post-series depression or PSD. As “the feelings of melancholy and longing that can occur when an individual’s all-consuming film or screen product comes to an end.” PSD is a term used in academic research in the fields of arts and leisure. It is referred to as post-game depression in the gaming community.
All three of these phenomena, despite going by different names, have a common ancestor known as parasocial attachment. Even though the game is fictional and can’t know us back. These one-sided attachments in which, in this case, a player feels like they personally know the characters and the world of Hyrule.
Manage Post-Sport Depression: According to Gayle S. Stever
As a psychology professor at SUNY Empire State College in New York. These attachments take place because our brains process both real and imagined interactions in the same way. Even though we are aware that Link and Hyrule are fictional. We spend time with them and develop feelings for them. We then lose that connection once the game and the story are over. The parasocial attachment causes us grief.
Anything that provides us with comfort, safety, or solace causes us to develop these attachments, whether to real-life people or fictional people and places. Even though Hyrule in Breath of the Wild is full of monsters, rusty broadswords, and ruins, it’s strange to think that comfort can be found there. However, as Stever says, “we derive comfort from the familiar.” Whether or not the world or its inhabitants are actually comforting in any way, getting to know Hyrule draws us in and gives us solace. This is one explanation for the popularity of zombie video games like The Last of Us, even though its fans probably wouldn’t choose to live there.
We look for familiar faces, like our mother’s, for food and safety when we are infants, which marks the beginning of our desire for comfort through familiarity. Following that, the instinct remains and we carry on developing attachments. Unfortunately, this also means that some of these attachments are lost over time. We lose a sense of security when we lose them, Stever claims.
Manage Post-Sport Depression: Stever speculates
Stever speculates that the pandemic, which has limited our opportunities for social interaction, may have increased the prevalence of parasocial attachments. In order to fill these social voids, we, therefore, watch more TV, read more books, and play more video games. These parasocial attachments “can afford a person a sense of safety and felt security almost as effectively as can a real and physically proximal attachment object or person,” according to Stever in a chapter of the 2020 book The Sage Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology.
Stever is not one of the researchers who pathologize and view parasocial attachments as unhealthy. I completely disagree with that, she states. “Everyone does it; it’s a reasonable, everyday thing.”
In the book hangovers, Maja Djikic is cited in a similar manner. She was quoted in a Book Riot article as saying that prolonged book hangovers result from the reader “still pondering and struggling with some personally relevant issues that were brought up in the book—it could lead to a personal transformation.” She is an associate professor and the director of the Self-Development Laboratory at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Manage Post-Sport Depression: How to Manage
Knowing there is post-game depression is one thing; knowing what to do when you experience it is quite another. Stever considers other instances of grief as he works through these emotions.
According to Stever, every time you suffer a loss, “you look for solace in other relationships.” This holds true for both the loss of parasocial attachments and the loss of friends or family. To lessen feelings of isolation and disconnection, Stever suggests making connections with the other people in your life. Whether they participate in gaming or not and regardless of whether you talk about this loss or not.
She also suggests looking for a different connection to make up for the lack of entertainment. Watch a favorite TV program (Friends, The Office, or The Golden Girls) or begin a new title on your To Watch list. Peruse a book. Play a brand-new game or rewatch your old favorite. Do whatever makes you feel better, and keep in mind that these emotions will pass.
Manage Post-Sport Depression: Favorite game
You might not give up your favorite game just yet if you’re not ready to. You can play it again for a different ending, on a different difficulty. In a different order (if the game allows that). The prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity allowed me to spend more time with the same world and characters, albeit with some differences. After I realize that replaying Breath of the Wild didn’t work for me. It is sufficiently different and similar for me.
There are additional strategies for keeping a game. Stephanie Minor recommended fandom as a way to deal with grief and build relationships in a 2021 article for The Gamer. Minor wrote that taking part in a larger community “keeps the game [you love] alive for longer.”
Fandom can take many different forms, depending on your interests: joining forums, Discord servers, or subreddits; reading or creating fan fiction on websites like Archive of Our Own or Fanfiction.net; creating or admiring fan art on websites like DeviantArt; or going to conventions where there may be game-related panels, meetups, or cosplay. You might think about organizing your own event if you can’t find any already scheduled.
But occasionally, there is simply nothing to “do” after a game is over. It’s critical to keep in mind that feeling sad is acceptable. Sometimes all you need to do is sit there for a while.
And yes, it’s painful. It might feel gloomy. But that’s part of the appeal of a great game. We can tell it’s captured our hearts by this: We want to stay forever.
Do athletes experience post-retirement depression?
Former athletes might stop training as hard every day and lose their peak physical condition as a result, which is a risk factor for depression. After their college athletic careers are over. Former college athletes may experience lifestyle changes and a loss of identity that increase their risk of developing depression.
What emotions do retired athletes experience?
After retiring, professional athletes are at a high risk of developing mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. According to the research. Professional athletes devote the majority of their lives to improving themselves in order to compete at the top of their sport.
What mental sport is the most difficult?
The fact that swimming is the most mentally demanding sport in the world may come as a surprise to most people. A 7-day self-sabotage cycle is common among professional swimmers. During this time, they might have self-doubt and develop ongoing stress toward themselves.
When do most athletes stop competing?
According to a 2021 survey, the average NBA player is 26 years old, and the NFL Players Association reports that even in the extremely demanding NFL, the average player retires between the ages of 26 and 27.
How many athletes suffer from depression?
Professional and elite athletes must deal with mental health issues as well, and statistics show that 35% of elite athletes experience disordered eating, exhaustion, depression, or anxiety.