After I was diagnosed with Depression, I was told that I needed to develop coping skills. Well, actually I was told I needed to develop more effective coping skills. These self-help strategies were supposed to be activities that I enjoy that I could do on my own (or sometimes with someone else) to manage and overcome symptoms of my depression.
Depression comes in many shapes and forms. The different types of depression have unique symptoms, causes, and effects. Knowing what type of depression you have can help you manage your symptoms and get the most effective treatment. In my case, it’s still a work in progress.
I was diagnosed when I was about 7 years old, but my parents chose not to allow me into treatment at that time. From the time I was 7 to about 13, I experienced a lot of traumatic events that led to a lot of anger. Ask any of my friends and they will have some story about me doing something reckless, crazy, and violent. I acted out a lot. Most people didn’t understand why, and honestly most of the time I didn’t either. I just did.
My friends still recall and tell stories that embarrass and sadden me. I try to smile and laugh it off. But it’s not really that funny now because I know that I was doing those things because I couldn’t cope with the feelings I had all locked up inside. Doing those things were just me lashing out because I was just so damn angry. I hated myself. I hated people. I hated everyone. And most of the time I didn’t understand why I felt that way. I was just sad. And I was good at faking a smile and making it through the day the best I could.
Sadness is a perfectly normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks, and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. Depression is the overwhelming feeling of sadness when everything in your life seems to be going right. However, some depressed people don’t feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, or some may even feel angry, aggressive, and restless. Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.
The normal ups and downs of life mean that everyone feels sad or down from time to time. But if hopelessness, isolation and despair have taken hold of your life and won’t go away, you may have symptoms of depression. Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy the things you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression is the first step to overcoming the problem.
One way I learned to overcome depression was by playing role-playing games.
I’ve been into role-playing games for about 30 years now. I started out with the AD&D Oriental Adventures game. I was introduced by a friend. I really didn’t know what I was doing in my first game but I had a lot of fun. I’d like to mention that my character died during that session, stomped to death by an Ogre wearing Boots of Speed. It was still hands down the best time I’ve had playing AD&D.
It’s definitely a hobby that I enjoy. being an only child, I spent a lot of time in my room reading through the books, creating my own adventures, and dreaming up ideas. During my time in high school, I was very proud of the fact that I created three different Dungeon adventures which I play-tested with mu friends, lovingly wrote and re-wrote, and then sent into Dungeon magazine. They all got rejected, mainly because of reasons having to do with formatting or structural problems within the document. They were very strict with the format of submissions, and they apparently didn’t even look at anything that didn’t fit the submission format.
Over the years, I’ve found that I enjoy the time spent still reading and dreaming up stuff for role-playing games. I put most of it on this very blog, and sometimes people see it. Most of the time – they don’t. And that’s okay. I’d love to be able to connect with fellow gamers who love these games as much as I do. But I know that everyone has a blog and there’s a lot of junk out there on the internet.
But I am very grateful for my gaming group here in DuBois, PA. We have a great group of guys and gals who are a lot of fun. I never thought that I’d be 41 and trying to figure out a way to get between 5-12 people in one spot to play a game. And best of all they are my friends. We don’t only have a bond through gaming but we enjoy other things together too! And that’s the best part. I’m thankful for my friends.
And so blogging about my gaming experiences is where Keep Rollin’ Sixes fits into my life. I do all the things that I’m encouraged to do: I track my thoughts, focus on something I enjoy to relax and step away from problems, and I share my love for games.
I blog because most of the times it helps me.
And on the off chance you enjoy what I do when I blog here, please let me know. Share a comment and let me know what you like about this blog.
I’d appreciated it.