Pokémon Go Is Apparently Helping These People Fight Depression
We get it. You're probably bored of reading about Pokémon Go. So am I tbh, but you've got to take two minutes out of your day to read this incredible news.
The app (and if you haven't heard about it by now you really need to re-evaluate your life goals) is helping people battle depression and anxiety.
The reason is simple, if you think about it: To progress in the game, you've got to get out of the house and interact with the world. Charizard and Mew don't just appear in your bedroom, you know.
People are sharing their experiences on Twitter.
How awesome is that!?
Because the app is so new, experts haven't had enough time to back this up with studies. But, psychologist John M. Grohol shed some light on why Pokémon Go is helping people.
Grohol wrote on PsychCentral,
We already know that exercise helps greatly with depression (along with virtually every other mental health problem), but being motivated to exercise when you're depressed is a challenge. That's why an engaging game like Pokémon Go can be helpful. Pokémon Go does this by encouraging people to get outside, take a walk, talk to others, and explore the world around them. Granted, it's through their smartphone acting as an interface, but walking is walking, even if the motivation for doing so is to play a game. For a person suffering from depression or another mood disorder, the idea of exercise can be nearly impossible to contemplate, much less do. For someone suffering from social anxiety, the idea of going outside and possibly bumping into others who may want to talk to you is daunting.
The psychologist adds there are so many apps out there developed for battling depression and anxiety which simply haven't caught on. He brands Pokémon Go's benefits as an "unintended consequence" of gaming.
So go forth, catch 'em all and leave those anxieties at home.