Got two game tables and a microphone
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Right now, I am suffering from what I can only call crushing boredom and lack of energy. The only thing I really have the energy to do is type this message; I've been thinking of doing this for a while.

I am a 46 year old person, go to work every scheduled day (right now working about 70-80 hours a week). I serve as a union representative and represent about 350 fellow workers. I have a Masters degree in education. And yes, I have suffered from bipolar disorder for 46 years.

Gaming has helped me take my mind of my depression, my anxieties and troubles for over fifteen years. I came back to the hobby as an adult in 2003. It was never the act of gaming that helped, it has been the awesome people I have gamed with.

Here comes the Wil Wheaton part. Had the opportunity to briefly meet Wil at GenCon, thanked him for his contribution to the hobby. Wil said he is just an ordinary guy. I know he is, but at the same time: I'm sorry, right now you aren't. Wil has a great voice in the hobby, and he is using that voice with extraordinary grace, intelligence and passion.

About three or four months ago, I was struggling to stay on my medication. It's expensive, and I am an adult. I should be able to control myself on my own. It was about that time the "nerd" speech went viral. Now, I did some searching on YouTube, and Wil Wheaton did a very impassioned speech about how people struggling with depression need to get help, all while wearing googly eyes. Here is a link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXBlke_is3I

I love this hobby. Not because of the games so much (although I do like solving puzzles and play solo from time to time). It is ALL the awesome people I have met:

Pete "Superfly" Ruth
Shellie Rose and all the FortressAT guys
Chris Palermo and Long Island Boardgaming Organization
Steve Kurzban and the LI-Gamer guys

along with everyone else I have met and will continue to meet at game conventions.

And yes, thank you Mr. Wheaton for your positive voice on the hobby. I am not working for TableTop, but for any videocast viewers out there, check out IndieGogo. TableTop currently has a campaign.

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Agreed.

The more exposure this hobby we love gets, the more possible players I'll have coming to my table and having as much fun as I've been having over the years.
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Joe
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I had the exact same video discoveries. I'm 25 years old and have always known I suffered from depression but have in the last few years suspected I also suffer from anxiety. I've only ever been treated for ADD. Wil's videos pushed me to finally seek help and though it's challenging now I really believe it will be a positive life change for me. I too have found gaming to be a welcome calming practice to an extremely anxious mind. I play a lot of solitaire wargames for the engaging subjects tree but also because the complex systems focus my mind and get my mind to a place where I can focus on important tasks and relationships.
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Pete Lane
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Wil gets a lot of flack from the grumblegrumps in the geek world, but he's got a bog heart and really wants our subculture to find the respect it deserves. We've gone from "Why are grown ups playing board games?" to "Ooooh is that one like Catan?!?" thanks to him.
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stagger lee wrote:
Wil gets a lot of flack from the grumblegrumps in the geek world, but he's got a bog heart and really wants our subculture to find the respect it deserves. We've gone from "Why are grown ups playing board games?" to "Ooooh is that one like Catan?!?" thanks to him.


These are the people that remember the good ol' days when you had to learn to speak German to play a proper board game. The days when you had to spend a fortune to buy a game. The days when every other game was uglier than sin because publishers could not afford fancy art designers. The days when you could never tell anyone you play games without them looking at you like you were a man-child who plays Monopoly every Saturday night.

It would be amazing if some really big celebrity would go around discussing how they love board games on late night television interviews. Anything that makes a non-gamer grab his laptop to google what the heck that celebrity is talking about would really draw some much needed attention to some great games.
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Craig McRoberts
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Thanks for this. I've been diagnosed with depression and GAD, and it seems like sitting down for a game really is one of the things that can let me focus on something other than maintaining superficial control. If I can't play, I've usually got an episode of TableTop on in the background. I've "watched" them all a thousand times to keep me going at work every day.

Here's to those who understand and are better at helping others do the same than I am.
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Alyn Roddis
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I'm prone to depression myself and having a hobby like boardgaming that forces you to think, distracts you from the bad stuff and encourages you to interact with others really helps me. That and cognitive behaviour therapy, which literally saved my life 10+ years ago.

I think gaming is good practice for dealing with negative feelings and thoughts in a low-pressure environment. Did I lose because I'm a bad person and nothing will ever go right for me ever? No, I lost because I didn't play that card at the right time, or because another player spotted and exploited an opening before I did, or because that monster was just too tough for me to beat with my starting equipment.
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M. B.
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He's definitely doing a great job for the hobby and supporting those in it! thumbsup

BTW. Keep you spirits up and your gaming hand strong!
 
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Wendell
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Nice post, Dave. Agree about Wil - my brothers used to email with him years ago about some other geeky/tech thing, and he was as nice with them as he has been with you and others.

And good luck with the depression, etc - glad gaming helps!
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Always bring your towel.
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Depression sucks. Unfortunately, there is no word in the English language that can accurate describes exactly the magnitude of the suckitude of depression. Suffice to say, I know how you feel. I'm a considerable amount younger than you are, being only 32, but I will say this anyway. Life can be great if you let it. It's not always easy to do, and definitely not always that simple, but as long as you keep that in mind, it makes things a hell of a lot better in the long run, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time.

I'm glad I'm involved in this hobby. I love playing games, and love the people involved. It's such a fantastic community.
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Mindy Basi
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Will Wheaton and Felicia Day have made being a nerd pretty darn cool.

I admire what they have done, as well. Will Wheaton being on Big Bang Theory, and the fact that the characters play board games, does give the hobby a lot of traction with mainstream audiences. It doesn't seem nearly as strange when they do it on a sitcom. Some would say it's stereotyping smart people, but BBT is a very popular show and does validate being smart. That's a good thing.
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Isaac Vickery
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broken clock wrote:
[q="stagger lee"]It would be amazing if some really big celebrity would go around discussing how they love board games on late night television interviews. Anything that makes a non-gamer grab his laptop to google what the heck that celebrity is talking about would really draw some much needed attention to some great games.


Vin Diesel has talked a few times on late night television about playing DnD. Close enough to board games i think.
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Andrew DiGregorio
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Everyone in the Long Island Boardgaming Organization is a tool....
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Derek H
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Kwill2 wrote:
Will Wheaton and Felicia Day have made being a nerd geek pretty darn cool.

FTFY! Yup, they are Uber-geeks to all of us, for sure. Smart, well-spoken and passionate about gaming and other non-mainstream "stuff". Hope they are but the first of many!
 
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Richard Pickman
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A great post, very touching and courageous. What an awesome community.

And I always suspected that boardgames are good for your mental health...
 
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William Cody
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I love Wil, he is absolutely right that noone is talking about these mental health issues. I don't personally suffer from any of the illnesses he mentioned but I have several family members and friends who do, and while it took me a while to understand and accept it I know the vast majority of people don't. Every day physical illnesses get talked about, from the health problems coming from smoking, to various types of cancer, but until recently when some crusaders are finally bringing this topic up and it really needs to be talked about. Another thing people should check out is the Seth Rogen speech he made to congress about his wifes mother and her battle with alzheimers disease and the pure emotion felt from everyone present because these are real issues and every single person can relate to this.

Forgot to tell you thanks for sharing! takes real courage to talk about stuff like that.
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Robert Wesley
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Re: A sans thank you to Wil Wheaton and all other freakin'beacons of the hobby.
~"Well, we're A-L-L: 'crazy for Coco-Puffs'; or we wouldn't "B" here!..."
shake Yeah, too bad Wil & the Gangly Group don't PLAY any 'games' that 'moi' wanted too, so...
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Nick South
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Very well said. I couldn't agree more.
 
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Got two game tables and a microphone
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Thanks for the responses.

For those of you that also have issues, just know that you are not alone.

Gaming has been a tremendous help to me, but games (along with my amazing wife of twenty years) have also helped me socially. I realize now if I want to continue playing games with awesome people, I have to take responsibility for my bipolar and take treatment a little more seriously.

Don't use a disorder as a crutch; use your weaknesses as insights and turn your weaknesses into strengths.

Peace.

Dave D.
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I wonder if anyone in the medical community has looked at board games as a therapy tool for depression sufferers or people with other mental ailments? It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that board games could become part of some sort of group therapy plan.

The human brain is a complex and mysterious organ. Just look at how music is now being used to help people with memory issues like dementia. If that kind of out of the box treatment helps, using board games to treat depression seems like a reasonable idea. The social aspect of playing board games would lend itself to be good therapy.

I hope that anyone who suffers from depression or bipolar disorder or any related problem both gets the help they need and realizes that they are not alone. And if a celebrity like Wheaton and/or the board game hobby helps someone address their own mental health issues then I am happy for them.
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Peter Shafer
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Good video... But wtf is with that one guy in the lower left screen! Wil is baring his heart and the dude just bails and distracts!
 
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IAmTheCandyMan wrote:
broken clock wrote:
[q="stagger lee"]It would be amazing if some really big celebrity would go around discussing how they love board games on late night television interviews. Anything that makes a non-gamer grab his laptop to google what the heck that celebrity is talking about would really draw some much needed attention to some great games.


Vin Diesel has talked a few times on late night television about playing DnD. Close enough to board games i think.


Curt Schilling helped start a boardgame company (MMP) to support his ASL addiction.

Dunno if he ever talked about it on TV though.
 
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