Researchers at Northwestern University, Illinois found that 21% of gamers who played Everquest II infrequently were depressed, but with those who admitted to playing "all the time" the depressed total went up to 30% (source LA Times 2009). Not a massive difference, but I think you'll agree it's significant.
My personal view is that the depression came before the gaming, and that MMORPGs provide a sense of escapism for those suffering from depression, a sense of power, of control and of achievement that may be lacking in their real life. But I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts on this! Do you know WoW addicts (former or current) who suffer from clinical depression? Do you think the game is to blame?
When you finally come full circle with that whole "sense of achievement" thing and stop feeling rewarded by the next ding or the next piece of gear, that's when real life rewards start to regain their meaning. It's taken me a while to feel that again, but I'm really pleased with how my little fledgling homemade jewellery business is going. This is the kind of stuff I make:
If you could stop by Facebook and share a like on my page it would mean so much to get your support: www.facebook.com/candyislanduk