Streaming can be fun and exciting and seems like the dream career for many people. But sadly, even with all this excitement and joy, many streamers fall into depression. In this article I’ll be discussing what causes some streamers to fall into depression and what you as a streamer can do if you are feeling depressed.
Why are Streamers Depressed?
Although streaming seems like a dream job, it can also be extremely demanding. Many streamers may feel enormous pressure to constantly create engaging content for their viewers and may feel let down when they fail to reach their goals. Streaming can also be very lonely if you are doing it all on your own.
Now before I go into more details, I want to say that what I will be writing is based off of my own personal observations that I have made of different streamers. There have been some awesome streamers who have been open about their depression and it has helped others to see that anyone can be effected by depression, streamers included.
Also, some of the tips I will give about battling depression as a streamer are based off of things that I have read and researched and I will post relevant links to the things I mention in this article.
With this being said, I think one of the biggest things that effects the mental health of streamers is the pressure placed upon them. It may be hard to believe or see, but streamers are constantly under pressure to succeed.
As a content creator there is always a feeling that if you don’t make interesting, engaging content, then someone will come behind you and pass you up. And honestly, this is true. As a content creator you can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again or you will start to lose followers.
Think for example how many Youtubers or streamers came in hot with a super cool idea and blew up really quickly only to see that initial success slowly fade away. Why? Because that same idea will only last for so long before people get tired of it and want something else.
Mr. Beast is a great example of a content creator who had early success and has done things to grow from his initial success. Go look at his videos. He is ALWAYS doing new things to keep his followers entertained.
From being buried underground, to giving away insane amounts of money to doing small competitions, Mr. Beast is always coming up with fresh, interesting ideas that keep people coming back for more.
But think of the pressure and mental stress that this can cause on an individual. As a content creator you can’t just quit and not produce for a few months or you may run the risk of losing a lot of your followers.
This stress, if not handled properly, can lead to depression. Yes, stress can lead to depression according to WebMD.
Another thing that can lead to depression among streamers is loneliness.
Loneliness? But how? Streamers are constantly chatting to people and interacting with others on stream. This is true, but nothing can replace real life human interaction. Lack of human interaction or being isolated and lonely can have major impacts on a person’s mental health.
And as a streamer who is trying to make it, you may find yourself spending so much time live streaming and creating content that you don’t have time to go out and hang with friends.
Even worse, these days you don’t even have to leave your house to get food! With things like Uber Eats, Door Dash, Instacart and Amazon you can literally have everything you need delivered right to your door. You could hypothetically never leave your house.
This kind of isolation can really take a toll on a person’s mental health overtime and lead to things such as depression. And sadly, there are a lot of streamers who try to leave their house as little as possible and this is just not good. Human interaction is good for your mental health.
Lastly, another thing I see that has a negative impact on a streamers mental health is not going outside enough. Believe it or not, lack of sunshine can actually cause depression.
Now I understand that depending on where you live, you may not see the sun a lot depending on the season, but there are still a lot of streamers who stay cooped up inside streaming all year, even on sunny days. If you are a streamer, try to make it a point to go outside enough to take advantage of all the amazing health benefits of the sun.
Before I jump into ways in which you can help combat your depression, I want to say that I completely understand that the things I talked about above are not the only causes of depression with streamers. Depression is completely different for every individual and some forms of depression may be completely out of anyone’s’ control.
Again, the tips I will recommend will be backed up by credible sources and as always you should do what you feel is best for you. I just want to provide a few resources and things that you can do to help if you or someone you know is struggling with depression.
How to Help With Depression as a Streamer
If you are a streamer struggling with depression then consider reaching out to someone for help. You could also do things such as taking breaks, spend time with family and friends and get a little more sunshine to help improve your mood.
I’ll touch on each of these in more detail below. Just know that if you are a streamer who is struggling with depression that there are things you can do, as well as resources you can utilize to overcome.
Reach Out to Someone
If you are feeling depressed, one of the easiest things you can do is reach out to someone and tell them how you are feeling. Sometimes having someone who you can vent to can help you to feel supported and to seek help.
Speaking of help, if you are experiencing depression or are struggling with your mental health, consider reaching out to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). They can help point you in the right direction and help you get the help you desire.
Remember, there is no shame in asking for help.
Make Sure to Take Breaks
Like I talked about earlier, too much stress can lead to depression. So don’t over work yourself. Don’t even work yourself so hard that you feel like you HAVE to take a break.
Instead, I recommend pacing out your content creation. In other words, set a schedule. And on your days off just enjoy it! Do things you like to do (besides streaming) and relax. Reset your body and your mind to be ready for the week ahead.
Your mental health should come first, even before your streams, and so if you feel like you are starting to overdo it definitely take a break. And I am a firm believer that being in a good head space will help you to create better content.
If you want to know how to add a schedule on your Twitch channel, then check out my video below.
Set Time Aside for Friends and Family
Connecting with people, especially people whom you are close to, is a great way to fight against depression. Like I already mentioned, studies have shown that people who are isolated or feel alone have higher rates of depression.
And I totally understand how as a streamer we get so into our work sometimes that we neglect those around us unintentionally. But all I can say is to try and take time to make time to be with other people. This can really help.
And if you are struggling to make friends, consider joining a local sports team, getting involved in a local club or doing service in your community. These are all great ways to meet new people and have that human interaction that can help with depression.
Go Outside More
Last of all, take time to go outside (as long as it is not freezing cold). Studies have shown that getting some sunshine can do a lot to improve your mood and help with depression.
As a streamer so much of what we do is inside and indoors. If we are not careful we may forget to go outside and get some sunshine. So if possible, I recommend going on walks when you can or doing things outside to soak up the sun.
For myself, when I feel like my brain needs a break from staring at a screen all day, I go on a walk outside. I try to go outside for about 30 minutes when I go on my breaks and just walk around. For me personally (a California kid mind you), the sunshine really helps to improve my mood and helps me to reset and refocus.
Usually I will put a recommended products section here, but it didn’t feel right doing that with such a heavy topic. If you ever want to talk, here is the link to my Twitch channel.
In the end, depression can be caused by a number of things and can effect anyone at anytime. If you are battling depression, don’t be afraid to reach out and get help. No matter how you may feel, there are always people who care and there is always the hope that things will get better.