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I find making friends hard; gaming helps

I have suffered with depression for a number of years now; it's hard to say exactly how long. Thankfully, unlike millions of other similarly-afflicted people in the world, I'm a board gamer. Out in the real world, being an introvert hinders my ability to make friends and depression and anxiety symptoms have done nothing to improve this. If you can relate to this then my first piece of advice would be to go to a regular gaming group. Emma and I had lived in Bromsgrove for 4 years by the time I formed Bromsgrove Board Gamers. How many good friends had I made in that time? Not many. Fast forward another 3 years and we have made some great friends, all through the joys of gaming.

Socialising with people I'm not hugely familiar with can be daunting. What do I talk about? Will we have anything in common? Well, if you're with gamers then you have the answer to both of those questions. Even if you're not with card-carrying hardcore board gamers, playing something fun can be the ultimate ice-breaker. There aren't many people out there who genuinely don't enjoy games and we sometimes use them as the focal point for an afternoon or evening.

Without the joy of board games in general, and the friends I play them with in particular, I have no doubt that I would be in a far worse state of mind. If I need company, or someone to offload on, or maybe just something to take my mind off things, then I play a game with the people I love. So if you are having difficulties or know somebody who is, then talk to people. Play games. Honestly, it helps.