"Be open to all outcomes, but attached to none."
6200EVEN added a topic in Start Here + IntroductionsNew Member Intro Post!Hello everyone,
I'm in my 20s and in medical school and I am addicted to gaming. I can remember being addicted to simple games, even as a child (anyone remember Neopets?). I didn't have a childhood to brag about, in short I'll say that my parents did not foster a healthy relationship with me. As a result, I gravitated towards games for a semblance of control and order in life as well as my primary source of positive experience (I just watched the Cam story video and intro video, where he explains how games give us a dopamine rush, so I was probably dopamine deprived or something).
Of course this isn't something I was aware of a child, but began to realize upon reflection as an adult. I can remember how, at any age of 7ish, I would see my dad play Cubis (a flash game that was on YahooGames at the time) and when he wasn't home I would play Cubis too as a kind of stand-in for playing with my dad in person. Of course the animations were satisfying and reinforcing, as is a feature of any decent game.
When I started college, I knew I had a predisposition to getting addicted to games so I just made a point of staying away from "serious" computer games and console games. I would let myself play simple games like online checkers or tetris. Who could get addicted to boring games like that, right?? Me, at least. I would actually spend hours a day playing these games. This would make me feel worse about myself, which in turn made me want to escape into games more, and so on with the vicious cycle.
At some point in college, I was introduced to League of Legends. It's much more addicting than checkers, so you can imagine what happened. My school work, social life, and mental health--which weren't doing so hot to begin with--all began to deteriorate. I managed to hang on to a decent academic record by relying on last minute cramming. I went through a few periods alternating between going cold turkey from LoL to being obsessed with it. Often seeing my boyfriend watch a pro game would remind me of how good it felt to play and I would feel the urge for just one more "hit". But I could never keep it to just one.
I started medical school after one off my "on the wagon" periods and school was going well. Then I thought about how fun LoL was and, hey, I could probably just play one or two games a day as the break I deserved. I thought I could handle it. Nope. It was taking far too much time from my studies, social life, and health. It was negatively impacting my relationships. As other stressors came up in life, I was easily overwhelmed because I was a shell of a person with not much strength to fall back on. I have begun doing very, very poorly in school because of this and I am scared.
I watched Cam's intro video, where he explains how the insidiously addictive nature of games might not be healthy for certain people. This perspective, combined with reflection I have done on my own and with counselors, does make me think that I would be better off without games. I think I have enough examples of my lack of ability to control myself with games to believe that I cannot handle them without an unacceptable negative impact on my life. I think I had an illusion that I could be like one of of those "normal" people who could just play games a bit here and there but prioritize important things and get them done. I can now accept that I am not.
I hope that today I can begin taking my life back. I want to spend more time on things that I used to be interested in and that I am good at (or bad at, tbf). I'm looking forward to it.
If anyone even glanced at this wall of text, thank you haha
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