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Gaming the System 005 - The Link Between Gaming and Depression

BooksandTrees

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  1. I agree with this. When my life becomes overwhelming I easily feel the need to give up and find a rewarding activity which requires little effort. That is just an easy way to say porn or something. I will read this article today. I think I'm just starting to get out of these crazy dream states and just want to enjoy my free time. I've been so conflicted about wishing I could enjoy writing like I enjoyed playing RuneScape. Did I enjoy playing runescape? It was very stressful and I hated the community. Maybe I'm learning what enjoyment is.
  2. That's what I miss about video games. They sort of make you feel content and not a desperate need to be amazing at things. I miss slowly working at things for a few months and being good at them. It's just difficult because you play a game and if you're bad you can blame the game or play another game. You also get rewarded for failing in most games. If you suck at drawing or writing the product is right in front of you. You have to be alone with your failure. Unless you can change your perspective and just enjoy the fact that you drew or wrote. Then you can keep going with it. I've learned to have more patience and feel better. I mentioned in the response to 30 years that I wrote last night and felt good about it. This is something I'd like to expand upon in the future.
  3. Don't worry. My story is so long lol. I've been on the site for over a year so it's a huge book. I am an overthinker. I don't really understand how to not think about shit. I get into a zone of frustration and just have all of these thoughts in my head built up from a number of stressors and when something new gets presented to me I just think about it. I found last night to be helpful because I just listened to atmospheric music and wrote a few pages of a book I've wanted to write. I don't care if it gets famous or sold. I just want to write it and see where my characters go. I did stop boxing because it's just too much. I feel like I have to be there by a certain time and I can't just box and punch shit. It feels so rushed. I have to do like 45 minutes of exercises before I start punching and all I want to do is punch stuff, move fast, and leave maybe once or twice a week. They also close at 8 PM and I get home at 6:30 some nights and can't exercise until 7 PM. Then they get mad at me for showing up "late". But it's not a classroom setting. It's an open gym. It's conflicting. I'll see where the dating goes. I get annoyed with dating sites and apps because my photos aren't these model shots with perfect lighting and effort like most women have on their profiles. I tend to attract women I'm not attracted to and feel obligated to date them. However, in person I am able to attract women who are absolutely beautiful and they flirt with me and I can get their numbers. This gives a false sense of confidence. I think the apps are actually hurting my feelings more than helping. I'm not sure I'm very interested in this woman I'm seeing and it is getting to me. We get along well and she's a good talker. She's average looking and her career is uninteresting to me. We have no similar hobbies or activities to share. It's just talking. Thank you for the advice.
  4. I think I'm in denial about my hobbies and interests. I keep telling people I'm interested in writing books, cartoons, and animating along with website stuff. But I don't attempt to work on them at all and all I want to do is socialize with friends after work, play board games, rock climb, watch TV, and relax. When I have a weekend coming up I just like to do outdoorsy things and enjoy life. I think I have this urge to do something incredible and create this major art piece or something. But the desire to do it and the pressure coming is just terrible. The only thing I would want to do is make a funny podcast with friends. The cartoon dream is very stressful and I'm not wanting to ever work on it. I'm just wondering if I just think these things will be a good idea etc. The amount of work that goes into all of these things is ridiculous. They're all full time careers. I don't want to do that right now. Am I just putting all of this pressure on myself for no reason? I'm 46.5 weeks free from games and have not created a single thing. I've boxed and rock climbed more than the cartoon. I started the cartoon idea in 2016 and I have a script I wrote in 2019 in 16 hours. The rest I've just put off. Do I really want to do it? I don't like doing things alone and miss the social aspect of board games and video games. That's why I play sports with friends and go out wtih them. Other news, I have a date on Sunday and had a good talk with that girl tonight. She's nice to talk to and I'm getting more comfortable with her. Who knows, maybe this turns into my first girlfriend in TEN YEARS. Who knows?
  5. The date I went on with the other girl on Monday was a lot better. She was much more laid back and easy to get along with. We ended up talking for 3 hours and had fun. I still just feel overwhelmed right now by life in a few ways. I think I'm still doing too much with my time. I took today off from work to have an easy day of focusing on myself. The past year has really bogged me down and it's rare that I have a good weekend to myself. I never actually plan anything for myself either. Something I noticed is that I get so busy during the week that I don't plan my weekends and then the weekend comes and I have nothing to do. The discrepancy between stress levels causes depression on both ends. Overwhelming activity for 5 days causes me to just want peace and to relax. The underwhelming loneliness on weekends causes sorrow and isolation. Both cause depression in different ways and feed off of each other. I have actually achieved unhealthy balance here - which is very interesting if you think about it. I'm thinking of giving up boxing. I say this because it's a major commitment and not as stress relieving as I once thought. I feel guilty not going and it's always a hassle. Once I'm there it's ok, but it's kind of a pain and the trainers make you feel like you need to stay there for 3 hours at a time. That's a lot of fucking time and it just wears me out fast. I'd rather just enjoy life after work. I'm thinking now that I just go to the gym "sometimes" and not feel the need to build a crazy schedule. My therapist suggested 10-15 times per month doing general full body exercises for 30 minutes a day - tops. Then after work I can play board games with friends or rock climb if I want. Maybe go for a walk. This change should also alleviate some anxiety deep within regarding hobbies. I wanted to exercise to destress after work so I could work on hobbies. What's actually happening is I spend 3 hours at this gym, take a shower, eat dinner, and pass out. I'm not actually even thinking about my hobbies. It's been a month since I've done my hobbies, which annoys me. I'm starting to understand my body more and want that balance. I don't mind watching a movie anymore. I actually enjoy it. It's a great way to unwind my brain for a set period of time and not get addicted. I can do this once a week and just look forward to it. It's like I'm treating myself. One of my flaws has been thinking I need to fill all of my spare time so I don't play games. That's actually a successful strategy for beginners looking to quit gaming. Fill all your time and stay busy so you can't game. The issue is that is followed by burnout. Many game quitters relapse after 60-120 days because of burnout. Not all, but many. It's because we want to escape from all of the shit going on. You feel good after accomplishing so much, but one week comes where you're exhausted and some life events stack up on top of all the new hobbies and social activities you're doing and you crack. I'm just going to appreciate the hours of free time I have between activities. Sometimes you need to let yourself relax or talk on the phone. If you're still feeling motivated during that free time, then pursue that activity. For me, I need to cut out boxing. It's making my day too time constrained. They're only open from 3-8 PM. I get home from work around 6 PM and get there at like 6:30. They make me feel sttressed out for not going and then it's a huge hassle. I just want to fucking relax sometimes and not have a commitment lol.
  6. Eating should never feel rushed. It's one of those few hallmarks of the day for everyone where you're supposed to detach from your tasks and enjoy it if possible. Commune with friends and family or focus on yourself and appreciate the flavors. Eating a good meal can be therapeutic in many ways as it's a sensory boost and also replenishes energy and nutrients to the body.
  7. I gotta agree with the sleep statement. One of the things that has really helped in my recovery is sleeping consistently. This is a firm foundation in life that promotes other habit changes. Like making enough time for 3-5 meals per day (size dependent), and then scheduling time for work, hobbies, and relaxation. I'd also add that you should really allow yourself to relax. Something that kills gamers in recovery is the belief that watching a movie hurts them or reading a book hurts them. In reality, we're being hyper critical of wasting time and that's creating stress. If you just quit games, allow yourself to watch TV or read if you really are tired. Yoga and stretching also helped me a lot. Many gamers in recovery become aggressive in changing their habits. No phones, no tv, no movies, no books, nothing. I struggled in my first 3-6 months of game quitting because I took everything out of my life. But what I appreciate now is having a TV show to watch at night for an hour. I enjoy reading 3-5 hours per week. I enjoy having movie night. We used to have these nights as kids and it never made us addicted or have brain fog. The stress we put on ourselves for not relaxing sometimes is arguably worse than game addiction because of the other health detriments it creates such as poor sleep, anxiety, dietary issues, and depression.
  8. Are you talking about streaming like a podcast sort of format? It wouldn't be gaming, right? I've always wanted to create something like this.
  9. I agree with you. I'm very interested in having sex now and it's a distraction. I'm just very down about dating. I want to commit some time to figuring out my hobbies because I want to rule some out. I've already realized I'm not a huge fan of boxing so far. I want to do more artistic things and dedicate time to myself. I'd like to get a goal for a weekend and plan things out so I can look forward to doing things I want to do and not things someone else wants to do. A relationship is only going to force me into "let's do this for this weekend omg yes ok hehehehe yay" and it's some trendy fucking date. I just want to date myself a bit and figure out what I love and who I am. I haven't done that enough.
  10. I think you'll find someone eventually who gets you excited to talk to them and also share mutual interests with you. I'm not sure if he was leading you on at all while this was happening, which is unfair. If so, don't take all of the burden of this onto yourself. I would just continue to learn from this and not dwell on it. Take it for what it is and move forward.
  11. @Lea and @Ikar thank you for the support. I messaged her today explaining that I feel bad about hurting her feelings, but I did not find a chemistry between us that would warrant future dates. She took it in a mature way and wished me good luck although she did not agree about the chemistry front. I just felt like she was so boring to talk to with stuff. We had no mutual interests. I love hockey, anime, superheroes, movies, fantasy/science fiction works, rock climbing, the ocean, birds, and artwork. She likes traveling, trail walks, exercise, and nothing else really. I just found that we were both kind of wanting to be in a relationship but had nothing to build off of in order to do it. We had no similar music tastes and our meal tastes were sort of similar. I was also not really physically attracted to her. She had great legs, but her appearance was very identical to a close friend of mine who passed away from cancer 3 years back and that put me off a bit. She had the same laugh, same face, same smile, same personality type. She was also very introverted so if I didn't control the conversation it didn't go anywhere and would lead to either an awkward moment or a desperation question to keep conversation going. There was no comfort in talking. I reiterate my notion that I believe there was an air of desperation surrounding the whole thing. My issue is I think I was initially interested because I have not had sexual relations with someone in almost a decade and that was pushing me into it. That's not fair to do to someone. If I had gone after her most private part of life for self interest that would have made her feel terrible and potentially really hurt her. I'm not interested in making someone feel that bad for my own self interest. Porn is there for a reason and I'm not making an excuse for it. I just don't want to go down that route of one night stands.
  12. I'm now 46 weeks without gaming. I'm disappointed with how my dating adventure has gone so far because I don't think I'm ready to date. I'm disappointed that I even attempted it. I've only been out of my mother's house for 9 weeks and the thought of being tied down in a relationship disturbs me from the inside and I can't shake it. I spent a week talking to two women and got their numbers and arranged dates. I began to feel stressed out by communicating with them. Not only that, but my dating profile is not a good representation of me. A reason for this is because I'm just starting to discover myself. I have been rock climbing for about 2 months, boxing for 3 weeks, and writing my cartoon off and on for a few months. My hobbies are developing but my lifestyle is still torn. Even after 46 weeks I still struggle to piece together an identity that isn't a gamer. I don't have cravings to play at all. I don't feel the yearn to go back. I just kind of miss having an identity. I miss getting excited to do activities. I get excited to rock climb, but I'm iffy about boxing. I don't totally love it, I just like doing it sometimes. I want to do something more funny and be around other nerdy people. I don't want it to be a stupid memefest thought. I want that fine grey area between meme morons and regular people. I just want to create absurd art, host a funny podcast, make my cartoon, make a youtube video, and get excited to make things. I just haven't. I keep having to do wedding stuff for my friends or see family or do something stupid. I'm not actively planning things to do on weekends for myself. I want to plan a vacation or plan an activity for myself and not feel like I have obligations to do things with others. Even with the dating profile I felt trapped. This one girl messaged me non-stop for 2 days outside of work. I felt stressed out trying to respond. I then talked on the phone with her for a few hours and had a decent date tonight. I just didn't feel like I was attracted to her and felt repulsed when she went in for a kiss. She reminded me of my old roommate and of another friend who unfortunately passed away from cancer a few years back. I'm afraid to break her heart or let her down, but in reality I've only known her 4 days. She's just pouring a lot into me and I feel very overwhelmed. She's a good person I just think she's desperate in a way and I'm not ready to date in another way. This was the first weekend I've had to myself in 6 weeks and I blew it on a stupid date. She even wanted to go on another date with me tomorrow. I'm canceling it and saying I'm not ready. I can't do this right now. I'm going through too much transition. So frustrating. Now I have to get suited for a wedding tomorrow. This shit doesn't end. I'm just aggravated. I won't go back to video games right now, but I'm disappointed at how long this process has taken me to start to find a life I enjoy. I know it's because of the stress I undertook with my old roommates, my mom, and my job dilemma - mostly my mom during 7 months of the 10 months so far. I have to persevere. Like I said, I'm not craving gaming at all. I just feel defeated in a way. I don't want to game again because of how empty it made me feel. I just feel empty now as well with less brain fog and less depression.
  13. It is important. Sometimes I get caught feeling guilty but I've gotten better. If I say no the people give me negative feedback, but if they say no to me nothing bad happens. So I just realized I can do that and not feel bad over minor things. I am enjoying the rock climbing and boxing. I met a girl climbing and I'm going to ask for her number. We get along well so I want to explore that. Thanks for the encouragement and I hope your relationships with these people don't hinder your development.
  14. I wouldn't fully blame the phone or beat yourself up. Millions of people deal with the same thing you are in the mornings. Something I've done to combat this is schedule grocery shopping at like 7 or 8 in the morning on my first day off. It gets me out of the house fast. The second day I either plan outside activity early, or a slow cooker meal that takes hours ti finish by dinner so my morning starts early and I have reason to get up. Don't beat yourself up. It's worse for us because we're focusing on ourselves so much. One of the ways we move forward is just accepting some things as normal. Sometimes we are normal.
  15. I'm 45 weeks without gaming now. I think something I've noticed is that I have been saying "no" to things more often and it has made me feel better. But it's tough when you schedule new hobbies and activities. The boxing gym I attend makes me feel like I should spend 3 hours there doing a full workout. I don't really have time for it and I don't get there in time to do that anyways. I also don't want to do that every day of the week. Mindfulness is something that has been a developing cornerstone in my mental health improvement. I'm learning what comforts me when I'm mentally stressed or physically stressed. I'm learning whether I need to relax and listen to peaceful music (I love atmospheric drum and bass) or whether I need to do boxing or something like that. Mindfulness has also made me realize that once my mind is clear of clutter I want to be creative. I'm still not scheduling time for myself to write, draw, create 3d sculptures or even clay sculptures. I'm not learning to animate on the computer or anything. I'm not angry about this, though. For the past year I've complained in my diary that I want to be creative, but get so anxious and stressed about being perfect at it. This anxiety and perfectionism comes from my efficiency drive during the day. When you have a set amount of hours to meet deadlines at work your mind is in gear. You're in a state where you need to function perfectly and get the task completed. Hobbies and creativity isn't like that. You need to plan things out, investigate your feelings and just think. Thinking isn't efficient. Sometimes it's best to clear your mind and day dream a bit. Let your subconscious deliver things to your active thoughts that inspire you to create or plan something. When I get stressed I rant and do funny things that just come to me. I mix that with relaxing thoughts to music and my imagination takes off. I think of story plots, character development, artwork, podcast topics, everything. This is good and I need to take the next step. The next step is to dedicate time to these thoughts. This circles back to the issue I had with getting anxiety and not being able to work on the hobbies when I have time - I already answered that, though. I've learned how to de-stress. One of the things I've learned over the past year away from video games is how to relax. I just don't practice it. I like exercising, socializing, listening to relaxing music, stretching, mindfulness, etc. It's time to complete the routine. I've filled my schedule up with activities and that's been nice, but I want to structure my day to also allow me the mental levity to work on a hobby or watch TV and read. Mindfulness will help me decide which activity I want to do based off of my day and that will naturally turn into something where I know what hobby I want to do. The stuff I've been putting off is my cartoon, 3D sculpting in blender, acrylic color pouring, writing some of a book, a funny YouTube video, and maybe a podcast. Now calm down. I'm not going to do all of these. That's what's adding to the anxiety issue. It's going to take years to do these things. My cartoon will take another year for a pitch. The book will take 2-4 years. Sculpting takes years of practice, but I want to do it. Acrylic pouring will take some time to develop. So it's just practicing once in a while and eventually I'll decide that I don't want to do one or two of them. I might not want to write a book. I have no idea. But being mindful will help me approach those decisions. Practicing will direct the decisions.
  16. Lol you are much less spiteful than I am at times. That is good. I'm trying to work on that.
  17. You know what's strange? I think I'm one of the only gamers who never cared about sgdq or that community in general. I think I might actually hate the video game community and most stereotypical gamers in general. I think I stayed in it for too long and just used anger to get out of my addiction. So it may have left me with a sour disposition towards those specific gamers. Stay patient and enjoy your journey and keep learning.
  18. This is too vague to give you an honest opinion. I would suggest performing a self-investigation and writing it in detail in private or online here for a more accurate response. Why are you blocking people in real life? Gaming is escapism from real life for most gamers. If you find yourself doing the same habits in gaming that you do in real life then you are not dealing with your problems in real life and online. Why do you game? I know you're blocking people, but did you game initially to find social life without the real life issues? Those same issues arise in games just as fast as real life. Is it for a hobby? Is home life difficult? Are you looking for competition in games that you don't get in life? Do you have social anxiety? If so, what is causing the social anxiety? Take some time to answer these questions and ask yourself more questions than what I'm asking you. Take some time after that to experiment and go on a learning journey here. The goal now is to better understand yourself so you can answer the question you initially asked.
  19. I hear you. I had the endoscopy and it came back fine. They said I had minor inflammation in my esophagus and said they'd do a colonoscopy as a final check to get a good evaluation. They believe it's all stress causing this to me. It's something where I just need to keep eliminating stressful things from my life. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be amazing at my job, quit my job, create a cartoon, get my job back, meet a chick. get healthy, find friends, find the purpose of life, get my masters degree, get my bachelors degree, etc. I've done most of these now so it's just up to removing additional stressors and just relaxing more. Accepting that I can watch TV for an hour or two. Quitting games makes you think you need to be productive all of the time, but now I just appreciate down time. There's no downtime in gaming, but there is down time in TV and reading. Years of that stress has crippled me and I'm tired of it. I'm also a hypochondriac and it's terrible.
  20. I think you're making a lot of mindful decisions now compared to what you were doing months ago. Planning creates a dependable routine and organization that prevents you from having to keep memorizing things and ending up forgetting something you had planned. The healthy eating and exercise is important to every facet in your life. Keep this up. As for the relationship. I think you should just move on. I seem to remember talking to you about it when I first starting reading your post a few months back. I think you're better without her and will find somebody else who supports your life in a good way and just loves you for you eventually. But I have no say. Just a thought.
  21. I'm now past 44 weeks without gaming. I'm getting into that 11th month soon. I have been without stomach ailments for the past 3 or 4 days for the most part except for tonight unfortunately. I'm finding that it's mostly stress induced. If someone or some decision stresses me out I'm going to the bathroom. I think this is the result of years of stress coming to a point. I'm also torn about whether to get this colonoscopy in 2 days and I'm nervous about it. I've found that I really like boxing and rock climbing during the week. It's allowing me to move and be active. I have no goals with them either. It makes me question the hobbies I've wanted to do because I've tried to develop goals before doing a hobby and those goals crush me. I don't even want to do those hobbies at all. I want to, but I don't want to. I think I'll eventually go to them. I think that's why I enjoy boxing and rock climbing. I really enjoy just being myself, going there, forgetting my stresses in life, and being part of a nice community. I love it. I spend 3 hours there and can't believe the time went by that fast. I feel better, socialize more, and just enjoy how I feel so present in my day afterwards. I also wanted to say that I think I'm making good progress. All of these life goals I had took so long to incorporate. I started by just sleeping at the same time each night and waking at the same time each day. I then brushed my teeth each night and each morning. I then ate 3 meals a day. I then cleaned after myself in my apartment and took a multivitamin. I then signed up for boxing and did rock climbing once per week before that. I'm slowly adding all of these things into my life and I think it's just a slow snowball effect that just needs to take place. Once I get my routine for these exercises I'll then be more comfortable and be able to work on these other hobbies I want to do. This is just one of those things that I need to be patient with.
  22. Nice job. It's really great when you feel proud of yourself after meeting a benchmark. Especially since this journey started with pain and resentment toward the benchmark you've now met and feel good about. Keep up the good work. After 43 weeks I can tell you there will always be ups and downs but the larger the number gets the more backbone you feel in your self esteem as you learn to stand taller.
  23. I'm kind of tired of feeling sick. I have stomach issues every day with diarrhea each morning and sometimes twice per day. Lots of fatigue. A lot of people think it's stress. Idk. The only thing really stressing me out is that bachelor party I think. It really took a lot out of me.
  24. I agree. The one thing I'm liking is that I'm not getting brutally depressed about all of this right now. For some reason I'm letting a lot of these stressors go and acknowledging that they're not my problems, my fault, or require me to care. I'm more positive and confident. For some reason this has really clicked with me this week. The idiot at work and my family isn't even bothering me either. I think the exercise, hobbies, and schedule I've created has really helped. I'm also trying to socialize less with the people I dislike. It's interesting that I'm now 3 weeks into this mindset and I usually change each week. It's making me wonder if I even need medication for depression.
  25. I'm going to tell that guy tonight that I'm not being his best man. Fuck this. I am tired of doing things for the sake of others at my expense. Fuck that.
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