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Everything posted by Dannigan

  1. ?? Well done and good perspective about your progress. Sometimes progress isn't a straight linear result. So true. There are dips and peaks!
  2. Thanks for the perspective, @Some Yahoo. That is true.
  3. Hi Terry, Welcome to GQ. It's a good community and many caring folks here. First off, congrats for realizing that you're becoming bored with gaming, and deciding to make a change in your life, with a focus to improve yourself. It also takes courage to step away from a gaming community. This is a nice segue leading to my next question. Do you consider your Discord community as 'friends'? I have to ask this hard question because the social aspect of gaming is what keeps people playing these games. Cam Adair has a video about how to keep friendships with your gaming friends even though you no longer play video games. I don't have the link, but you can look it up on YouTube. I would be prepared to face some resistance at first, from the community. These people are gamers, probably for life, and there will always be some sort of friction when a community member leaves and focuses on other life goals. So, just expect that at first. Eventually, they may start to accept your decision, and you may be able to maintain friendships with some individuals. How do you start? And where do you start? Well, what do you want to accomplish? List your short-term goals. List your long-term goals. Heck, list your weaknesses and whether you want to improve or overcome them. Smoking cessation may be a long-term goal. How are you going to achieve this? Write this down. Write down ALL of your future goals, go away to some quiet library or home study area, and spend the afternoon reflecting on how you want to improve your life. 1. Journaling is an amazing way to focus on short-term goals, reflect on your progress, write down your most personal thoughts, re-read your previous posts. You can start journaling on GQ if you want support, or you can choose to write in a private journal. Your choice. I find that staying connected with this community has helped me over the last year. 2. Rewarding yourself after you complete a goal. Doesn't matter if it's a small goal. Reward is a motivator. I recommend reading The Power of Habit. This book sheds light on what TO DO to change your habits. One of the best books I've ever read for self-improvement. 3. Watch some of Cam's videos. Or listen to podcasts related to quitting gaming. 4. Get a calendar, and write in your daily goals, or weekly goals, monthly goals. Have a time-line that is VISUAL reminder. Basically, you're gonna be revamping every thing in your life eventually. Start with one small habit to achieve, which is your cornerstone habit.....get that one habit down, and the rest will follow. Anyway, that's my two cents worth. Take what you need and leave the rest. It's doable. It's just a matter of taking action. Action FIRST, then motivation follows. Never the reverse. ~ Dani
  4. Thanks! Nice changes so far. I like the side bar which shows who's online, the latest posts, newest member who joined. Very easy to locate, nice set-up. That's great about the name change. Looking forward to the alternate theme.
  5. A surgeon in the hospital I work in is pretty damn good looking and apparently intelligent too. But he's really humble and I always see him dressed in scrubs. Some folks are blessed with good looks. I have a bias that all attractive people are self-absorbed. I'm trying to disprove that because I think I avoid talking to certain people who are especially attractive. ?
  6. I have two nieces that I adore. Sometimes I get concerned that this narcissistic culture will impress upon them when they get older. I'm not saying that having goals to become wealthy or successful are bad things. But I think a lot of it is accomplished to glorify our own selves. I guess it just gets too superficial, that's all.
  7. Hi, I thought I'd bring up this topic because of the culture that we now live in. At least the Westernized culture. Image-focused-people. Sorry, but I fuckin' hate image-focused people. Maybe hate isn't the word to use. It's too strong a word. Naw. I'll use it. Okay fine. I think I just detest the way our culture is becoming self-absorbed. I mentioned before that I am a person that cares about my own appearance. Don't get me wrong. It's mostly about personal hygiene, and looking presentable to others. The moment I start caring too much about how I look like, somebody slap me in the face with a black silk glove. When did our society get so carried away with selfies? Posing a certain way to look THINNER on camera or in pictures. Getting the lighting JUST RIGHT so that your best facial features on your LEFT side stand out and you can ERASE that hairy mole under your chin using whatever goddam photo editor available at your convenience. You gotta have a nice car. A nice house. A beautiful girlfriend or boyfriend. Beautiful friends. Forget the uglies. They tarnish your image! Don't befriend them! Forget the people who aren't successful in life! They have no value to you! They can't teach you anything! Just flock around people who are the best in everything they do, and are ONLY successful in life. What a world.
  8. Much appreciated, Philipp lol....maybe I have agoraphobia. I don't like large groups of people. Even when I played an MMORPG, I preferred the smaller servers. My current workplace is smaller too, thank God. I guess bigger groups make me frustrated because there's too much to take in. I get really frazzled and I could care less about connecting with people when it's too much noise and hustle. Sometimes I feel like I want to escape and seek shelter. It's not that I'm socially anxious, it's just that it's like sensory overload. Hope that makes sense? I really do enjoy my friend's company. I don't see her that often but when we get together, it's like time never passed. I can be myself around her, and she knows so much about struggles I had in my past and sometimes I still struggle with certain things. But around her, I feel no judgement and I don't have to re-explain everything. It's been really tough for me to connect with people I've met recently. And I noticed that it's just about personalities that clash. I am a quieter person compared to most people, introverted, and an observer. I'm only outgoing with people that I know very well. The other friends I am close to are my in-laws. Like my brother-in-law is my best male friend and of course my two sisters are friends for life. We hang out as a group and it's been that way for years. It's comfortable and....safe. I'm content in my life with a smaller social circle. Maybe that's all I need right now. I don't need multiple friends. I can also appreciate my solitude, a MUCH NEEDED break from the energy of other people, even those I am closest to. If I had enough money, I'd purchase my own island where I can go whenever I feel the need to 'get away from it all'. When I watched the movie Castaway....I felt envious! lololol. Even though he was in complete isolation, I was like, "WTF dude, enjoy it for a little while!". Anyway. I'm happy as a clam right now. I'll still put myself in social groups like Meet-ups and such, every once in a while. I only joined the hiking group primarily because it's safer to explore new and tougher terrain and hiking areas instead of going there by myself. If I find the large groups too overwhelming, I typically just branch off to the side and enjoy a quiet walk by myself, or talk to one or two people every now and then. Very low key and no pressure to talk to people. Sometimes I just want to enjoy the nature in silence.
  9. Hello, A childhood friend of mine moved back here several weeks ago. I told her about my former gaming addiction, and thankfully she was very kind and understanding. After I told her about it, I didn't bring up the subject again. She promised to be a good sounding board if I ever slip back into that habit of gaming, if I felt comfortable confiding in her. So far I've been feeling good about my life without video games taking over precious time. The problem I'm having is that I think I'm shutting myself out from other potential friends. I do attend a few odd Meet-up groups for hiking and crafts, but I haven't felt comfortable lately with the people I'm meeting in these groups. In fact, the most enjoyable and meaningful moments are when I'm with my close friend, even if we don't see each other often due to our work schedules clashing and that I'm just too tired to exert that much energy after a long day at work. Has anyone felt this way? I think I'm just closing myself off and accepting the few friendships that I have nowadays because these people are 'familiar', and we've shared some emotional stories with each other over the years. I feel like my close friends are like family, and I'm happy just to have this small circle of them. But, that also makes me feel less motivated to meet new people who could become better friends over time. Problem is, these group meet-ups are difficult. It's hard to develop rapport when it feels like I'm competing with the largeness of the group setting. Should I just focus on nurturing the friendships I have now, and ditch the thought of making new friends elsewhere? I find this way easier, because I'm not over-exerting myself to meet strangers and waiting for the moment to possibly connect with someone in person. Whereas, I can just hang out with the people that I know very well. Is this healthy? Or am I just shutting myself off from potential friends? I appreciate any feedback or advice. I don't know if I can be objective about this. :(
  10. You're doing awesome, CrystalLake. :) It was nice to read about your update. ~ Dani
  11. Hey there, Maybe look at it a different way. You can pat yourself on the back for being cognizant of your gaming addiction, and for stopping it, even though you did relapse. Your mindfulness is a strength. Place your focus not on the relapse, but the goals that you want to achieve. That should be 85% of your focus. Write them down. Visualize the person you want to become. Write that down.
  12. By the way, I am guilty of being aggressive and hostile in a multi-player game. I deeply regret those moments, and upon reflection, it's not the person I wanted to become. I certainly didn't want that behavior to seep into my off-line life either. I was mostly irritated with people who'd ask me to level them up (speed level), or insta-grouping with me without my agreement, and other stupid things that were a waste of my own time. I felt like a tool, and I just became resentful, I guess. Anyhow, I digress. If you start getting upset in a video game like that, it's time to hit 'pause', and reflect. It's not healthy. Ultimately, I ended up quitting the raiding, and hung out by myself exploring the virtual landscape until boredom caved in....and then....I eventually quit video gaming. It just wasn't satisfying anymore once the social aspect was removed, and the grinding to level became unbearable.
  13. Hi Zeke, I like this question. I can only speak about my personal experience, so here it is. I started to do some raiding in an MMORPG. I was never a raider before, so had to learn about game mechanics pretty quickly and understand my role in the group to succeed as a team. There were many factors in the game that irritated me. Things like people not showing up to the scheduled raid, gamers that put other people down for their lack of skill, having to redo a raid over and over again to acquire better gear, armour, etc. So, the culmination of crappy things happening to you, despite being prepared, and the fickleness of people created a ripe environment for people to become aggressive. I'm not saying this is okay, but I noticed that transformation even with gamers who are 'nice' when they aren't raiding. When I joined a dragon boat team, we were aggressive but channeled it towards the physical part of the sport. We were frustrated when we had to conquer stormy weather and waves in the ocean, but the pent-up aggression was channeled towards our paddling. With video gaming, you have NOWHERE to channel this negative energy. You are stagnant, sitting down on a chair, and you cannot exert this energy elsewhere except by 1) swearing / cursing at yourself or others 2) blaming yourself or others 3) throwing the mouse at the wall 4) trashing your PC or keyboard 5) having a hissy fit that lasts as long as a 3-year old throws a tantrum. That's just two cents worth. Take it or leave it. :)
  14. Hello everyone, One of the major setbacks in addictive gaming is disrupted sleep, and irregular sleeping patterns. I know that many of the GQ members are also students as well. I have been there and done that. Post-secondary education or high school demands so much of our attention and energy. Some people also have classes during evenings, which creates another obstacle to developing and maintaining better sleep habits. I work full-time on a regular schedule, five days a week consecutively. This does help, but I'll aim to provide solutions for anyone in any circumstance they are in. 1) Choose a reasonable time to go to sleep every single day. The goal is to go to sleep at exactly the same time every....single...day. Choose a reasonable time to WAKE UP in the morning (or evening if you do shift work). It must be the same time you wake up every single day. 2) Remove all digital devices from your sleeping quarters. That includes cell phones, folks. No computers in your bedroom or television. 3) Use an alarm clock instead of your cell phone. 4) Do not use the computer just before going to sleep. Computer use should ideally be turned off at least one hour before bed-time. 5) No caffeine at least three hours before sleeping. 6) Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom. If your bed is uncomfortable, for chrissake buy a new mattress. If your room is messy, get off your ass and clean it up. Also, your room is not a bloody kitchen. So, quit eating in it. It's a place of REST. Make it feel like your sanctuary. If you're a student, don't study in your room. Go to the library. Or study in the dining room. 7) Use essential oils to help relax you before sleeping. There are some oils that are safe to apply on the skin, particularly on the temples, on your wrists, behind your ears. Eucalyptus, lavender, vanilla, those are recommended to help you relax. I would avoid citrus oils because they are used more for stimulation and energy. 8) If you simply cannot fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night, get UP out of bed, walk to another room, and meditate there, or read a boring book. Then return to your bedroom. If you are still awake until the sun comes up, stay awake and continue with the tasks of the day. DO NOT TAKE A NAP. When night-time rolls around, and it's closer to your bed-time, your body will crave sleep. But for the first week or so, your body will be resisting the new designated bed-time. 9) Use a sleeping mask if you are light sensitive. 10) Use ear plugs if you are sound sensitive. 11) Wear comfortable pajamas. 12) Do not go to the gym one hour before you have to sleep, if you can help it. Some people may feel energized and unable to sleep. Others may feel fatigued. Figure out what type of person you are and change your habit accordingly. 13) Don't worry if you are still struggling with sleep habits within a two week time period. Remember, the goal is to get to sleep at the same time every...single...day. AND to get up at the same time every day. Yes, that includes weekends too. 14) Try to drink water a few hours before you sleep, otherwise if you drink liquids closer to bed-time, you'll be waking up to take a piss in the middle of the night, and that will derail your sleeping habit pronto. Trust me, it happened to me several times. Lesson learned. 15) People have social lives too and go out partying late into the evening. That's fine. But remember that it may cost you a few days or a week to settle back into a sleeping regime again. Depends on each individual. So, maybe keep the partying to weekends or the days when you're not working or doing too much schoolwork, so that it doesn't interfere with productivity. 16) Listen to relaxing 'white noise' music CD's if that will help you. Keep the volume low enough that you can just drift off to sleep. 17) Document your sleeping patterns using a Sleep Journal. Try this for two weeks and observe your behaviour patterns. Eg. Why did I get up in the middle of the night? Was I hungry? Thirsty? I went to a get-together last night and came home late, so I was extra tired in the morning. I studied late into the night. I was watching tv or playing on the computer late. 18) Take melatonin every day for maximum of two weeks. This is a natural hormone your body makes, but the supplement can also be helpful as a short-term fix. 19) Make sure you have comfortable pillows. I noticed there are pillows created for various positions of sleeping. Eg. sleeping on your stomach, on your side, on your back. 20) Take note of the temperature in your room. Is it too hot? Too cold? What temperature is right for you to get to sleep? 21) Meditate an hour before bed-time. 22) Buy a light 'dimmer'. I bought mine from Ikea and it works like a charm. If anyone else has more to add to this list, feel free to post your suggestions. Hope this helps. ~ Dani
  15. Hello all, I completed the 90 days of detox and trialed an experiment with moderating my gaming on Day 91. In the end, it was a failed experiment. After work, I had a bit of time left in my evening, a few hours before bedtime. I had finished preparing tomorrow's lunch, doing the dishes, catching up with the latest local news on television, and even had a cup of herbal tea to relax myself. It had been a tiring day at work, and I just wanted to chill out. Next to my keyboard sat one of the many knitting projects I had been working on these past several weeks. I turned on the computer and logged into my favourite MMORPG. This time around, I filtered out all of the social panels so that it resembled more of a single-player game atmosphere. At this point, I just didn't want the nuisance of communicating with others in a game, especially to be used only as their 'tool' to get what 'they' want out of a game, whether that's speed-leveling, completing tasks or just wasting my bloody time talking to me about every-day shit that I could care less about. NO thanks. My only purpose to login was to explore that beautiful virtual world again. This is the question that was on my mind during detox: Am I craving the dopamine effect? Or is this just a feeling of nostalgia? To make a long story short, it was a brief experiment. It only took me half an hour to revisit some fantastical places that I used to frequent, to enjoy the atmosphere, and appreciate the artistry of this virtual world. Thirty minutes is all it took. And during that half hour, my eyes flicked back and forth from my knitting project to the computer screen. I was actually craving to work on my crafting project instead of gaming! I was floored. So, it was a mixture of knitting and also glancing up at the screen for the next hour or so. I ended up AFKing in the game because I was so focused on my knitting. Additionally, I noticed that my back started to ache, and I was developing a slight headache. And then my thoughts led to, "Oh great. What kind of tasks do I have to complete in this game to get to the next level, and how bloody long is it going to take? I have to sleep soon!" I was frantically looking at the clock and becoming more irritated as time ticked on. I was getting angry at the game because I remembered how much of a time sinker it is. Especially MMORPG's. In summary: 1) I took out the social aspect of the game to reduce wasting time talking to complete strangers who are 95% of the time annoying AF. 2) I began experiencing physical pain within an hour of gaming, manifested in a headache and back pain. 3) I began to feel annoyed, irritated, and bored. Resentful memories popped up in my mind. 4) I became more interested in finishing my knitting project instead. So, in conclusion, I don't think it was a dopamine fixation at all. It was only a lingering feeling of nostalgia and quickly fixed within thirty minutes of aimless wandering about in a virtual world. I think the 90 Days of not gaming helped reset the chemical imbalance, and also normalized my reaction when I'm exposed to too much visual stimulation. Like, for example, in the past I would have to game for hours to feel 'euphoric', for lack of a better word. But during my recent experiment, my body reacted very badly within merely thirty minutes of logging in. I felt sick. What I found the most interesting is that my cravings switched to a different hobby: knitting. Anyway, this is anecdotal evidence, at best, but I hope that what I wrote will provoke some reflection for people that are thinking about moderating their gaming after they finish the detox. I know that it didn't work for me but mainly because I lost interest and have other hobbies I am focusing on. Logging into that MMORPG just wasn't as exciting as it used to be. I'm wishing you all good progress in your detox and a prosperous new life! ~ Dannigan
  16. Ninety days and no gaming. Today is Day 91. Thanks to everyone for their valuable insight and responses to some of my older posts. I really appreciate it. Without your help, I think I would have failed. Here are some insights that I gathered from my journey. I hope it helps others in the future. 1. Daily journaling has helped me stick to my goals, even if the goals are very small. It created a habit. I personally like checking off the tasks I completed each day, and also to reflect on my emotions that I experienced throughout the detox. I wrote in a private journal on Penzu for the remaining 60 days. Usually, I'd write in the morning when I woke up, to maintain a routine and to regulate my sleep. 2. Sleep is so under-rated. Sleep is invaluable. If you can get that under control and stick to it, you will probably experience many benefits such as higher productivity, less brain fog, more energy, and general wellness overall. I know we all have busy lives, but 'enough' sleep is essential for a foundation in well-being. Not everyone needs eight hours, though, keep that in mind. After quitting video games, I had to focus on my sleep regime because excessive gaming completely messed up my energy levels, concentration at work, and made me feel more depressed. 3. I wrote a list of 50 reasons why I quit video gaming. Every day I'd add something to the list until I reached fifty reasons. Every now and then, when I had the urge to game, I'd re-read that list. I admit that I had strong urges to login to an MMORPG while doing this detox. I don't know whether it was nostalgia creeping in, or a craving for dopamine again. Maybe it was both. This happened at Day 65. It was really difficult to resist the temptation. The one thing on my list that popped out was "gaming affected my sleep patterns", thus a downward spiral. Maybe that was my salvation. I just knew I could not afford to screw that up again because it would potentially ruin my career. 4. I returned to indoor hobbies that I enjoyed before I was introduced to video games. I never grew up with gaming. I enjoyed crafting and art work, or spending time outdoors hiking and exploring. I even owned a small business on Etsy. The last time I relapsed was during winter when it was difficult to go outside and leave the house. I just wanted to stay inside where it's cozy and warm. So, during my detox, I knew I had to find other hobbies to do besides gaming, and I started doing my crafts again to prepare myself for the days when I'm stuck inside the house. At least I am producing items that I can show to people and talk about, versus talking about my achievements in a video game. Crafting and working with my hands gives me a genuine sense of pride and accomplishment, even though it does take longer than the immediate gratification of a video game reward. 5. I don't believe that video games are ultimately bad. I think they can be used in moderation, just like any digital entertainment available at our fingertips. But I also think that certain individuals are susceptible to the addiction of video gaming. It's about finding balance in life and assessing what type of person you are. If you failed over and over again with moderation, and succumbed to excessive gaming, then video games should not be part of your life at all. For those of us who want to try moderation, I think it's about prioritizing what's important in your life, and putting video games at the bottom of the list. Basically, become your own parent, or ask others to intervene if you start falling down a slippery slope. I think you're also accountable to other people, not just yourself. Ask yourself the questions, "Why am I playing video games right now? Am I just bored? Am I isolating myself from other people? How can I moderate this? Am I feeling down or depressed? Am I getting enough sleep? Do I really need to play this game right now, or do I have other tasks that I need to finish? Am I procrastinating? Basically, if you're turning to video games as a means to cope with life's problems, it may be a dangerous choice to make. 6. The journey is not about 'not failing'. We are all going to stumble and fall over and over again in life. What's important is learning from our mistakes, reflecting about our behavior patterns, and implementing small changes that will help us succeed in the long-run. I resent that the media instills a pathetic picture about 'failure', that if we fail we are ultimately losers. That is not true. How many great and historical and present-day people have failed in their life time? Think about it. I'll bet you can list at least ten. If you fall down, get up again and again. That is the reality of life. We become stronger every time we fail and get up again. Peace. ~ Dannigan
  17. Also, gaming is not a bad activity to do once in a while. It's like alcohol. Is it bad? No. But some people have a predisposition of addiction and drinking even a glass of alcohol will result in addictive behaviour and abuse of alcohol. So, it's about judging yourself realistically, and what category of gamer you fall into. You already realize that excessive gaming harmed you, and reintroducing yourself to gaming can potentially trigger you again to lapse into gaming addiction. It's not an easy thing to accept. Life long abstinence of gaming is not an easy road either. But it can be done. Even if it only leads to fewer and fewer relapses, it's a journey towards overall better health and peace of mind. I admit myself that I have urges to login to that MMORPG I loved, just to explore that world. But I weight the benefits I'm experiencing now, and compare it to the consequences of submitting to gaming once again. I have to choose what is best for me, my family, and my career. If you choose to try moderate gaming post- detox, I have no qualms about that. But I'd consider setting up strict parameters, which also involves family intervention if necessary as a safe-guard and accountability, and then severe consequences if you find you're gaming to excess, if you don't 'feel' the consequences already eg. lack of sleep, unproductive at work, family issues, guilt, poor diet, no exercise. Severe consequences can mean anything from paying a significant financial fine to your wife if you relapse, or not attending vacation, or confiscating your car. It seems silly, as if you're punishing a child, but if you do the crime....you gotta pay the time. Be accountable to your family and set up these parameters if you really want to try moderate gaming, despite knowing that you are a high risk to addiction.
  18. Oh I have one more thing to add. If this doesn't shock your socks off....then I dunno what will. I was watching a news documentary about gaming addiction, and a physician actually monitored a gamer's blood pressure while he played a FPS game. Well, unsurprisingly....his blood pressure went UP to 140/85. That is considered HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. This kid was only 27 years old. And interestingly, his blood pressure started to soar within five minutes of playing that damn game. THINK about it. Consider this. Your body is stationary. When you play a FPS game for even a short duration of time, it affects your physiological system. Hence, high blood pressure, a fight/flight response, adrenalin rush, cortisol levels raise....and over the long-term? What can this potentially do to a person? Anyway. Food for thought.
  19. Hey there Karabas, I don't know if my reply will answer your question entirely. BUT...I'll give it a try. I think some people can manage moderation very well. I don't think gaming is an evil in itself. I think it's about being aware of your body and mind, and how far gaming can take you to an extreme situation wherein you're gaming for hours and hours at a time. Having said that, I've been off gaming for more than 60 days now, and I will continue until I finish the 90 day detox. WHY? Because, what I have gained so far is BETTER SLEEP, a fully rested body and mind. And I seriously do NOT want to screw that up. My better sleep patterns have increased my productivity at my job....like significantly. I am no longer tired right after work, I go and do active hobbies or my crafts after I finish work, and I have more energy overall. When I gamed, I was like a zombie. My mind was always "ON", but my body needed to REST. Yet, I was never fully rested. Not really. It's like, your brain takes over and your body suffers because the stimulation of excessive gaming can keep you wired for hours afterwards. That's what it felt like for me, anyway. So. What I'm trying to say, is to continue with your 90 day detox, and do not cave in to gaming just yet. You need to feel what 'resting' really is. Even if it means a bit of boredom once in a while. Keep on going with other hobbies/activities/distractions to help you with boredom...or new goals. But don't stop the detox just yet. Sure, I am all for trying out moderation, but not yet. NOt until you've done 90 days without gaming. That's my humble suggestion. Take what you need and leave the rest. But I know for myself, that I really can't afford to put my body through that hell again. It almost ruined my social life, my career, and my health. Regards, Dani
  20. Yeah I haven't played too many online games in my lifetime. Just one MMORPG, Skyrim, and FallOut New Vegas. I got bored of Skyrim and FallOut pretty quickly. The one game I lingered in for five years was an MMORPG. I stayed in it partly for the social aspect, and also because the freakin' expansions they kept adding on provided me with a glimmer of hope that things would change. But it became the SAME GRIND, the relentless time-consuming tasks and deeds to complete, and the forced grouping for raids. Now that I think about it, I also believe I left that MMORPG because I was just SO FREAKING FED UP of all the damn grind. And the raiding. My God. That was a mind-numbing experience. Anyway. I won't get into that. It was just....brutal to my mind, my body, and screwed up my sleep patterns. So. I join you in the rant that yes....they all suck these days.
  21. Really great advice from everyone that replied. I totally agree with @JustTom and @Philipp. What about getting a massage every once in a while? You could try a massage school because it might be cheaper. I definitely see that you've put a lot of effort in trying different hobbies for stress management. @JustTom mentioned that you can try finding a new goal to achieve because the intensity of studying for the exam is now finished. I agree with that suggestion. What about joining karate or Kung fu? It's new to you, challenging, competitive and goal oriented.
  22. @Bugg, It sounds like you are on the path to recovery with depression and anxiety, and hopefully gaining more insight and knowledge about it day by day. If you saw through the game even after playing it for one hour, I really don't consider that a relapse. But that is my opinion. Don't be too hard on yourself. You stood your ground for 75 days. That's an amazing achievement. Keep going forward.
  23. If a car does not have fuel, it can't run. If the medications assist you with restoring dopamine levels, to give you that energy and motivation again to accomplish the smallest of tasks (personal hygiene, for example), I do not see anything wrong with that. There is the 'stigma' about medication that you mentioned. "I don't want to rely on medication, or to be called sick, because I want to take ownership of my own gaming detox". It's a shame that stigma still exists even with mental illness. As if having a mental disorder is some type of excuse. This may be your own personal assumption about taking medication. I sense that you feel it's a crutch, and I can understand that you want to feel a sense of empowerment and not rely on meds to fix you. But I also think it's wise to leave this option open for those who tried everything else, but it hasn't worked. Their energy levels are still low, they still feel great fatigue, they still have depressive thought patterns, and they cannot sustain concentration or have difficulty with memory. Some people do benefit from medication. Needless to say, the path to wellness is not just about medication, it's a holistic approach. No doctor or specialist is going to force you to do anything more than take the medication or not. The onus is up to you to investigate what is best for your health in the long-term. And sure, having a list of amazing activities to do does help. But once again, if a car doesn't have fuel, it cannot run. Thus, people may start feeling like failures for not accomplishing these tasks because they're stuck in that state of 'depression'. They may need a boost. I think it's a positive outcome if gaming disorder is recognized as a mental illness. It brings awareness to the global community. Individuals and their families can receive the treatment they need to re-establish a fulfilling and productive life. I don't know how that treatment can be offered through a medical care system. Possibly coverage for individual and group therapy. Lastly, if there is research identifying a 'correlation' between excessive gaming and 'depression', and decreased productivity (skipping work or school), then there would be raised concern from an economic perspective as well.
  24. P.S. Another reason why the topics of 'depression post-detox or during detox" and "dopamine / serotonin" should be addressed here is because people start blaming themselves for being unmotivated. They might not realize there is a hormonal shift when they quit video-gaming 'cold turkey'. They don't have the energy to sustain tasks anymore. That's a dangerous place to be in. It can make you feel miserable, like a failure, like you're hitting a brick wall or a stand-still with your goals. Or even worse, suicidal. If anything, I suggest that everyone be mindful of their 'energy' levels throughout the day and weeks into your detox. Do you notice a significant 'dip' in energy? How long does this last? What time of the day? What emotions do you feel when you lack the energy? Is your sleep pattern off? Or do you have trouble with keeping a sleeping regime? Also, people might not want to turn to medication for relief. They may want a holistic approach, or a naturopathic approach. Everyone has a right to make their own decisions for their health, but I'd encourage an educated decision making process, rather than turning away from scopes of practice that could benefit you, even if it's just for short-term use (eg. medication). You can both, medication and also other naturopathic approaches, and add psychotherapy into the mix if that can help you as well.
  25. Thanks for sharing this wonderful analogy of serotonin and dopamine, and what is the difference between the two. It was a creative insight or musing! This needs to be addressed on Game Quitters. I have noticed a few people here that begin to experience feelings of "anhedonia". It's a symptom wherein you feel minimal pleasure for hobbies or activities that you normally enjoyed doing. Basically, video game addiction can cause and also mask depression, because you're getting those instant dopamine hits consistently. I am not sure if Cam has posted a video about this topic, because it's inherently linked to people relapsing, in my humble opinion. For example, a person starts off with this incredible enthusiasm and drive to accomplish multiple tasks and goals...the sky's the limit, it seems! And then after a period of 30 + days into their detox, they start to feel the 'waning effect' of the dopamine. Their brains are just not receiving enough dopamine to compensate for what they are accustomed to. Hence, triggers may occur and that person is highly vulnerable to those triggers, and then....RELAPSE. It's a chemical imbalance that needs to be assessed by a professional. That's why I think 'gaming disorder' is a true mental health condition. ~ Dani