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Transienceblue

game quitters works for other things too?

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Hello. im a 35 year old mental health nursing student.

I know, the irony of a mental health student having problems with addiction is not lost on me. Actually my gaming addiction started pretty much when I started to do the course. In 2012 I applied to do this course, I became quite anxious, the anxiety was linked in a lot of ways to having added pressure to socialise with new people. This anxiety was quite a new thing to me and so not really having any strategies to deal with it I resorted to a series of what I have now learned to call process addictions, which included gaming addiction, porn addiction, internet dating addiction and also to a limited extent food addiction. I was always into gaming but had not played for a year or so before this and was living quite an active healthy life.

I found that over the three years of my course I spent less and less time going to my lectures and placements (nursing is an intensive course over 35 -40 hours a week plus hours to work for money). and more time on my computer, usually not getting out of bed. It got to the point where I would spend 3-4 days in bed not getting up unless to use the toilet or make myself huge amounts of junk food. Naturally this only heightened my anxiety and also developed a particularly nasty dust allergy from my untidy life, I lost a lot of friends and now have a bad back and quite bad RSI in both my wrists and elbows. Not meaning to complain I just feel like I have to confess all this as I don't think ive put it down on paper before.

It became so bad that I took 6 months off my studies as I could no longer face going on placements. I intended to use that six months to kick the addictions but the huge amount of free time that I now found that I had meant one thing... more internet time! so I took another six months off and now I am four months into that time. I became desperate to get better. but the amount of addictions I had meant that I would stop one thing only to transfer to another... so the time I was playing games I was on the net seeking people to chat to or viewing porn and vice versa. I would tell myself ill be bad for one more day and then stop tomorrow, again and again for two years.

I had tried to stop a few times using hypnosis or therapy but these only seemed to target one aspect of behaviour. Then after reading an article by Cam, I looked up the Great Porn Experiment. After watching this a lot of things fell into place for me. It helped me to realise that all addictions exploit the same mechanism of reward structures in the brain, hence gaming addiction and sex addiction and food addiction are the same thing. Technically because of the massive availability of sex, food, gaming manufactured mental reward offered by the net etc, using them offer up to our brains a massive hit of dopamine which is not ususally found in nature, hence our brain need more and more of them and we prefer to use them then to live everyday life... this type of addictive behaviour can come under the umbrella of "process addiction". 

Some people may be too young to remember this but it reminds me of red dwarfs better than life. Also the development of new virtual reality systems coming out this year, whilst a seemingly positive step for technology, seems terrifying in its potential to hook users even more.

Anyway, theres a lot more to addiction than just a game. Addiction also has to do with how you life your live, and studies show that more depressed people are more likely to become addicted. (look up rat park). This is why other methods of stopping process addiction don't seem to work for me. I have stopped internet addiction for a week now using the respawn process and I feel a lot more positive than other times than when I stopped. I think this is due to the fact that the plan helps me to schedule positive things to do as well. It basically gives me the tools to make a life whereas I think quitting cold turkey just leaves a hole that cries out to be filled. I even dabbled with the idea of managing my gaming but it was too hard. I was quite reluctant to sign up for respawn as I thought the money aspect was a bti of a scam and some of cam's videos look a bit like dodgy life promotional videos sort of what a lot of the sham pick up artists do. but it has been very much worth it and im glad I eventually signed up for it. so I thank you Cam for your work and hope you continue to grow your enterprise as not a lot of people seem to do it on the net :)   

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Hi Transienceblue,

nice to have you here.To open up before an audiance is a big first step! Good that respawn seems to be working for you. If you wanna share your experiences about your other addiction and how the process is similiar to getting over gaming addiction, i would gladly read it. Good luck too you i'm sure you can do it, and we give you all the help we can give!

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Thanks for sharing! I definitely believe gaming is merely a topic and you can replace gaming with many others: porn, food, sex, drugs, TV, alcohol, social media, and so forth. Thanks for supporting with Respawn. If there's anything I can do to communicate the fact that it's not a scam please let me know.

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