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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Hey everyone! (this may be a long one)

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So, I've been gaming since I was around 8 years old. I'm 26 now. I think my obsessive gaming has led to epilepsy, and I'll get to why.

My earliest memory of gaming is when my older cousins taught me how to play street fighter. I know things started to get pretty bad when I started playing Blizzard games. I loved warcraft, my dad ended up buying warcraft 2 and diablo for himself, though I'm sure I played both more. I played diablo so much online my parents ended up moving up to DSL because nobody could call in. The total amount of various games I played on our computer is ridiculous.

Not long after all this my parents bought my brother and I each a game boy pocket, and I got pokemon and a mario game with mine. I can't even begin to fathom how much time I put into pokemon. Because I wanted more, I got a gameboy emulator and a MAME one as well on the family computer and downloaded tons of ROMs. In early 2001 sometime I slipped on the ice and broke my teeth- because I was out of action for a while my mom bought me a playstation and 3 games. I beat them all multiple times and ended up borrowing games from my uncle and asking for more for my birthday- I got a game similar to final fantasy, meaning there were countless team combinations to use. I sunk thousands of hours, probably, into that one.

The summer of 2002, a new kid moved in across the street so I was outside a lot more hanging out with him. During this time (though usually outside, not gaming... now that I think about it) I had strange "deja vu" episodes we attributed to the heat. January 2003, once school had started back up, I had my first seizure.

2005 for my birthday my parents got me my own computer (an imac). I loaded that badboy with free games, and the following christmas I got diablo 2. Like with the family computer I had so many games I couldn't name them all off if I tried. Soon enough my parents bought an xbox and a nintendo wii, and I got massively hooked on unreal championship and mario kart. I also went over to another of my friends' houses and played smash bros melee for hours.

My parents ended up getting me a laptop for my 18th birthday in 2008- a windows one, so I had a MUCH larger selection of games then. Besides that, I graduated and moved into a college dorm. I had a roommate with a ps3, and I bought an xbox with my "adult person" money. Of course, I had to buy unreal and every other xbox game I had loved. Because I honestly didn't care much about my classes, there would be days I'd stay in from class and challenge myself like "How long will it take to beat this game start to finish in one sitting" or "What's the fastest I can beat this one?". When I left that school (I didn't graduate, I left to move in with my then-fiance) a friend sold me their old ps2 and about 10 games for 30 bucks.

My fiance just accepted the fact that I was a gamer (says now that it's "who I am"). I bought TWO accounts to guild wars just so a roommate of ours and I could play online together. I eventually started at a new school, a technical college, and by sitting in the back of the room I was able to play games throughout the whole class on my playstation emulator.We eventually moved and bought a wii of our own, along with many of the games I missed. Also because, you know, a gamer is "who I was" my now-wife bought me a ps3. Christmases after that, I got skyrim, assassin's creed, a tom clancy game, and portal 2. out of all these, skyrim was my downfall due to the endless open-world nature of it.

During this whole time I still had seizures, despite 3 brain surgeries to help prevent them. After reading about gamequitters, and learning about the screwed-up dopamine overdose games give you, I began to wonder if dopamine was related to seizures in any way. I found the following in an article:

The hypotheses suggest that, in migraine, there is a low dopamine tone, while there is a high state of dopamine in generalized epilepsy. But the periodic attacks of headaches and seizures maybe both due to a fall in dopamine activity

A few days ago (the 3rd) my wife, roommates, and I went to an arcade/bowling/laser tag place. I got carried away with the games. The whole time I was playing I had no seizures at all, but shortly after leaving they started up and didn't stop for hours. Almost as if after the dopamine started "running out" from the games, my brain reacted by seizing. My wife suggested it happened because it was "a busy day". Since that day (I haven't gamed at all since) I have stayed up well past midnight, have gone days without drinking nearly as much water as I should, and have had no seizures at all. My theory is all the gaming from when I was young messed with my brain chemistry or something, so when I was falling from a gaming dope high I'd seize. I'm hoping after 90 days I'll be back to where I should be.

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Welcome @tinferbrains - What an amazing story. It's crazy to think about, that the dopamine change could be the thing. I wish you the best luck !

Have you tried meditation? If not, then try out Mindfulness Meditation. It definitely helps me relax. I just started the video game detox, but used to do meditation because of my hectic job.

Have a nice day :)

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Sounds like you've had a tough time with seizures and it may well have been influenced by gaming. Viking has the right idea, I also meditate at the start of the day to empty my mind of unhelpful thoughts. 

All the best for your attempt to quit gaming, and I'd recommend you look into the 90 day detox if you'd like a goal to work towards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've (since this post) been pretty good about avoiding games, and coincidentally enough my seizures have been not too bad as well. One day last week I believe, I ended up playing skyrim after a roommate showed me a mod they got on their laptop, and about an hour after I stopped, I had a pretty bad seizure.

Now, to help keep me on track I put the gamequitters logo as the wallpaper on my nook, tablet, and phone. Constant reminders is what I need.  I wish there was a scientific way I could figure out if this is the cause (and possibly cure?) of my epilepsy.


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