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aScaredMom

a mom of a teen seeking advice/support

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Hi.  I'm brand new here and joined because I have a 15 year old son who has yet to realize the negative spiral his gaming addiction has on his life, nor even accept that it is an addiction.  But he doesn't find pleasure in anything else any more and dreads school with a passion (just wants to "hide" in his room and play his games. Outside of his room, he is glued to youtube and memes whenever he gets a chance).   

It's heartbreaking and scary because his self-esteem is so low that he has suicidal thoughts - even though he's smart (easy A's when he applies himself), funny, well-spoken and never had an issue with bullying.

I'm looking for support groups for gaming addiction and/or teen depression here in our area, but thought perhaps someone here could offer some advice, insight, or even just some support.  

Thank you.

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Hey, sorry to hear your son has problems with gaming addiction. I've had some issues myself and started to make a change:

 

When we started in 8th grade at a new school, my friend was good to socialize with new people, but I often just listened to the conversations, I didn't participate . As time progressed my friend started to include me less and less, and started hangin out with other boys in the class, leaving me alone after school playing video games as I didn't know what else to do. Nearly every day after school, all I did was sit and play on my computer for hours upon hours. And I didn't realise that I was playing that much. I got more and more unsocial, and played more and more. This lasted for around 1 and a half years, until I got some new friends in another class that had a gaming interest aswell. I started hangin out with em in the school freetime and sometimes in the weekends, but I still played alot on my computer. My older sister started recognizing all the hours I constantly played for days upon days, therefore she and my parents tried to stop me. But I got really mad at them and had a really bad attitude, I cared more for playing than talking to them. I stopped going to Judo (which is a fighting sport) because I got bored of it. I ended up playing more games and had nearly no excercise except from Dancing in the freetime and the gym classes at school. Some time progressed and I started to experience back problems and neck issues. And I have realised now when I'm 15 that I just sit and play games. And that time has ruined my "life" (I say "life" as I know alot is still ahead of me). I want to make a change. I want to become social. I want to have fun when using my body, not just sitting down. I want to start doing more activities.

I suggest making your son join activities such as basketball, volleyball or others, and if he has troubles being with someone at school maybe the school offers a social group (our does). I also tried to go to other classes and talk with people there. And I gained 2 good friends I hang out with on the weekeends. I suggest he stops gaming because it only makes it worse. He's gonna be stuck in this situation and make it no better. I experienced this personally and It's tough but I knew there was no reason in suicide, because I would no longer be in the world, and whatgs the point of that? Wheareas living I would be here to make my life better, and I'm now in the stage of doing so. Begin now, don't be too naive. I've gotten BACK AND NECK issues because of my addiction, and at such a low age. Funny thing actually this weekend I was really focused NOT to play games and my attention span has increased after ONLY 1 WEEK. I went to a weekend camp and talked and laughed with tons of new people. I gained the courage to talk more to girls at a and actually ended up getting my first kiss later that night. I't may have been luck but may also have been cause I was focused on new things other than gaming.

Good luck! Feel free to post more questions, and email me if you want personal things: [email protected]

 

 

Edited by Aleksander B

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Thank you so much for your reply, Aleksander.  I think it will help him to hear of another person his age who has had similar struggles.  Congratulations on taking control of your life!   I wish you so much happiness!  :)  

 

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Hello!

Aleksander is very right on enrolling your son into activities after school. Martial arts can be pretty good for self confidence. My father and I went to boxing together when I was in 7th grade. I enjoyed it very much, and I could defeat a bully who was in 8th grade. I stopped boxing in after a year, but i regard it a nice chapter in my life.

As a parent, the worst thing you can do is make judgments on him, like calling him an addict. At 15, you think about getting laid and being cool with your friends. When things does not work out as you imagine, success in computer games give you the escape and self assurance which you thrive for.

You should stop worrying things which are beyond your control. What you can control, is to help him to engage in social activities which bring him out of his negative spiral. Drive him to the swimming pool, enroll him in chess team, or judo team! And remember: being teen is pretty complicated. Just be there when he opens up to you, but don't force it. He will be fine :)

 

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Hi @aScaredMom:)

Your son reminds me about myself from a couple of years ago. My mother was very concerned about me spending so much time in front of a phone or a computer playing games and watching streams. Now after a while I can say that my mom was right – I spent too much time on the internet. 

The way my mom tried to tell me that she was worried about me was nagging and complaining, she showed me articles about how gaming was bad and argued that what I was doing was bad. The way it affected me was different from what she hoped for. My sense of shame about gaming grew and I felt my level of confidence sink. I resorted to gaming to deal with the negative feelings since at that time I hadn't just developed enough to sense that it was just a vicious circle.

When I had just turned 17 I had a talk with my mom. I said to her that whatever she does she has to start trusting me with gaming and stop stomping my confidence. It was a hard talk for both of us, but a few days after it I decided to quit gaming myself by my decision and so begun my gamequitting journey.

For me it was very important to just have an authentic conversation and know that my parents trusted me whatever I did. Mutual understanding led to both sides improving in this particular situation. Hoping your son and you all the best! The authentic support you are giving to his own decision will be precious for him in the future! :) 

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