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NEW VIDEO: I Quit MMOs and THIS Happened

Why it doesn't matter how severe your addiction is.

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Since I quit gaming three days ago, I posted about it on Facebook a couple times and I had someone message me just now who more or less accused me of trying to get attention by making up a fake addiction. I explained that gaming addiction is a real thing, that it affects a lot of people around the world, and that it needs to be taken seriously and treated like an addiction.
This person then asked me about my gaming habits. I explained that for me, I often didn't spend more than an hour or two every day playing games, but my addiction came in the form of not wanting to do anything else. I may not have been playing games a TON, but when I wasn't playing games I was trying to get to the end of the day so I could go home and play games. This led to a lot of conflict in my life, as it turns out that being a responsible adult requires a lot of effort on your part every day (who knew? :) )

So obviously the person who messaged me doesn't really get it, but that's okay. It got me thinking, though. How do we really know we are addicted?
I think the answer is that it doesn't matter. Why? Because no matter how dependent you are on gaming, there is always something better you could be doing with your time.
Even if hypothetically you are not personally addicted to video or computer games, but you feel like you are devoting too much time to them, you have nothing to lose by taking a break. And if the thought of taking a break strikes fear into your heart, you probably are addicted.

Even if this person is right and I'm just being dramatic and trying to blame all my problems on video games, quitting video games right now is an absolutely fantastic idea. It has given me so much time to focus on homework, working out, playing guitar, connecting with my husband, researching interesting things, and making friends.

So, maybe I'm not a true addict. I'm a pretty stubborn chick. If I set a daily limit of an hour for games, I truly believe that I could stick to that limit. However, even if that's the case it is only going to benefit me to spend at least the next 90 days enriching myself and growing rather than playing games.

So if people don't believe that gaming addiction is a real thing, or they don't believe that you are yourself an addict, you don't need to listen to them. If gaming is interfering with your life and holding you back, do the right thing and drop it. You will really thank yourself. I'm only on day three and I've already been more productive in the last week than I have for the last several months. The benefits of quitting gaming are apparent almost immediately!

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I like your perspective on

no matter how dependent you are on gaming, there is always something better you could be doing with your time.

I think you hit the nail on the head right there. - Things "achieved" in video games could just as easily or better be achieved in another pursuit. Any "success" in a videogame is hollow. You're literally "achieving" a goal, set by a developer, who's team has constructed a world to take a certain number of hours to occupy a certain amount of time so they can ship a certain number of units.

Us, the individuals, are left with no accomplishment, and a lot of wasted mental energy.

Interesting to hear the reactions on facebook. Do you plan to continue sharing your journey through social media?

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Yes, I believe regardless of how "addicted" you are, if you want to quit, you should be able to and have support.

We all get caught up in "addiction" technicalities, which can help sometimes, but not in others.

For those interested, here is the current proposed criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder:

The American Psychiatric Association has proposed criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition under the "Conditions for Further Study" section, which may eventually become a part of the revisions to the manual at a later date. Here they are, for posterity:

Internet Gaming Disorder
Proposed Criteria

Persistent and recurrent use of the Internet to engage in games, often with other players, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as indicated by five (or more) of the following in a 12-month period:

  1. Preoccupation with Internet games. (The individual thinks about previous gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; Internet gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life.) Note: This disorder is distinct from Internet gambling, which is included under gambling disorder.
  2. Withdrawal symptoms when Internet gaming is taken away. (These symptoms are typically described as irritability, anxiety, or sadness, but there are no physical signs of pharmacological withdrawal.)
  3. Tolerance--the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in Internet games.
  4. Unsuccessful attempts to control the participation in Internet games.
  5. Loss of interests in previous hobbies and entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of, Internet games.
  6. Continued excessive use of Internet games despite knowledge of psychosocial problems.
  7. Has deceived family members, therapists, or others regarding the amount of Internet gaming.
  8. Use of Internet games to escape or relieve a negative mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety).
  9. Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of participation in Internet games.

Note: Only nongambling Internet games are included in this disorder. Use of the Internet for required activities in a business or profession is not included; nor is the disorder intended to include other recreational or social Internet use. Similarly, sexual Internet sites are excluded.

Specify current severity:

Internet gaming disorder can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the degree of disruption of normal activities. Individuals with less severe Internet gaming disorder may exhibit fewer symptoms and less disruption of their lives. Those with severe Internet gaming disorder will have more hours spent on the computer and more severe loss of relationships or career or school opportunities.

The manual further goes on to describe the PROPOSED disorder in more detail, listing Subtypes (none currently identified), Diagnostic Features, Associated Features Supporting Diagnosis, Prevalence ("seems highest in Asian countries and in male adolescents 12-20 years of age"), Risk and Prognostic Factors (Environmental; Genetic and physiological), Functional Consequences of Internet Gaming Disorder, Differential Diagnosis (social media use and porn are not considered analogous; excessive gambling online may qualify for a separate diagnosis of gambling disorder), and Comorbidity (Major Depressive Disorder, Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder).

Again, this is PROPOSED and has not been approved as the actual criteria or even if it is a disorder to be included in the DSM-5.x yet.

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Gambling addiction is included in the DSM-5.  It makes no sense to me that one is included when the other isn't.  Either both gambling addiction and video game addiction is a real thing or they're both not real. Yet there are far less people arguing that gambling addiction isn't a problem.

Read the criteria for gambling addiction, replace the word "gambling" with "gaming" https://www.problemgambling.ca/EN/ResourcesForProfessionals/Pages/DSM5CriteriaGamblingDisorder.aspx

While these labels are important in the big picture, it's not as necessary to worry about as individuals.  I agree with the original post, if quitting something improves your life, doesn't matter what label it has.

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