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Relapsed? Read this.


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Hey!

Relapse happens. I even relapsed once after being away from games for 11 months straight. When I relapsed I ended up playing 16 hours a day for five months. WHOOPS!

But what I want you to know is relapse doesn't have to be a bad thing, if you learn from it.

Relapse actually teaches us a lot about why we game and by understanding that we can find solutions to move forward.

The key is to get started again right away. Don't wait 5 months like I did, try and get back on track as quickly as possible.

Here's a video I made to help you out: What To Do If You Relapse And Start Gaming Again

Here to help.

- Cam

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I actually relapsed over the weekend. It was for 12 hours at a graduation "LAN" for one of my friends. The great news is that I was able to recommit immediately to my goals again after the short relapse. This isn't the case for everyone, and I am still disappointed in my decision to relapse. However, that night I found gaming had lost its luster for me. It was a mediocre way to spend time at best. I'm glad i made this discovery, and it has motivated me even more to reach those 90 days and find other social circles.

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Hey! Thanks for sharing.

It's definitely a good sign to see how your relationship with gaming has begun to shift with your time away. That doesn't mean you wouldn't come to enjoy it a lot if you did start playing a lot again, but it's great to see the difference between "I want to play because I enjoy it" and "I want to play because my brain enjoys it."

There's a difference. :)

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  • 11 months later...

I've been thinking about why so many people return to gaming other successfully completing their detox. And I guess that we are trying to deal with the gaming addiction from the wrong side. In some cases, when people are not really addicted, detox generally helps and enables them to distance themselves from games and discover or re-discover some other, healthier activities. In these cases, the people are not really addicted, rather obsessed with games, and giving up gaming for some time allows them to re-asses their behaviour. But for some others, who are more heavily addicted, it is easy to start playing again after detox, or even count the days to the last day of the detox. Why is that? I have been wondering about it and it occurred to me that by removing games, we may be "curing" the symptoms rather than resolving the problems which lead this person to seek solace in games in the first place. Like the cures for common cold that treat symptoms and not underlying causes of the disease. The same case may be with excessive gaming, if someone games a lot to escape their problems, be they psychological, physical, any kind, when they stop gaming, the problems are still there, and most often, gaming is the only coping mechanism this person knows, that is why relapses happen so frequently. If we start curing the underlying reasons of excessive gaming, e.g. lack of self-worth, there are much higher chances of success, since as the problem which causes the person to game is gone, they no longer have any reason to engage in gaming. If the problems subsist, people can of course refrain from gaming for some time such as a detox, but since their underlying issues continue to trouble them, they relapse. Of course, learning a healthier way to cope with problems is important, but resolving them is even more crucial. For this allows us to get rid of games for good.

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I've been thinking about why so many people return to gaming other successfully completing their detox. And I guess that we are trying to deal with the gaming addiction from the wrong side. In some cases, when people are not really addicted, detox generally helps and enables them to distance themselves from games and discover or re-discover some other, healthier activities. In these cases, the people are not really addicted, rather obsessed with games, and giving up gaming for some time allows them to re-asses their behaviour. But for some others, who are more heavily addicted, it is easy to start playing again after detox, or even count the days to the last day of the detox. Why is that? I have been wondering about it and it occurred to me that by removing games, we may be "curing" the symptoms rather than resolving the problems which lead this person to seek solace in games in the first place. Like the cures for common cold that treat symptoms and not underlying causes of the disease. The same case may be with excessive gaming, if someone games a lot to escape their problems, be they psychological, physical, any kind, when they stop gaming, the problems are still there, and most often, gaming is the only coping mechanism this person knows, that is why relapses happen so frequently. If we start curing the underlying reasons of excessive gaming, e.g. lack of self-worth, there are much higher chances of success, since as the problem which causes the person to game is gone, they no longer have any reason to engage in gaming. If the problems subsist, people can of course refrain from gaming for some time such as a detox, but since their underlying issues continue to trouble them, they relapse. Of course, learning a healthier way to cope with problems is important, but resolving them is even more crucial. For this allows us to get rid of games for good.

Yes you are right. The value imo in the detox is that it puts people in a position to either start developing more awareness of the underlying problems in their life, and/or also gives them the opportunity to start fixing them. Some are able to do this better than others and I think we still have a lot of room for improvement to help people with that journey. Another thought behind the detox is that even if someone goes back to games and it's not a positive thing - they now have a reference point in their life of life without games - something they've never had before - so they are more likely to become aware of when gaming is a problem again and be that much more likely to take steps to fix it. It's certainly not a perfect solution but a positive step in the right direction.

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  • 4 months later...

The value imo in the detox is that it puts people in a position to either start developing more awareness of the underlying problems in their life, and/or also gives them the opportunity to start fixing them. "

So true!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The value imo in the detox is that it puts people in a position to either start developing more awareness of the underlying problems in their life, and/or also gives them the opportunity to start fixing them. "

So true!

Boom.

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  • 1 year later...
On 10/18/2016 at 9:13 AM, Neat said:

The value imo in the detox is that it puts people in a position to either start developing more awareness of the underlying problems in their life, and/or also gives them the opportunity to start fixing them. "

So true!

Yep.

I think too many people are stuck on the 90 days and treating it as a miracle cure for their problems. The fact of the matter is that just disconnecting from video games isn't going to solve anything. You actually need to put a great deal of effort into turning your life around. I know that's hard for many people because video games require next to no effort in comparison.

If you don't put in that effort then you're not moving your life forward and after 90 days, you'll still be pretty much exactly where you began.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Once I had a relapse after a year of not playing video games at all accompanied by selling my steam account and gaming rig. It was after the time I retired from the army and returned to my hometown. The reason for it, in fact, was not the urge to play video games themselves but a simple escapism from real life issues such as unemployment, social isolation, and many others I guess it was in a way like alcoholics trying to get drunk to not think about their problems. I spent a month barely leaving my flat playing through some games(those were with interesting stories though) but mostly playing 1-2 hours and jumping from one to another or playing sessions of some MMO junk. I didn't caught me though because in my brain I actually knew and felt that I am just sitting on my ass bashing the buttons instead of doing something that makes logical sense to fix my REAL life problems and etc. This led to a feeling of guilt and depression. Not to mention that I completely fucked up my sleep pattern and other stuff. 

That was a good lesson of life nonetheless though. And also the reason that made me more strict about my attitude towards my gaming issues.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Hello all, new here but found this thread interesting. Do you consider any gaming at all a relapse? Or just allowing it to impact your day/week/etc?

 

I've come here to understand the challenges I've had that led to me allowing gaming to rule my life, behaviors, and decisions, but I don't plan to stop gaming entirely. I just want to eliminate the things that led to me feeling drawn and avoid the games or behaviors that lead me to that addictive feeling. 

 

Am I going in with the wrong mindset? Or can I still play games in a healthy way? Like someone said from above, I don't know that I'm a full on addict, but rather I used it as a coping mechanism recently to escape some other issues but if I'm addressing those issues and bettering my life, is it bad to game lightly and socially as I used to? I guess I'm having a hard time differentiating this from like a drug addiction where you obviously cannot do a drug "casually" and stave off addiction. Because games can be different and cause different triggers I guess I just want to understand the differences. 

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On 9/28/2020 at 6:53 PM, FettsNotDead said:

Hello all, new here but found this thread interesting. Do you consider any gaming at all a relapse? Or just allowing it to impact your day/week/etc?

 

I've come here to understand the challenges I've had that led to me allowing gaming to rule my life, behaviors, and decisions, but I don't plan to stop gaming entirely. I just want to eliminate the things that led to me feeling drawn and avoid the games or behaviors that lead me to that addictive feeling. 

 

Am I going in with the wrong mindset? Or can I still play games in a healthy way? Like someone said from above, I don't know that I'm a full on addict, but rather I used it as a coping mechanism recently to escape some other issues but if I'm addressing those issues and bettering my life, is it bad to game lightly and socially as I used to? I guess I'm having a hard time differentiating this from like a drug addiction where you obviously cannot do a drug "casually" and stave off addiction. Because games can be different and cause different triggers I guess I just want to understand the differences. 

I can only speak for myself, but this is also a common trend with a lot of people on this forum: Yes, I consider ANY gaming a relapse. This is because, in my case, I failed multiple times to be a moderate gamer. I quit once before, started gaming again after 3 years and it slowly got out of hand. Most of us here see gaming as former alcoholics see booze, it's a forbidden territory for us, because it was stronger than us.

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13 minutes ago, gargamel said:

it's a forbidden territory for us, because it was stronger than us.

I fully agree with this. I tried to play on moderation for 5 years. After that I realized that it’s not an option for me.
 

@FettsNotDead If you really want to play on moderation, at least consider doing 90 day detox first. During this time you’ll get a better understanding of your relationship with gaming.

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