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Michaels_World

Am I addicted to gaming?

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Hello my name is Michael and I'm 27 years old, I'm wondering if I'm addicted to video games. I'm at a point where I don't enjoy video games anymore but I still play them and can't stop, it's been like this since 2015. It has negatively affected my finances, I have spent $600 on games when that $600 should of been towards savings and student loans. I would buy games not enjoy that game and keep buying them and not enjoying them, I have bought 20 games and didn't enjoy a single one but kept buying them thinking I will enjoy the next one. I also get irresistible urges to play game I don't like, I feel obligated to play it seems. I have also bought Xbox Live and refunded it over 35 times the last few years.

I look up gaming videos when not playing, I do that 4-6 hours per day even if I'm not interested in gaming. I sweared off online multiplayer games saying I won't play no matter what for 90 days and I broke that rule on the 18th day watching so many gaming videos this week and playing lots of multiplayer games, I felt so bad about it. I just spent my mom's money which should of been towards food and student loans on a $65 game, I couldn't resist it. I felt so guilty and hated myself. I have been in denial for years I just can't accept I have addiction. Lastly 10 years ago when my xbox died and the red ring of death I got very depressed and call my friend how I was thinking of suicide because my Xbox died. Thank you everyone for reading and hope you can help me determine if this is an addiction or not, I'm getting really desperate right now. 

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8 hours ago, Michaels_World said:

Hello my name is Michael and I'm 27 years old, I'm wondering if I'm addicted to video games. I'm at a point where I don't enjoy video games anymore but I still play them and can't stop, it's been like this since 2015. It has negatively affected my finances, I have spent $600 on games when that $600 should of been towards savings and student loans. I would buy games not enjoy that game and keep buying them and not enjoying them, I have bought 20 games and didn't enjoy a single one but kept buying them thinking I will enjoy the next one. I also get irresistible urges to play game I don't like, I feel obligated to play it seems. I have also bought Xbox Live and refunded it over 35 times the last few years.

I look up gaming videos when not playing, I do that 4-6 hours per day even if I'm not interested in gaming. I sweared off online multiplayer games saying I won't play no matter what for 90 days and I broke that rule on the 18th day watching so many gaming videos this week and playing lots of multiplayer games, I felt so bad about it. I just spent my mom's money which should of been towards food and student loans on a $65 game, I couldn't resist it. I felt so guilty and hated myself. I have been in denial for years I just can't accept I have addiction. Lastly 10 years ago when my xbox died and the red ring of death I got very depressed and call my friend how I was thinking of suicide because my Xbox died. Thank you everyone for reading and hope you can help me determine if this is an addiction or not, I'm getting really desperate right now. 

Tell us why you think you're not addicted.

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14 minutes ago, seriousjay said:

Tell us why you think you're not addicted.

I just feel so much denial, I can't come to terms being addiction. I feel I'm so dependent on gaming at this point. I just want to quit but get rationalizations to keep playing and have irresistible urges to play games I hate.

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14 hours ago, Michaels_World said:

I just feel so much denial, I can't come to terms being addiction. I feel I'm so dependent on gaming at this point. I just want to quit but get rationalizations to keep playing and have irresistible urges to play games I hate.

Perhaps it would help to go through this in a logical manner. The definition of addiction (from here😞

Addiction is the repeated involvement with a substance or activity, despite the substantial harm it now causes, because that involvement was (and may continue to be) pleasurable and/or valuable.

Let's explore this a little further. I'll go by only what you've posted so far:

1. Addiction includes both substances and activities (such as sex and gambling).

Simple enough. Gaming would be the activity in this case.

2. Addiction leads to substantial harm.

Quote

It has negatively affected my finances, I have spent $600 on games when that $600 should of been towards savings and student loans.

Quote

I just spent my mom's money which should of been towards food and student loans on a $65 game, I couldn't resist it. I felt so guilty and hated myself.

Quote

Lastly 10 years ago when my xbox died and the red ring of death I got very depressed and call my friend how I was thinking of suicide because my Xbox died.

I would say video gaming has caused substantial harm for you, and came close to causing permanent harm (suicide).

3. Addiction is repeated involvement despite substantial harm.

It's important to recognize the distinction between this point and number 2. This point says repeated involve despite substantial harm. So, the substantial harm has already been caused, but you continue to engage in the activity regardless. We see that in the following passages:

Quote

It has negatively affected my finances, I have spent $600 on games when that $600 should of been towards savings and student loans.

Quote

I just spent my mom's money which should of been towards food and student loans on a $65 game, I couldn't resist it. I felt so guilty and hated myself.

Gaming caused harm for you and your family. Your family in the sense that your mom gave you money for something that was supposed to benefit you, but you wasted it instead. So she suffered a loss due to your decision.

4. Addiction continues because it was, or is, pleasurable and/or valuable.

Now this one is a little tricky. You kept repeating over and over that you didn't enjoy the games you played, and that may be true, but there is something else going on here. This is dopamine and the brain's reward center at work. Games cause tremendous amounts of dopamine to be released, which activates your brain's reward center. Any time your brain recognizes an opportunity to get more hits of dopamine (in this case, video games), it will try to convince you that getting that thing is good for you and will make you feel good. However, your brain can't tell if something will actually make you feel good or not. All the brain understands is that there is an expectation that you will feel good - not that you actually will. You may not have enjoyed the activity at all, but prior to engaging in it, your brain convinced you that you would. This is a vicious cycle that repeats over and over again until you finally cut it off.

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I mean, you are very clearly addicted to video games. However, until you accept that fact there is nothing you can do to break this cycle that you've created for yourself. I hope thinking about it more logically helps at least a little bit.

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Fantastic summary. Also, thanks for sharing your story. Denial is tough because it's very difficult to stop gaming when there's nothing you can pour your mind into.  Take some time to read our articles, stories, and watch songs of cams videos to slowly ease yourself into this realization. It will potentially help your direction. 

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