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Hi,First of all thank you for reading my story. I'm a 16 yo male from South America (English might not be perfect) and I think I've been addicted to videogames for a very long time in my short life. It all started when I was like 4 or 5 years old, I remember going to my grandmother's house and playing the pinball game in a old Windows XP pc it was something amazing to me and I immediately got hooked I remember going to my grandmother's house just to play pinball as in my house I wasn't allowed use the computer a couple of years later I discovered flash games, I had that same feeling as I did when I discovered pinball, I also remember playing this flash until I would get really bad headaches, but it was seldom as I went to my grandparents house like once month or even less, years pass by and it's 2010, I would cry and cry to my parents begging to buy me a console like all the other kids in my class, my mother didn't want as she was pretty anti-videogames but in the end they bought me one for Christmas probably because they didn't like seeing me cry. Looking back I was a very shy kid, making friends wasn't hard but I was scared of meeting new people and being left alone with alone with unknown people, I'm remember going to a psychologist because of this, it was really hard and this irrational fear and anxiety still hunts me to this day. My parents tried and tried to make go to soccer clubs, summer activities etc... To make me socialize with other kids but I would always end up refusing and going back to reading or playing videogames, with this new console (PS3) which was pretty expensive at the time came online gaming,  I take that as the point when I really became addicted I would get school to start playing till night though my mother would control me so that I didn't play that much, I started making friends online and started spending more and more time with them, playing  and playing I continued playing normally till 2012, that year my mother got sick, she could no longer take care of me, my dad now had to take care of mother, my only escape was videogames and now there would be no one to control me, now I played to escape reality. In 2013 my mother died, I got even more addicted to videogames I didn't want to accept my life I felt more comfortable with my nickname than with my real name I didn't want to live in reality anymore, in 2014 my dad bought me a computer, that was also the year I started losing a lot a friends probably because of how much I played. The computer made my addiction much worse, I started playing competitive games, I played 5 hours straight since I got home from school to when went to sleep, I stopped going out on the weekends and instead I would play 8+ hours a day, same thing with vacations, I stopped practicing other hobbies I had, I stopped reading, I stopped skating, I stopped playing football, all I did was play videogames or just be in the computer. This went on and on. In 2016 I got diagnosed with myopia, now I was trapped in videogames, that was the second physical symptom I had, firstly I got fat, and I used to be very skinny when I was young, in 2017 I stopped playing competitive videogames, but I didn't now what to do with my life, I still went on the computer all day but now I would play occasionally and would just surf the internet for hours, I also started developing a really bad por. addiction hence my Reddit name. In early 2018 I started playing fortnite and I got hooked with videogames again in June after begging my poor Dad for years he bought me a very powerful 2000 dollar gaming setup, 2 months ago I asked myself where all this is taking me, it seems like such an obvious question to ask but I had never asked my self that before, I felt ashamed of all my past years since 2014 paying stupid amount of hours damaging myself physically, socially and emotionally. Right now I feel so lost, comparing myself to my classmates I feel like a lack so many experiences, I feel like I haven't matured because of this, I hate this, I really don't now what to do, I started to get really depressed,  recently I started going to the psychologist again because I had a panic attack just thinking about my life, I had a fucking panic attack just thinking about my future, I felt like I was dying. I just want some guidance I feel like I've wasted my life and I'm only 16 years old, I'm crying now writing this because it feels me with regret and hopelessness, I've wasted so much money and time into this shit's and it has brought nothing all the happy memories I have of gaming have turned into a sour mix of nostalgia and regret. I would appreciate advice

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Hey,

first of all: nice that you are here! Its probably the hardest step to be so honest to yourself and admit your addiction and to be clear with yourself that you never event want to game again.

You are saying you wasted your life. Thats maybe true till now, you lost some time while gaming. Take it as it is, but dont blame yourself. Its gone, you cant change that. But hey, you are 16 years old. You have your whole life time to enjoy life and dont waste anymore time with things u basically dont want to do. So start to think about that!

You should now think about, whether you are ready to say goodbye to every game on your computer for good and of course also saying goodbye to wasting hours over hours surfing mindless in your browser(thats a common problem too, usually people are not only addicted to gaming, they are addicted to the fast pace of the internet in general). If you are sure you want to quit for good, go ahead start your daily journal in this forum, track your days ! This will help you to stay off gaming etc.

Of course you need things to replace gaming and surfing. You need hobbys which are productive and fun for you. Remember: Most of the things will not be fun when you start with them. They are slow, they dont give you the feeling from games, especially not that fast. You will need time to get used to it. An example: people try to learn an instrument as a replacement to gaming. First they dont like to play but over weeks they enjoy it! This is true for probably everything. 

My last advice is to go ahead and read some posts of other people. You will learn there how you can get started and what mistakes you shouldnt do.

 

i wish you all the best!

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