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Gaming the System 005 - The Link Between Gaming and Depression

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Roste1

Journey of a 41 year old addict

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Day-0

The last two weeks I relapsed - bad. The cause is typical: huge workload, that mostly feel like "have-to" instead of "want-to", and then I look for escape. It always starts with hours and hours of Netflix and Youtube, but when that isn't enough anymore to distract myself, the monster pops up: gaming. 

There isn't one particular game that does it, it's just the gaming. I've had addiction sprees to Boom Beach, Hearthstone, Clash of Clans, Magic The Gathering, World of Tanks Blitz, Gardenscapes, FIFA, and several others. There is no logic, it's usually one game at a time that I will try to play non stop. I'll create time to play, at home, at work, in my car on the parking lot. Anywhere to kill the craving and get the dopamine shots. Completely irrational behavior, completely unacceptable. While writing this, I don't feel shame, because I do feel pride that I finally came out of my addiction closet and write about this stuff on this forum, for people who can relate. 

But now I also feel extremely anxious, nervous, stressed, worked up, jittery, fighting cravings to get back to gaming. Last Monday I wanted to quit already, because I had been procrastinating my work for the whole three days before that, playing Cuntwars (games AND porn, that's how much dopamine I needed). I turned it off, mad and disappointed in myself, (re-)installed Cold Turkey (it IS the best program), and that was that. Tuesday I found myself wasting my entire afternoon and evening playing Hearthstone, which I downloaded to my computer AND smartphone. Deleted it twice (re-installed it within the hour the first time). Managed to delete it last night and NOT install it again ... but watched Netflix till 3AM. 

Today rose with fresh courage to work hard, and got of to a good start, but feeling a constant craving to distract myself and found myself debating myself again "lets download it for just a little bit of gaming". Didn't do it, but since my work all happens on computer, found myself googling for "Tetris" (played that for an hour"), or "soccer games" - added half an hour procrastinating like that. 

But then saw my hotlink to Respawn - and made the call that I really really really need to get better. I've come very far in my addiction: hiding it from my wife, my bosses, my coworkers, losing lots of much needed sleep over it, stopped doing physical activities. I just know that if I keep it up like this, I'll run straight into a full blown burn-out (I'm probably already showing early symptoms, given my difficulty to focus on my work). 

So this is it, day 0 (one hour in) of NEVER doing any more games. It's my hard drug, and it's destroying me (or at the very least severely limiting my best self). 

To start, I'm going to journal, maybe even several times a day in the beginning every time I feel a craving, urge, etc...

I'll need all the help I can get ... 

Roste. 

 

 

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