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Gaming the System 005 - The Link Between Gaming and Depression

THIRD_DEGREE_

Third Degree's Journal

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Hey all, 

I am Third Degree, and I am going to start updating a journal here to help in my path to stay away from video games. This isn't my first attempt at staying away from gaming. I've made a couple month long absences but always come back. Recently, since graduating college, I've been playing a lot of video games when not in work, resulting in frustration from my partner in not prioritizing her and the cleanliness of our apartment over video games. My video game life goes back to when I was five years old, and playing video games has been an avenue of rage, escape, competitive outlet, social experience, and meter of personal improvement for me ever since. It's always been something that I can easily pay attention to and spend hours doing. 18 hour binges over weeks has not been out of the question for me, so in my worst throws of binges, I become a zombie. The most frustrating part of my experience with video games is my inability to fully understand what video games mean to me, like broadly understanding both the positives and negatives of my life surrounding them. I try and understand this better to replicate the things I love about video games in things that I can moderate better.  Currently, I'm very tempted to continue watching twitch streams of people playing the games I like while I stay away from playing them, but I know that won't help me at all. Today, my first day without video games this current streak, I watched the anime Attack On Titan and have started reading a sci-fi Hugo-award winning book called Hyperion. I also cleaned the kitchen and have spent a lot of time with my pets. So, it has been a decent first day. I want to explore physical hobbies, like boxing and weight lifting. I used to weight lift regularly but have been away from it for a very long time lol. Anyways, that's my first day update. Will check in soon and hopefully start making some friends!

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DAY SIX

It's been almost one week since I've stopped playing. It's the eve of day 6, specifically. One amazing thing that happened to me today is some of my coworkers complimented me on my work ethic. It's almost unbelievable to me how different of a person I can be from my work life and my personal life. At my work, it's so easy to give 100% in effort towards maintaining my role while at home I struggle to brush my teeth sometimes. For me, depression and video gaming have coexisted for a long, long time. I see a therapist regularly to aid me in my other mental health concerns and am able to live a stable enough life but always trying to think of ways to improve my quality of life. The times that I have achieved month and two month marks in quitting video games in the past have been times in my life that have been fulfilling and enjoyable. If I stay away from games longer than that, I may be able to more fully replace them with better hobbies and pastimes than what I have in the past. I truly don't believe that there's a happy future for me with video games, and that's why I think it's so important that I stay away from them. Right now, I've been working a lot so it's been easier to stay away from games. I am also proud of myself because I haven't spent all my time watching television shows either. I think that from here it's important for me to re-establish fitness in my life by going to the gym again or finding an active sport to participate in again. The reconstruction begins.

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