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Gaming the System 005 - The Link Between Gaming and Depression

Leo B

Quit for years then got sucked back in

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Hi fellow game quitters, 

After playing a large part of my childhood, I then quit video games in high school and throughout university cause I had some hard work ahead of me and some clear goals I wanted to achieve. 

But after I graduated and started my own businesses, I started playing, as a reward for making it this far and achieving my goals. But the more I played, the more I wanted to play, and the more I got better, the more time I would spend online learning tips and tricks and watching guides. 

All my free time (and sometimes even my work time when there was not much happening) , was engulfed by video games. 

The addict in me came back to the surface. 

I started playing less and less, and generally keeping track of how much I played (using the Habits app). 30 days ago I went cold turkey and I'm much better because of it. 

I just realised that games are made to keep me hooked in and I love playing them. So I'm just off gaming completely for at least 90 days and beyond. (I'm starting a new job next week so wish me luck) 

 

Has anyone here got addicted again even after long periods of staying off games? 

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Hi, Leo.

Your story reminds me of my own, though you seem to be way more disciplined ^^. I was playing a lot through my childhood, but was lucky to catch a dream at age of ~18, so I just completely forgot about everything (including video games and university 😊). After ~5 years I suddenly woke up, looked around discovering that I achieved something and decided I can finally let myself to relax (I think I just hit an unexpected problem - was completely fine 5 years straight).

In some time I discovered myself back playing video games. A lot; 16 hours a day; sometimes nights too; had 40 hours marathon once with single 10 mins food break. At first I thought it's specific game I play since childhood (Dota/2, >10000 play hours); uninstalled it and started waiting for an inspiration to continue my work; in bare days switched to a different game; then another one and another. I suspected maybe I have an addiction? Googled wikipedia's page on addictions and it stated that a human can only have physical/psychological addictions which are mostly drugs, so no - video games can't be addictive, I guessed.

2 days ago I watched Cam's TEDx talk about video games addiction and also suggested that, hmm, maybe there is such a thing ... Let me try to stop playing ... right now. I see myself as a strong person: I decided once that I'm overweight and from eating a cake everyday went cold turkey to completely cutting sugar in any shape or form and lost 30 kg (100 lb) in several months; I don't smoke or drink; I do sports - how quitting video games can become a problem since even wikipedia doesn't consider it as an addiction?

Oh boy it was difficult! I was literally scared that I'm gonna die without it! I had to fight with myself to hit the damn "delete steam account" button. I had a full panic attack with eyes wide open and tremor. Was thinking so hard trying to pinpoint what good thing playing games can bring me - surely they don't, but was desperately trying to sneak myself into something like compromise to leave my video games life unharmed ... How pathetic it was. They say video games compromise the way dopamine functions in your body and I guess it happened to me.

Just drop them dead. Nothing good to get out of it. There is no way to relax playing video games - it's just a self-deception; it crawls into us in a flash of weakness. I personally was finding myself truly relaxed after dos like lying on a beach with a book or riding a bicycle. Hope you will be well.

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Good luck to your new job! And yes I have quitted gaming many times and relapsed back, so i am sure it is very normal thing to happen in terms of playing video games. I know you can do this though, you are here again after all. Games might always be tempting even after a long time, but they are trying to trick you to play them again. I actually tried my everything to stop playing warcraft 3 many years ago (i tossed away the cd key, but i had memorized it after reinstalling it 50 times so it has been really tough to get rid of it). I think surrounding oneself with people who don't lure us into gaming is maybe the best we can do! 

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