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Bishop_Avenger

I feel depressed

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I was playing on my Xbox 4 or 5 hours a day. I was addicted to Battlefield. I was addicted to the point I had the top score worldwide for a certain class and I was top of the board for other metrics. Problem is, I have a wife and two kids(then it was only one) and I was not giving them the proper attention & priority they deserve. After many fights and after 1000 hours of playing I switched to another game and I ultimately stopped playing for about 6 months. I started playing again after a new battlefield came out. I started playing 2 to 3 hours or more a day. While I seemed to control myself better the occasional fight with my wife and my mother still broke out from time to time and I found myself always with that urgency to go back online and play. It chanced that I took a week long work trip/vacation and it was great. It served as a detox and I lost that urge to be online and play. While I seem to have lost that urge, I have been bored beyond measure. I’m not a social person. I don’t drink. I’m uninterested to “go out there, find friends and do things”. I’m still very depressed and very bored. Most of the time I don’t feel like doing shit. I recently saw they re-launched a game I played in my early teens called Age of Empires 2. You have no idea how tempted I feel to buy it and play for nostalgia’s sake alone. Knowing myself I fear if I do buy it I will become addicted again with all the problems that brings. I don’t think I can afford it with two young toddlers around. They aren’t even letting me finish writing here. They wouldn’t even let me play if I got it.

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Hi Bishop_Avenger. I feel your pain! I've been a lifelong gamer / addict myself. I work as a doctor as well. I think there can be no 'moderation' with gaming, just like alcohol. One cannot just have 2-3 glasses (hours). You either need it or you don't. I think your life is great! Focus on the simple things in life ?

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It's the dopamine in your brain - you have to detox from it.  Dopamine is what video games (and porn and gambling) use to keep you feeling like something wonderful is just about to happen.  Humans are designed to feel a dopamine rush once a month, like when your kid hits the ball in tee-ball or when your wife gives you that look.  Games tickle that chemical 100 times an hour - on purpose - it's what makes you feel like you can't quit.  It's why you'll tell your kids to eff off over some lame cartoon people with a dime-novel story.

Detoxing from dopamine feels like boredom.  This day is boring, my wife is boring, my job is boring, this meal is boring.  It gets better, I promise.  Just don't let yourself slip into the other dopamine demons like porn or gambling.  You're detoxing from dopamine, not games per se.

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Both replies are amazing.

Addicts don't need a reason, we need opportunity. Like an alcoholic, gambler, etc.

Indeed it is the dopamine - just the rush and sensation which comes from it, but it is a falsehood to reality.

You mention boredom, temptation and another point which correlates wit this: The Complete Guide on Breaking Your Gaming Disorder

That is the emotional side of things. When I have a fight with my girl, the pain of the emotions which stir up inside make me want to escape, hence relapse.

I am slowly, ever so slowly, learning how to confront those emotions and reducing relapse.

Edited by dylanfriedman

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