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Vetsen88

I hope this is a turning point

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Hey Guys,

My name is Erik and I've been addicted to games ever since I was 5 and my dad brought home a Sega Genesis. It's probably obvious that I'm pretty old now, I'm already 31. I haven't had the easiest life and because of that I have a ton of mental health issues, and gaming has been my way to escape from it all. I'm going through therapy for everything but I recently realized that I've still been using gaming to escape from my emotions and avoid doing the hard work I need to do on myself. In short, it's holding me back to the point that therapy just isn't working. So, I'm here basically to add another tool in my therapy utility belt. My goal is to quit gaming completely because I've long since recognized that it's not a good thing for me. I've tried quitting before but didn't last very long and I hope this program will make the difference! I know it will be hard, so I hope you guys will support me, and I'll try to do the same in return. Anyway, nice to meet you all and wish me luck.

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Welcome Vetsen

I hope this program will make a difference for you as it has done for me. Cam Adair and his colleagues are doing great work and you will come to value these resources as you change for better. 

Since you have gamed for so long its important to approach this issue comprehensively. I just keep reading how people relapse because they are fooled by a momentary upswing in their mood. 

Never be afraid of your feelings or your identity. You will always find help and strength.

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gaming is the way to escape the reality but your goal shouldn't be just quit gaming! you need to recognize why you want to escape reality at the first place  and why you use gaming to escape from it. no matter how old you are , the moment you decide to live a meaningful life and make a change you took a huge step to become who you are , a successful person.

of course we support each other but you are the one who can help yourself the most. figure out what you want , plan for it , stay positive and remove whatever makes distance between you and your goal. i know some one who entered in med school at age 37 to make a change in his life , it's never too late . 

 

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Thanks for the advice, both of you. You make a good point, reza, that my goal shouldn't be just to quit gaming, but honestly I've really lost sight of my interests outside of it. I guess my goal at this point is just to try a million different things and see what sticks. Hopefully I'll find my passion. I've known for a while why I want to escape reality: a lack of a social circle and escaping the pain that comes along with that. So another major immediate goal is to rectify that and find some friends. Hmm, just typing that out helped me solidify what my current goals are. So thanks, that was very helpful!

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Well, honestly not so well. I relapsed for a little over a week there but I'm starting round 2 of my attempt to quit gaming today. It's funny, it wasn't even the cravings that got to me, it was thinking about trying to do the whole social stuff. I've had a lot of bad experiences with people. Bullying, mostly. Even into my adult life. At my last job, literally nobody talked to me and I found out shortly before I left that literally the whole company (it was a very small company) would go out for drinks once a month, and I never once was invited despite working there for over 6 years. I live alone now, but my old roommates would talk behind my back all the time. Say they thought I was a serial killer. Laugh about how awkward I was, and do impressions of it. Gossip that I was gay. I could hear it all from my room, they weren't even subtle about it. Shit like that. And don't even get me started on how women treat me. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

So yeah, the thought of going outside and facing a society that has been cruel to me for the most part is pretty terrifying. I know I need to do it but it's just hard. When I start thinking about it, I wonder if there's any point in trying, and that's when I returned to gaming. It's a vicious cycle and breaking out of it is going to be hard but if I want a better life I really don't have much choice.

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Those 

11 hours ago, Vetsen88 said:

Well, honestly not so well. I relapsed for a little over a week there but I'm starting round 2 of my attempt to quit gaming today. It's funny, it wasn't even the cravings that got to me, it was thinking about trying to do the whole social stuff. I've had a lot of bad experiences with people. Bullying, mostly. Even into my adult life. At my last job, literally nobody talked to me and I found out shortly before I left that literally the whole company (it was a very small company) would go out for drinks once a month, and I never once was invited despite working there for over 6 years. I live alone now, but my old roommates would talk behind my back all the time. Say they thought I was a serial killer. Laugh about how awkward I was, and do impressions of it. Gossip that I was gay. I could hear it all from my room, they weren't even subtle about it. Shit like that. And don't even get me started on how women treat me. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.

So yeah, the thought of going outside and facing a society that has been cruel to me for the most part is pretty terrifying. I know I need to do it but it's just hard. When I start thinking about it, I wonder if there's any point in trying, and that's when I returned to gaming. It's a vicious cycle and breaking out of it is going to be hard but if I want a better life I really don't have much choice.

Hello.

Those past social experiences were terrible, and I'm sorry it happened.  We can look at it as something that didn't happen 'to' you, but happened 'for' you.  In other words, if you look at it as victim mentality, you will definitely feel like you cannot experience anything other than harsh treatment by people in society.

First, a little reality check.  Our current western society is horrendously 'me' and 'image' focused.  In some circumstances, yes, this will work if you alter the way you look, how you talk, and how you approach people, but ultimately it's about you being genuine and comfortable with yourself even if you screw up.  You are going to falter for a little while as you engage again with socializing.  That's expected, given that you probably are fixating on bad memories.  

What I would do, is start small.  I'd volunteer somewhere, where you're giving your time to help others in need.  Food banks, hospitals, charities.  Once a week.  This type of social experience will habituate you to think about other people, and not focus on yourself, especially when you're helping the disadvantaged.  Volunteer work can also be a safe place to practice basic social skills.  

Choose your social platforms wisely at first.  You're starting out fresh, and you want the best chance of success.  But start small.  I'd also keep a written journal and write down all the positive social experiences, not just the negatives.  

 

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Good luck Vetsen. I'm new here and not sure whether I qualify as a gaming addict. I do play a lot of online chess though and that's quite addictive. But I'm also a psychologist and doing a presentation on gaming addiction to teachers so it's helpful to hear real-life stories of how people are struggling to manage their addiction to gaming. In my experience it's an up-and-down process which definitely includes a lot of relapse. But 31 is a good age to build up enough motivation to want to make positive changes. This community looks to be a good support too.

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