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Doubts and fears

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Hello everyone,

I'm 29, I am addicted to gaming and I am here to introduce myself. I hope you can give me some helpful advice, as I feel like I just can not "get out" of my misery alone. Gaming occupies most of my time (like 12 hours a day since several years, sometimes even more) even tough I have plenty of work to do! As a consequence of that, I rarely leave the apartment, I do not spend much time with my wife, family and friends, I can't finish my master's degree and my boss is getting more and more annoyed because of my delayed responses and overall slow progress at work.

Altough I am certain, that something has to change and I have to move on and "grow up", I am anxious about quitting games. I never felt like I was very emotional or empathic. Even if I tried to focus on my feelings, I usually just can't feel anything like joy or sympathy, only slight amusement at best. However when I play video games and I listen to the beatiful soundtracks or look at the stunning artwork and storytelling of some games, I actually feel joy, sometimes I even cry. I fear that, by quitting games, I miss out on these moments. Don't get me wrong, I also had moments in my life that were wonderful and were not related to gaming like the marriage with my wife or hiking in the Alps and looking at the mountains, but still I feel like quitting games will make me miss on so many emotional moments and memories.

I used to play guitar, piano or do sports, but recently I just feel too exhausted to even do that.

I just don't know what to do. I feel depressed and I am ashamed. I am tired and sleepy  for the most time of the day. I get angry fast, I can't work, I can't concentrate, but I also can't stop playing games. I feel trapped, because I know, that I can't really continue my life this way, but also I can't live without games. I already contacted several psychological professionals, but all of them are either busy or are not responding to my requests at all (I did not mention gaming in my requests so far). Please help.

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Welcome to the forums! 

Glad to know you are starting to consider getting rid of games. 

I too didn't go for a counselor or psychologist. Instead, I got the materials for Respawn, the program Cam Adair made to help with getting rid of games and starting a new phase in life. 

Here's the link for the general description of it. Button to purchase materials is at the bottom of the page after the general description: https://gamequitters.com/respawn/#:~:text=Respawn is the culmination of,of video game addiction recovery.

I would highly recommend getting it as it helped me more than a counselor would have. 

Remember, we have all been at your point in time before starting this journey and we are all going through the same journey together. 

I believe you can do it! 😄 

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You are stuck in the gaming cycle my friend. Games are hyperstimulating and the rest of life is boring.

When you feel bored, anxious, depressed, or mad at yourself, don't run right to video games. Just sit there and write down what you feel. It will pass and then you can be productive again. Use your imagination to give yourself small challenges and deadlines.

If you feel suicidal please call your national help line. Or if you consider yourself a logical person read Tim Ferriss' thoughts on suicide.

What is the worst thing that could happen here? If you quit games for 90 you could always just go back to your old life afterwards.

Good luck.

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I say this with kindness:

You're starting a turning point in your life as you're turning away of your own defense mechanisms that shielded you from all the miserable feelings.
Does that sound like an easy thing to do? No, it is probably one of the hardest, but the most rewarding.

You say it yourself, I need to grow up. Yes. You will grow up. That means taking the responsibility to do what your gut tells you. Stop gaming.
Stopping gaming means coming into the world you are actually in, but avoid by playing games. Playing games makes you live in a 'safe bubble'. But that bubble is not real. 

Come into the light bro. It will feel like darkness first but you'll get there. The darkness is always accompanied by light and you are stepping towards it.

We're with you on this road. It has bumps in it, bends, curves, but every step you take is a good one. And a necessary one.

Much love from a guy who knows it's hard but it's rewarding. 
More rewarding than a freakin' medal in a game or a rank.

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Hi @UsualSuspect, and welcome! 

I am not an expert (I've only quit gaming for about a month and a half), but it might be easier if you looked at quitting gaming like opening up your time to do new things as apposed to "growing up". You feel that you have an addiction, that you play too much. Those are good reasons to stop doing anything, let alone "childish" things. I doubt many people view heroine as childish but it certainly is addictive. That's how I look at video games now. Like a substance that was controlling my life. It wasn't easy for me quit gaming. This is my third attempt in my life. Fortunately I feel like it's for good this time. 

Take it from this 44 year old. Gaming is addictive and will rule you if you let it. Video games are created with addictive elements baked right into them. This is done deliberately, in the same way casino machines are created. Bright lights, exciting sounds, constant positive feedback....these things are crafted to control you, to consume as much time as they can. 

I'm glad you're here. You know what's up. I'd be lying if I said it was easy but I know you can quit. It's hard at first but gets easier over time.

You got this. 

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@amchow @Strykyr22 @PeteStf @MuMuMelon

Thank you guys really much for your replies and support! Really appreciate that you take the time to cheer me up. Meanwhile I talked to a psychologist, but I kinda doubt, that he can help me, as I do not think, he understands my situation and what I am feeling like at all. I am still very afraid of what I lose, but I will start with the respawn guide anyway right now, because I think, what I gain is a lot more than gaming has to offer, espacially in the long run. Maybe it is a chance for me to start over. After all, I can't find any reason to not at least try it. 

I've read Paulo Coelhos "Alchimist", a book about life goals. He says that, if you really try hard to achive something in your life and keep on doing that, then the whole world will help you to do so. Altough I would describe myself as a very sceptical person and I do not believe in esotericism, religion or fate, I believe, that his proposition apply in terms of how our actions impact our environment, which in return can amplify our intentions even more. So thank you again for not letting me down in my darkest hours. 

Edit: Added tags.

Edited by UsualSuspect
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Hey @UsualSuspect

Make sure you find a psychologist that you feel a connection with. Not the number of certificates or whatever. 
Also, in my opinion, therapy is about finding yourself, listening to your own voice and making sure you, yourself, find your own solutions. It takes time to develop a good, trusting relationship with your shrink but also with yourself. So if you feel the relationship with the shrink is okay, give it time :).

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