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My name is Terry and I am a gaming addict and today I started over. Last night I felt so lost and away from the world. I have played games for years and something has always been missing in life. I am 58 years old and have mostly been playing Star Trek Online. I have spent maybe 3 to 4 thousand dollars and wasted a lot of time. Now I am also a recovering alcoholic I have been sober for 33 years and 1 week. But gaming is my worst enemy beside 2 other addictions I plan to conquer. but I deleted windows and put Linux on my computer so I have started. I also used to play the guitar but have quit for like the last 3 or 4 years for gaming. I am not sure but I do feel better now that I made this decision any advice and can someone tell me about any withdrawals I may have and how to deal with them? The type of advice I am looking for is what should I do to fill my day with positive actions and thoughts I can think and do. Thanks guys I have been stalking this forum for about 4 years now cause I knew I had a problem but I expect to quit.

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Hi Terry, glad to hear you are quitting gaming. The best advice I can give you over the next few weeks is to just let yourself feel however you are feeling. If you are bored be bored. If you want to sleep let yourself sleep. If you are sad be sad. Your brain is going to be all over the place for the first few weeks and sometimes a lot of the time you might feel bored, tired, etc. 

I quit smoking in the past and I noticed that the withdrawal symptoms to quitting video games were not all that different. 

For the first 3 weeks or so I say do whatever you want (within reason). Anything to keep yourself occupied and not playing video games is fine. Realize that these symptoms will fade eventually. Think of some new hobbies you might want to get into. Perhaps it's guitar?

I wish you all the best!

Mike

 

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Welcome, Terry.

It sounds like you are taking some great steps towards recovery. I would also recommend seeing a therapist if you aren't already. It sounds like you have a complex history of addiction (not just video games but alcohol and you mention "2 other addictions." The people here can empathize with you since we've been there but we aren't professionals (actually there are a few therapists around but they are not your therapists, they are here for the same reason you are).

Withdrawals -- for me it was fatigue and irritability. I mostly watched TV; as Melon said, for the first few weeks give yourself license to do whatever you want (that's not a previous addiction). For me TV was easy and yes, you're replacing one thing from another, but it's easier to stop TV later than to relapse on video games since TV is not interactive and therefore much less addicting. Tell your friends if you can, hopefully they will be compassionate about irritability and listen when you call to complain.

Have a SPECIFIC plan about what you'll do when you crave. Watch TV? Call a friend? Go for a walk? Sleep? If you don't have a specific plan, it will be all too easy to go back to the way things were.

Also work on some other hobbies, you said guitar, that's good. Try and come up with 1 or 2 more if you can. Carpentry, knitting, art... legos... what was your favorite thing to do when you were little? At first it will be really hard to motivate yourself to do these things because comparatively they produce much less dopamine than video games. Once you hit the two week mark your brain will decide it's okay with a little less dopamine and it'll be easier to motivate yourself.

Also, don't forget about the holy trifecta: sleep, diet, and exercise. If nothing else, do those things. If you are doing those things, it will make everything else easier.

Hope that wasn't too much.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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