Tag Archives: addiction

How Do You Overcome a Gaming Addiction?


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I saw a question on Lockergnome the other day where Luke admitted he has a gaming addiction. He reached out to the community for help in overcoming it. He managed to stop playing all day long, but finds himself not caring about other activities. He feels a strong pull towards his game(s), and doesn’t know how to get past that. The first thing to remember that it IS an addiction, just like with a gambler or drug addict. An addiction is in your mind, and it’s not an easy thing to overcome. It takes a lot of strength and willpower just to admit you need help in that area, and I commend Luke for reaching out for advice.

Thankfully, I was never addicted to gaming. A gaming addiction can be quite a tremendous hurdle to overcome. Telltale signs of addiction are things like not showering, not participating in other activities, forgetting your friend and family and allowing your plants to die even.

You could quit cold turkey – but that honestly isn’t recommended. It’s very difficult to do, much as it is for a smoker to do. Take your knowledge of the game(s) you understand well, and translate that into wisdom. Share it with others online. Do screencasts and videos full of tips and tricks. Use your passion in other ways that are related to the game but don’t actually involve playing it. Heck, sketch some art.

I am not a doctor or counselor. I am more of a Geek coach. I am simply trying to give some suggestions to Luke. If you have any, be sure to leave him some comments and give him the support he needs.

Remember, if you or someone you know is a gaming addict, you should seek help to overcome it if you feel you cannot do it on your own. There are many documented cases of people losing jobs, relationships and families due to becoming so addicted to a game that they forget the rest of their life. Don’t let this happen to you.

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Gaming Addiction Vs Gaming Obsession – Where do You Draw the Line?

Last night, I published a post discussing the unfortunate death of an infant, due to its parents’ inability – or desire – to properly care for it. The reason? They were busy feeding their video game addiction. This isn’t the first case like this that I’ve come across online, and I’m afraid it won’t be the last.

During a discussion via Google Buzz about this article, Peter had some excellent insight regarding addiction to things like games vs. an obsession.

For one thing, people throw the word “addiction” around like they know what it means. If gaming kills someone, then it’s likely safe so say that they had an addiction. For the most part, however, when people are obsessed with games, they aren’t necessarily addicted. Addiction isn’t mere obsession. Addiction isn’t the mere compulsion to participate in something.

When ANYTHING reaches the level of “addiction”… then, yes, it has the capability of killing someone. Asking the question is like asking, “If someone is so obsessed with gaming that they stop eating, can it kill them?” The correct answer is, “Yes, if someone stops eating, it can eventually kill them.” It has nothing to do with the “gaming”… it has everything to do with the “not eating”. When something becomes so compulsive that you stop eating, then it is safe to say that it is an addiction.

An addiction, for the most part, is when something negatively affects your life and even when you actively weigh the pros and cons and recognize that the cons outweigh the pros and you decide you would rather no longer participate in the activity, that you find you are unable to stop and know that you need help.

Most hard-core gamers are not reaching out for help. They weigh the pros and cons and the pros win. They enjoy playing. Very few gamers would truly make the decision to continue playing if they knew, for instance, that they were seconds away from death. When someone who isn’t necessarily addicted to gaming (but is obsessed by it) ends up dying or ending up extremely ill, the problem isn’t necessarily an “addiction”… it’s a lack of responsibility.

An irresponsible person can die while doing any kind of activity. It’s the irresponsibility that kills, not the distraction. If you WANT to stop gaming, however, but find that you simply cannot pull away… THAT’S an addiction, and you should seek help.

Very sage advice in that last sentence. If you cannot pull yourself away from your game(s) to attend to your “real” life, it’s time to get some kind of help. Ask a friend, parent, teacher, pastor or any other trusted person in your life to help you, and get you pointed in the right direction.

What are your thoughts on this matter? There’s no debate that the couple in the original article had some type of problem. Let’s discuss the differences between addictions and obsessions, as well as how a person (especially teens) can tell that they may, indeed, have a problem.

Top 10 Internet Addiction Symptoms

Guess what? Internet Addiction Might Actually Get Recognized By The Official Book Of Mental Disorders. I thought I’d compile a quick list that you might use to better diagnose yourself as a possible crazy person mental patient.

You might be addicted to the Internet if…

  1. You check your email more frequently than you blink.
  2. You tweet important life moments before telling your family.
  3. You end every sentence with the words “dot com.”
  4. You use acronyms like “LOL” and “WTF” in real-life conversations.
  5. You hashtag handwritten notes.
  6. You invited Google to a sleepover.
  7. You refuse to stay at a hotel that charges for WiFi.
  8. You demand that people email you when they listen to your voicemail greeting.
  9. You think the word “flicker” is misspelled.
  10. You prefer reading “top ten” lists on blogs compared to late night TV.

Am I missing any symptoms?

  • You get frustrated because you can’t “like” things you hear on the radio.
  • You think you should be subsidized by the government for not playing Farmville.
  • You believe you have real political power from being the Mayor of your local Starbucks.

Do you Have any Tips to Help Someone Stop Smoking?

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Smoking is an addiction that can be harmful to your health, and that of others around you. Here are some great tips sent in by a community member to help you stop smoking.

  • Establish a ‘quit day’. Establishing a day to quit can help you prepare for this event. Quitting is very difficult, and being ready mentally is important to being successful. Don’t choose a time when you know you’ll have something stressful going on at work or school. Choosing a time like this will severely decrease your chances of quitting.
  • Find medications or products to help you stop. In today’s society, it is much easier to quit than it was even ten years ago. Years of research and development have led to creating patches, gum, inhalers and even candy to help you quit. If you’re committed to quitting, some of these will really help:
    • Nicoderm CQ Patches
    • Nicorette gum
    • Nicotrol inhaler
    • Candy and/or gum

    Remember to keep these out of reach of children, as they contain controlled doses of tobacco.

  • Surviving the first week. The first week of quitting will be the hardest, since you’ll be detoxing your body. Don’t give up! Within 24 hours, you will honestly notice a difference in how much easier it is to breathe. Within the first week, your senses of smell and taste will be strengthened again. Smoking “deadens” both of those senses significantly, and smokers never even realize it until they quit. You will not only have the physical cravings while quitting, you’ll also have mental ones. You’re using to having the cigarette in your hand and mouth. Try other solutions, such as chewing gum or sucking on hard candies. Keep celery or sunflower seeds nearby. Find something you enjoy, and use that as your “crutch”.
  • Dietary changes. Since you are quitting smoking, your body will become weaker at first while you go through withdrawl. Drink plenty of water, since it cleanses your body of all the built-up toxins. Make sure to eat enough, and eat healthy… even if you don’t feel like eating. Don’t overdo it, and don’t gnosh on snacks constantly!
  • Rewards and commitment Since you are quitting, you should reward yourself! Think about all the money you will be saving! Save the money, and use it to reward yourself with something nice… such as clothes, gadgets, or a vacation! Make sure you also make a list of the reasons you are quitting, and read it often!

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How to Beat Video Game Addiction

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Video games are great fun, and sometimes it’s ok to go on a “gaming binge.” At some point, though, you need to stop yourself. When that time has come, admit that you’ve got a problem and cut it out completely.

  • Admit you have a problem– As cliche or cheesy as it may sound, the first step to recovery is to admit to yourself and others that you have a problem. Use the beginning sentence of this article as a starter.
  • Identify the problem Is it a particular game that you’re addicted to? Is it a genre of games? Be sure to find out exactly what it is that you’re addicted to.
  • Identify the triggers Triggers are mental and physical cues that cause you to want to indulge in your addiction, namely play games. Try and figure out what kind of things makes you want to play video games. Maybe its a particular website that you go to online that starts your video gaming frenzy. Maybe it’s being around certain people that make you crave a game or two. Do your best to figure out what kind of triggers make you want to play games.
  • Plan out your recovery Quitting video games cold turkey might seem like the best way to stop your addiction, but in reality, most people fail trying to quit completely. Your best plan would be to gradually wean yourself away from video games. Make yourself an ending date of when you want to be completely free from video games. Then, create steps to that ending date, with mini-goals that you want to achieve. For example, instead of playing for 20+ hours a week, try cutting it down to 18+ hours a week, and so on. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t reach your goals! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your addiction won’t go away overnight.
  • Carry out your plan Start working on executing your plan. If you find out that your plan is too hard, then ease it up a bit. If you discover that your ending date happens to be the release date of Starcraft 2, postpone your ending date so you can indulge instead of potentially becoming an addict again. Whatever you do, be flexible with your options, but stick to your plan at all costs.

There is a video game addiction clinic in the Netherlands.

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