Friday, December 2, 2022

How To Stop Being Addicted To Video Games

Why I Quit Video Games And How You Can Too

How To Stop Being Addicted to Video Games

Quitting video games was one of the best decisions Ive made. I wasnt having fun and wanted to spend my time in more productive ways by creating content for this blog.

As a result one of my blog posts hit the front page of Hacker News and completely changed my life.

In this post, Ill cover how to quit video games with a step-by-step guide and why I chose to quit for a year.

What Is Addiction Anyway

There is still a major divide between the public understanding of addiction and the expert view. Its common to hear people casually call an activity addictive just because its fun. Some people continue to see addiction not as a medical condition but as a moral failure, contrary to what major public health and medical organizations have said for decades now. There are still misconceptions that addiction requires some sort of physical component for example, physical dependence that causes withdrawal or that physical dependence is conclusive proof of addiction.

Experts, however, have long moved away from these old views of addiction, if they ever held such beliefs at all. Under the expert view, addiction doesnt even require a physical dependence component.

We long ago moved away from thinking about addiction as a physical or physiological need for a drug, Robert West, editor in chief for the scientific journal Addiction, told me. In most cases, its not the physiological thats causing the problem, because you can quite easily get people over that through, say, supervised detoxification. Its a behavioral problem. Where the problem lies is that certain drugs and behaviors in certain people lead to such powerful motivation to engage in the behavior that its damaging or could be damaging.

Making Excuses And Lying

People whore addicted to video games will make excuses for their behavior. They might tell themselves they arent doing anything wrong because theyre only playing a game. Its not like theyre drinking alcohol or using drugs.

However, if left unaddressed, the video game addiction will get out of hand. This can make it just as dangerous as other addictions.

When friends and family begin to notice the addiction, the addict will lie about how much time they spend on the game. Theyll make it seem like they dont play video games for longer amounts of time than other gamers.

Read Also: How To Deal With An Addict Child

Arrange Active Indoor Or Outdoor Activities For Your Children And Their Friends

Help do the thinking and planning for alternative activities for your children. To make it more appealing, look for ways to include your childrens friends. Check the newspapers, your local community center, or school guidance counselors for local programs and resources for youth sports and activity programs. For example, your community may offer a boating club, sports programs, hikes, mountain bike trails, adventure trips, or other fun outdoor activities.

Offline activities do not always need to be extravagant or expensive. During high school, our son had regular Friday night poker parties with his friends. We enjoyed hearing them laughing and chatting in the back room, and kept them supplied with chips and drinks to help make it fun. Besides the obvious fun of the poker game, these young people were refining their communication and social skills, and planning other activities they could enjoy together.

The Brains Reward System

Learn How to Stop Gaming Addiction

Your motivation to either commit or quit harmful acts is tied to the biological makeup of your brain and your brains reward system. This system is an intricate network of neurotransmitters that are critical to human survival. Your self-control circuit is comprised of: 1. the brain systems that drive you to seek out things that bring you pleasure and, 2. the prefrontal cortex , which applies the brakes when youre about to engage in risky behavior.

In the addicted brain, the underactive PFC can create an imbalance in the reward system and cause you to lose control over your behavior. When this happens, youre more likely to fall victim to your cravings. Having low activity in the PFC often results in impulse control problems and poor internal supervision.

Also Check: How To Prevent Video Game Addiction

Are There Different Types Of Video Game Addictions

There are two major types of video games and therefore two major types of video game addictions. Standard video games are generally designed to be played by a single player and involve a clear goal or mission, such as rescuing a princess. The addiction in these games is often related to completing that mission or beating a high score or preset standard.

The other type of video game addiction is associated with online multiplayer games. These games are played online with other people and are especially addictive because they generally have no ending. Gamers with this type of addiction enjoy creating and temporarily becoming an online character. They often build relationships with other online players as an escape from reality. For some, this community may be the place where they feel theyre the most accepted.

Track And Limit Game Time

Start by monitoring gameplay. Parents should move a computer or console to a location where family members can keep track of the time a child or teenager spends playing games. Set firm limits reinforced with a timer, productivity software, or programs that make it possible to block or disable games on a computer or device.

It may also be helpful to require a teen to log the amount of time he or she spends gaming every day. Increased awareness of time spent gaming can serve as a wake-up call to the opportunity costs of gaming addiction.

Read Also: What Is The Best Non Addictive Sleep Aid

How To Know If Youre Addicted To Video Games

Are you worried you, or someone you know, is a video game addict? Answer this brief assessment to help you find out:

  • Do you play video games for hours and hours, sometimes not eating or sleeping so you can stay in the game?
  • Is gaming more important to you than hanging out with people in real life?
  • When you finish playing a video game, do you feel a sense of pleasure and want to get that high again?
  • Do you have trouble stepping away from video games or stopping play?
  • Can you leave a video game in the middle of play for an emergency?
  • Have you ever hidden your gaming because you were embarrassed by how often you play?
  • Have people told you that you play too many video games or youre addicted to video games?
  • Do you become moody or angry when you cant play video games?
  • Have you ever played video games when you should be working?
  • Have you ever lost a job because you were playing video games, or you missed work because of gaming?
  • Has gaming hurt your relationships with your loved ones?
  • Have you spent money on gaming you should have spent on bills or paying down debt?
  • The more yes answers you have, the greater your chances are you may be addicted to video games. In that case, you deserve to get help immediately. Call a treatment center or therapist who has experience in video games addiction. Youll be glad you took the first step toward recovery.

    S To Prevent Gaming Problem

    How to TOTALLY Stop Your Video Game Addiction

    There is currently no concrete evidence that shows which video games are more likely to lead to an addiction. Hence, any steps taken to prevent a gaming problem covers all types of games, generally.

    • Set a time limit for gaming and stick to it. If possible, get someone to hold you accountable for these restrictions.
    • Keep your gaming devices away from your bedroom. Having them nearby may trigger a relapse while youre trying to recover.

    Find other activities to get involved in. Physical activities such as exercise will help improve your health and take your mind off gaming too.

    As more video games are being created and more immersive gameplay comes to the fore due to technological advancement, video gaming addiction continues to be a genuine worry especially for younger people. However, just like with many other addictions, regaining control of ones mind requires deliberate effort. There is no easy way to get over the addiction, but the physical, social and mental rewards of the effort are completely worth it.

    Hope Without Commitment

    Read Also: How To Communicate With An Addict

    Put Gaming In Perspective

    Addiction emerges when players become reliant on the cycle of challenges and rewards that games reliably provide. Family members and friends should make an effort to involve teens addicted to video games in other pastimes.

    For example, improving a teenagers mind-body balance can regulate some of the emotional and mental factors that cause gaming addiction. Reading or learning to play a musical instrument may provide off-screen mental stimulation and rewards. Learning to code can also be a rewarding opportunity for teens interested in gaming that can pave the way toward a fulfilling career.

    From The Causes To The Solutions Both Sides Say We Need A Lot More Research Into Gaming Addiction

    As gaming addiction continues to capture more attention from the media and public health organizations, one of the big obstacles to identifying and detecting much less preventing and treating the problem is that the research in this area remains scarce, from even basic issues like how to define gaming addiction to more complex problems like how to treat it.

    A thorough review of the research, published in Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences in 2017, found evidence that pathological gaming symptoms and game addiction, but not gaming in general, were associated with negative health and social consequences, such as depression and worse academic achievement, in one- or two-year follow-ups.

    But the review also described the research into the detection and prevention of gaming addiction as obviously insufficient, and studies on the natural course of gaming addiction as limited confirming major gaps in the field.

    Michelle Colder Carras, a public health researcher now at Radboud Universitys Games for Emotional and Mental Health Lab in the Netherlands, joined dozens of other experts to write a letter and follow-up to the WHO arguing against the addition of gaming disorder to the ICD-11. The authors wrote, The quality of the research base is low. The field is fraught with multiple controversies and confusions and there is, in fact, no consensus position among scholars.

    So theres still some conflict in the research world to be ironed out over time.

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    Why Is Video Game Addiction So Prevalent

    No definite scientific consensus is established in determining whether gaming is addictive. It regarded Internet Gaming Disorder as an unverified potential diagnosis with the need for additional review by the American Psychiatric Association.

    The APA defines addiction as a psychological disorder that manifests through compulsive substance usage despite the harmful consequences. Consequently, it excludes the possibility of any behavioral addiction.

    Only a very little part of gamers show the symptoms of a disorder particularly when it comes to specific symptoms of withdrawal or tolerance. For this reason, several people say over-use of games can act as a habit or become symptoms of another condition.

    Quitting Gaming Isnt Easy But Its Possible If You Follow These Five Steps

    3 Steps To Prevent Video Game Addiction In Kids And What ...

    Step 1: Breakthrough the psychology that keeps you gaming

    Your brain tricks you into gaming through cognitive biases and attachments you have developed. You justify gaming because you dont want to lose your progress, or the money youve invested. To quit you need to overcome these.

    Step 2: Avoid boredom and find new hobbies

    If you are laying on your bed staring at the ceiling, youll justify gaming because it cant be any worse than being bored all day. To successfully quit you must find replacement activities. There are three specific types you need to find, and Ill share these with you.

    Step 3: Stop wasting your time and be more productive

    You game to escape and procrastinate. To quit gaming is to make a decision that you are going to start pursuing your goals and dreams. Its a commitment to achieve your potential. Learning how to manage your time effectively is essential to accomplish that.

    Step 4: Beat your urges and cravings to avoid a relapse

    When you quit gaming you will experience a range of emotions and withdrawal symptoms. To avoid a relapse, you must navigate these intentionally.

    Step 5: Succeed today and tomorrow

    Strategies and tactics are great, but without the proper mindsets none of them will matter. To succeed in your recovery long-term you must cultivate your mindsets, and prepare for the common obstacles you may run into.

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    Why Did I Want To Fix My Sons Obsession With Video Games

    There is a huge difference between using technology to consume mind numbing, worthless, and addictive materials and using technology to be creative and innovative. You would have never caught Steve Jobs or Bill Gates playing Pokemon Go, or Clash of Clans for hours on end. They were creatingnot consuming someone elses creativity.

    If my daughter asks me to use Adobe Premiere on the computer so that she can edit a family video, I have no problem with her doing so for hours, because she is using her brain in a creative capacity. She is building a skill that can be used throughout her life. Ali Partovi, an advisor to Facebook, Dropbox, and Zappos noted that Just as I wouldnt dream of limiting how much time a kid can spend with her paintbrushes, or playing her piano, or writing, I think its absurd to limit her time spent creating computer art, editing video, or computer programming.

    When the brain is in creative mode, its working hard and growing. It will also get fatigued which will, in turn, force her to want to take a break and do something else. She will come back to it when her brain is rested and shes ready to get back to creating and innovating. But if she was sitting comfortably on the couch with an iPad consuming the videos or playing any of a seemingly infinite number of addictive games, she could spend an entire day on that device with absolutely nothing to show for it.

    What was it that these dads knew that the rest of the world didnt?

    Spending A Lot Of Money The Game

    The paycheck will stop going toward food or bills and instead go toward in-game supplies. Video game addicts tend to spend excessive amounts of money on things like expansion packs, in-game tools, micro-transactions, new games, and upgrades to their computer.

    Because of this, video game addicts might end up with a lot of debt.

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    Can A Video Game Addict Ever Play Video Games Again

    Theres an old saying: Once an addict, always an addict. If this statement is to be taken conclusively, it means someone who has been diagnosed as a video game addict should avoid video games in the future. Even one video game session could lead to a relapse.

    The good news is unlike food addicts who need to eat, video game addicts do not have to play video games. Of course, for kids who are addicted to video games, not gaming may mean not going to social events like parties and other celebrations where gaming will be available. This is similar to the practice of alcoholics not going to functions where alcoholic beverages are likely to be served.

    In general, its best if the video game addict never returns to gaming. That way, they have a much better chance of beating the addiction completely.

    The Tragedy Of Shawn Woolley

    How to Stop Video Game Addiction (WHY I QUIT VIDEO GAMES!)

    In 2001, Shawn Woolley killed himself. The online game, Everquest, was running at the time of his death. It was his mother that discovered him dead. His mother blamed the game for her son’s suicide, while the CEO of Sony disagreed.

    There was no proof that Everquest resulted in his suicide. His mother stated he was addicted to the game and his suicide could be due to a possible love interest in the game. However, there is no concrete proof that it was the cause.

    Video game addiction may have played a big part. Shawn also had a lot of medical issues , which could have been worsened by the fact he was on his computer all of the time. He also stopped working, stopped paying his bills, and stopping interacting with his family.

    Who is to blame? That’s hard to say. His mother tried to get her son help, and it was not Sony’s responsibility to ensure people seek help. But this is proof that video game addiction is a real issue.

    In 2002, Shawn’s mother founded On-Line Gamers Anonymous to help others with this addiction

    It’s up to the addicted person’s friends and family to confront the person about their addiction. They have to take responsibility as much as the addicted person. They can’t just say, “It’s only a video game.” They have to step in and help.

    World Health Organization

    Video game addiction should be taken as seriously as any other addiction.

    Also Check: How To Counsel An Addict

    Establishing A Healthier Routine

  • 1Distract yourself with other fun activities during the day. Youll be less likely to get stuck on gaming if you have other things to keep you occupied. Take the opportunity to rediscover activities you used to enjoy, or try something exciting and new! Schedule time that youd normally spend gaming to do other things you like, such as:XResearch source
  • Reading
  • Why You Should Quit Video Games

    Answer these questions:

    • Do you still have fun playing video games?
    • When do you have the most fun? Is it the first hour? 2nd hour?
    • Do you get angry at yourself, the game or others?
    • What would you do instead if you quit for an entire year?

    Heres why I quit: It stopped being fun.

    I played because I always had. I didnt get any joy out of it anymore.

    I made many great friends playing games. Hell, the relationship with my wife started when we played video games together. We wouldnt be together without games.

    But thats all in the past for me now. I dont need them anymore. Theyve served a purpose in my life and now its time to put them aside.

    Heres another question:

    What would you do with your time instead of playing games?

    Answering that is the key to successfully stop playing. If you just decide to quit but dont replace it with more hobbies, then youre going to get sucked right back in.

    Youll get that feeling of being bored all the time. Of not knowing what else to do, so you just jump into the game to stop being bored.

    With those 5 questions in mind, lets explore how to quit video games for good.

    Also Check: How To Encourage An Addict To Get Help

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