Breaking free of your Addiction

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lizwool
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Breaking free of your Addiction

Breaking free of your Addiction

Computer addiction is just as serious as any other addiction like smoking or drinking, if not worse. Not only does it rob you of your own life, it has very negative effects as well. Now you might feel or tell yourself that you are not addicted and you can stop when you want. But if you have any of the warning signs below, then there is a high chance that you do need some help.

* You start the day telling yourself you will do something productive (study, exercise etc.) but end up playing your computer game.
*You lose interest in going out (with friends or family) as you rather stay home to play your game.
* You play for hours on end and end up feeling guilty (or have a sort of bad feeling after that)
* You start to feel isolated from your friends, and sometimes comfort yourself thinking, I'm having fun here anyway.
* Switching on the computer is the first thing you do in the morning or after school
* You cannot spend a day without playing your computer game
* You have undone assignments/homework because of the time spent on your game
* Your parents have nagged/scolded you for using the computer too long.
* Even when you are not playing the game, you are thinking about it.

Well then, before we go into how to cure this addiction, we have to understand the reasons why the game is so addictive, why it holds us down, and why many people fall prey to it.

Loads of computer addiction arises from massive multiplayer online games. There is half life, neopets, runscape (even habbo hotel) just to list a few.

What exactly makes them all so addictive?

Firstly, these games are based on status/power/riches and there is competition within a community.
Let me explain. In these games, you strive to earn more wealth, get greater stats etc. There is no end to it, you want to become better and better. And there is a huge reward and respect from the other people playing in the game. The feeling that you are superior and that you are in control is something you derive from it. So you continue and continue to try to get more and more, even if it means playing for hours.

Secondly, these games provide IMMEDIATE excitement.
Things to do, money to be made, worlds to explore, even people to kill. It just pumps your adrenaline (subconsciously or consciously). Open seeing the login screen, you feel excited and happy. Something fun to play, something fun to do! And then the fun lasts until you know you have been playing way too much, leaving your seat only for food or toilet breaks. But even then, you can't stop because you have to get more and more, find more things to do. You have been then, transported to that world and it turns into your reality, making you hate to leave it.

Lastly, it is the easiest form of escapism.
As mentioned above, the game becomes your reality, so that you are almost living in it. You have transformed the fun and excitement into something you feel you can live by. You immerse yourself into the game and you find you don't have to care about anything else. Your enjoyment takes priority and even if you want to break free, it is a struggle because many times, pleasure takes over common sense.

Well now we now the reasons, have identified them and put them down to clear hard facts, we know that it is not uncommon for addiction to take place. You are not alone in your struggle but that is not an excuse to continue in it because if not curbed, the effects are almost devastating. Before we go on, let me tell you a true story of a girl who was addicted to computer games so that we can learn from it.

The story of a girl who got addicted
Crystal (not her real name) was your better than average teenage girl. She was not only pretty, blessed with bright eyes, she was sporty and intelligent to boot. She had great friends and a great family as well.

But later in the year, her friend had introduced her to Neopets. She started to play in regularly, with her friends as well. With her intelligence and savvies, she managed to earn lots of points. Being "rich" made the allure of the game hang on. However, had friends had stopped, as they themselves couldn't derive as much fun out of it as her, (they were not really good in making "money").

So what started of as a social fun (played with friends), turned into a personal addiction. Gradually, she stopped going out with her friends spending her waking hours away on the computer, earning more and more reputation in the online world, yet slowly becoming more and more isolated.

Not only did playing for hours on end affect her social life, it literally took over her life. She spent constant time thinking about it, how to earn more points etc. It was so attached to her to the point that a loss on the game would make her feel extremely upset. As there was little else she did, her talents could not develop and started fading away. Her life while making steady progress in her game, had reached a dead end socially, emotionally and physically.

The horrific thing was, all the bad, bad computer rays and constant sitting down as well as poor diet that followed as she was too consumed in her game caused her once pretty face to become spotted with pimples and become red and blotchy. Yet she just could not control it. The worse things outside became, the more and more attached to game she got. Soon, her friends started to leave her. While they did not taunt her or whatsoever, she had simply not invested time into the relationship and so it could not grow. Her friends efforts were lost on her and the inevitable happened. She had changed from a sparkly girl to a quiet girl with no really close friends to call her own. Sure, she still had her family but even ties with her parents were strained because of their constant scolding and nagging of her use of the computer.

Also, her studies took a drastic drop. Time supposed to be use as a student to learn knowledge and harness it was wasted on her game. She knew it was not the right thing to do, yet she could not break free. Every night, she left the computer, puffy eyed, feeling guilty and horrible. She told herself, not to repeat it, but she still did. It wasn't until she got "scammed" (cheated by another player on line of her money) that she stopped playing. She felt angry, bitter and upset. It was almost as though her whole life was taken away from her since the computer game was what took up most of her life.

However, after a few weeks, she got over it and in fact, became much more happy. She was free. It needed that hard knocking event to cure her of her year old addiction but she managed.

Now, you don't have to wait till that day happens before you can stop your addiction. You can do it right now!

To give a brief overview, Computer addiction will bring about many harmful effects
* Deteriorating studies, poor grades
* Lack of social life
* Harm to outward appearance (acne, fat)
* Poor eyesight
* Guilt
* Rruined future

Trust me, COMPUTER ADDICTION HAS TO BE BROKEN. It gives you NOTHING in reality. It is all make believe. Like in the matrix, you take the red pill, or the green pill. Sooner or later, you have to wake up. And if you don't there will be consequences.

Trust my instructions, and you can be free right after this, now and today. you must summon a burst of willpower but please, listen to me, let me help you help yourself.

Remember this. It is not worth it to spend your life on a game. It is something you will regret. This obsession will end one day, why not end it now. It leads to nowhere. There is nothing but a dead end down the road. (trust me on this, I know). Instead, if you spend your time on meaningful things, you will watch your life grow and not only will you feel true satisfaction, others around you will notice your change too.

How to break free
The stories, consequences and reasons above should have given you some want to end your addiction. If you already feel it, DO NOT hesitate. ACT NOW. Go to the site where your game is and DELETE your account. If you do not how to delete it, just go and give away/waste all the money or possessions you have. However, the best way is to still delete it.

If your game is on a CD, delete the game from your computer and then throw the CD. You might think it's a waste but the only thing you'll get from keeping it is more waste. Do not pass it to someone else, you don't want another addict.

I know this is hard, a old bondage is hard to break. But quick, let your fingers move, do it now.YOU WILL FEEL MUCH BETTER. YOUR LIVE WILL IMPROVE. YOU WILL GET BACK ON TRACK. RETURN TO REALITY, IT CAN BE JUST AS FUN.

If you have succeeded in doing this, share your joy with me. EMAIL me with your success story. I'd be extremely glad. If you still feel you can't do it, that the addiction is too strong, EMAIL me too. I will try my best to understand you and help you.

Once you have broken free of this addiction, there are a world of things for you to explore. Not only can you focus on your studies, there is much more time for friends and family, and you know, picking up a new skill (like a sport) is a fun thing too! Occupy your life and you won't turn back to computer games. Addiction is evil, stay far away from it.

www.geocities.com/break_free_from_your_computer/

Edited by: lizwool at: 3/18/12


Liz Woolley

Diggo McDiggity
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Re: Breaking free of your Addiction

A pretty good post, but it fundamentally reflects the western viewpoint of treating a disease by focusing only on the disease.
If you have a cold or flu, you may take powerful drugs or antibiotics and at some point, the cold or flu will be gone. But your body will be in a weakened state from the internal battle that just ensued. The result is that you will be vulnerable, now even more so, for another disease or cold.

With gaming, you may be able to fight an external fight to stop gaming but even if you manage to stay away for a while, you may still be thinking about it constantly and decide to move on to some other unhealthy activity. This is what happens when you fail to address the underlying issues.

*BUT*

If you take the example of say, eastern medicine, it proposes that a healthy body does not get sick and that you prevent diseases by focusing on the body and keeping it healthy.

With gaming that would be by addressing your underlying issues and find out what caused the external behaviors, gaming, gambling, etc.

When you've reached a point where gaming is the main focus of your life, you are already messed up and even those underlying issues are now joined by OTHER issues which crop up because of the countless hours sitting on your arse day after day; health issues and a fiesta of others.

I propose that a 'treatment' for getting over on line gaming 'addiction' is to address both, the underlying issues and issue of game playing itself. In fact, I recommend not even addressing the cessation of gaming without considering how one will address the underlying issues as well. Indeed, I don't believe you can heal from this problem without doing both.

I know I couldn't have...

Ron

"Get a Life!"
Ron Jaffe AKA Diggo McDiggity
OLGA Admin and Member since 2001
eMail: ronjaffe@cfl.rr.com

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samuel687
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my story

Hi lizwool.

It has been about a year now since I have broken free from my addiction (Habbohotel). Everything you wrote in your post matched how I felt, and the harm that it was doing to me.

I couldn't say that I was a popular person, but I had friends nevertheless. I first discovered Habbohotel in 2002 when a friend told me about it. I went on it for a few minutes then went off again. In around 2004, I started to play again. This is when it all kicked off, my friend who was in my art class also started to play it. As far as I'm concerned, she's still addicted. We were both addicted at the time, and for the whole of art class all we did was sit there talking about habbo. Eventually, it was me and three other friends who were addicted to it. We talked about it whenever we could, it was so exciting and at the time I didn't know that I was seriously addicted to it.

When people think of addiction to games, they just think of the average teenager who plays games alot. Afterall, the affects of it arn't deadly like smoking etc. So people don't take it seriously.

My group of friends and I enjoyed it alot, but I think I was the most attached to it. As you know Habbo hotel is a game where you pay for 'credits' which buy you furniture to put in your room to chat it, and I ended up spending over 150 dollars (reall money) on pixels that I eventually gave away in the end.

Every day when I came home from school, I would switch on the computer, dump my bag on the floor and start playing Habbo immediatly. What else was I to do for fun? I was no good and sports or anything, and habbo offered round the clock entertainment that never wore off. We had dialup internet, and since I was on the internet all the time no one could phone through. No one could use the internet either because I was always on the computer, hogging it I guess. The fact that no one could get through grew on everyone, and alot of people got very annoyed at this -- especially my relatives and close family friends.

Whenever they looked at me they saw some idiot who wastes his life on the computer, some geek who is going to be a faliure in life. I spent hours on Habbo everyday of my life. In the weekends I would play all day. I wouldn't go outside, never. I also spent hours after school playing.

My virtual friends I thought were also part of the addiction. Although I couldn't be for sure exactly just who they were and where they came from, I thoroughly enjoyed their company. There were also endless possibilities on habbo. With so much virtual furniture to buy there was no where to stop. Everyone wanted to be the richest, most popular person on habbo. And I and others admired the people who were.

The feeling of guilt got to me everytime I realised that I had [wasted] the whole day sitting on the computer. After a while I made up alot of pathetic exuses about Habbo and how great it was. I thought about habbo all the time, at school when I would usually be chatting to people, I sat there wandering what I was going to do next on habbo. When I wasn't on habbo, I thought about it. Constontly.

Everyone in my family new about habbo. My mum would sometimes call me "mr habbo" everytime she walked past which was annoying. Everytime someone needed to use the phone I had to disconnect, which built up the anger inside me. I knew there was something wrong, and that the right thing to do would be "sure, I'll get off the internet", but that's not what happened. I always had to finish a conversation with someone on habbo, or finish doing something in a room. I would often find my self disconnected from the internet and get very furious and my family members. This worried them and they thought I was weird.

Some of my friends, after a while, gradually broke away from habbo. They had heaps more friends, maybe even a life. I felt alone because of this, I wasn't able to have a life and they were. It got to them that Habbo was really gay. I knew this, but I couldn't resist it as it was the only source of entertainment in my life.

I tried quitting of course. So many failed attempts. Even going up stairs to watch TV for an hour was hard. I came to a period where I felt like giving up. I gave away some of my furniture in giveaways and didn't go on as often. I remember the first period of not going on habbo. It was hard but I was so proud and thought others envyed me for not going on so much!

Once I had quit for good my life just didn't come back that easy. Certain things were robbed from me and I had to work to get them back. I had lost several friends over the whole habbo thing, much to my surprise after quitting habbo I noticed I accually started to make friends at school. Something I hadn't done in a long time.

Other things started to improve, I think I was much more happier overall.

Lot's of things have happened since then, why they happened I don't know. I even moved out of my mums house into my dads miles away down south. A new home and a new school, and I didn't care.
They may have been wrong decisions but I guess it was the aftermath of it all. I don't know.

I look back now and see so many months wasted, and out of all the games how could I be so attached to Habbo hotel?! I admire the people who can play these games in moderation, but for some people it's important to remember that they arn't as fortunate.

shiva
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Re: my story

I am glad that you are not called "mr habbo" anymore.

Thank you for writing about your story.

Maxim

"Live without dead time" Guy Debord

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Re: my story

Yes good story. I too would get angry if the internet went out or if someone wanted to use the computer, or if for any reason I had to be separated from my gaming. If I was at a party or family gathering or anywhere away from the computer I would be anxious to get back, maybe even irritated.

As for the breaking free from addiction article... I agree about the quest for power part. That's another reason, i've recently realized, that gets me addicted. To be very powerful/knowledgeable/rich/famous in an online world is very addictive. I often wonder if this isn't even bordering on narcissism. And the "second reason" about instant excitement... reading that brought back nostalgic memories of playing my RPGs. And escapism is definitely a selling point for playing games. Like the article said, the more you play the more you ruin your life, then the more you ruin your life the more you want to play, to escape it again. A viscious circle. And certainly we must find, understand, and deal with the root causes for our addictive tendencies.

shiva
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Re: my story

Quote:To be very powerful/knowledgeable/rich/famous in an online world is very addictive. I often wonder if this isn't even bordering on narcissism.
It is does. To quote a marketing guru from the obnoxious marketing materials I have to learn for my exam tomorrow:

Quote:"It is our job to make women unhappy with what they have." B.Earl Puckett 1992
Quote:"Buy me [e.g. the game, the car, the soft drink, the shoes] and you will overcome the anxieties I have just reminded you of.aEU Michael Schudson 1993

We are led to endulge in narcissism, to celebrate the glory of the present, without respect to past nor present, not to other people who surround us.

No wonder it swaps over to the games itself (money/power/affection accumulation in game) and to the people playing it - disrespecting themselves and others in an attempt to drown the louder and louder wail of despair from their lonely soul.

Faith (the only thing that halps me when I face all these things, can't face em on my own, I break and go hiding in games again)

Maxim

"Live without dead time" Guy Debord

 

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Samuel, I myself was a Habbo

Samuel,

I myself was a Habbo addict and now that I look at it, Habbo, and other online games are so addictive because you are in a world were you can do actions like fighting, making fun of people, and other bad things without feeling the effects of them. When I quit Habbo, and other games, I decided to get out, and now I have a life. It wasn't easy, but maturity kicked in and it just got boring, childish, and it was like me being a 2 yr old, which I didn't like. Last week, I went on Habbo 1 time to see the new batch of addicts and believe me, it's VERY immature. People have forums for their "militaries" which "raid" other "militaries" by spamming them. I mean, they even have forums with paid hosting. It's just ridiculous what these people do. And these people showed me their youtube channel were a GUY lives in his moms attic and shoots BB guns to impress his "military", and also, smokes in his room in all of the videos to look cool. And then, I was speechless when his mom came up and said "Hey USMC (The "military")". I think it's bad, and you can tell that he's bigger than her, and she gives him cash to get coins to buy furniture, and she's most likely just giving him the stuff so he doesn't explode and do something stupid. Believe me, it's gotten to a greater level than usual.

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