Because the same questions keep coming up over and over again, and because we want help to be available instantly to anyone who comes here, I am posting this to summarize the advice that has been given to gamers over the years here.
After reading this, please feel free to post your story. If you have taken the "Self-Test" posted in the Introduction section (http://olganon.org/?q=self_tests_on_gaming_addiction), you have already determined whether or not you have a definite problem with video games.
If not, the short version is: Has playing video games interfered significantly with your life in the areas of...
1) Education (falling grades, failures, frequent absences)?
2) Health (weight gain due to inactivity or weight loss due to not eating while gaming, back pains due to prolonged sitting, increased acne)?
3) Family relationships (holed-up in your room, skipping family activities, personality changes such as anger & hostility, particularly when access to the game is interrupted)?
4) Social relationships (friends slipping away, failure to return calls from friends, no longer participating in sports/activities/hobbies previously enjoyed)?
5) Employment (frequent absenteeism from work, inability to hold a job)?
What to do if you are addicted to games and are willing and ready to quit? The first step is to do what you need to do to stop playing the game.
Some games, you are able to delete your characters, sell or close your account, uninstall the game, and get rid of the game disks. Other games, it isn't so easy because the game is so very easily downloaded. For these types of games, you may need to get the site blocked or even go so far as to remove access to your internet or computer. Only you can decide what you need to do to completely stop. If you need help with a specific game, just ask in the forums and chances are someone will be able to help you.
Okay, now you have uninstalled the game and are probably wondering what to do next. This is another hard step for you. You have to do other things (preferably away from the computer) to fill the void of time. Nothing will seem exciting at first because they all lack luster and seem boring. You need to get out and do something anyway. With time, the fun and excitement will return, but only if you keep trying. Here is a link to a list to help give you ideas of things you can do:
While it isn't a comprehensive list, it is meant to give you ideas of other things you can do.
You may experience withdrawal symptoms once you quit the game. Often, gamers will experience exhaustion, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These symptoms are normal and will fade the longer you are away from the game. However, if any of these symptoms persist or become very strong, please seek profession help. If you find yourself feeling desperate or have any thoughts of harming yourself or feeling suicidal, it is important that you get professional help immediately. There are links to some providers and facilities in the Professional References section of this site. The main thing, when seeking professional help, is to make sure that the counselor/therapist believes in gaming addiction or at the very least is willing to help you with addictions in general. If they do not believe or are not willing to help you specifically with addiction, then you need to seek help elsewhere. Now the real work begins.
Each of us seems to have issues that originally contributed to our gaming addiction. These are different and varied, but in order to stay away from games or not turn to other addictions, these issues need to be dealt with. One method of working through these issues is through the use of the 12 steps which are listed on the main page of this website. Whether you choose to use these steps, just the general support of this website, professional help or any combination of the above, we are here to help you move forward in life. Welcome to OLGA.
Modified by LearningSerenity 8/17/2013