Anyone have any advice?

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Murray1
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Anyone have any advice?

I have finally accepted that I have struggled with gaming over the years. It has often been excessive and impacted on various areas of my life. Single player gaming has been my issue, I think it is something about the way it fires my imagination. I am not escaping from anything; I have a fantastic fiancee, a job I enjoy and derive worth from, and great friends and family. I think it is just about the way the genre allows stories to be told and interacted with.

I have stopped single player gaming for the last three months, but I play a few hours a week online with friends. This is a massive reduction from the 20-25 hours a week I’d play. The reduction has allowed me to reconnect with old hobbies, and repair damage with my partner.

However, I have no desire to stop playing single player games long term. I enjoy them, and want to be able to use them responsibly, but not to the expense of everything else. I am sorry if the seems naive. My plan, which I would like this forum’s thoughts on, is to limit my gaming in a given week to 5 hours, forever, to be spread between single and multiplayer games. Before I would even consider returning to this, I want to meet some personal milestones – things that my gaming has previously impacted on. I have set specific goals for myself to achieve before I would consider returning to single player gaming. I have already met one in the last few months, but I have several more to go. I am in no rush.

I don’t suffer addictive effects anywhere else in life, and it is infuriating that I do with this. What do people think of my plan? Are there any other strategies I have not considered to mitigate the addictive element of gaming that has helped others here before? 

May Light
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Hi Murray1

In a book I read a few years ago (Unfortunately I can't remember neither the title nor the author at the top of my head but will look into a write back), the doctor who wrote the book recommended that the total amount of time spent in gaming should not exceed 6 hours per week (provided that each sitting is no longer than an hour) in order to protect the brain from any negative effects. If you can moderate it like this, it seems fine..... but can you moderate, that is the question...Good luck!

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

May Light
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The book I mentioned in my

The book I mentioned in my previous post is " Think Smart" written by Richard Restak, M.D. (neuroscientist). Hope it helps.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

planner
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hi Murray,

hi Murray,

It could help to ask yourself whether it was the time you spent on gaming that damaged your relation with your partner or it was your state of mind?! While gaming did you feel your partner or anyone who you care about? Is it the same as if you were at work? Did you have less patience at work or with your friends when you are playing 2 hour a day? Rationally why you prefer to game instead of going to gym even if you know that the latter is better for your physical and mental health?

best wishes

 

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

Murray1
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Thanks for your responses:

Thanks for your responses:

May Light - Thank you, it is helpful to know that there is something "hard" to back up a number that I have put on my gaming that just felt right to me. The limiting the time in a single session is something that I had not considered, and will take on board. 

planner - I believe it was both that damaged my relationship. The quantity of gaming reduced the amount of time we spent together doing quality, relationship building things. But when I wasn't gaming I was less present, so to speak. Now I feel much more invested in the relationship, and like I am making more of an effort. I certainly took it for granted. I believe that it will require vigilance in the long term to ensure that I don't fall into this same trap. Thank you for your perspective.  

planner
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Answering those questions

Answering these questions helps to know if anyone could have an addiction. In my case, i didn’t know that i had a serious problem till my life has become unmanageable. After working on my recovery, i went back to know where this has started. Only recently i realised that before ten years i failed one year in the university because of gaming and always had average grades, i know now that i lost the trust of my best friend at that time also because of gaming. At that time i still had a reasonable life, spent more time with friends and i thought i just had a problem in controlling  my playing time which exaggerated when my life got tougher.

"Recovery is not about dealing with gaming. Recovery is about dealing with Life"

struggling_gamer
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Gaming in moderation

Hi Murray1,

My experience (with just over 60 days away from video games this time around) is that if you're really addicted to video games, you won't be able to stick to your plan in the long term. There will be times where you set out to play an hour and end up playing two, etc.

In a different program I'm a part of we talk about being able to control and enjoy our using. Do you stop after an hour feeling agitated that you have to stop? It will be interesting to see if you can stick to your plan and if not, you may have to abstain entirely if you wish to be free from the bonds of addiction.

Remember that addiction has two parts. One part is that once we start, we can't consistently predict when we're going to stop. This means that, as mentioned above, sometimes when we set out to play for an hour we'll end up playing for two or three, etc. "Normal" gamers don't do this. They play for how long they tell themselves they're going to play, every time. The other part is an obsession of the mind, where we go back to games after telling ourselves that we're going to stop. On our own power, we can't control the obsession to not start gaming. These two parts create a powerlessness because 1) once we start we can't predict when we're going to stop and 2) we can't stay stopped.

Keep us posted on how your experiment goes. If it turns out that you can't stick to the 5 hours a week, let us know. We have a way out :) BTW, I was just like you where I really didn't want to stop gaming. I loved gaming. I also have a demanding job, a girlfriend who is about to become a fiance, etc. In those 5-10 hours a week I told myself I was going to game I've picked up playing the guitar, exercising, and meditation. All three of these have been infinitely more rewarding than gaming ever was (i.e. I feel significantly better after having done any of these three things than I did after a gaming session, even if it was a short one).

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