My son is a 20 year old video game addict

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mibrze
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My son is a 20 year old video game addict

My son is a video game addict

I have visited this site before for the comfort of knowing I was not alone in my despair.  I am the father of a just turned 20 year old gaming addict.  I've joined the site today as things came to a head this past weekend.  Honestly, it should have come to a head a couple years ago.  I guess it's because my wife and I wanted to believe things would resolve themselves, that my son would eventually "get it".  After all, he is a smart kid.  It's just a phase. 

I found out this weekend that my son failed the two community college classes he took in the fall semester.  I had logged on to pay his spring semester tuition and his grades were posted.  I saw the two F's.  This is after failing all four courses he took last spring.  At that time we had the family discussion that we had had on several occasions back when he was in high school.  He admitted at that time that he stopped going to classes in order to play computer games.  He was addicted to World of Warcraft.  He said he deleted his account and was done playing as he realized he was messing up things big time.  He agreed to take two courses in the fall, two of the ones he had failed in the spring, as a fresh start.  We trusted him.  But I did cut off his internet connection at midnight so that he could not play thru the night.

He continued to play games in his room at times and when I would approach him, he said it was different games, not WOW.  I checked and indeed WOW was not on his laptop but he did have several new games.  He would sit and appear to be doing homework during the week and whenever questioned as to how he was doing, he would say, "pretty sure I'm doing good."  Yet he never had tests to show us and there was no way to check with the school.  I had my doubts but wanted to trust him.  Obvioulsy it was misplaced trust.  He admitted this weekend that he failed because he didn't go to class for a stretch of 3 weeks(because he was playing games) and then couldn't make up all he missed.  I have serious doubts he went much at all. 

I blame myself for this.  I was the one who bought him a computer for his room when he was sophomore in high school.  I let him play countless hours in his room instead of making him spend more time with the family.  As his marks spiralled downward, we would have a talk, he would make promises, we would see an improvement, but then things would go back to constant gaming.  I should have pulled the plug on things two years ago.  I didn't.  After barely graduating from high school, we talked about how community college was a new chance to get himself together and make a plan for his life.  He wasn't gung ho on attending but agreed it was the right thing to do.  His first semester of four courses, he finished with a 2.0.  He worked part time(18-20 hours/week).  I thought he was on the right track.  Now the 6 courses he took in 2009, all F's.  The school won't let him back for the upcoming semester. 

So this past weekend, I told him there would be no more gaming for him in my house.  I took his laptop, I took his playstation 3 games(including the 3 new ones I got him for Christmas).  I explained that not being a student, he was now not covered for any health benefits.  I told him he needs to go find a full time job with benefits.  His only response is "I know I messed up."

So now all he has is his part time job.  He can't take classes.  He can't play games.  He has no real friends.  I am furious with him.  I want to give him an ultimatum, i.e., get a full time job with benefits in 3 months or find another place to live.  My wife disagrees and wants to give him time to "figure things out".  He is not a bad kid.  In fact he is a good kid except for his total lack of motivation to do anything other than play video games. 

I am afraid of what the next days, weeks, months hold for him.  He is lost.  I am lost.  I am heartbroken by his lies and deceit.  I cry for his wasted years.  I fear for his future.  I don't know what to do next.  I do know I needed to type this and share this story. 

 

 

 

 

 

mibrze

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Welcome, Mrbrze.  I'm sorry

Welcome, Mrbrze. I'm sorry that you are experiencing what so many of us have but also glad that you've found us. There are those of us who really, truly understand what you are going through.

Let me first say that none of this is your fault. Internet gaming isn't even an accepted addiction and it still gets relatively little exposure. I think every one of us parents has purchased computers, game systems and games for our kids. Let's not forget that there are tons of other parents who have done that only their children, for whatever reason, did not become compulsive enough for it to affect their lives negatively.

One thing I will ask is that you have your wife read posts from other parents. We had zero success with our son as long as we were not in agreement about how to handle his gaming. In our case, my husband was the one who thought he could "ease him out of it." Unfortunately, our collective experience has taught us that you can't ease out of a gaming addiction by reducing game time any more than you can ease out of a heroin addiction by using 3 times daily, instead of 5.

I don't personally have a problem with ultimatums. When our son came home from rehab, we gave him a boatload of expectations. The consequence for not following them was to be kicked out of the house. He's a smart boy :) and it didn't take long for him to realize that life at home is a lot easier (and financially manageable) than life on his own. You can certainly set expectations. If he doesn't meet them, then you have the right to ask him to leave. But I would always be prepared to allow him to come back if he becomes interested in following the rules in lieu of living on his own, at least until he matures and becomes more self-sufficient.

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One more thing before I

One more thing before I forget. Your story is so very similar to ours. We, too, were experiencing the spiraling grades; he'd always improve, but just long enough to have gaming privileges restored. And then BAM!, we were back to square one. With each restoration and subsequent internet/game removal, the response and behavior became increasingly negative and scary.

Add to that the deceit and manipulation. In our case, the grades posted were always "wrong" or hadn't been updated. When we reached the end of our road, we were in a dilemma. Our son was only 17 and so we were still legally responsible for him and couldn't toss him out, which was our greatest wish at the time. But we couldn't live with things the way they were, either. Our son was destroying himself and our family. He wasn't a "good" kid anymore, at least not in his interactions with us.

If I had one piece of advice for any other parents out there, it would be to take action as soon as you see things that concern you. Don't wait and hope that things will change, since that seldom happens. I am so grateful that we were able to intervene while our son was still under the age of 18. He had no choice, and the choice we made to force him into treatment and out of our house was one of the best and most successful we've ever made. If your gaming child wants to continue to live in your house, you have every right to declare it a game-free zone.

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What Wowparent said.  I'm

What Wowparent said. I'm sure that you can tough love your son, but do let him first have a chance to open up to you about what he's going through. As an addict to Wow myself, I can tell you it is impossible to master the game. Blizzard Entertainment changes the game to keep you from ever getting to the point where you can stop trying to get good...it's like carrot on a stick. The rabbit runs and runs and never gets the carrot. That is the realization that finally got me interested enough in quitting the game that I googled gaming addiction. I wanted to moderate and had already failed repeatedly to do so. For a long time...perhaps a year, I was unable to quit. But it took me over 3 years to get to that realization that I wanted to quit but could not.

Good luck with getting your son the help he needs. Keep us posted.

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Mibrze, Glad you found this

Mibrze, Glad you found this site. As said your story is so familar and like you our big sock in the gut was the lies. Our son is off WOW, he is 21 and at home for past 3 1/2 months and his motivation is still very near 0 but his restlessness is getting better. He is lucky that one of his part time jobs now provides insurance but over the past 2 years he was in the very boat your son is. I sure wish I had some better insight but when he moved back home we made it a completely game free house. He was only working part time so we insisted he get another job to make a 40 hour work week. He had tried manipulating me (mom) when dad wasnt home to play for just 2 hours but coming here helps me not cave and it is paying off. He did go out and buy a laptop a couple of weeks ago to park at a friend's and we found out. Dad had a talk without me around and it went back to the store full refund and he has kept quiet since about any playing. My son still doesnt shower regularly, he doesnt make any attempts to talk but I know he knows we care but he is definetly "in his own world."

person

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Wow (not WoW), your post is

Wow (not WoW), your post is giving me flashbacks to three years ago, except that our son got himself kicked out of a state university, and I so wished we had sent him to CC first. At least you sent your son to CC first. Don't beat yourself up. It is what it is. Time to look forward and have a plan. If your son is reasonably healthy, he should be able to get an individual health insurance policy fairly inexpensively. My nonsmoking 26-year-old pays about 80 bucks a month for his high-deductible policy. It will save us from bankruptcy if he ever gets truly ill. Go to www.ehealthinsurance.com and get some quotes. Some states will let you keep a kid up to the age of 25 on your policy even if he is not a student. Illinois is one. Check it out in your state.

If he is not going to school, he should be working full time or more. Don't let him feed you the line that there are no jobs out there. Our town has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and one of the highest in the country, but my two sons have 5 part-time jobs between them and are supporting themselves and putting money in savings. There isn't a lot for partying, etc, but they do OK. If he absolutely cannot find a job anywhere, you can require that he sign up to volunteer somewhere on a regular basis, and then make him a list of all the jobs you need done around your house for him.

A deadline for moving out or paying rent is a good idea. If he says it can't be done, give him a copy of the book "Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream" by Adam Shepard and tell him you will be happy to drop him off at the homeless shelter in the American city of his choice if he doesn't meet his deadline.

Welcome to OLG-Anon. You are not alone. Hugs to you

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

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This is my first time on,

This is my first time on, was very glad to find this site. My 22 year old son lost his job due to gaming. He was always late and tired at work. He loved his job but not as much as gaming. At the same time his grandfather died, my son had no way to pay his share of the rent and moved in with his grandmother. we all thought this was a great move to help both of them....but....now his grandmother pays for his internet..he's into warcraft. She also feeds him and no bills to pay. He will not look for a job and my mother-in-law will not turn off the internet at my request. I feel I am in a hopeless situation and have lost my son.

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Welcome to the boat,

Welcome to the boat, debbie54. Keep us posted on your progress in dealing with your son's addiction.

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The story sounds so familiar

The story sounds so familiar with my son's. Th3 constant "the grades online are wrong" or they are bad because of the teacher, etc, etc is all we heard about in high school and even his first 2 semesters in college. I also know what a horrible, empty feeling it is when you go to pay his tution online and by accident you see his bad grades. I remember when that happend to me for the first time in the fall. I was at work, and after seeing his grades, I felt that a ton of brick had hit me. I could no longer work nor do anything except to feel that I am going to wake up any minute from this nigtmare.

All I can say is that I feel your pain and also his.

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Welcome, debbie54.  Read

Welcome, debbie54. Read more of the stories here and see if you can get grandma to do the same. Maybe grandma will get tired of waiting on your son hand and foot after awhile.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

mibrze
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I want to thank all of you

I want to thank all of you kind people who have posted to my comment. The past few years have been tough at times and this past week has been the worst. Giving my son chance after chance only to finally realize that he has thrown every one away because of gaming. I've sat at my desk in work all week unable to clear my head. I'm trying to accept that my hopes for my son and his future are now on a precipice. He has wasted his two years since graduating from high school. He is no better off now than he was then. I know that college is not for everyone yet I also know he has the capacity to excel in school if not for this gaming addiction. I also know from reading other posts that the situation could be worse and I'm thankful that it's not and my heart goes out to those parents who are dealing or have dealt with an even tougher situation. I thank you for sharing your stories. It's so difficult to watch our child go down this addictive path. I know I look at the pictures I have in my office of his happy 12 year old smile and wonder how he could have gotten to this point and it hurts me deeply inside. But as gamersmom said above, I know I must stop lamenting what has past and could have been and instead move forward and deal with what is. I'm trying.

mibrze

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How do you make a "Game Free

How do you make a "Game Free Zone"? Do you have to physically take the whole computer away, or is there a technical way to block WOW and gaming?

Since I am a single mother of a 21 year old addicted son, I am considering hiring a bouncer to pack his things and send him somewhere. I am guilty of being the enabler and I am paying the price now. I just need to find somewhere to send him where he can't install an ethernet cord I.V. back in his arm.

Has anyone beat this addiction yet? I would be interested in someone's success in changing their child's behavior?

I am afraid the only solution will only be a "showdown" of someone physically throwing him out in order to wake him up. Does anyone have any better ideas?

Thanking you in advance for any advise.

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Welcomes, fasthouses.  I do

Welcomes, fasthouses. I do think it's possible, though not at all easy, to make a home game-free. Since your son isn't interested in recovery he likely won't give you the information you need to set parental controls. We had all WoW-related URLs blocked from our internet. One of our parents kept the modem under lock and key in their bedroom closet when it wasn't in use for work or school.

Even if you make your home game-free, there isn't a darned thing you can do to keep someone off outside of your home. Where there is a will, there is a way. All you need is $15.00 a month and a computer with wireless internet; Starbucks and McDonald's have WiFi. We've heard of kids who spend hours every day sitting in a place like that, just playing.

I don't think we'd have had a choice but to follow the path you're considering had we not taken action before our son turned 18. We had him picked up and taken to a wilderness location for 60 days and then on to another 8 months in a therapeutic environment (with no access to technology of any kind, not even a telephone). Even at that, it was at least 5 months before our son finally accepted his addiction and started the recovery process.

But, we were successful. Our son is now doing well in college and in his personal life and is right on track with others his age. He is a typical 20 year old in every way. He hasn't touched WoW or any other game for 3+ years.

person
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Fasthouses, Keep reading

Fasthouses, Keep reading here. Search every knook and cranny of this site there are many good posts. For us when our son also 21 lived here I installed a parental control from our internet provider and blocked every application I thought WOW had to use. It also had a timer that would kick him off after 2 hours daily and only between certain hours a day. If that hadnt of worked I would have taken the router with me to work every day. I also checked his activity reports that the parental controls provided.

One day about a month ago it had a site listed that was a update or something with a guild and we confronted him. He couldnt live here and play here or anywhere else. The next day he bought a laptop on credit and moved out. If I were you I would get as many sane responsible adults to support you as you can. Especially when you confront him. If it had just been me I would have been caved into my son's wishes but my husband and my 17 year old son made it very clear to my addict son that our home was not his to trash with his addictive lifestyle.

I know many parents on here have great advice on changing the locks, giving the ultimatums,taking them to a shelter, etc. You may have to involve the police or local sherrif. What I have learned is that my son has to want to beat it and I cant make that happen but I can let him know that I wont enable him to continue this destruction of his life.

Our son has said he knows WOW can be a problem for him but last we spoke of it he thinks he can control it better now. After he lost his previous apartment and went in patient in the hospital for depression and suicidal plans.

You have the right to take control of your home. He is an adult and it's time he knows that. I know you will get many other responses with better advice. Also for me I spent time telling my son I was sorry for enabling him and also repenting to God for my negligence in parenting, they both forgave me. But then after a few months it really sunk in that I am imperfect and human it's in the past move on. Also knowing that not every kid gets addicted I have 2 other kids that I didnt do anything different but they arent addicted. But I couldnt let that guilt rule me and let my son use that guilt against me. That helped me stand more firm in NO gaming here or anywhere while he was recieving food and shelter at our expense.

But where you are single I hope you have at least one other adult to help you stand against him and think of your son's behavior and temper. Will he react violently? Has he been physical with you before? Take care of yourself.

person

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We made out home a game-free

We made out home a game-free zone, but it wasn't easy, and I think if our son had been more determined to game, he could have done it. Our house was set up pretty well for it to begin with, so that helped. The router was in our computer room, which we built over the garage, behind our bedroom. It is only accessible through our bedroom. We put a lock on our bedroom door and kept the router in there. We kept the connections to all of the other computers unplugged and unplugged the wireless router at night. Our son was in community college so needed a computer to do his homework. We put his computer in the guest room with the monitor facing the door and put a lock on that door too. He was only allowed to hook up the internet connection to that computer if we were home and awake. We told him that he would have to plan ahead for internet use or go over to the college and use their computers. The computers at the college had internet filters that blocked gaming sites. When I read in the campus newspaper that some students and faculty were agitating to remove the filters, I called the head of IT and sent an anonymous letter to the president of the faculty explaining why they should not remove the filters. I don't know how big a part I played, but the filters stayed.

As I said, my son probably could have circumvented our efforts, but I think on some level he knew he had to get his act together and was relying on us to help him avoid temptation. Maybe he would have been able to stay out of the game without relying on the barricades we put up, but having lost $13000 on wasted college tuition already, I was not willing to risk it. My gift to him was to help him stay out of the game until he got his associate's degree. I hope someday he will appreciate what we did, but even if he doesn't, I am glad we did it. Now at least he has a degree, and what he does with it is up to him.

If he had tried to circumvent our efforts, we intended to kick him out of the house. If you do decide to try to make your house a game-free zone, you need to have a plan in place for what happens if he violates the rules. He needs to know up front what will happen, and you need to be prepared to follow through. I have taken to recommending a book to parents called "Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream" by Adam Shepard. Read it, then give your son a copy and tell him that you have full faith in his ability to survive if you drop him off at the nearest homeless shelter with a backpack full of clothes, a sleeping bag, and 25 dollars in his pocket. good luck to you.

"Small service is true service while it lasts.  Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one

The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,

Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth

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Hello everyone. I just

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ElizabethJ
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  I have told my story on

I have told my story on another thread but I can't find it. Suffice to say, we all walk in each other's shoes. My son left home 8 years ago, never looked back. We had no idea he was addicted to gaming. It's games for goodness sake. Who gets addicted to games?? Who indeed!!

My son is now 28 years old, never worked a day in his life, and besides gaming, he's a compulsive gambler. Honestly, we don't even know what he looks like. He sends me a card on a holiday with a five dollar bill in it. We do not speak on the phone. I don't even know if he has a phone. He got himself on SSI, telling us that "he needs to be taken care of, that all his needs are met".

We've been doing this for 8 years. I don't beat myself up anymore. Nothing I can do. I wasted YEARS trying to reach him. He denies that he's addicted. I sent him to this forum, (we sometimes email each other, that's the only way I know he's still living) And this is a college graduate we are talking about. This is what he emailed me:

"I don't have a gaming addiction. I watch TV and play games to pass the time and maintain what little sanity I have. If I did not have TV shows to watch and video games to play I would be bored and more depressed more than I currently am. They keep me alive. Gaming addicts are people who play games non stop and nothing else matters and can't do anything else that needs to get done. They also obsess about games and think only about playing. I play my games when I want to take a break from watching TV shows and movies. I do have a gambling problem which is not a problem as long I stay out of a casino. The only problem I have with gambling is when I start betting its hard for me to quit. An addiction is an obsession with something and an uncontrollable urge to do it."

I replied saying "oh, you are 28 years old and you know everything??"

He replied with:

"I don't know everything. There are many things I don't know, but I do know what addiction is. According to your definition anyone that plays an online game is an addict. It is only an addiction if it dominates your life. I can watch as much TV and play as much games as I want during the day because I have nothing else that I have to do. But it does not cause to miss appointments that I have to go to or things that I have to. If I had something else to do like say go on vacation and I could not play video games for a couple of weeks or a month. I would be fine because I have other stuff to do to prevent boredom since it would be a vacation. This is assuming of course I had the money to go on a vacation which I don't. An addict could not go on vacation with out thinking of playing games and would seek out a computer or bring a laptop with them. I hope you see the difference between an addict and someone who just enjoys playing games to prevent boredom."

This much I can tell all of you. We will never win this. We have to start putting ourselves first. It's exactly like any other addiction, only this one affects all the youngsters who have a computer. To me, this makes it more dangerous. They start getting the video game consoles at age 3, WAY TOO YOUNG. It affects the neurons of the brain. It affects the dopamine level. They really have no chance. Whoever designed this, knows exactly what they are doing.

Want to know what I read on the internet the other day. I had typed into Google, "the future of gaming", and one piece of info came up that scared me to death. It seems that there is technology in development that will let a gamer control their avatar WITH THEIR MIND.

They are doing this NOW. Who know when this technology will be available. If I could go back in time, I would never have let any video gaming systems into the house. I would have NEVER done this. But no one knew. It affects young brains differently than let's say a 15 year old who has never played a game. By the time they are 13 or 14, you can't drag them out of their rooms, especially if they are socially awkward.

My son is lost to me and to my husband. He does not care one bit about either one of us. He never asks for photos (once he moved out, he neve asked). He started gambling, he started gaming, he went on SSI, went into Room and Board, and Board and Cares, and now lives alone in a miserable apartment in California and all he does is go on the computer. He even gave up his cable tv telling me "all my shows are on the computer so why should I pay for cable".

This is all he does night and day. GO ON THE COMPUTER.

This is very hard for a parent to face. We all had hopes and dreams. I see my husband's sister with her two daughters, and their grandchildren, and all is well and normal. That is not so in my household. We raised a son for 20 years. We were close. Sure he had behavior problems in school. What kid doesn't? But we had rules and regulations, and he did what he had to do. And then he got a full scholarship to college, and as soon as he graduated, he moved out. He had never been away from home, but at age 20, he took a trip to Arizona, checked it out, got a room-mate, and later moved to California and went on SSI. I never saw this coming when he was a kid. I don't anyone can see this coming.

What will the future bring for all these kids who stay in their rooms, apartments, WHATEVER, and all they do is game? I feel for the parents.

Because I am one!

Eliz

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My son is a videogame addict

My son is a videogame addict and I blame myself all of the time. It started when he was 5 years old and I gave him is first gameboy color in 1999. Every XMAS was a new game system, he would play all the time and as a single mom it kept him busy so I could take care of the home and everything else.

I didn't start to see the problems with it until it was too late and his grades and performance at school were always questioned. I would take the games away, he would get better at school and I would give the games back. By 8th Grade he lost all of his friends because of his gaming addiction as they all wanted to pursue other things in life. I didn't understand why he hated scouts and every thing I tried to get him involved in, but now I know he just wants to play games.

Then he was a Sophmore at trade school and on the varsity soccer team and I thought he would do better but he always seems turn inward and go back to playing games. My life fell apart when I discovered he met a girl on line and dropped out of school to fly across the country to be with her. Everyone said to let him go because he would find a way. I sold all of his videogame stuff to buy tickets to get him home when it didn't work out. He got his job back and was (I thought) saving money and improving his life, he got his GED at 19 and his permit. Told me he was saving money because I am suppose to get married and rent my house to him and a friend, but he is staying up all night every night playing video games again and bought all new systems. Not saving his money and eating pizza and drinking soda every night. Sleeping all day and rushing to get to work. Found out he has no money (I do make him pay me $400/month).

I feel bankrupt spiritually, and depressed all the time and unhappy. I blame myself for spoiling him when he was younger. He is my son and I feel like I have to fix things in order for me to be happy and move on with my life! I am so broken right now as I type this. My son is wasting his life away. He never had a life, this world of technology is destroying us all :(

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Lizzy, the first step you

Lizzy, the first step you can take is to stop blaming yourself. There are millions of parents around the world who purchased gaming consoles and video games for their children. Unfortunately, our children were among the ones who became hopelessly consumed by them. None of us could have predicted that. And if we could have, I'm sure we would never have proceeded the way we did.

There is a parents' meeting in the chatroom this evening at 9:00 EST. We would love to have you join us and it may help you to learn that there are many others in a situation similar to yours.

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Hi Lizzybeth50 Wecome to

Hi Lizzybeth50

Wecome to Olg-anon. We feel your pain and disappointment.

I so identify with the way your son is conducting his life at present. I have a similar son.

Isn't hind-sight a 'wonderful' thing? If we could all have our time again I know that I would make some changes, but who is to know whether that would have affected the outcome anyway? You cannot avoid computers these days and there is something inside that just clicks with these kids.

Please dont waste your time or sanity on a guilt trip. You did not cause his addiction. Period.

Your son is an adult now and needs to take responsibility. And you need to let him find his path. You cannot control his life choices if he is living independantly. But you can stop making it easy to live this lifestyle; then he may have to take steps to grow up.

For example, make sure he is paying full market rent, ban gaming in your home

I am worried that he may let you down if he is living in your home; if he loses his job what will you do for rent? You will probably put up with it and he will be even more enabled. My son was living on his own in our appartment and he went $2000 into debt. Now he is about to move out into a rented appartment. This takes the pressure off me because if he can't sustain the rent it's not my problem and he knows we won't bail him out this time. That separation is healthy.

So I have chosen not to enable him, and then work on myself so that my happiness is not dependant on his success.

By reading posts on this website and keeping in touch you may find that you get a plan starting to form in you mind about how you are going to approach this and look after yourself. You cannot control his actions but you do not have to make his lifestyle easy, and you can control the way you interpret these events so you can still be happy

I think it is laso worthwhile you try to talk to him about your concerns. he may reject them but it may put a seed in his mind that one day will bear fruit

Hugs xx

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

mommy3
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Hi LIzzybeth and welcome to

Hi LIzzybeth and welcome to OLGA!

I'm glad you found us because this is a place where us moms (and a few dads) can truly understand the pain that comes from this addicition. My heart aches for you and I know some of what you're going through. Our story is a long one and I'm not sure we'll ever be "out of the woods" but my 19yo son is working and going to school for almost a year now since our home has been deemed game-free. I can't possibly know everything he does outside the home and there could be some game-playing at home that I don't know about, but for now, we're in a much better place than we were over a year ago when my son dropped out of school.

The meetings are very helpful and provide a sense of community which helps to feel like we're not doing this alone. Please join us if you can. If not, you will find it helpful to continue to post and be part of this community. Wishing you all the very best...it can and will get better as long as you make efforts not to enable.

May Light
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Welcome Lizzy! I am also a

Welcome Lizzy! I am also a mother who suffered a lot as a result of my son's excessive gaming. My son too dropped out of school and wasted a few years of his life gaming. But thanks to OLGA community and the knowledge and wisdom shared here together with the encouragement, understanding and the help I received from the recovering gamers and the mothers, we too made a plan and followed through. My son have been on-line game free for the last 7 months now and things are improving. We are happy to share our journey with you if you are interested.

Please don't blame yourself. In my experience, blaming myself hasn't helped anyone including my son. We can only try our best to help them out of this situation but we also should realize that we can not live their lives for them. As parents the best we can do when they are living with us is stop enabling them.

We totally understand your pain and suffering. You are definitely not alone. And I am afraid this issue is a lot more widespread then we will ever know.

Good luck and take care!

"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

kandycanefield
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Hello and thank you for

Hello and thank you for sharing, it is very difficult to bare these difficulties to others, I applaud you for that and for seeking assistance.

A poet wrote: "Of all sad words
of tongue or pen, the saddest
are these: 'It might have been!' "
The poet was J. G. Whittier, and
he was referring to things that
we regret, that we wish we could
do over and do differently. "Regret" is mental sorrow, pain of
mind, at something done or perhaps left undone, and it can mean
"to weep again." You are in very good company here, we all have done
things we wish we could go back and do differently.

Unfortunately the energy we use on this can be wasted and can keep us from moving forward into the present. But we can keep that from happening if we use our experiences as learning tools (hard lessons). I agree with May Light "As parents the best we can do when they are living with us is stop enabling them."

There is a point in which our children become adults and whether they accept it or not, are responsible for their own actions.

VFX
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You sound like a pretty good

You sound like a pretty good dad, and he should be thankful he has a parent who cares so much about him.

The fact of the matter is this, you need to be harder on him I believe. Almost flunking out of high school and flunking out of college? Jesus Christ, if I had even come CLOSE to that, well, I can't even imagine what my parents would have done to me. You can bet for **** sure I'd have probably never touched another video game in my life as long as I still lived in their house.

VFX
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That leads me to another

That leads me to another point, is I think a lot of you parents on here are MUCH too soft on your children. Almost as if -you- are the child and they are telling -you- what they are going to do. Son plays video games too much? Prevent it. You are the parent, the most important teacher in your son's life. Hell, as an adult I wish my parents would have been even harder on me at times. I think one of the best things you could do is teach them to succeed. Are you afraid or unable to sit them down and have a man to man conversation? Be frank and let him know that if he doesn't get his **** together, he's going to ruin his life forever. Does he want to ever have a girl interested in him? Because "I failed out of college and sit in my parent's house and play video games all day." isn't a very good icebreaker. Again, teach them how to succeed. Don't enable failure.

mommy3
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VFX Thank you for your

VFX

Thank you for your straight forward, no nonsense approach. I appreciate your honesty. We look forward to the day when our kids will thank us for preventing them from gaming in the home. Your words give us hope. There's probably a lot of truth to the fact that some of us can be too soft on our children at times, or at first, until the reality of the problem completely soaks in. Agreed, it doesn't do any good to continue enabling. I find that most parents who see video game playing as a problem do want to prevent it. However, most HS/college students need the internet for homework. Some parents need the internet for work in the home or to attend to impt emails, banking, shopping, etc. It's difficult for us "less technologically inclined" parents to manage to block/monitor gaming activity while allowing varied access to the internet. We welcome any comments you (or others) can share on various devices/methods that can't be easily hacked. Some of us have considered the following:

Skydog

iboss

Covenant Eyes

Technology management in the home is important but not yet commonplace, unfortunately. Wish we had had the tools of today 20 years ago when computer games for kids were considered a great thing.

Thank you again for sharing!

VFX
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I am really glad you

I am really glad you appreciate what I said. I'm not trying to offend anybody here but get through to the fact that this is a very serious matter, it's your child's life! They deserve the very best, and if you didn't want the best for your children, you wouldn't be here. As a young adult, i thank you and applaud all of you for making the effort to better your children's lives.

As for specific software to use to block games and/or the internet, I think you would know better than I as I have never researched them. One thing I would like to add is that when installing such a program, what is almost even MORE important is the fact that your child knows you mean business by this. Serious business. The thought of trying to circumvent the system you put in place shouldn't even cross their mind, for they know the consequences would be much greater.

I know this is hard, but you know what... sometimes saying no, and putting your foot down, while difficult, feels really good. Even when you love someone so much you would do anything for them to make them happy, that isn't always the best thing to do. Sometimes you have to upset them a little. It makes them learn. The hard way maybe, but maybe that's the best way.

mommy3
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Great post VFX, thanks again!

Great post VFX, thanks again!

babooska
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I am a single mother, my son

I am a single mother, my son is turning 18 next week and I have lost control. on the positive he does attend college and is successful in the subjects he can achieve easily. The rest of his life is spent on the computer. He doesn't get up until 3pm and will spend 14 hrs aday on the computer, every day, doesn't wash, dress or eat properly. He refueses to acknowledege any problems in his life and just puts the head set on and blocks out reality. He believes his true friends are his online friends and see's them as a source of support. I have gone through the check test and the answer is yes to all of it. I have tried every trick in the book to encourage him to live life but because he doesnt drink or smoke feels he has nothin in common with his peers at college, in fact he looks down on them. If is out he can't wait to get back and on the computer. I feel confused, does he have a problem? I know there are alcholics who go to work and mask their addiction very well until something happens and it all goes wrong, i feel like he is on the blink and I don't know what to do.

Polga
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Hi babooska   Welcome to

Hi babooska

Welcome to Olg-anon ! This site has so much information. I hope you are able to find the answers you are seeking. I found it helpful to read posts on the addicts forum and those of other parents like myself who have identified that games are holding back our growing-up children. The sticky posts in the blue area are a good place to start.

I remember feeling quite disorientated when I first came to this site. It had only just occurred to me that gaming was the main driver for my son's failure to develop as an adult. I also felt powerless in the situation. I think once you gather the information you need and think it through, and a make a plan, you will find some stability and a way to move forward.

In my eyes, and I assume yours, your son does have a problem. The trouble is, he does not accept that at the moment because that is his normality, so much of what you say that you think makes sense about what he should be doing, he may not accept.

In my opinion, gaming is so much fun (at the outset) and stimulation for addicted gamers that real life is a poor comparison. It is also a place of retreat from life's problems, but the problems tend to get worse once you are hooked.

If your son is an addict, you cannot control his addiction, but while he is living with you, you can insist he follows your rules and stipulations for him to continue living with you and for you to give him support. Once he is 18, you legally owe him nothing. If he doesn't like what you say; his choice is that he can move out.

Some parents ban gaming from the home right away, for others it may be a negotiated process of increased limitation. There are positives and negatives on what ever strategy you chose. Eventually I banned all gaming in my home for my 22 year old son and also restricted his smart phone use. Even though I knew I could not change my son's attitude, I was determined his brain would have a chance to heal while he continued to live with us. While we cannot cure an addiction, we can refuse to enable gaming. My story is here http://olganon.org/?q=node/43694

Some members, such a May Light, over a longer period of time, have managed to help their son realise he has a problem. That really helps to give hope.

We have offered my son professional therapy, but he refuses to go. Many addict gamers have underlying mental issues such as depression, ADHD, Aspergers to name but a few.

I would recommend you try getting therapy with your son, learn as much as you can and make house rules so that you are not enabling his gaming to continue unchecked. The process is easier said than done. It may take time. But to do nothing, the problem is only likely to get worse.

All the best xxx

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

mommy3
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Babooska, You're going to

Babooska,

You're going to want to start your own post. Please check your Personal Message (PM) for instructions if you need help.

babooska
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thank you both for your

thank you both for your interest and support. I have started my own post as suggested.

Polga
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I'm bumping this thread as

I'm bumping this thread as its a good one.

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

itscalledautism
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Maybe if you people stopped

Maybe if you people stopped ignoring your kids autism and blaming games for a develomental disability that is disabling enough to put them on social security, you would get somewhere. I attended college and met the number 1 WoW pvper, he was addicted according to your definition yet he is financially sound and succeeding in college. You people are some of the most backwards brain washed idiots I have ever come across. I made this account just for this post. Stop blaming games, it's called autism. 

Polga
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Hi Bob

Hi Bob

Please see the PM I sent to you.

We only want to help addicts who are looking to recover from their addiction or support the loved ones of addicts who are needing support. We do not want to drag your friend into these forums or heal him. That's his business. We are here for people seeking help.

From your post it obvious that you clearly do not understand addiction.or the mission of this site.

We have the testamonies of hundreds of people that contradict what you assert. We also have some autistic spectrum members .. they too can find/have found recovery and improve their lives by quitting gaming.

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

itscalledautism
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You are retarded and type

You are retarded and type like a low iq ignoramous incapable of accepting video games as an escape for people who do not fit in. Video games are a symptom of autism not the cause.

Polga
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Yes people who do not fit in

Yes people who do not fit in do use video games to escape. I do accept that. Some but not all of them, will become addicted. But that does not mean they are autistic either. This site is for those people who are experiencing the effects of addiction. Whether they are on the autism spectrum or not.

Many 'normal' kids without problems also can get addicted. Our members have shared their experience of that happening.

Please kindly note who ever does not have first hand experience of problem gaming , or that of a loved one of a problem gamer, should not be posting here on this forum. There are plenty of other sites to express general opinions and debate about gaming and addiction. However this is not the place.

 

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

sohail_akb@msn.com
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Storyofabrother

Hi all. I am so luck to have found this forum. You guys are absolutely amazing. I am in a very similar situation. My brother who is 18 years younger than me just turned 20 this year and was taking his Alevel again having failed once in 2016. Blue failed but thought it would be ok to prepare fake transcript to satisfy me and his old parents and then act that he has sort of personal issues stopping him from going to university. He locks himself in the room with no one allowed to go into his room and does not clean himself or take showers for days. He stays up all night and sleep during the day until late. I live in UK and came here when he was 4 years old. To me he is still that cute little boy. He and my mum and dad live in Pakistan in a decent house. I have supported him in his studies and wanted him to do best so that he could go to university abroad and build his career. He does not have any friends and really disrespect every one in the house and been telling me that I have never been there for him and no one cares for him whereas the reality is opposite. He creates argument as a way to distract from the main issue and as a defender to stop anyone reaching the main issue. He does something on computer but we are not sure what he does but whatever hour does on the computer he spend lot and lot s of time on it. We are not allowed to go into his room. He is not willing to accept That he has any problem. In his view we are the problem.

Based on experiences above can any one advise if there relative finally recovered from gaming addiction (WOW or others) and what is your sincere advice for me and my old parents. The culture in Pakistan is such as that kids normally stay at home until they get married. But My brother has said that he does not want to get married or find a job. He has other plans but refuses to tell us what other plans are making us think there aren't any. He has wasted 4 yeasts of his life. I don't know how long he is going to waste more time.

My parents are old 65plus and then are really scared of him hence my dad is very reluctant to take computer and internet away from him. Anybody your advice would be so invaluable and would be really appreciated. Thanks.

Sohail

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Storyofabrother

Please also state if there is any susceptibility from gaming addiction towards violance towards parents and drugs. Thanks.

Sohail

Polga
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Hi Sohail

Hi Sohail

Sometime there is a violent reaction if games are taken away. This needs to be planned for by getting more people involved and communicating what the consequences of violence will be. i think the whole family needs to come together to tackle this, possibiy with the help of an addiction therapist. You need to plan what is to happen in advance.

You cannot control his addiction but you can stop the family's part in all this as he is being enabled to continue his addiction by them. Addiction changes people and rewires the brain. He will not like any changes. but if nothing changes, nothing changes. Addiction will only get worse over time.

If you are serious about helping the situation you need to do a lot of learning by reading the posts on the forum so that the information becomes a part of you. There are no quick fixes. Check out all the links in this thread especially the ones about enabling and communication/interventions

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/first-aid-kit-parents-video-game-addicts-find-help-here

Read and reread the links in this thread to start with, and look to make a plan of action.

Keep coming back to read more!

 

 

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

lmb4jc
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new parent member

Just joned this group - I have a 26 y/o son who has been struggling for 5 years. He is definately addicted to gaming/internet. His psychologist sees it as a secondary issue to major depression and axiety - that he uses gaming to self medicate. We have been enabling really due to the fact we fear him spiraling down and see suicide as a real risk. To the parents whose kids have a definate mental illnes in addition to the gaming addiction, how do you know its time to cut them off? He has been working for our family business and that was actually going well until 3 weeks ago. My husband and Ieft for a 2 week vacation and he spiraled down big time without the accountability of us being around. We have offered to pay for residential treatment, but he has to get to the point he realizes he needs help. We are so sad, exhausted and burnt out. 

 

Polga
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Welcome !

Welcome !

Thank you for sharing lmb4jc

I think you are right; he has got to want some recovery for therapy to be effective; you cannot do it for him

It sounds like a chicken and egg situation

Which came first; the mental health issue or the gaming?

If it is the mental health issue , gaming can certainly be used to self medicate. but there comes a point where gaming can become a problem (as it affects the wiring of the brain and the chemicals such as dopamine) in itself and makes any mental health problem a whole lot worse. There is a thread linked in the first aid for parents of gamers called "what I would say to parents" http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/what-i-would-say-parents

My best advice is that you keep coming back to research the posts and find your answers from the parents who have gone before. That can take a great deal of time commitment. As you have reached burn out then that will be hard for you. I am so sorrry how this has affected you; I sure do understand your desire to find the answers and it is so hard to find them. 

You do not say very much about his living situation. I suggest that you and your husband see how you are enabling him to continue to game and pull back. See threads about enabling

http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-parents-olg-anon-members-only/about-enabling-what-we-need-stop-doing-really-help

You have the best will in the world but you cannot cure your son. He has to do that himself; you can only support his recovery if he takes that option and not enable him to game. The rest is up to him

Have you talked to the folks at reSTART ? They may be able to advise you.

There is a parents meeting on Thursday . Click the link below

 

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

Polga
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If you are a parent of a

If you are a parent of a video game addict  the  threads below may be useful place to start learning more. Sign up to get access to the member only forums for more information if required.

Welcome information for parents of minor children with gaming problems:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers-open-forum/help-i-think-my-minor-child-addicted-video-games

Welcome information for parents of adult children with gaming problems:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers-open-forum/help-i-think-my-adult-child-addicted-video-games

The importance of parents stopping enabling their addicted kids:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/parents-must-stop-enabling-video-game-addicts

What an addict would like to tell you about mental health problems and compulsive gaming:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/what-i-would-say-parents

Some of our member stories:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/members-stories

First Aid kit for parents of video game addicts:

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers/first-aid-kit-parents-video-game-addicts

 

INFO

Help for gamers here

Help for parents of gamers here

Help for spouses/SO's of gamers here

Parent's online meeting THURSDAY 9pmEST/EDT click here

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

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