Gaming addiction; When they are failing in college

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Polga
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Gaming addiction; When they are failing in college

We have had many parents who have been concerned about their bright intelligent kids dropping grades and eventually dropping out  of college when unmanaged video gaming starts to take over their life. The parents are no longer there to moderate their use as they did when they were at home.

Please add your own experiences of this.

I have linked to a couple of older threads which give very good advice around what the parents can do about it when their kids are failing in college

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers-open-forum/need-help-son-failing-college

http://www.olganon.org/forum/i-need-help-parents-gamers-open-forum/need-guidance-letting-college-son-suffer-consequences

 

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

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chomsky
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Son About to Leave College 2nd Time; Feel options limited

I'm a single, single mom whose son never met his dad. I have just one son who managed to get accepted to a top-tiered school that waived his tuition. He had the signs of gaming addiction before he started college (it wasn't until this year I realized this was a real addiction and that my son has it full blown) (stealing, staying up all night to play, not getting a job). He got through the 1st semester last year but into the 2nd, I utlimately found out he stopped classes, lost weight, stopped taking showers, and stayed up all night gaming. He came home, took medical leave, and went through some "motions" of seeing a therapist and psychiatrist that cost me a bunch of $ and did some stealing along the way. I didn't think he'd make it back, back he got reinstated. He started back OK but before Thanksgiving I got a call from his case manager that some professors called with concern. Day one back home for T'giving vaca he stole a credit card. When he got back to school (he had good grades up to that point) deja vu, and he went back full throttle into isolotion mode. He also had stolen more credit cards. I had paid $8000 for room and board, out the window. But since the apt. he convinced me he needed (to live alone, bad move on my part) owned by college, where he's still at, he could stay at - he stayed there while I researched gaming addiction treatment centers. I got my parents to chip in and I decided to go into my savings and offered him Restart. He refused. Then I told him I'd consider him coming home if he had a plan - he had none. Classes started on the 21st, he said he'd register, he didn't. The moment of truth is upon us. I found out there's another treatment place close to my home in Florida recommended by Dr. Cliff Sussman - one of the few gaming experts but I believe it costs an arm and a leg and I doubt I can afford it. My son has advised he'll refuse to go. He says he'll work and understands I'll call the police if he steals again. I live with my 81 year old mom who also raised him. I work full time. If I shut off the internet then I can't use it - I like to use it and I'm not sure that's the answer. My son clearly needs mental health treatment also. I'm overwhelmed - any advice now that the moment of truth is upon me. My son is 20 years old. THANK YOU!!!

Polga
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Welcome chomsky

Welcome chomsky

There is an online meeting for parents on Thursdays. See the link in my signature

I recommend you also have a look at the info for parents linked in my signature

From what you have told me in no way is he ready or able to do college right now. That can wait. If he wants to go then he should find a way to pay for it.

You need to extracate yourself from any further finacial liabilty for college and accomodation. I don't quite understand on what basis his is still living in a college house. If it means you are still liable for further rental then i would try and reason with the college that he had a mental illness and as he is no longer effectively in college they should evict him. See if you can get some pastoral support from them. You could always threaten adverse publicity if they will not help you.

You cannot make him do therapy if he does not want to do it. Save your money; don't waste it. He may want to later.

What you can do is to stop enabling him to game. There is a thread about enabling in the parent's information linked below

Also learn about boundaries; its your house, your rules if he come home.

If you make your interenet secure (modem locked away so it cannot be tampered with) and do not allow him the password ( change it if he knows it already) then it is possible to keep your connection. In your home you can also insist that he gives you all his devices, to lock away. If he refuses the alternative would be to drop him off at the nearest homeless shelter or give him two weeks to move out. He would then have to get a job and be responsibile etc to get his own place; less time to game.

He needs to feel some heavy consequences to want to change. Do not make life easy for him

I feel for you, but things can turn around. You just have to try to accept that life is not going to go the way you hoped, for now.

ALso look at how you can support and be kind to yourself.

Read as much as you can on the forums.

 

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

chomsky
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Thank you and I hear you

Thank you and I've been reading so much here. I actually had him sign a release for everything when he returned this year. I called today and found out he was emailed early this month that the school DISMISSED him for his GPA, I presume (he had a time to appeal) - not sure he read the email. I spoke to asst. dir. of case managers, she said he possibly could take medical leave and still come back some day. I mentioned video game addiction - hadn't heard of it! This is a top 20 university. My son is supposed to call me in a bit. I work long hours as a single mom so this is challenging. I have appt. tomorrow to check out a digitial addiction center tomorrow. They do withdrawal then reintegration with tech. But unless they make it affordable, not sure. My other plan is to cancel the internet and & use my iphone if needed. I'll take away his and give him a flip phone. I live with my 81 year old mom who promised she won't enable. But I feel so overwhelmed. And I use my ipad alot to relax so I've got to deal with that. I intend to attend the online meeting. Not sure how gamers use this forum if it requires using the internet? But this is an INVALUABLE resource. The paltry attention by national professional therapists, psychiatrists, researchers is sad - probably related to the 100s of billions in profits to the gaming industry. 

chomsky
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Thus far he refuses to entertain the idea of treatment. My parents have offered to contribute 3/4 of the cost for Restart. I was all for it when this popped up again in December. He refused and then I had 2nd thoughts with the cost and the thought it was only 9 weeks and then what? My therapist didn't believe in FORCING treatment. I tended to agree that there has to SOME willingness to want help. But I am convinced this devious addiction f*cks up their brains and then I read different about reaching bottom - the ultimate bottom is death - and I've already lost my brother to addiction. So glad you moms are here as the pain is something so indescribable. And beginning to worry about my job as it's hard to concentrate about anything else (is this co-dependency?). But my son's disease is reaching the moment of truth - the gig is up, no more top 20 college and a decision must be made. I figured I could use the leverage now to force my son to either get into treatment and now that I've read enough here to set down the rules at home - no interent and community college or work. But here's a question - once he starts withdrawal, how can he start work or college? Can I give him 30 days to withdraw first?  Also, I was going to tell him he must ditch his laptop before he comes home. I was also going to cancel his cell phone line and get him a pre-paid flip phone. But again, I work full-time, a single mom and I feel overwhelmed right now. Any help and words of advice are very WELCOME.

LovingMom97
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Hi there

Hi there
Wow! I see my story in yours. My son graduated top of his class, won RPI President's award(his dream school), but chose a free education at a very specialized physics school instead. Failed out! Gaming all night.
Anyway, he went willingly to re-Start April 2018-December 2018 and did very well until he voluntarily discontinued. This year has been a struggle, but God willing he is doing ok. He stayed in WA and now has a roommate (friend from re-Start).
Anyway, feel free to message me about the program and new ones on East Coast.
I am in al anon and a Caron parent to parent. Both have taught me how to work on ME and why that is fo helpful to the situation. Please try a meeting. You don't have to speak, just listen. Go to Beginner meeting
All the Best!
LovingMom97

KL

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Hi Chomsky

Hi Chomsky

It is so important to look after yourself as a priority

This thread may help you: https://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-parents-olg-anon-members-only/overwhelmed-get-support-you-we-need-recovery-too

When you son comes home i think it is important to allow him some time to adjust once all the games and devices are removed. Brains will heal  if he had no access to gaming / internet . You cannot expect him to become a model human being immediately so cut him some slack initially.  i think it could be helpful that you make some notes about what happenes; how he reacts and how he improves. His reasonableness and attitude should start to change if he is free of gaming and computers. If he goes out to get his fix than progress will be slow or stalled.. So you may want to make a boundary of what you expect of him while he is at home ...eg. any gaming outside the home will mean that he has to leave.

You cannot cure him of addiction or control his addiction. But you can stop contibuting.

The idea of "Your house, your rules" is that while he is with you he will start to heal and maybe he can start to think straighter and make good choices.SOmeimes our kids make wrong choices and it takes a while for them to come to their senses. If this happens, we as parents need to step away by not providing food and accomodation or money, which makes life toom easy for them so they can game or stay dependent on us. i think you need for him to take responsibility for his life and not let life be too easy for him so that he goes back to non-stop gaming.

There is a book by Victoria Dunkley called how to reset your child's brain. It talks about reintroducing digital stuff back slowly, and also says there may be parts you can never reintroduce because they will always be problematic. this may be true for your son.

It sounds like the realisation of his problem has hit you very hard. It will calm down. You will have adjustments to make but things will settle down. He is still young and has planty of time to get better. Just let any expectation go about what is to happen and take it a bit at a time. there is no urgency to cure him ... it is out of your control. Just take one day at a time ... Rome was not built in a day. take care.

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

chomsky
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Thank you!

I will message you. I'm visiting the office at Caron today. My son told me he refuses to go. He's still at the college apt. out of state. But yesterday I found out he had been academically dismissed and was notified via email w/warning on 1/13. I have no idea if he read it. But he certainly knew it by 1/21 when classes began. He actually told me briefly by phone yesterday (when I insisted calls no texts) that he had not been dismissed (I knew in my head when we spoke that if he came home it would be internet free zone, etc). I just got email from academic advisor and he has been dismissed for one semester etc. So now I'm not sure if I should scrape together the $40-50 k for Caron or Restart (by begging parents, etc.) when my son refuses to go right now. If he comes home I decided I have to cut off the internet because I'm not tech savvy enough to figure out the router stuff and he'll figure that out. But I live with my 81 year old mom who also raised him & I'm worried she'll enable him (do his laundry etc). My question is how long should I give him before kicking him out if he doesn't work or go to community college? He has no driver license, no bank account, etc. And right now he has no idea I'm planning any of this. And of course I have to now adjust with no internet as well. Also, I'm sort of thinking why should I lay out all this $ for treatment when he refuses to go? What are the odds he'll succeed if he doesn't even want help? Thanks!

chomsky
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Great advice, this site is invaluable

Just what I needed to know. I'm going around and around in my head - ok, the rules are no internet, you work or go to community college. However, I have enabled him since at least December to live on campus out of state alone in a campus apt. with 24 hr. internet, free food and now the moment of truth - either I tell him you're homeless, go to treatment (which I'll have to be my parents to chip in for and he said he refuses), or come home without your laptap and I'm canceling cell service for your iphone and you have to work and go to community college - and then - how long until he doesn't do that do I kick him out - and how does that work? Do I just call the cops?  

I saw my great therapist last night (who agrees NO moderation) and he told me I need to watch for the line of co-dependency. I need to place the responsibility on my son. My son has no driver license, no bank account (he kept overdrawing it so I decided not to replenish it so if he gets a job, don't know how that will work) but I can't fix it for him. 

I'm hearing you, his brain may be like that old drug addiction commerical - like scrambled eggs. When I took his laptop away briefly before he just slept with his iphone. But now I'm taking that away as well (but I admit I'm scared - but I'm ready to be couragous against this disease and to save my son's life). There's a lot of confrontation about to happen. And of course I'm also worried about my son considering self-harm. I'm leaving soon to check out Caron Renaisannce which started  digital rehab but it's costly like Restart. And last time I checked my son said he refuses. So it seems right now he has 3 choices: homeless, treatment (If I choose to beg my family to help with the costs) or home with no internet and within 30 days work and/or community college, etc. I will definitely look for that book you recommended. I can't thank you all enough. There is simply no other place right now that knows what we go through or what this particular disease is like. OH - yesterday when I spoke to the Assistant Director of Student Services of the top 20 University where my son attends and I told her he has video game addiction, she said: "What is that????????????"

chomsky
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One More Thing after Visit to Possible Treatment Center

I met this afternoon with the director of https://www.caron.org/our-programs/inpatient-treatment/renaissance - this year they began a program for gaming addiction designed by Dr. Cliff Sussman who is an expert in this field (he knows Hilary Cash of ReStart, and the others who assisted with WHO having it listed as a disorder, etc - when I left a message for him he actually called me and took the time to speak, he is compassionate etc). So here's the deal with them. It's a 3 month minimum program. It's near my home and work. Presently there's 3 in the program and sometimes they meet with the others who are in treatment for other addictions. For 7-10 days it's withdrawal from all tech. Then they reintegrate slowly with some tech. but zero gaming. They live in an apartment where they have to make their beds, cook and have inspection. They receive therapy, pschyciatric care and their days are busy. They're aware they have to have social activities as well. I will be required at times to live in that apt. And I'm required to be part of that treatment. Truth be told that makes sense. They treat the family dynamic and my issues as well. Ready for the kicker - it costs $25k a month. But...there is a "scholarship" application but they do a credit check. AND, Dr. Sussman did sort of assure me that if it came down to it he'd make it work. As did the guy that I spoke to today. Also, I asked what if my son ran away since we live local. He asked me, I said I'll change the locks. He also recommended we do an intervention. Not a bad idea but that adds $5-$6k more. I've got a limited savings, single mom and as it is my parents have to chip in with whatever I'm going to tell them I can pay for. Oh, I found out today the school emailed my son on 1/14 he would be academically dismissed and he was told on 1/21 it's official, the grounds and his right to appeal. Yesterday he told me he wasn't dismissed. Today he asked me for $ for caffiene pills, I did not respond. I'm not sure why he hasn't been kicked out of the campus apt. But for now I want him to stay there until I have a firm plan. So, do I do the intervention and semi-force into treatment, or have him home with my own issues and nervousness whether I can hold the bottom line (call the police if he steals again, I haven't done that yet - he stole once over T-gving, and twice more when he got back to college by writing down credit card numbers), and with my 81-year old mother who's been the biggest enabler over the years when I've drawn hard bounderies but who says now she's for sure ready to do what's needed to save my son's life? I'm committed to be the role model for my son and lay down the law at home but I really, really see the benefits of this treatment. Any advice is much appreciated from you wise women warriors!

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Hi Chomsky

Hi Chomsky

I really felt overwhelmed  when I read your posts ... i am imagining all this stuff going round and round your head. It sounds like torture ! Please take care of yourself. Glad you have a great therapist.

I would say be very careful with your money, only use it if you think it is your only option.

It sounds like you are not feeling confident about how to handle him when he comes home. For that reason you need to have plenty of support around you. When he comes home I suggest you have other people in the home as you explain what is to happen, for support,. It may be helpful to have a man there also. Consider hiring a couple of body guards if you need to. Sorry if this sounds drastic, but just the presence of a strong man may temper his responses and he'll know that you mean business.

I would suggest you find out how easy it would be to get him into the rehab if you needed to . For example, if you decided to try him at home first and then decided he needed to go to rehab, how quickly could they make that happen??

I would also suggest that you see what other intervention services are available that may be cheaper. Talk to them on the phone and benefit from their experience also, Our member DPMOM arranged an intervention recently, perhaps you could private message her for info

 

You are concerned about possible suicide; it is a good idea to mentally plan for this. We have a thread on suicide in the parent's first aid information. You need to plan what to do if he even merely suggests that he could harm himself. There are ideas in the thread suggesting that you take any threat seriously and call medical services. If you are having him at home, you could always get a friend to babysit him if you need to work and cannot stay with him 24/7 in the early days. Or you could hire a nurses aid just to be with him when you are out. Think creatively. It would still be cheaper than rehab. The more support you can get from friends and family, the better it will be for you.

Its hard for any of us to say what is the best thing to do becaus everyone is differnt. I think that if you make plans that make sense and have every possible situation covered, that you can make it through the first few days and then have a re'think as to what would be best from then on.

I would say that you need to assess the sitution of him at home before you start thinking about how long before he has to do this or do that.  In drug and alcohol rehabs they are often there for 6 months and the afterwards nobody expects them to get a job even then ; just resocialising and staying clean takes a big effort. But every situation is different.

Personally I would hold off giving him any pressure from you about where his life should go now. For now in my opinion it should be about resocialising and healing. See what he come up with himself.

 

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

chomsky
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Thank you - I understand there is No Simple Answer

Thank you, every day my "answer" changes. For some reason the college, as far as I know, has not evicted from the college efficiency apt. I texted him 2 nights ago & told him that if he came home it would be internet/gaming free zone and he'd have to go to community college and/or work & in those texts I said as if he knew (& he did) he had been academically dismissed (he had no comment). He basically said that it would leave him homeless, I was my typical "negative" self, and I was being irrational. I also told him that I visited the treatment facility, he could live in an apt. where I would spend some time. I reiterated I was doing everything out of love and that if he had a son with cancer, would he treat it at home? Yesterday I gave my self a 24-hour break of not thinking about this. I also need to do that in order to keep my job. Then I spoke to a friend who has a friend with a child with a heroin addiction. She encouraged to not let my son home as that would be enabling him by giving him a roof over his head and food. Right now I'm leaning towards only giving him the option of treatment if he wants to come back to where I live. The treatment facility works on the family dynamics and me as well. I mentioned I live with my mother - and there's a lot of work to be done all around. As of the texts from 2 nights ago I haven't heard from my son. And I realized I don't believe I'm on the hook financially at all regarding his college. All of that is in my son's name - I just have paid for his room and board. He did not take student loans. And if they evict him, I suppose he may try to sleep in the few friends he has their - in their dorms. But he goes to school in an elite college where the students have to study a lot so who knows. But...I did get angry while we were texting and I have to watch myself. Sometimes it's hard to separate the disease from the person. Assuming it's the disease, the disease has ZERO empathy, is ungrateful, appreciates nothing, lies, steals, cannot stand in my shoes for one second, etc. I did text him that he created the circumstances and I have given him an option to avoid homelessness (treatment or an internet/game free zone - although I'm considering eliminating the latter choice, not sure) so it's now up to him). I'll be attending tonight's on line meeting. I pray others will attend. God bless!

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Sounds like you are figuring

Sounds like you are figuring out what is the right situation for you ! Please let us know how it goes. take care xx

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

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I hope the meetimg does go

I hope the meetimg does go ahead tonight. Occasionally it does not. Type and press return to say you are in the chat room at the start time.

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

chomsky
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The meeting was essential and this site is a gift

Thank you Polga and Hummingbird and Gamersmom. Nobody else can possibly understand what it is that we go through. It's an evolution for me thus far. Even though I know now my son is 200% a gaming addict, I didn't know that until the second time he bombed out of his semester at an elite college. Since I learned this is an addiction in early December, I spent nearly 24 hours a day researching, googling, watching youtube videos, applying to ReStart, getting my parents to agree to chip in, talking and texting my son (he refused Restart, continued lying, he's still out of state & as far as I know living somehow in a college owned efficiency on a food plan of $1500 dining $ but he's liable for all of the costs). 1st I put the responsibility on him to come up wtih a plan, when he didn't I took over, that didn't work, This week I checked out one of the 3 gaming treatment places in this country that happens to be local. Costs an arm & a leg, I'd have ot make them an offer they can't refuse :). I texted my son a few nights ago & told him I knew he was academically dismissed, if he came home it would be an internet/gaming free zone & he'd have to work or go to community college or I also found a great treatment place where he could live in an apt.where I'd stay sometimes & they treat the whole family (I"m a single mom), he said he'd be homeless (I pointed out no), & that I was negative, irrational, etc. I haven't heard from him since. I decided to take a mental vacation from thinking about him. I had considered an intervention but now I have a new attitude, I guess plan. My plan is to focus on me. My work fell behind. I am going to work on me and as they say if the mom is not well then she can't take care of her kid. I'm kind of done with doing anything more for my son. He's really always been mean to me & never grateful. He's been lying & stealing for years. I don't know how long it will be until he's out on the doorstep as I assume I'll get a call then. I live with my 81 year old mom (who my son grew up with, she's an enabler) who kept telling me that I had to do something about my son). I decided I didn't have to do something about my son - it was my son who had to do it. I've decided it's all up to him, not me anymore. If he wants help he can ask for it. A dentist screwed up a root canal, I need to have dental work in a week, I need dr. appts, to get myself out of isolation, to get my work in order, and focus on my future. If my son wants to ask to come home he needs to have a job or have registered for community college before I get him an airplane ticket and even then, I'm not sure. When he's home, I'm miserable, he steals and stays up all night. I go to work in the morning and my mom is around and I worry she'll be enabling and run to Chipotle to buy him food and do his laundry. And I don't want to have to go to the legal process of eviction I know I seem cold and unloving but I am now accepting the fact that I may be alone as he is my only child, my brother passed away from addiction & my sister right now is a sober alcoholic with a personality disorder and my dad is 84 and my mom 81 and i have limited resources. BUT - there is nothing stopping from moving forward towards the things I want to do. So today that 's my plan. What do you think?

chomsky
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I SENT THIS LETTER TO MY SON HOPE THIS HELPS OTHERS

I emailed the following to my son, I let you know what happens, this is the HARDEST thing I'll ever do, I'll now have to STICK to this, he's still somehow in the college apt.. Here is the letter I emailed, I hope it helps other moms:

My dearest son,

I am writing to you so that you are clear about your choices. As I’ve said many, many times, everything I am doing and saying, is out of pure love and what I believe is the best way for you to get the help you desperately need.

If you want a plane ticket back to _____ airport and me to pick you up there and to bring you home, you’ll need to prearrange to have a full-time job or be enrolled full-time at community college before you come home. And you’ll have to get good grades at college. You’ll have to use the computer at the college or at the public library. I’ll also replace your iphone with a flip phone. If you want to game, you will no longer be able to live at home and I will have you evicted.

Also, as I said, the house would have no internet connection. If you steal, I’ll call the police. I reserve the right to change my mind as things develop but these are the basic RULES.

Please don’t call or text me and ask me how to do this, you’ll figure it out. You’ve had plenty of time and you’re smart. For now, you can do this all on-line and I presume you still have access to the library.

I’d also pay for your ticket to come back to the area if you want to go to treatment for 3 months – here’s the link if you’re interested: ____________________. You’d have to let me know in advance because I haven’t worked out anything with them. You’d go right from the airport to treatment. You’d have to want to go. I’d much rather you go to ReStart because that’s the only place I’ve heard that has actual success stories about (I have). But you’ve made clear you refuse to accept my help (re treatment) and until you want the help for you, there’s nothing much I can do but detach from you with love.

In _____________, there’s a place called _______________ (you can google it) which recently opened a unique homeless shelter which I believe also has job training for college graduates with a limited bed space.

I have urged you to view the addiction that has afflicted you like a cancer that needs serious treatment. Whether you have or have not played League for a few weeks or not, you are thinking about it. It is the #1 video game and I’ve learned why it is addictive (and all MMOP games in particular). I don’t know who your teammates are and what level you’re on. They are NOT your friends and I’m sure they have verbally abused you and obviously you and they are letting this game destroy your lives. What good is the level you’ve reached? Is it going to pay your bills or give you happiness or the touch of a human hand or an animal’s kindness? The game makes you steal and lose everything you have – and is about to perhaps make you homeless – has it been worth whatever skill level you’ve gotten to?

So, [my son talking] it’s just one more game tonight with my teammates so we can talk all that misogynistic talk while I steal from the ones I love and throw away everything I’ve worked for. And now I can’t control myself and my brain has literally been physically re-wired. And all I can think about is the next game.

One 1998 study showed that video games raise the level of dopamine in the brain by about 100 percent, roughly the same increase triggered by sex. (And that was nearly 20 years ago — today’s games have evolved far beyond what was available then.) More recent research found measurable changes in the parts of the brain linked to cognitive function and emotional control after study subjects spent one week playing violent video games. There’s more. Scientists have taken MRIs of the brain of those playing video games and saw changes.

And I could copy and paste story after story of boys and men that had way more than you to lose and lost everything – boys who went to Harvard, men who lost their families – and the addiction never goes away – just like any other – except this one – the gaming industry designs them just to get you addicted with loot boxes, cheats, you name it – and many of the co-team players abuse others and tell them to kill themselves if they lose.

So, [my son’s name] – is it worth it to lose everything so you can play another game to up your level and be with your virtual friends? Or are you really going to accept the fact you have this addiction? Acceptance is not passive – it means you wake up each morning and say “until tonight, just today I will not think about gaming, etc.” – and you go to a 12-step meeting, etc.

Regardless, for my part, I will not do one millimeter of anything that will enable you to even get close to be able to game or to obsess yourself with the internet. Your brain is in big trouble and you need to have it literally heal itself so it can clear itself up. You’ve done the opposite for months now – isolating yourself in that room.

I love you so much I’m ready for you to have enough disruption to wake up and see what is happening and what it is that you have created – and also that you have the power to seize your ****ing life, stake a claim for yourself as though your life depended on it – because it does.

With more love for you than you’ll ever know, when you want to help yourself, I’m here to support that. I’ve made very clear the rules so no questions please.  Call me if you have a full-time job, have enrolled full-time in community college or you are ready to immediately go to Restart or ____.

I love you to infinity and beyond,

Mom

 

 

 

Polga
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Hi Chomsky

Hi Chomsky

It sounds like you have really moved forward in your thinking about how you want to cope with this situation. Your letter to your son is very powerful and thank you so much for sharing it. It comes straight from your heart.

You have hit the nail on the head where you say that you want to look after you  now. There is so much that you cannot change about your son. It's out of your control. but what you can do is control how he affects you and that you do not contribute to his addicition; that he feels the consequences of his actions.

By modelling good care and respect for yourself you are also communicating those values to your son.

My heart goes out to you. i also have huge respect for how you have been seeking answers to this problem so diligently. I hope you find the acceptance,  peace and growth you are seeking in your journey forward and that you own life becomes more vital and meaningful as a result. 

There are many parents with kids who do not make good choices because of reasons of addicition or mental health. You are not alone

Let us know how it goes !

INFO

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Gamersmom
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Hello

Hello Chomsky.  It was nice to meet you in the meeting.  I don't get in here to read the forums very often, but I try to drop in when I can.  Your plan is a good one, but I have one caveat for you.  I would not spend thousands of dollars on treatment programs until your son comes to you and sincerely requests help.  If he is just doing it because it is the only place for him to go when they boot him from his apartment, and he still hasn't admitted he has a problem, the program will not help him.  You are right to focus on yourself now.  It's incredibly sad, but your son is not the boy you raised anymore.  He may come back to you someday.  Just keep reaching out in a loving manner.  Other than not enabling, it's about the only thing you can do with an adult gaming addict.

"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

dwads1220
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son home from rehab - now what?

I posted this a few days ago on the general message board but saw this and think its relevant to this subject:

 I am posting this as a cautionary tale for all you families out there struggling with the big questions about this disease.   Make no mistake - it is a real addiction, a disease.  It took us years to come to this realization and to wrap our heads around it.  Our beautiful, brilliant and successful son had his life derailed by video games, internet gaming and other forms of technology - iphone, netflix, youtube.  It really didn't matter - if it was a screen he was watching.   Primarily though he got lost in the multiplayer online gaming world.   He had been a very successful high school student winning accolades for his academics, athletics, music as well as having a 32 ACT score.  As a result he was accepted to one of the top engineering schools in the country (with a 20% acceptance rate) to study mechanical engineering.  

Allow me to back up a bit.  He started gaming in Middle school and of course his use escalated (as it always does - the more you game, the more you need it).  In high school we thought we were monitoring it but later came to find that after my husband and I went to bed he would game until 3-4 am - on school nights!!! In spite of this he was successful although always tired.  He was captain of his varsity tennis team and they were state champs.  He played varsity football his senior year.  I say this because as his parent I could never have predicted what was about to happen to us.

With trepidation we bundled him off to college (my gut was screaming that he wasn't ready) with his shiny new windows computer to be used for all those difficult engineering homework in his future.  

My son has ADHD and anxiety and, as I've come to learn, this is the #1 risk factor for video game addiction.   Read that again!   Through all the mental health counseling we sought for his ADHD noone ever mentioned that this was an issue.  Noone!!    All the psychologists we saw for testing and for CBT were told about his preoccupation but they all dismissed my concern.  My husband didn't back me up and my son would call me crazy.  Irregardless, my mom alarm was blaring constantly.  I thought maybe I was overreacting and overblowing it.  I recently read the book "Cyber Junkie" by Kevin Roberts and I would tell any of you suffering with this in your homes to read it.  It was written in 2010 (10 years ago!)   Had I read this book then it would have saved us untold pain and money, not to mention my son from the time, grief, loss, shame, regret and embarrasment and loss of friends.

His first year of college his grades were not good but not horrific and we thought it was the level of diffiulty of the course work and the fraternity life he so wanted for himself.  That was also a nightmare - it lasted a year and he was hazed mercilessly which fed his anxiety which led to more isolation and gaming.  For the next three years, he would do barely what was required for him to stay in school and would plead with us that he was "getting it" and would do better going forward.  He kept his dark secret.   I so wanted to believe.  He is my only child.  He wasn't involved in anything wholesome, that I knew.

He was successfully getting through his summer internships and received glowing job reviews.  He was offered a lucrative position as a mechanical engineer this last summer but it is predicated on him graduating.

I'm getting ahead of myself again.  During his junior year his beloved long distance girlfriend (a gem) broke up with him during midterms becauses she felt she wasn't a priority.  He was gaming on her birthday and (as he suffers from time blindness when he's gaming) he forgot.  The last straw!!!  From that point on, to escape the pain of his life, he spiraled into his addiciton and by the end of his senior year he had failed out of school.  

We had paid for a top private university for 4 years and had zilch to show for it.  This is where we were in May of 2019.   He had his internship set up for the summer and we decided after much discussion with his therapist that he should be allowed to fulfill his obligation. He successfully got through the summer.   As he was leaving for his internhip he left his gaming computer and all the paraphenalia with me ( I wanted to take a bat to it).  He took his PS4 and of course his iphone with him.  The company gave him use of a monitored company computer.  

While he was away I made contact with a internet gaming rehab center and started planning for what would come next.  Through tears, and the angst of a mother's heart, we decided the only thing that would work was "tough love" and we were so emotionally spent at that point, so broken hearted and living in thick grief, that we were dedicated to seeing our plan through.  

We sent in our deposit, chose a date, bought a one way plane ticket to the west coast (we're on the east coast) and arranged for an interventionist to come to our home.  We knew nothing about what would or could happen.  I felt that when faced with two choices - of going to rehab or going on the street (without any support from us) that he would not make it to the end of the driveway, but I didn't know.  He would be giving up the one thing he loved and needed more than anything else in the world and that wouldn't go over well.  

During the intervention he agreed to go so, per his credit, he made a difficult choice to get help.   

On August 21, 2019 my husband accompanied my beautiful and brilliant and hoplessly addicted son to rehab.  

After 6 months, nearly to the day, we received him back.  It was an amazing experience.  He has not gamed nor shown any interest in gaming.  He has been home a month and still does not have his iphone.  He has a dumb phone (a gab wireless). He found a job, a spring internship in the business he was pursuing at the other internship and he has a new girlfriend.   He learned many life skills but most importantly, he learned about himself and his addiction and benefited from untold hours of therapy, groups, 12 step meetings, etc.  I personally think we all should have 6 months of that.  He learned to cook healthy meals, exercised regularly and spoke to us once a week, most of the time with respect.  

He's home.  He's getting well (it takes a full year to come off gaming but he will be an addict for life).  Our relationship took a real hit.  I love him unconditionally, him not so much.  I was the nag, the police the one to hide from at all cost and so there is trauma on both sides.     He still has poor executive function and procrastinates terribly but I believe things will continue to get better.  I continue to talk and he continues to shut me out (but some gets in).  He's lived out of our home now for 5 years so its tough for the both of us.  He will go back for another summer internship at the same company that offered him the job and when he returns he will return to a different more local school to finish his degree (not sure how that will be done yet as his gpa is dismal).  He could go back to his university but doesn't want to as it's full of bad memories and it could be a trigger to relapse.  Also it's 900 miles away from us.  

So wish us well.  It' been quite a journey and it's not close to over but its better - so much better.   Here's to hope but, parents, you need to be strong and do the unthinkable - tough love.   It's the only way it could have helped our son. 

 

dwads1220
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My son just finished Restart

Please see my post below from today.  My son was also in a top university and he failed out at the end of his 4th year.  Ouch.  We paid for all of it as we don't qualify for any aid.  Nada to show for it.  

Read Cyber Junkie by Kevin Roberts now.  Don't be afraid to force treatment   In the end he'll thank you.  My son did.  We can talk any time you would like.

 

 

dwads1220
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My son just finished Restart

Please see my post below from today.  My son was also in a top university and he failed out at the end of his 4th year.  Ouch.  We paid for all of it as we don't qualify for any aid.  Nada to show for it.  

Read Cyber Junkie by Kevin Roberts now.  Don't be afraid to force treatment   In the end he'll thank you.  My son did.  We can talk any time you would like.

 

 

dwads1220
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Perfect

Now follow through - the hardest part.  

Polga
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Welcome to the forums Dwads !

Welcome to the forums Dwads ! thank you for sharing your journey with us. great to hear that he has made progress and your decision to send him to rehab has paid off. He has a future.

Thanks for reinforcing how important it is for parents to stay strong on the best course of action for our kids, because it is not easy. It's hard, but worth it. Well done to you. Great spirit  !

INFO

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

Online meetings gaming addicts click here

Spouses/SO's of addicts click here

Parents of addicts click here for advice

Help for video game addicts click here

Please help! Donate here

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