I just discovered this website, and from reading the posts on this forum, I can tell that video game addiction cannot be understood on its own or in a bubble -it is linked to other conditions as well, including depression and anxiety. Video game addiction is a coping mechanism to deal with fears in the real world, and that is why people with anxiety seem to be more susceptible to developing a video game addiction.
My boyfriend has anxiety as well as a video game addiction. I have been trying to understand his addiction to video games and his anxiety for a long time now. What frustrates me, is that he does not want to understand his condition. As someone who has studied psychology in university, I feel like I have knowledge of tools to help him (cognitive behaviour therapy, goal setting, psychotherapy, etc). However, every time I try to have discussions with him, whether it be about his video game addiction or his anxiety, he shuts me down (ignores me, get annoyed, doesn't seem appreciative).
To provide a little context, I am 22 years old and my boyfriend is 25. We have been together for a long time (8 years). I love him very much and desperately want to help him. Since my boyfriend suffers from anxiety, he has not been able to find a job for a while now (over 2 years). Now that we are in urgent financial need (I do not have a job since I had to quit due to my studies), he has no choice but to find a job. He knows this, however he continues to play video games for hours and hours. I feel disrespected -I have supported him financially (while being a full-time student!) for over 2 years and I feel like it is about time that he finds himself a job. Although he is searching and applying for jobs, he is doing so for less than 30 min each day, while playing video games well over 8 jours a day. I would like for him to treat his job search as a full time job, and apply for jobs for at least the same amount of time he dedicates to video games. I requested that he do this, and he agreed that it was reasonable. However, he did not follow through on this. I don't know what to do. Part of the reason why I decided to quit my job was that I was tired of enabling him -I wanted him to feel the pressure of having no choice but to find a job. In the past few weeks, I've noticed that his video game addiction is becoming worse. This worsening, I believe, is probably due to increased anxiety about his ability to find jobs; he is escaping reality through increased video game use.
I feel powerless; like there is nothing I can do to help him. Although I am trying to be positive, I am finding it difficult since I feel that he needs to face his fears, and I am tired of seeing his potential go to waste. He is an intelligent person who I know will succeed in life if he stops or limits his gaming time. I myself, am a very ambitious person who is displined and driven by success. I would like for him to be the same way. I don't know what to do anymore, I know that I can't change him, but I really want to help him. What can I do?