I have been playing video games since I was about 6, on and off. Over the years, I have gotten into some pretty hardcore games that I played for over 12 hours a day.
I took a long break from games, didn't really have a computer or system to play them on. I have been going through some depression and one of my symptoms is a lack of interest in things I once enjoyed. So I said, hey, let me get a used computer from my friend. Took me trying a few games, but I finally found a few that could keep my interest.
Well, I got addicted to them. I wasn't playing them nearly as much as I did in the past (maybe 2-4 hours per day.) I was trying to limit myself so that it didn't take over my life.
However, even playing this much started to get to me. Gaming started leading to little depressions that would hit after I stopped a gaming session. For example, I would get intensely into a game for an hour and a half and then walk around the block. On my walk I just felt this overwhelming depression: dull, anxious, worried, guilty, dampened. Definitely feels like something is going on with my brain chemistry. It's hard to describe, but it lasts for a little while and I am unsure if it has long term consequences.
The second negative effect the gaming would have on me is that I would think and obsess about the game when I wasn't playing it. This might happen when I'm driving, walking, trying to get to sleep, or talking to someone. It stresses me out.
Lastly is sleep. A lack thereof. I started waking up early because I was thinking about playing the game. At first, this was a warm welcome, as I have been sleeping for 12 hours for months. So I was like, hey, here is a positive aspect of my gaming. But when I realized I am waking up after 5 hours of sleep stressing out, that's not good. I need more sleep than that.
So I took the day off yesterday from playing games, to think about it, and get some advice. Found these forums, and hope I can get some advice here.
It would probably be in my best interest to stop, but it's hard to let go, as I have been gaming for so long and I get so much enjoyment out of it. I just wish I didn't have to deal with these negative effects. I see other people playing games and they are fine. I am also a recovering alcoholic, and it reminds me of a line from the book: "It is the great obsession of every alcoholic to be able to one day drink like a normal drinker." Maybe that pertains to me and video games. Me wanting to play games like other people and live a normal life without the negative consequences of the addiction, maybe that is just a dream I have that will never come true. Maybe it is time to let go of my dear old friend.
Any advice appreciated,