It started about 8 years ago. I had just switched to a new job, and had been given a computer to use for work. Being stuck at home most days, I found myself drawn to the computer screen during my lunch breaks – I thought it would be a nice escape from the monotony of my job.
Little did I know that spending more time online was the start of something much bigger – gaming disorder.
I began playing video games for hours on end, after work and late into the night. The more time I spent on these games, the less time I devoted to other activities like reading or going out with friends - eventually it felt like those things were getting in the way of me spending time gaming.
I noticed that my mental well-being suffered as a result of my gaming habits - constantly feeling tired and having difficulty focusing were just some of the issues I faced each day. It took its toll on me emotionally too: what started out as an enjoyable hobby became like an addiction that left me feeling drained and unable to enjoy anything else in life.
I finally decided to tackle my gaming disorder head-on: seeking professional help first before trying any self-help techniques such as setting clear limits for myself, breaking up my game sessions with other activities, and actively limiting social media usage in order to reduce distraction and get back into doing things that made me happy again outside of gaming.
Today, things have drastically improved - with guidance from professionals as well as support from family and friends, I’ve been able to regain control over my emotions and behaviors surrounding gaming activity. It hasn’t been easy but it’s been worth it: unlocking healthier habits around how I use technology replaced what used to feel like an addiction with something far more positive instead.