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On Therapy and Dependency

The Vicious Cycle

On the other hand, the opposite can also occur. Using the game environment as a coping mechanism can lead to ignoring the source problems and causing them to worsen over time. This in turn leads to a further dependence on the game as a coping mechanism.

I started playing WoW in a rough time in my life. I neglected pretty much everything in real life. There were days where I wouldn't even leave my room except to use the bathroom and get something to eat. I would play from waking until I was passing out in front of the keyboard. Real life sucked, but man I was having a blast in the game and it just made me forget about everything wrong in real life. At its worst, I went almost a week without even speaking to one of my room mates ...and things started to sour on that front. We got into arguments, and we couldn't pay any bills. I had to move home for the first time since I started college. [WoW, M, 25]

I hated my job and was constantly dwelling on several disappointments and poor choices I had made. Suddenly I found a world that allowed me far more control than I had in the real one, as well as a place where I could be admired and respected for my skills. I latched onto it strongly. Of course, the real world kept moving, and my wife began feeling more and more neglected. I ignored her attempts to pull me out of the game, and so she grew more and more distant, eventually having an affair which I was blissfully ignorant of for some time. Once the truth came out there was a truly horrible period of time, almost a year, where our home was more or less the site of a Cold War, with both of us staying together only for the sake of our children. I sank even deeper into the game to try and block out the misery of my real life. [WoW, M, 36]

My parents divorced, and although I was under the impression it wouldn't really affect me ... well, after playing the game every waking moment, not pursuing work or school, staying awake playing for 48 hours at a time or worse, it was certainly hurting my situation more than helping. I was very irritable, I would snap at my mother and younger sister, especially if the divorce or my father were brought up. I became quite simply very, very, mean-spirited. Eventually, after about 6 or so months of this every single day, I realized I had lost almost 40 pounds from starving myself and my condition slowly worsened. My immune system was completely shot. I had grown so ill that a week later I came down with tonsillitis as well as strep throat. [WoW, F, 18]

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Posted on February 17, 2008 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

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