Recently the class topic has shifted to that of addiction. As we established very early on in discussions, many many things can be classified under the general category of addiction. Drugs, sex, and even exercise can be a source of addictive behavior. One of the newer ones to develop, but one of the unhealthiest, is video games. This post will not necessarily be one that explains what encompasses addictive behavior. Rather, I would like to illustrate the daily life of a video game addict.
- Saturday, 2007, Age 14
- 9:15 AM – Wake up. Boot up computer. Find something in the fridge that’s edible. Prepare and bring to computer.
- 9:25 AM – Eat while browsing the internet.
- 9:30 AM – Family eats breakfast. I get asked to join and decline.
- 9:35 AM – Finish eating; leave trash and dirty dishes to the side. Start up World of Warcraft.
- 9:40 AM – Play World of Warcraft. Occasionally leave to use the bathroom when I absolutely have to.
- 12:30 PM – Leave computer. Prepare lunch then bring back to computer.
- 12:45 PM – Finish food; leave dishes and trash to the side. Play World of Warcraft.
- 3:00 PM – Leave computer to get snack. Return to computer. Play World of Warcraft.
- 6:00 PM – Leave computer to have dinner with family.
- 6:30 PM – Leave dinner. Return to computer. Play World of Warcraft.
- 10:00 PM – Leave computer to get snack. Return to computer. Play World of Warcraft.
- 1:00 AM – Leave computer to get snack. Return to computer. Play World of Warcraft.
- 3:00 AM – Turn off computer and quit playing, after nodding off at computer.
This alone is already an unhealthy schedule to have for a single day. Now, imagine that that continues day after day, week after week, for upwards of three years. I was lucky to stop myself after the third year. Some people are unable to stop for their entire lives. I have found, both from personal experience and general knowledge, that there is a stigma attached to addicts. It is very much the same type of stigma attached to individuals suffering from mental illnesses (of which addiction is most certainly one). There is a persistent misconception that mental illnesses can be overcome by simply “working hard enough”. Those close to me recognized that I did in fact have a problem, but did not think that there was anything they could do to intervene.
Sometimes I wonder what would have happened, if anything at all, had my addiction been addressed. Would I have been better off? Would I have reacted negatively? Who knows. At the very least, I was fortunate enough to stop my self-destructive behavior. In retrospect, it’s hard to pinpoint where and when exactly this behavior began and stopped. However, I now have that personal experience and am better off for it. I only hope that I can continue abstaining from addictive behavior, or help anyone who may be experiencing something similar.
2 thoughts on “Addiction and Enabling”
At what point were you able to identify this as an addiction, and how exactly did you end up stopping this behavior?
The topic of addiction is prevalent in all different aspects of life, and is relatable in some sense to everyone. I think that this article is interesting because it provides first-hand knowledge about both experiencing an addiction as well as monitoring and recovering from it. The author exhibits how addiction can happen at any age, as his addiction started when he was only 14 years old. The brains dependence and fixation on specific behaviors or substances is extremely powerful, which is clearly illustrated in the schedule of just one day in the life of an addict. From an outside perspective, viewing addictions seems unfathomable- how can someone be physically and mentally dependent on something? Why don’t they just stop doing it? The author of this article, fortunately, was able to stop his destructive behavior but how did he do that and what brain functioning was involved in both his fixation and his recovery? I think that addiction is a difficult concept to understand but everybody is susceptible to it and experiences some form of addiction at some level, whether they know it or not.