Counseling Men Blog
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Online Gaming Addiction Becomes The Other Woman

Posted by Dr. Kurt Smith, LMFT, LPCC, AFC on Sat, Oct 09, 2010

Online Gaming AddictionSean loves online gaming. That's not unusual. Lot's of people enjoy multi-player online games. Few people though, like Sean, realize when they have an online gaming addiction.

To Sean online gaming is just a way for him to unwind from the stress of work and family. It's also an activity he does together with his 11-year-old son.

One of sign's of online gaming addiction is when playing negatively affects other parts of your life. Here are a couple of examples from Sean's life of what that can look like.

Sean routinely has conflicts with his wife over parenting their kids at bedtime. He really looks forward to 9:30 pm when the kids are in bed and he can get online for some "me time." When he's still dealing with getting the kids to bed at 9:40 pm he usually has a tough time controlling his anger.

Sean's been meeting with Guy Stuff for help with anger management and to fix his marriage. During a meeting last week he shared some interesting revelations he's had about what he's starting to see as his online gaming addiction.

He says that a lot of other guys are just like me and are online gaming at night. "It's like going to a bar."

"It's become my social life. We meet up online almost every night. Kill some monsters. Chit-chat about the day. Then realize, hey, I got to get up for work and sign off."

Sean's realized that "some emotional gap is getting filled." It's not just men who are getting emotional needs met online either, it's women too. He says that he's surprised how many of the other players are women. Sean says he's careful not to discuss too much about his personal life, but says many other people do.

What started out as just a fun hobby has become an online gaming addiction. Sean admits about his marriage that "I'm not there to some extent" and now he's beginning to see how his online gaming is part of the reason. "We've found ways to be apart."

If you believe you, or someone you love, might have an online gaming addiction. Reach out to a licensed counselor for some help. Don't let an online gaming addiction become the other woman.

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