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Ashley123

OCD and gaming

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Hi.

 

I LOVE gaming. It is my favourite hobby. However, lately, my OCD has affected this (or I think it's my OCD). I just want to say this does sound ridiculous but you all know how convincing this OCD bully is. Well, I have magical thinking intrusive thoughts as well as some other types. An example of how gaming affects me is I fear that things that happen in games can affect me in real life. For example: 

 

In one of my all time favourite games, some items feel contaminated with bad luck or have bad meanings behind them. However, I have done some ERP for some of this and it has helped.

In another game, I have to have full health and hunger when I log out otherwise it could affect me as a person in real life, I also have to have a safe house in the game with a roof etc. or I fear my house in real life will be affected. 

If I am playing a game and I go out to sea, I would fear that I would go out to sea in real life, so I have to log out in a safe place.

 

I think there are tons more stuff but I am just giving some examples.

 

Gaming is supposed to be fun and relaxing but it's far from that for me at the moment. I would love to be able to play games whenever I want and log out when I want and not worry about it.

 

Another way that I am affected is I worry about time/days. For example, I worry that once the clock hits 12:00am, my thoughts are locked in for life or that is when my thoughts will happen. This also occurs when I wake up from sleeping. I worry that when I wake up, that is when my intrusive thoughts will become real.

 

I am just looking for some advice I guess. Is the best thing to do in this situation, to expose myself to the worry? For example log out of the game with only half health and half hunger? Go out to sea in the game and log out? It's so scary and draining :( I miss playing games. I just don't want to log out of a game in a 'non perfect state' and then go to sleep and wake up with the thoughts becoming real.

 

I have had ERP and CBT but I dunno if that is the right thing to do. I guess it is maybe I'm looking for reassurance. This is such a tiring disorder.

 

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There have been gaming topics. Seems like you have Get Right ocd.  Things need to be perfect. You just have to get used to things being how they are.  

Magical Thinking is a stage of childhood where if a child doesn’t get the needed reassurance they keep the stage as adults. 

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Hi @Ashley123, I also enjoy gaming so I can understand how frustrating it must be for something you enjoy to become something that cause you anxiety and pain.  Unfortunately OCD can affect us in any part of our lives, there doesn't seem to be any off limits areas.

To answer your question, yes, the best approach to combating your OCD is to do the opposite of what its telling you.  Log out when you aren't at full health/hunger.  GO out on the sea.  Log out when you are not in a house.  Log out at random times.  It will cause you anxiety to do so, you'll want to not do it, but the more often you play by OCD's rules, the more strength it gains.  Conversely when you refuse to play by OCD's rules, the weaker it becomes.  

I experienced something a little similar a number of years back.  While I was watching one of my favorite TV shows (Doctor Who), I experienced a significant OCD intrusive thought.  It wasn't in anyway related to the show itself, but because of the timing, there was a fair stretch of time where I stopped watching the show.  I could have avoided the show for the rest of my life, it wouldn't have been THAT hard, but it was something I enjoyed, something I wanted to keep watching.  So, after I had recovered a little from the initial incident, I challenged myself by not just watching the show again, but watching the specific episode.  It was not easy, I was nervous, "What if it triggers those thoughts again?  What if my anxiety spirals again?" but I pushed through the anxiety and kept at it.  Now I can watch the show and that episode with barely a flicker of that old anxiety.  I acclimated myself to it again.  You can do the same with video games.  If you keep breaking OCD's rules over and over, the association will weaken, you will feel stronger again as you battle it.  You'll be able to play games again without anxiety creeping in about these rules.

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8 hours ago, Handy said:

There have been gaming topics. Seems like you have Get Right ocd.  Things need to be perfect. You just have to get used to things being how they are.  

Magical Thinking is a stage of childhood where if a child doesn’t get the needed reassurance they keep the stage as adults. 

Yeah, I have done a search about gaming on the forums but didn't find anything similar to how mine works.

I guess get right does describe it. I have other themes too but yeah this one affects my gaming. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, dksea said:

Hi @Ashley123, I also enjoy gaming so I can understand how frustrating it must be for something you enjoy to become something that cause you anxiety and pain.  Unfortunately OCD can affect us in any part of our lives, there doesn't seem to be any off limits areas.

To answer your question, yes, the best approach to combating your OCD is to do the opposite of what its telling you.  Log out when you aren't at full health/hunger.  GO out on the sea.  Log out when you are not in a house.  Log out at random times.  It will cause you anxiety to do so, you'll want to not do it, but the more often you play by OCD's rules, the more strength it gains.  Conversely when you refuse to play by OCD's rules, the weaker it becomes.  

I experienced something a little similar a number of years back.  While I was watching one of my favorite TV shows (Doctor Who), I experienced a significant OCD intrusive thought.  It wasn't in anyway related to the show itself, but because of the timing, there was a fair stretch of time where I stopped watching the show.  I could have avoided the show for the rest of my life, it wouldn't have been THAT hard, but it was something I enjoyed, something I wanted to keep watching.  So, after I had recovered a little from the initial incident, I challenged myself by not just watching the show again, but watching the specific episode.  It was not easy, I was nervous, "What if it triggers those thoughts again?  What if my anxiety spirals again?" but I pushed through the anxiety and kept at it.  Now I can watch the show and that episode with barely a flicker of that old anxiety.  I acclimated myself to it again.  You can do the same with video games.  If you keep breaking OCD's rules over and over, the association will weaken, you will feel stronger again as you battle it.  You'll be able to play games again without anxiety creeping in about these rules.

Thank you for the reply. It seems like I always doubt if ERP is the best option in recovery haha but that is part of the disorder. Well done on conquering your fear of that episode of Doctor Who. Appreciate it :)

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Hi Ashley :)

I agree with dksea, it's important to go against what OCD is telling you. I had a similar experience when I was playing games when I was younger. I would avoid certain places in the game because they worried me for some reason, I would also avoid doing anything that I considered a shortcut or cheating. I overcame these things by trying to act like an ordinary gamer. Someone who was coming to the game fresh and playing it to its full potential :)

You should also look at your beliefs around thoughts and feelings. That if you think something, then it's more likely to happen. Consider thinking you're going to win the lottery, is it more likely to happen, no. Try it out, it's a great way to explore how it is us who place meanings on certain thoughts. 

Also, remember that when you act to stop something happening with compulsions, it feels like what you did had an effect, but what if you'd done nothing, and were in exactly the same place but less bothered by OCD. ERP is an important part to find out that your compulsions aren't worthwhile and only have the effect of making OCD worse. 

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18 minutes ago, Gemma7 said:

Hi Ashley :)

I agree with dksea, it's important to go against what OCD is telling you. I had a similar experience when I was playing games when I was younger. I would avoid certain places in the game because they worried me for some reason, I would also avoid doing anything that I considered a shortcut or cheating. I overcame these things by trying to act like an ordinary gamer. Someone who was coming to the game fresh and playing it to its full potential :)

You should also look at your beliefs around thoughts and feelings. That if you think something, then it's more likely to happen. Consider thinking you're going to win the lottery, is it more likely to happen, no. Try it out, it's a great way to explore how it is us who place meanings on certain thoughts. 

Also, remember that when you act to stop something happening with compulsions, it feels like what you did had an effect, but what if you'd done nothing, and were in exactly the same place but less bothered by OCD. ERP is an important part to find out that your compulsions aren't worthwhile and only have the effect of making OCD worse. 

 

Hi Gemma.

 

Thank you for your insight on how you overcame your problem with gaming and I am glad you have sorted it. :) That's very true actually about your point of winning the lottery. You are right, I guess I just need to take that risk of playing the games and the anxiety will go down the more I play them. Avoidance isn't going to help me. It's scary but  it's how to recover. Thanks!

 

 

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5 hours ago, Ashley123 said:

Thank you for the reply. It seems like I always doubt if ERP is the best option in recovery haha but that is part of the disorder. Well done on conquering your fear of that episode of Doctor Who. Appreciate it :)

No problem!  Yeah, I think "always doubt" is pretty common for us OCD folks after all :D

I'm glad I was able to conquer it to, it was a really good episode!  But it didn't happen overnight, I had to work at getting to that point and then making the choice to watch the show again, then making the choice to watch that specific episode again.  You'll need to push yourself some, but also don't be too hard on yourself if things don't happen as quickly as you'd like.  Its a marathon not a sprint :)

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5 minutes ago, dksea said:

No problem!  Yeah, I think "always doubt" is pretty common for us OCD folks after all :D

I'm glad I was able to conquer it to, it was a really good episode!  But it didn't happen overnight, I had to work at getting to that point and then making the choice to watch the show again, then making the choice to watch that specific episode again.  You'll need to push yourself some, but also don't be too hard on yourself if things don't happen as quickly as you'd like.  Its a marathon not a sprint :)

Thank you man. Yeah, it is so annoying! We know it's illogical but the doubt is just there.

 

And yeah very true. :) 

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