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Addiction

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I know we already have the drugs thread, but not all addictions involve drugs, and not all drug users are addicts.

What are your views and experiences? Do you believe in addiction? Is it a useful concept? How can people avoid or overcome it?

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Chocolate and crisps

Boobies

Spending loads on computer games and accompanying pointless collectable tat every month in some misguided belief that it makes me cool and will impress random strangers on the tinterwebz.

Edit: I should have said that last week I deleted my instagram account and have been selling off about 40% of my games/tat. I'll probably sell more down the line. Also have not bought much for the last few months and hope to continue this and put the money I save into travelling with the OH to places we say we want to go to but never do.

Edited by Ingram85

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I'd actually say I'm addicted to playing games.  It manifests itself by me actually waiting around for my wife to go to bed so I can play. 

I've tried recently to chill out, because it was becoming a problem for me. 

I don't smoke, do drugs, drink, spend loads of money on stuff I don't need.. But at the end of a long, hard day, there's nothing that beats jumping on a game. talking to people you've met through games you like, working together and having silly fun.

For example, playing GTA with some of the people on here, I've had tears streaming down my face as I slowly drive a garbage truck away from someone who is required to be on the truck to progress, or having trouble navigating to a circle on the floor beneath me which I am the last of 4 to be in, in order to progress, so I flung my character off a 60ft drop, face planting into the circle and the game carrying on as normal.

Or playing a game with cars which can fly, which play football and 2 v 2 people, some modes where the floor drops out where the ball lands etc.. It's hilarious.

It sounds incredibly sad and as if it gets in the way of my life, but I only play when everyone goes to bed, and I would never put it in front of going out for real, or going on holidays or anything. 

Edit. My phone, as well.. I look at it more than I should, but again, I'm trying to leave it.  Yesterday I went out for a day without it and had a great time, and do you know what?  What I would have looked at was still there when I hadn't looked at it for 7 hours, it's just that I didn't get the opinions of people on twitter/facebook that don't matter on a minute by minute basis. 

Edited by lapal_fan
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3 minutes ago, lapal_fan said:

I'd actually say I'm addicted to playing games.  It manifests itself by me actually waiting around for my wife to go to bed so I can play. 

I've tried recently to chill out, because it was becoming a problem for me. 

I don't smoke, do drugs, drink, spend loads of money on stuff I don't need.. But at the end of a long, hard day, there's nothing that beats jumping on a game. talking to people you've met through games you like, working together and having silly fun.

For example, playing GTA with some of the people on here, I've had tears streaming down my face as I slowly drive a garbage truck away from someone who is required to be on the truck to progress, or having trouble navigating to a circle on the floor beneath me which I am the last of 4 to be in, in order to progress, so I flung my character off a 60ft drop, face planting into the circle and the game carrying on as normal.

Or playing a game with cars which can fly, which play football and 2 v 2 people, some modes where the floor drops out where the ball lands etc.. It's hilarious.

It sounds incredibly sad and as if it gets in the way of my life, but I only play when everyone goes to bed, and I would never put it in front of going out for real, or going on holidays or anything. 

 

If your worst vice is playing games I would say you are doing ok.

Its a fairly fine line between a hobby/something you enjoy doing and an addiction.

Life is incredibly repetitive and we are creatures of habit so its not surprising everyone has an addiction of some sort.

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2 minutes ago, AVFCDAN said:

If your worst vice is playing games I would say you are doing ok.

Its a fairly fine line between a hobby/something you enjoy doing and an addiction.

Life is incredibly repetitive and we are creatures of habit so its not surprising everyone has an addiction of some sort.

How about eating mostly things containing epic quantities of trans-fats? 

I'm pretty good at that too :lol:  

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10 minutes ago, Rodders said:

I've gambled for 15 years, and currently in my latest attempt to quit. At Uni it was around the time Texas Hold Em seemed to explode, so that was easy - spare time, grant money, and easy access never a good combination. Also sport betting, I knocked poker on the head about 10-11 years ago, but sports betting is so easy to carry on with. I've had various phases of getting arried awya, self-excluding myself and stopping for a few weeks, at one point a full 8 months, but the temptations and the offers that flood in always bring you back. What's a harmless free £10 bet here or there? It's almost worse when you have an initial win - that £60 profit one weekend invariably never lasts. 

I'm fully aware the house always wins, and the odds are against me and have been for some time but the irrationality of addictive / compulsive behaviour draws you in. After a certain period of time the idea that "one big win" would be enough to make me stop was obviously just a daft rationalisation of why I kept coming back. Fortunately, the spells of financial **** ups were relatively small. There was one time I chased some lost money on in play betting and lost £200 in about 2 minutes. That was a low point, for someone either a student or on low income that was stupid. I've had various controls on multiple sites with deposit limits, which seemed to work for a bit, I've had times where I've accepted the habit, and said, right £40 / month is a budget, factor it in as a social cost you're happy to pay for some fun. But the hook is more than just trying to enjoy a nice profit, it was filling time, and then occupying my thoughts. When you wake up to check your accy on overnight sports results from tennis or football the other side of the world, you realise you've got it wrong. 

But even realising that, you don't stop, because, hey, that was just one bad night. Just take a couple of days or weeks off and you'll return to "sensible habits" - weekend only betting. That is the next step in containing it. But then you allow that, and you realise you've spent a weekend pre-occupied by accy's and you've not got the emotional energy for anything else, you can't be arsed to read a book, your attention span has gone, you try watching shows or films etc whilst following matches in play, you cannot relax and immerse yourself in any one activity for long periods of time, without wandering if there's not some random event you could place a small £2 bet on. It's only 2 or 3 quid, what's the harm. And when you've then lost 3 of those of in a row, another £10 deposited into the account as you'll have better luck next time, you realise weeks have gone past, things you wanted to do, or needed to, say some studying or tidying fall by the wayside. 

Each element is just insidious. On it's own it all seems so small and slight, and easy to rationalise as comparable to other non gambling activities - "this is just my leisurely distraction, no biggie". In the past 3-4 years it has been so easy to do as my work has been so quiet and dull, that I have been able to spend afternoons on livescore / flashscore betting on tennis as I am bored. Instead of doing my postgrad diploma, "you can't study at work as you can't focus", but I can apparently happily waste all day checking scores, each point of tennis, each ball of cricket etc. I've opened and closed and excluded myself from so many accounts I've lost track, - but I always kept one or two sites open or short term closed off, just in case, but a month or so ago, was the first time I permanently excluded myself from most of the accounts. I think there are a couple of others which I've simply closed myself off for a year from, but that's progress I guess. 

I hate it. I hate how it consumed my thoughts, and how easy it is to rationalise, even if the financial cost was - in gambling problem terms - pretty small - the waste of brain space and energy on it has been depressing. It affects relationships, I've lied to people including past girlfriends when asked if I was gambling, and it's easy to be light about in friends and make jokes about cheeky bets and it seem like just a healthy past time. By consuming all that time and energy up, it then stops you looking properly at say other jobs, or activities you may want to do, as you've spent that time worrying about who beat who in some random match.  I'm currently in a healthy relationship, and with a wedding next year and plans for kids after that, that reality has helped focus my mind and hopefully disabuse myself of the notion that the activity is harmless, I want to be all in engaged and not distracted - tangent time: my new bugbear is smart phone use - it drives me up the wall, so much of life seems to be geared up to prevent us from just enjoying the moment - but the bastard thing is so convenient. 

I don't know what qualifies as addiction, or compulsive behaviour, but when you want to stop doing something and you can't, that's sufficiently frustrating and stressful to be considered some form of problem. Even though I rarely caused myself financial hardships, a few bad days aside, over the course of all gambling I've done since starting as an 18 year old, I could probably say my outlay on gambling is between 10-15k. Spread out over time it probably isn't lot's but I can't imagine my winnings as topped £3k. My first ever bet came in  was a fiver on 60/1 odds that came in. In hindsight I probably wish I hadn't won that. 

 

Smart phone use is the latest shitfest that's buggering up people's lives and I think it is an addiction too. My sympathies for those with addictions. 

I don't think you can sum up a gambling problem any better than that.

I agree with almost everything, I gambled regularly for 10-12 years myself but the crux was that I truly did only gamble with money I could afford to lose. So I was always in control and there was no problem, right? Well no it was very wrong and I let it dictate my moods for years, win and I was happy, lose and all I could think about was my next bet, forget about socialising and other stuff like that, I had bets to worry about.

Its a truly nasty habit whether you are gambling money you can afford to lose or not.

Thankfully I only gamble maybe once a month now and its not a routine anymore, its just for fun or a social thing now like going to the races or 40 quid on blackjack at the casino.

 

Edited by AVFCDAN
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5 minutes ago, lapal_fan said:

It sounds incredibly sad

No it really doesn't.

I'm very, very similar in that it's my main vice (apart from movies) and for nearly 40 years it's the one pastime/hobby that I've never ever got tired of due to it's constantly developing nature.

I probably spend around 10-12 hours a week on games these days and exactly like you I would never let it get in the way of a night out/family outing. I think the world has now (thankfully) got over the idea of video gaming being strictly for kids and spotty teens in their bedrooms. If anyone still thinks that way...well they're very, very wrong.

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Just now, villa4europe said:

throwing it out there - Villatalk

Definitely.

It's still the main site I visit day after day. I will be a very sad bugger the day it no longer exists.

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50 minutes ago, Ingram85 said:

Chocolate and crisps

Boobies

Spending loads on computer games and accompanying pointless collectable tat every month in some misguided belief that it makes me cool and will impress random strangers on the tinterwebz.

#metoo

just can't keep my eyes off em......all shapes and sizes

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Taken various drugs over the years but definitely can take them or leave them, no addiction there. Coffee however was an addiction, pretty trivial one I know but became essential for me to function, would have 5-6 cup sa day all very strong with ~5 tea spoons each, a lot of this was to combat the effects of chronic insomnia but obviously came a vicious cycle. Currently down to two weaker cups a day.

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Quit the fags a few years ago. Just the curlywurly addiction to beat. 

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I definitely have an addictive personality.

At the age of 27 I've had various stages including way too much binge drinking for a few years as a teenager (to the point of drinking glasses of spirits), taking too many hard drugs at uni and for a few years and after uni smoking a lot of weed. Coupled with being at different points in my life where my mental health wasn't the best and I just didn't care about much I feel very lucky to have been able to get through uni and complete the relevant training in my profession, but I appreciate I wont always be so lucky so really want to work on this.

The only thing I still do on a regular basis is smoking (which I know I need to stop).

Has anyone had any success in working on reducing these damaging tendencies? I know that step one is to probably work on my mental health as I am definitely someone who bottles up and no one in my life even knows this is an issue.

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Cigarettes for me 😞 

Currently on day 3 of quitting and moving to a vape. Still getting nicotine but psychologically its tough

Cut down from 9 coffees a day to one 3 weeks ago. Had a few medical issues the last few weeks so trying to make big changes and get a bit healthier

 

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18 minutes ago, Sam-AVFC said:

I definitely have an addictive personality.

At the age of 27 I've had various stages including way too much binge drinking for a few years as a teenager (to the point of drinking glasses of spirits), taking too many hard drugs at uni and for a few years and after uni smoking a lot of weed. Coupled with being at different points in my life where my mental health wasn't the best and I just didn't care about much I feel very lucky to have been able to get through uni and complete the relevant training in my profession, but I appreciate I wont always be so lucky so really want to work on this.

The only thing I still do on a regular basis is smoking (which I know I need to stop).

Has anyone had any success in working on reducing these damaging tendencies? I know that step one is to probably work on my mental health as I am definitely someone who bottles up and no one in my life even knows this is an issue.

I definitely think meditation, and apps can help - if anything for just forcing a brain to slow down, and focus on breathing etc for 10 minutes. Personally I find my mind can dart about in compulsive modes and my actions are so instantly impulsive I've done think before I've even thought about it. If you have a way of just removing yourself from that thought space for 10 minutes, that can be enough to build up a bit of a resistance to making the easy choice. Obviously it's not a silver-bullet, and other days it won't work for very long. But it can be a helpful technique for just slowing your mind down. Go for a walk outside, sit down for ten minutes and just slow down your thoughts. Again, if it was that simple all the time, there'd be no such thing as addiction, but it can be enough time to allow you to actually think about positive alternatives, or to think about the negative thoughts you will have if you do immediately succumb to temptation. Mini steps etc.

Also, speaking to a counsellor, even just for one or two sessions to unspill those thoughts, knowing that someone else knows about those issues can be a relief. I've spoken to a counsellor twice at different points in my life when things were particularly difficult - not just addiction behaviour related but obviously it wasn't helping. 

Also, a diary - same principle as the meditation, give yourself just 10 minutes to take those thoughts onto paper. Trying to work out why you do it. It's an ongoing process, and as with any aids, sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't, but I think each time helps builds up gradually an ability to self-analyse your behaviour, and the more it happens eventually the rational part of your mind begins to have a little more influence over the impulse control. 

 

Edited by Rodders
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Thanks @Rodders, definitely helpful advice. It's interesting you mention shutting down as, what I didn't mention, is I also really struggle with sleeping more than a few hours a night and that's definitely the main issue.

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1 minute ago, Sam-AVFC said:

Thanks @Rodders, definitely helpful advice. It's interesting you mention shutting down as, what I didn't mention, is I also really struggle with sleeping more than a few hours a night and that's definitely the main issue.

No problem, I've been editing my post since you quoted that to add more steps in. 

I don't sleep much either, never been a big sleeper, whether that's me always needing stimulation - a product of years of always thinking what else could I be doing, what next, what next or other factors I don't know. 

I used an app website called sleepio for a while - and I found it quite useful, as a peaceful activity to do each morning or evening. 

 

I tihnk what ever option there is, not treating any one option as a magic bullet that will cure everything is important.

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I'm a binge drinker and have no issues with going months between any alcohol , I smoked when i was younger and gave up overnight without any issues   ,  football manger  ,poker , phone apps in general play them to death but give them up fairly easily  , I gamble online but can take it or leave it , I once logged into my account to find I had a few hundred quid in it ..turns out I'd put a bet on Milan Baros to top score in the Euros  .. And hadn't logged on for about 6 years since placing the bet (i might have only logged on because they got taken over by skybet or something)  

and yet Pepsi Max and chocolate I can't give up  ..I've sometimes gone a month without either but always end up back on them , often to the point that I'll eat that missing months worth in a few days  !! I sometimes crave a pepsiMax when i get home from work , whilst some might like a nice glass of red with their evening meal , for me its an ice cold Pepsimax

strange things addiction

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