Dear Abby: Online gaming isolates man from his family and friends
Dear Abby: I am a 34-year-old man who is somewhat socially awkward. I want to start dating and hopefully find that special someone. The problem is, I have an addiction. It’s not to alcohol or drugs, but to online games.
I have been gaming since I was 18, shortly after I joined the military, and it has been the majority of my social interaction. I have avoided friends and family and spent thousands of dollars over the years on this “hobby.” I have tried several times to quit. I succeed for a few months, but I always go back, thinking I can play just a little bit. I sincerely want to quit. I don’t want to go on like this, but I don’t know how to break this cycle.
Counseling is out of the question because I would have to report it to my job, which could jeopardize my future employment. Is there any advice about how to fix this problem? — Lost In Cyberspace
Dear Lost: I’m glad you have recognized that your gaming has become a problem and want to do something about it. That’s the first step in fixing it.
Video games are the fastest-growing form of media entertainment. Because of the sophisticated technology involved, the games can be addictive, and the social aspects of them can make them a hard habit to break without professional help. Treatment may involve private counseling or even require inpatient care. However, if that is unworkable, On-Line Gamers Anonymous (olganon.org) may be a helpful alternative for you. It is a 12-step program based on the principles of AA. You may want to check it out.
Dear Abby: My dad recently passed away. It was unexpected. Many people have sent condolences, which was very thoughtful. My problem is, I’m an atheist, and many of them have said things like “He’s in a better place now.”
. I have a HUGE problem with people basically telling me that Dad is better off dead than alive. That’s preposterous! My father is better off here, laughing with his family, enjoying life and playing with his grandchildren.
How do I respond to those people without sounding snarky?
— Grieving Daughter
Dear Grieving: I’m printing your letter because you are not the first grieving family member to have shared those sentiments with me. But please understand that the subject of death makes many people very uncomfortable, and they don’t know what the comforting thing to say is. Readers, it’s sufficient to say, “I heard the sad news. I’m so very sorry for your loss.” (PERIOD.)
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