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Suffering from bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. Addicted to games. What should I do?

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Practicing since : 2004
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I am addicted to games on Facebook. In two years; I have spent thousands of dollars on these games using my disability money. I suffer from both bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. I decided to quit these games 2-3 months ago. My social worker advised me to quit gradually. I only play these games for 2 hours a day now, but I am still spending hundreds of dollars. Do you have any suggestions for managing my gaming addiction?
Posted Fri, 27 Jul 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 8 hours later
Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your efforts for medical consultation in so much distress.

Important aspects of your query are:
•     38 year old female
•     Known case of Bipolar Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Overactive bladder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
•     Complaints of: Addiction to facebook games.

You case is interesting and but difficult too. I will try to give my best effort to help you in this problem.

In any type of De-addiction following things are essential:
-Very good motivation: As only your efforts will stop it. Others role is to show way to you.
-Stickiness with treatment plan even if there is some slip
-Tolerance to discomfort

As after social worker advice, you are gaming only 2 hours a day, so it is not a big problem. Currently main problem is excessive spending on games.

Following steps will help you:
-Inform your current psychiatrist regarding gaming addiction.
-Involve your family members in treatment implementation in form of supervision by them. Inform them about your plan to stop gaming.
-Do not have unsupervised money (debit/credit cards, internet banking) in hand to play paid games.
-Stop playing paid/net games from today itself. You can shift to preloaded game on computers. For that it is better to cut unsupervised internet use.
-Write hours of internet use and expenses on calender daily, so that others can also see it. It will also provide you feedback for progress.
-Follow these advices strictly

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wish you good health.
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