As a teenager, I have tons of academic responsibilities that I sometimes cannot handle. And aside from that, I also have a lot of duties and responsibilities at home that I need help managing. I believe the culprit for that is time management. But in reality, it’s about my mobile gaming addiction.
I started thinking about going into therapy when I realized I was not myself anymore and was different from how I was. I used to be an organized teenager that handled her schedules well. I maintain good grades, accomplish daily household tasks, and even learn something interesting every day. But all of these quality traits suddenly changed when my mom bought me an android phone for my 17th birthday.
The mobile device was the most expensive gift I received, so I was so overwhelmed to have one. My mom told me I deserved it because I was doing great academically and was a good daughter. Honestly, it was all the reasons I can think of and agree with.
Every time I’m done with my school homework and also finished with my daily chores, that is where I use my phone. At first, I was responsible enough to use it on schedule and only when I had spare time. However, my habits changed when I installed a Multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game.
The Unnoticeable Changes
A week after I started playing MOBA, I felt so entertained that I sometimes forgot about my daily chores. Sometimes I can make up the tasks and work on them double time, saving me the day. Then there are these school assignments that I missed submitting too, but I got a couple of passes due to my high exam scores. Thus, I thought a couple of unfinished responsibilities won’t hurt that much since I could still manage to come up with a better solution to fix my problems.
Then after a month of getting hooked on a particular MOBA game, I began to see the huge impact on my life. So suddenly, I lost interest in becoming the best at school. My classmates and teachers constantly asked me if I had a problem at home because I could no longer maintain good grades. I can no longer submit my school papers on schedule and have difficulty understanding most of our daily lessons. I am also not participating in extracurricular activities anymore and often sleeping while in class.
At home, I also experience the same struggle. My mom is constantly yelling at me for not attending to the needs of the house. I forget to throw a week’s bundle of trash. I do not wash the dishes and clean the house anymore. I do not clean my room and sometimes even do not take care of myself. I lost interest in self-care and often forgot to cater to my hygienic needs.
The Emotional Turmoil
The problems with my unfinished home and house tasks are piling up, and as the days go by, I become less uninterested in accomplishing them. I only have time for playing, which I don’t want to quit doing.
With all the bad side comments I hear about what I do and how I change, I become resentful towards the people around me more. Their constant complaints about my bad attitude make me want to trigger them more and not give a damn about their feelings. I become so angry at them for always talking me out of using my phone. I can only clap back by insinuating that it is not my fault that mom gave the phone to me and it is not my fault that the school is now boring and longer interesting.
I became more hooked on my mobile game experience that when my mom took it away from me, I ransacked the whole house and ruined things. I can’t believe I even threatened her that I would commit suicide if she didn’t give back my phone. Worse, I threatened to kill her if I lost a rank in the game because she was holding my phone captive. All I could think of was getting a hold of my phone and continuing playing regardless if I hurt myself or my mom’s feelings. I was angry and frustrated just because I couldn’t play that stupid game.
It took me a while before I realized I was in serious need of mental health support. Seeking professional help was the most crucial part of my struggle because I didn’t believe I needed it. It was my family’s worst battle that made us think through our mental and emotional well-being.
Right now, I believe all is well. I am still using my phone and playing MOBA from time to time. But now, in moderation. My friends, family, and therapist are helping me cope with my mobile gaming addiction and supporting me with my emotional regulation recovery.