Has anyone ever dealt with online gaming addiction? My son will be 23 in a week and a half, acts like 15 (or 11 on a bad day). He quit school his senior year, distanced himself from friends because they were going to school and he wasn't. I am now almost his sole face-to-face human relationship, other than the most basic work relationships. He does at least work, albeit for $7.50 an hour. There have been at least 3 occasions where he missed work due to staying up all night gaming. He goes to few family functions, has no social life. He denies having a problem, but when he can't get his "friends" online, he becomes very depressed and lonely, calls me and cries about how lonely he is, wants me to come rescue him by spending some unnamed amount of time with him (I think he means days, not minutes or hours). When I offer less than that, he can't/won't even try to enjoy the time we do have, just complains it's not enough. But magically, when his online friends reappear, he suddenly doesn't "need" me anymore. He takes no risks anymore, has no ambitions except to improve his gaming and find more online friends. I recognize the avoidance of facing his real issues (stemming from his dad's death 11 1/2 years ago), and his attempts at emotional blackmail, and his extreme dependance on the gaming. He admits that others get off to go to bed and he stays on. On the one hand I know it's not as bad as crack or heroin, but on the other hand it's still destroying my son and still daily affecting me. He insists I call him every day; if I get busy I must not really care about him, but if he's busy online, it's okay, I should just call back another time. It's hard to know where to go for support. Grateful I found this group. And I too, feel ashamed. Other people I know, and friends my son went to school with, are graduating from college right now. Mine is not. Others have a life; mine does not. Others have ambitions, dreams. And mine does not. All he cares about it drowning out the pain he refuses to acknowledge. ("I don't get sad about that anymore. I think I have healed from losing my dad.") Any ideas?
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