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Episode Info: Hello, friends! In this episode podcast, I do a little Q&A with some really awesome questions. For one reason or another, I also felt a little silly so have fun with my rambles and random laughter. In this episode, I answer questions about keeping a healthy relationship with gaming, processing trauma, and coping with social anxiety. Hey Dr. Duff! I love the podcast. I’ve been listening for a bit now, and I have really appreciated the episodes you’ve done regarding family problems, shame, and anxiety. I’ve heard you talk about games and RPGs a good amount while listening, and i am wondering if you have tips on how to keep games as a healthy part of your life. I love gaming, but I know it keeps me from doing other things that are more important. Thanks! This is a tough one. I can totally relate to the feeling of being torn between opening yourself up to falling into a game and enjoying yourself but also knowing that you have other responsibilities that you should attend to. At this point in my life, my relationship with gaming has definitely changed. In college and graduate school, I did a lot more of it and in more problematic ways, like playing late into the night and not being good to myself. Keep track of your gaming and mood I think it comes down to developing some self-awareness. First off, you are going to want to become more aware of just how long and when you are gaming. For some this could simply be taking a minute to think about it, looking back at the week or month and thinking about how much you’ve been gaming and how it’s affecting you. For others, particularly those who might have a hard time doing the self-regulation thing, it might be more helpful to be keeping some sort of log. It can be a physical paper log, or using an app on your phone…you could even just plug it into your google calendar or whatever you use to keep track of your time – when you’ve had a gaming session, add it in retrospectively to your log. By doing this you can see the actual hours that you spend gaming. There isn’t some global number of hours that is okay to spend on gaming. It’s going to be a bit different for everyone and it will depend on what else you have going on. But the first step is to recognize what your current patterns are. There are also many different kinds of games and the way you interact with them will be different. For instance, I try to avoid playing League of Legends because I know I’ll get sucked in and waste a lot of time. I will reinstall it once every year or two and go through a few months of it. The thing is matches are over 30 minutes long and it’s always so tempting to just play one more. You also need to be aware of how the games affect your mood. With that league example, I know that I feel like s*** when I waste 3 hours on it and lose every single game. If I win, it’s a bit better, but that’s unpredictable. On the flip side, I’ve been recently playing more single-player games like BioShock,...
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