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addiction in its many forms…

September 3, 2010

This just caught my eye – combination of the start of the football season and psychology:

http://www.daytondailynews.com/dayton-sports/high-school-sports/piqua/pitcock-i-refer-to-video-games-as-my-drug-of-choice-893555.html

Short story: an athlete, a very good football player (played for the Buckeyes before going pro), deals with depression and anxiety by playing video games 12-15 hours a day, late into the night, and loses his competitive edge. His promising football career is put on hold as he struggles to regain control. He works to understand his situation and change the behaviors that have undermined his career. He is currently working to make a comeback.

The story caught my eye for a few reasons. First, many people from many walks of life struggle with mental illness. From all accounts, he was a popular and successful kid who was able to follow his dream of playing pro football. He still struggled with depression, anxiety, and by his own account, an addiction (although I’m not sure that is the best way to describe his reliance on video games, but that gets off the path a bit). Second, coping with the challenges of mental illness requires information (e.g. understanding your psychological experiences). It wasn’t until he realized the reasons why he was shutting himself off from his life with the games that he was able to deal with his “addiction”. Third, people are resilient and are able to cope with conditions like depression and anxiety disorders. There is a possibility that this guy will be “better off”, at least more aware of himself, following this experience. It is not easy to cope with mental illness, but it is also not hopeless. Hopefully his experiences will serve as a guide to others, athletes and non-athletes, gamers or not, about staying connected and not letting life overwhelm them.

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