254: The OCD Gamer

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Thank you for your recent post on your experiences with OCD. More than 2 million adult Americans suffer from OCD. In an effort to better understand this common disorder, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute is conducting a study to examine possible genetic contributions to OCD. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

We are looking for individuals with OCD who would be interested in participating. Participation involves a 2-3 hour interview and a blood/saliva sample for DNA. We also ask that family members (parents or siblings) provide a blood/saliva sample for DNA. Individuals with OCD are compensated $75 for their interview and DNA sample, and family members receive $35 for their DNA sample. Study procedures can take place in the home or at our medical center.

If you would like to help us gain a deeper understanding of OCD, you may contact Columbia University research staff at 212-543-5364 or e-mail CUOCGAS@gmail.com. Confidentiality is assured.

CUOCGAS:
Thank you for your recent post on your experiences with OCD. More than 2 million adult Americans suffer from OCD. In an effort to better understand this common disorder, Columbia University/New York State Psychiatric Institute is conducting a study to examine possible genetic contributions to OCD. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

We are looking for individuals with OCD who would be interested in participating. Participation involves a 2-3 hour interview and a blood/saliva sample for DNA. We also ask that family members (parents or siblings) provide a blood/saliva sample for DNA. Individuals with OCD are compensated $75 for their interview and DNA sample, and family members receive $35 for their DNA sample. Study procedures can take place in the home or at our medical center.

If you would like to help us gain a deeper understanding of OCD, you may contact Columbia University research staff at 212-543-5364 or e-mail CUOCGAS@gmail.com. Confidentiality is assured.

Wow, I think I saw a notice for this in my therapist's office.

I have a mild case of autism and i walk around inside my house for a hour or two and socialised. I enjoy the great article, its like people like you create these wonderful stories and continue to coming back to the escapist.

I've wondered for a while if I have some kind of anxiety disorder...the definitions really throw me, though.

I know that I'll stay far later than I should after work, some days - I've been at my job until 2 in the morning, unable to find a reason as to why. It's not like I don't have other things to do...like sleep...it's hard to rationalize some of my behaviours.

I'd say I have mild OCD, if I was to guess, as these fits only happen occasionally. They don't permeate my gaming, but I do feel some pangs when I look at my trophy level - I want to get 100% on infamous, but I see no reason why I have to hurl grenades while riding a train until I kill 100 goons (or whatever it is). I can clearly see that it doesn't make sense, that it isn't fun, so I don't do it. I'm missing a few blast shards, but I won't scour the city for the couple that I need for the same reasons. I don't have the classic "flip light on and off ten times before leaving a room" thing - I don't count how many times I do things. That said, I might still double, triple check something just in case I got it wrong - only some things, though, like a food recipe.

My gaming ALways has to be fun. I have some completionist tendencies, but only as far as finishing a game. I won't play some sequels until I beat the earlier games, but I won't play the prequels, as I don't like some part of the game. Killzone 1 is a terrible game, but I won't play KZ 2 until I beat it...so, probably never. This means I own a LOT of games that I haven't even touched...MGS4 came with my PS3, but I haven't played it - I've beat all the other console Metal Gears, even the MSX, but just because I don't find Sons of Liberty to be any fun, I won't play the final game. Same with Ratchet and Clank - I have ToD, but since I haven't beat the PS2 ones, I won't let myself just enjoy it. I honestly HATE trophy support, because I see what the addition of trophies does to a lot of gamers; it makes gaming itself a game. It makes Nintendo games unenjoyable (for some people), as they don't add to your online rank. To me, it's absolutely ludicrous - if a game's fun, I'll play it. I don't get any medals for playing Megaman, but I'll play those games again and again because I ENJOY them.

Yeah, trophies suck. I have Valkyria Chronicles, Ninja Gaiden Sigma, Elder Scrolls Oblivion, Saint's Row 2, but because I don't have trophy support for any of them, other games take priority, games I might not be all that interested in, like Deadspace.

I plan on seeking help, but my head does get in the way a bit - there are places I want to be in my life, and, although seeking help might get me there faster, I just want to get through my problems on my own, thinking they're manageable, even when my habits suck up so much of my time. Maybe if a make a list weighing pros and cons, and see how overwhelmingly they favour seeking help, I'll bite the bullet and just do it. This article definitely strikes a chord with me - I don't have the same issues as a lot of people out there, but I realize how dibilitating some behaviours can be, and how hard it is to break the habit. I'd say mine are WAY more manageable than others, but, regardless, I would benefit from some professional help. Or maybe some meds, if I'd let myself be prescribed to them...I don't think I NEED them, so I don't want them

LOL, I'm a mess. You made me think, Mike! Good on ya. Nothing I haven't repeatedly thought about before, but it's good to share these kinds of experiences, I guess. Yay, Sociology! No one's alone in their problems

turbo_girl:
I think it's really important for people to understand that OCD isn't just about hand-washing or hoarding or what have you. It can manifest differently for each person, and sometimes in ways you wouldn't expect. I would know; my OCD revolved around people and social situations. It's hard to explain, but the author makes a very true point here. OCD can show up anywhere, even in our leisure.

Thinking about it now, when I was younger all the games I really got hooked on were repetitive: Starfox 64, Harvest Moon, The Sims. They're all very different types of games, and while I did (and still do) truly enjoy them and have fun with them, I remember playing them obsessively in times when I was under social stress. Those times I wasn't having fun, I was just taking comfort in a repetitive activity I was familiar with and that I knew would be exactly the same (to some extent) every time I turned it on. When my social life felt out of control, I turned to games to feel like I had some semblance of control over my life. I didn't realize I used gaming as one of my coping mechanisms until I read this article.

I don't do that so much anymore though. I suppose I do still find comfort in the repetitive actions of gaming, but I think the fact that I have a hard time playing a Harvest Moon game past Year 2 attests to the fact that I've improved.

Thanks for being brave enough to write this article, Michael. I know getting a bad reaction from a family member or close friend can often be discouraging, but I think a lot of people will benefit from the experiences you've shared.

It actually wasn't a really bad reaction - my Mom is just kind of a funny lady sometimes.

ccesarano:
It's a lack of control, feeling an inexplicable impulse and just spontaneously going with it. Just because you get bored watching TV doesn't mean you have ADD. If you are watching TV and suddenly have the impulse to get up, run over to the couch and try to vault over it without knowing where the idea came from, that's....well, it's a more bad ass variation of ADD, but that's pretty much it. Inexplicable impulses that, when asked "why" you can't really explain.

This sounds like a good explanation for why it takes me half an hour to make a sandwich. I'm constantly interrupting the sandwich-making with something totally unrelated. For no reason at all I'll just stop what I'm doing and see what my cat is up to.

Michael Comeau:
The OCD Gamer

All gamers have a desire to play videogames, but, for someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder, that desire becomes need. Michael Comeau relates how he discovered that his gaming was just another symptom of his OCD.

Read Full Article

for what it's worth.....your totally not alone, i can relate to you on many levels...just one example, i'm glad i got a new car w/ a keyless entry, now i just press the lock button 5-6 times while leaving my car, as opossed to walking back to it 5-6 times to see if i locked it....either way i feel for you and i'm glad things are getting better, OCD (people can make jokes all they want...i even do sometimes) is not something fun to have at all

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