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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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Konohana Sakuya Offline
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Should my brother see a professional? - December 17th 2014, 08:02 AM

My brother is addicted to online games. Whenever he is playing, he never let anyone use the Internet, including my mom even though she is doing her work like sending her colleagues important files.

If someone uses the Internet while he's playing with his equally addicted friends, he would swear and shout at me or my parents. If the game lags, he shouts and destroy things in the house. He always uses the family PC to play online games almost everyday to the point he does everything at the computer desk (he eats a lot and doesn't exercise), even though the computer is supposed to be used for my all of us equally.

The Internet connection overall in my country is extremely slow, so he's always throwing fits while playing. One day he cried and broke a thing or two in the house because of the slow connection.

My parents have given up at my brother. I think he should see a professional. What do you think? I am pretty certain my brother doesn't want to seek help because of a stigma prevailing in Indonesia: if one needs professional help, he/she is insane and the family of the one seeking professional help must hide that fact. Thanks to that stigma as well, Indonesia has no good mental health care services. Either he will be treated badly by the professional or my family will have to pay lots and lots of money for the mental health care (you know, law of scarcity. The rarer something is, the more expensive it is)

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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Celyn Offline
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Re: Should my brother see a professional? - December 17th 2014, 06:45 PM

Hey Karen,

Sorry to hear about your brother. It does sound like he does have some issues regarding internet addiction and anger that can be managed and overcome with professional help.

It may be worthwhile talking to your parents about your concerns regarding your brother. If you do, talk to them in private (away from your brother) and be calm about it. It may help to keep a log of how often your brother gets angry with the internet and how he takes out his anger, as well as generally how much time he spends online. You can then use this to help explain when you are talking to your parents.

How close are you to your brother? Could you talk to him too about his behaviour? You could explain that you worry about him sometimes and want to help him.

It may be helpful if you could get everyone to agree on how much time each person uses the internet, and to stick to it. You could also help your brother by trying to get him to spend less time on the internet every day. It’s best to start off in small amounts such as 5 minutes less, rather than going ‘cold turkey’. You could also help him manage his anger by getting a stress ball to take out his frustration on rather than the computer, doing breathing exercises to calm down and help him recognise feelings of anger before it builds up to lashing out, such as increased heart rate, clenching muscles, raising his voice. When he recognises the anger, he can then try to calm down by leaving the room, or counting numbers, breathing etc. You could also take a look at our addiction resources.

Unfortunately, stigma surrounding mental health is still around. However, getting help is always a positive step and doesn’t mean that the person is insane. Your brother and family have nothing to be ashamed of by seeking help. I’m not familiar with Indonesian mental health services but it might help for you to do research on what’s available and if your brother was treated badly, how you could resolve the situation e.g. complain, get other help.

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Re: Should my brother see a professional? - December 18th 2014, 01:58 AM

Reminds me of myself. I think he needs help and it also sounds like more than an internet addiction. I used to exhibit similar behaviors before I learned how to manage my autism. Now, however my condition is a strength rather than a weakness.

"And will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live." - Stephen King
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Rivière Offline
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Re: Should my brother see a professional? - December 19th 2014, 12:09 AM

There's a lot of things to consider in regards to computer games and online gaming. A lot of people play them for various reasons but the most common is not because they've formed an addiction but actually because games are a form of escape. Playing games allows us to immerse ourselves in a whole new world. We get to explore places, meet people and most of all, become someone else. We can do things we can't actually do in our waking life and sometimes the things we actually can do in games helps us to take our mind off of what's going on in our life outside of the computer screen.

When I was younger and during my years between 16 and 18 I'd actually spend an enormous amount of time at my computer and my Xbox 360 to the point where I'd spend up to 8 hours some days just playing games and often those online. This was because I was going through a really tough time, my family were an issue and I had no physical escape so I'd escape into an 'alternate' reality so-to-speak, where I could meet people from all over the world, have a great laugh and forget my real-life problems. It could be argued that due to my sometimes 8-hour straight gaming sessions, I was addicted, however with closer understanding, I was in fact not, but just using it as a coping method to escape the issues I was going through at that moment in time.

An addiction is something that physically interferes with a person's life. Yes your brother is getting seriously angry and annoyed when something doesn't go his way for him, but I think part of the issue here is unfortunately because he's being allowed to have what he wants. As much as having to listen to him yelling and being violent is difficult, if he's living at home with you and your mum, he must learn equality. I don't know how old your brother is, but if he's younger, now would be a really good time to begin reinforcing the fact he can't just be allowed to do what he wants and that he's got to accept the fact that the home computer is a family computer and is not solely his. If he's older and 18+, he should consider finding his own place and then he can do whatever he likes. Until such time, I seriously think some rules need laying down.

Holly gave a great suggestion in slowly getting him to spend less time at the computer. It doesn't have to be all at once, but consider half an hour less for one week, then an hour the next week and so on.

Finally, see if there's actually anything going on in his life that's causing him to want to spend so much time at the computer. I understand you wanting to consider him for professional help, but if you say the mental healthcare system is as bad as it is, then it may actually do more harm than good and may therefore be better if you could help him work through anything he's going through together until you feel like you each honestly can't take his behaviour anymore.

Life is for living, not for losing.
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MWF Offline
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Re: Should my brother see a professional? - December 21st 2014, 11:05 PM

I would say to send him to a professional if possible. My backup advice would be to just not allow him to use the internet at all, but that might lead to new, bigger problems.
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