Justin, 23, plays video games around the clock, sometimes spending up to 30 hours straight in front of his computer screen. “I enjoy gaming more than I enjoy life,” he says. “Gaming is simple and rewarding. People care about me there more than in the real world, and I’m good at it.”
Describing a typical day in his life, the unemployed college dropout says, “I generally wake up at 4 p.m., because I was up all night gaming the night before.” He typically eats only once a day, which is why he has lost more than 50 pounds and is practically emaciated, and only gets up from gaming to go to the bathroom.
His parents are afraid his lifestyle could kill him, and they turn to Dr. Phil for help.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to succeed in the real world, but I’ve passed them up, and I feel like it’s kind of hopeless now,” says Justin, who often smokes weed while playing. “It just makes me want to play more, because then I don’t have to think about it as much.”
He tells Dr. Phil, “I do believe I have a problem with gaming … I think I’m just not motivated to do anything in the real world anymore, because I’ve achieved so much online that if I gave up now, all of that would feel like a waste.” Justin, who has been ranked in the top 20 worldwide in a couple of different games, adds, “I feel like most of the people I know are way ahead of me in life now. I’ve messed up on college a couple times. I just can’t really see myself being successful anymore.”
How did he get here and how can he turn his life around? Watch Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil — check local listings here.
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