How to overcome the feeling of emptiness after quitting video games


After reducing or giving up your habit of constantly playing video games, it is common for you to feel a sense of unhappiness or emptiness inside which you feel you cannot overcome.

While you were playing video games, your brain was releasing a hormone called dopamine which gives you the feeling of reward and happiness. It is known that playing video games releases a large amount of the hormone causing you to crave more of that feeling you are gaining when playing video games. So, when you finally give up your gaming habits or cut down on the amount of time you play video games, your brain goes into withdrawal.


Yes, even with playing video games, you can get withdrawal symptoms when you stop playing. Basically, what is happening is that the amount of dopamine release you gained through playing video games is no longer releasing and your brain is craving that level of dopamine release. Hence the constant need to fulfil your need to play video games causing an addictive nature.



These withdrawal symptoms can vary between mood swings, fatigue, depression or a sense of disappointment with one’s life. The best way to battle these feelings is to remember why it is you wanted to give your video gaming habit. For example, if you gave up your video gaming habit to improve your family life or relationships, then it is best to focus your energies on spending more time with them. If you have children, think of make-believe or hide and seek type games you can play with them in order to reconnect with them. By doing this, your brain will release that hormone dopamine and fulfil your needs in a positive way. Plus, your child/children are getting more time with their parent, creating memories and bonds. Remembering why you gave up your video game habit in the first place can help you regain your motivation and determination to changing your lifestyle for the better.


Regarding the feeling of emptiness or any inadequacies, again the first step is to remember why you gave up your video gaming habit and the second step is to ACT on it. For example, I gave up my video gaming habits to fulfil my dreams of becoming a Forensic Toxicologist. In order for me to do that, I had to become more involved with toxicology and forensic affiliations such as Society of Toxicology (SOT) and Society of Forensic Toxicologist (SOFT). I had to continue my learning and improving my skills in the laboratory in order to achieve this dream. Like they say, practice makes perfect. So far, I am slowly on my way to achieving this goal and what I mean by slowly is by investing in myself and my future, taking every opportunity I can in order to improve myself to finally land my dream job.



You must remember that when you chase a dream, you do not go in straight lines to get there nor do you get there quickly. These things take time and remembering that will help you to overcome this feeling of emptiness. Whatever your goal is, or the motivation was to stop your video gaming habit, it is important to remember that nothing good comes easy nor does it come quickly. Unfortunately, these things take time. You will find yourself sitting there thinking what’s the point? But that’s natural. It is natural to doubt yourself. But what is not acceptable, is giving up and falling back into your habits again.


The best way to beat this, is to act on what it was that motivated you to stop. Your going to get thoughts telling you to give up, you can’t change, and you will never achieve what it is you want in life. Well I am here to tell you, YOU CAN! You just need to dig deep, find that grit and ACT! Plan, organise and take control on what it is you wish to achieve. Whether that be more family trips to places you never been, exploring, starting a blog, becoming the very thing you always wanted to be. Do it. Taking action will soon diminish those feelings and yes you will hit bumps in the road, but that is where discipline and determination comes into play. Remember to rest and then get back to it. Keep moving forward and achieve that goal you wish to achieve.


To summarise it all simply:

1) Remember why you gave up your video gaming habit

2) Take action

3) Build discipline

4) Let nothing hold you back, not even yourself


All the best!


- Vikki Horton


Merry Christmas



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