Gosh, I hear you.
I took am always looking for help/advice.
Our son is 16 and he is on the spectrum, has ADHD (takes medication for it), suffers from anxiety (another medication) and social awkwardness, has major bouts of depression (suicidal) and now (grade 11) is out of mainstream schooling and does distance education from home with me.
His long hours of pc gaming crept up on us over the past two years. He found it helped him to calm his mind and so we sought advice from the 'professionals' and were advised that gaming was the 'least of your worries'.
So at weekends he will pretty much game from 9am to 9pm stopping only for toilet breaks and lunch.
School days he will only game when he doesn't have a school lesson and finishes classes at 2pm. Then games through to 9pm stopping only for a shower and dinner around 6pm. At 8pm he takes his anti-psychotic meds that allow him to sleep. They take a couple of hours to kick in so he rests in bed with food/snacks for a couple of hours on his ipad watching Youtube.
He used to play sports including, soccer, oztag, tennis and he was a runner, Parkrun and crosscountry.
Now he does nothing, absolutely nothing.
People ask why we don't just 'make him' get off the gaming... ie take away the internet, force him outside and to do activities. All I say is 'walk in our shoes for just one day, and see where it gets you.'
As most of you would understand, the meltdowns are horrendous and when your child is a teenager, almost a man, they are not fun to witness. Neither are they for your other children.
I can see that his self-harming is definitely used as a way to blackmail us. The issue I have is that I can't ever put it to the test because let me tell you, I never want to experience the feeling of "I wish I hadn't forced him because now he's dead". I would much rather have our son alive than dead. He is more than capable of anything when he is completely stressed and agitated.
I know he is addicted and I spend many sleepless nights worrying myself sick about his mental and physical health.
He is overweight or anything but I know it is terrible for his body to sit and game ALL day. There is so much more to life but I just don't know how to help him to see it.
I usually manage to calm my mind by thinking it could be much worse... I know, it hardly seems possible but there are plenty more hours in the day/night that he could be gaming than he already is.
So far, any advice offered has been of no help but I always am willing to listen.
Peace to you all in the similar situation
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