It sounds a bit more like an obsession than an addiction, and it may be enough to consider counseling, but it also may be something you can take care on your own with the insight you have already started to present...your avatar is an externalization of your internal best self image....its where you want to go with yourself but mixed in with a portion of magical thinking....the goal may be unrealizable in the idealized form, but the direction is the information you need to continue your development. So when you take real actions to be more like your avatar, the obsession itself will be less pronounced.
I know this topic has had some replies but please, let me offer some insight as I have played MMORPGS (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) for around 7 years.
I agree with the doctor- this is an obsession, if anything, and not addiction. Do you enjoy World of Warcraft? if so, it shouldn't be something you should avoid. If you have moved on and DO NOT WANT images of World of Warcraft in your head- THAT is a medcal problem.
This also may sound like you are distraught and are having thoughts that question yourself and your focus on life. I have had times like this where I question who I am, what I have become, how I have gotten here and where I want to go. Sometimes these answers are not easily answered or are not answered at all- and that is okay. Perhaps it is easier for your mind to relate to WoW because social situations can arise and can be solved without actual human contact (face to face).
When I played Star Wars Galaxies, I was deeply into roleplay. Who I wanted to be and who I was could be expressed through a game character with interaction from other players. It can be a tool for social development for those with social anxiety disorder or the general introverts like me who don't really like talking to people. I cared about Jade, my character but since I was him, I wasn't too deeply concerned on his needs but rather mine. MMOs are a lot like real life- as amazing, fun and cool as they are- its still a compromise and a balancing act.
MMOs can be a great tool- and a great curse to those who become addicted to them (level of addiction, for example includes no sleep, eating or bathroom time). You're not addicted- some of us live in our heads and "think too much". My motto- talking to yourself if normal. Thinking too much is normal- but don't let it get out of hand. What I mean by that is, don't get irrational thoughts and believe that they are an ultimatum.
No, she says it hasn't negatively affected her life (but she does also say she's been struggling with an addiction).
Everything we do affects our life.
Not all of the addictions mentioned affect me or my life directly. I do not smoke and I do not drink. I also do not play video games. All addictions have a social cost though.
I'm not saying or implying all video games are safe. I'm saying lighten up!! Have fun, enjoy yourself but keep things in perspective and try and maintain a balance. And yes if there are issues then address them.
Stopping, plus counseling, could be one option.
Why are we fighting over this? I don't have a vested interest either way. She knows herself best and can make her own decisions.
Your right she will have to make her own decision. However the playing of the game effected her life. The above addictions mentioned also effect your life. With any addiction there is obviously an underling issue. People have committed crimes in the name of video games so it can be very serious just like drug addictions and alcoholism. I'm not saying her situation is that grave but it should be looked at before it goes to far. She has already taken a good step forward in doing that and it is commendable.
I think stopping can be a process.
I think the decision to stop whatever needs to be based on many variables.
I don't know if this particular example should be lumped with smoking, drugs or alcohol.
It could be, but I didn't feel the issue was that severe that the person should avoid video games for life.
My advise would have been to address issues, not run from them.
Ultimately Kamelian will have to decide what to do and what is best for her, herself. Which could include avoiding all video games (or WarCraft).
When a person has a problem with over eating, your right they can't just stop eating all together. That is one of the reason for so much obesity in the world today. However other addictions can have a stop to them by just putting them off completely, like smoking, drugs, alcohol, and video games.
The doctor said it sounded more like an obsession than an addiction but I guess that is splitting hairs.
In my experience, addictions (or obsessions) are rarely hidden.
I think being passionate about something is healthy and should be shared with others, not hidden. I think it should be a part of a balanced life though and not be all consuming.
It sounded like she was afraid of it (?spending too much time playing) and felt the solution was to abstain from playing.
If I had an addiction to food would it be considered a 'good step' if I stopped eating?
I personally believe that moderation is healthier. I would advise addressing the issues instead of running from them, and perhaps inheriting an even more dis-empowering obsession or addiction.
Why ditch something you enjoy?
Educate yourself and learn about yourself and maybe set limits but I don't think the game should be banished from her life completely, that seems a bit extreme.
She hides it because it is an addiction. People hide things like that. Such as gambling or over eating. It sounds as if there was no balance and that is why she quit all together. That is a good step. If you feel you can't keep that up maybe you need to throw the game away. I think that with time you won't even remember how to play the game.
Why do you feel you need to hide this part of you?
I think you need balance, not total abstinence.