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Lack of Life

By June 25, 2024No Comments

I’m a 16-year-old who’s honestly not got much to brag about. From a young age I have had a screen addiction that at first wasn’t too bad. Back then my parents had signed me up for activities that prevented me from having too much spare time. After we moved to India however those activities went away and this resulted in my problem becoming worse, I lost all interest in outdoor activities, I never wanted to meet others and I felt like I lost any reason to live normally. So, I absorbed content all day every day, whether it be YouTube or Netflix. Then, around 2 years ago a classmate of mine told me about a game called Genshin impact and i was hooked. This game, while enjoyable to play, made me sheltered from the world, reinvigorating my instincts to avoid social interactions as much as I could without raising any alarms. It has now resulted in me getting poor grades in my AS levels. I do not feel comfortable talking to my parents even though they have openly stated that I can come to them, I don’t know why though, I feel like they would tease me, laugh at or even scold me about my problems as they have done before whenever I got hurt as a kid; even now after they give me a lecture about how I’m not doing enough all I can think about is what they’re doing wrong. For example, when I was younger I asked them repeatedly to stop teasing me about my weight, and only receiving responses such as, “if you can’t manage this you won’t make it in the real world” or, ” If you don’t want to get teased about it, then improve on it”, and I understand this is true even during the few weeks I was consistently exercising they kept teasing. Even to this day they do this but now I understand it’s a waste to try to ask them to stop so I don’t. I currently have no interests other than getting out of this hole I have dug myself into. I found out about this website using chat GPT an wanted to try it out so please let me know how.

PS: Just to be clear these problems are mine alone, my parents are not abusive, and I have come to this site to work on my screen addiction alone. My thought process being that if I can overcome this, I can get my life back on track.


  • First, I would like to thank you for having the courage to share your story with TeenCentral community. Be proud of yourself for reaching out for help. It may seem like a small thing, but it really takes a lot of vulnerability to open up. It’s a first step, and a big one. Please forgive the late response. TC was having some technical difficulties earlier in the week when you first wrote in.
  • What you have describe must feel very lonely and frustrating. It must feel sad in a way, to feel like you have no one to talk too. I know you stated that you have talked to your parents about how you felt in the past and received not so good or helpful responses. I can completely understand why you wouldn’t want to reach out again. It’s not appropriate for parents to tease their children about sensitive topics like what you mentioned. Maybe they thought it would make you angry enough to change – but I’m here to tell you that it’s not good parenting skills. Making fun of your child in an area they struggle is NOT HELPFUL. Instead, they should be helpful and supportive. They should always be a safe place for you. And since this is not the case, we need to find other sources of dependable help for you. 
  • Are there any other trusted adults in your life that you feel you COULD talk to like a grandparent, other older family member, school counselor or someone from a religious community? Being able to get out what is on your mind and feeling heard can really help. If you say, “no”, I get it – it’s just an idea.
  • If face-to face talking is not possible for you then maybe, consider the Crisis Textline (they also have chatting if you’re more of a computer person). Just text “HOME” to 741741 and start a conversation or visit and hit the chat button to start a chat. There is someone there to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • As for your issue with screen time addiction I’d recommend another call line that may be helpful if you are interested in talking with someone who is a specific expert in addictions. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357), the Substance Abuse Hotline. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s for substance abuse. It’s really for addictions in general and that is what you are dealing with.


  • You said that you wanted to primarily work on your addiction to screen time. We want to support and respect your goals.  Here are a few things on this site that I think might be helpful to you:
    • Learning more about how addictions work – CLICK HERE FOR THAT SECTION
    • Set a timer while you are consuming screen content. The amount of time can be whatever you think you can take at first – maybe an hour, 45 minutes. When the timer goes off pause the game/screen content. Stand up and step back from the screen. Stretch your body. If you don’t know how, USE THIS. Drink 4-8oz of water. Take a walk around the house or area where you are (without the screen). Then sit back down and reset the timer.
      • Every 3 times the timer goes off eat a decent snack or have a meal if it’s time.
      • Every so often when you want to challenge yourself, shorten the time frame for the timer.
    • Consuming content online feeds your brain DOPAMINE constantly, like it’s on an IV. If you have a phone every time you get a like, every time you see a text from a friend or a notification from an app or a game you like it’s like your dopamine button is pushed and “ping” you get a dose. You’ve gotten to the point that your body needs that steady input of dopamine to get through the day. How else could you give your body dopamine so that you could substitute the screen for something better? Getting dopamine from healthy sources doesn’t impact your body the same negative way that artificial stimulation does. So – how can we do this another way?
      1. Eat protein
      2. Exercise – Don’t know where to start? TRY THIS or THIS
      3. Get enough sleep -To learn more about this READ HERE about your natural Ciradian Rhythm and how it plays a role in the flow of dopamine into your system.
      4. Listen to music – Surprised that music stimulates dopamine in your brain? Don’t be! Just a few short decades ago young people didn’t even have computers or other types of screens to hold in their hands which, would stimulate their brains. Music played a huge role in their pastimes. Consider using THIS to help you incorporate music rather than electronic stimulation.
      5. Go outside and get some sunlight – No matter the season many doctors recommend getting at least 10-20 minutes of sunlight a day. It is most important to get this sunlight in the morning so that it helps with your natural circadian rhythm. Believe it or not it also stimulates your dopamine production in the brain. Researchers believe that over 50% of people do not get adequate sunlight. ( You may want to talk to someone about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
      6. Meditate or PrayCLICK HERE for a video that will guide you through a short meditation video. CLICK HERE for a video that will explain more about prayer.
  • I hope that these words have given you some things to think about. As you said, you wanted to work on your habit, and we want you to be successful in all you do. TeenCentral will always be here to support you in life’s struggles. You are NOT alone.