Regulation is Key to a Well-Balanced Lifestyle

Regulation is Key to a Well-Balanced Lifestyle

All his life, Evan* would turn to gaming to cope with stress. But in junior college, things took a turn for the worse as the stress from coping with his studies increased. Evan saw himself spending over 10 hours on games each day and started neglecting his studies. He was lethargic during lessons and could not seem to focus on anything else except for his games.  

“Games just help me release tension. It takes me away from the troubles and problems faced in the real world and I don’t feel the stress in that moment,” shared Evan.  

However, gaming only served as a temporary respite as Evan soon realised that he had much catching up to do after he stopped gaming. He had to cram his schoolwork into whatever remaining amount of time left for the day, which often caused him to have a lack of sleep. It soon became a vicious cycle, whereby the more he played, the more stressed he became from the amount of schoolwork he had to catch up on, and the more stressed he was, the more he wanted to turn to gaming to cope.  

“I felt depressed and sad most of the time, and it was not a very good feeling to have.” 

Eventually, Evan dropped out of school and enrolled into the DigitalMINDSET programme with hopes that counselling would help him adapt to his new Polytechnic life and help him build social relationships outside of games.  

“My initial impression of the programme was that the counsellors will make me quit gaming entirely. But I was surprised when I was not forced to make any changes that I was uncomfortable with, and they allowed me to continue gaming in my free time.”  

Under DigitalMINDSET, Evan learnt to better control and regulate his gaming tendencies. Together with his case worker, he has reported significant improvements to his mental health and is now equipped with the necessary skills and resources to cope with stress.  

“Do not be afraid of the challenges that come your way. Take control, face them head on and try your best to shape it in a way that will not crumble down on you. Although I still have days where I procrastinate a lot, I am making more time for my work now as opposed to just playing games. I hope to continue on this path where I can steer ahead and find balance, instead of backing down.” 

Evan has since graduated from DigitalMINDSET and is making progress to improve his life. He is now focusing on his studies in a polytechnic and hopes to further his studies.  

DigitalMINDSET is a nine-month programme for youths aged 12-21 who have developed mental health issues from excessive gaming and device use under TOUCH Counselling and Intervention (TCI). It aims to cultivate consequential-thinking, facilitate problem-awareness and motivate youths to seek a holistic balance with various aspects of life. 

Story published in 2024.