This Video Gamer Admits His Habit Nearly Drove Him To Suicide | Megyn Kelly TODAY

>>> WE'RE BACK, NOW, WITH OUR SERIES "ADDICTED TO" TODAY, WE ARE LOOKING AT TECHNOLOGY

CHARLIE CANNOT REMEMBER HOW LONG AGO VIDEO GAMES TOOK HOLD OF HIM BUT HE DOES KNOW HE WAS VERY, VERY YOUNG WHILE A GAMING ADDICTION IS NOT TECHNICALLY AN ACTUAL MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS, CHARLIE AND MANY OTHERS ARE CONVINCED THAT IT'S VERY REAL AS HIS GAMING HABITS HAVE AFFECTED HIS COLLEGE EDUCATION, HIS ABILITY TO PURSUE HIS CAREER AND HIS OVERALL QUALITY OF LIFE HE SAYS, AT TIMES, HE WOULD SPEND MORE THAN 12 HOURS A DAY LOST IN A VIRTUAL WORLD

WATCH >> I ACTUALLY DON'T REMEMBER WHEN I STARTED PLAYING VIDEO GAMES BECAUSE I WAS SO YOUNG IT'S KIND OF SOMETHING THAT I'VE JUST ALWAYS HAD IN MY LIFE I WAS DEFINITELY AN ADDICT NO LATER THAN FOURTH GRADE I HAD FOUND A GAME CALLED ULTIMA ONLINE, A HUGE WORLD TO EXPLORE

AND I FELL SO DEEP INTO THAT GAME THAT'S WHEN I STARTED ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT THE GAME I COULDN'T STOP WHEN I WAS AT SCHOOL I COULDN'T WAIT TO GET HOME TO GET ON THE COMPUTER AND START PLAYING NORMAL KIDS THAT WEREN'T ADDICTS WEREN'T PLAYING 12 HOURS A DAY AND I WAS

I WAS TRYING TO GET MONEY FROM MOWING PEOPLE'S LAWNS SO I COULD BUY MY OWN COMPUTER SO I DIDN'T HAVE TO SHARE I WAS TRYING TO GET GOOD GRADES SO THAT MY PARENTS WOULDN'T MAKE ME GET OFF THE COMPUTER IN ORDER TO STUDY EVERYTHING EVEN BACK THEN WAS WOUND UP TO SPEND MORE TIME IN A DIGITAL WORLD I WAS GOING DOWNHILL SO QUICK AND THERE WAS NOTHING THAT WAS GOING TO STOP ME I STARTED GAMING AS A WAY TO COPE WITH BEING BULLIED

BUT I STARTED USING THAT FOR MORE AND MORE DIFFERENT STRESSORS IN MY LIFE I HAVE A BIG EXAM COMING UP >> IF I GAME I DON'T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT I WAS A STRAIGHT-A STUDENT I HAD A 4

0 GPA IN HIGH SCHOOL MY PARENTS WOULD CONFRONT ME HOW OFTEN I WAS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES AND I WOULD COME BACK WITH THE ARGUMENT, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO BE DOING? IN EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF MY LIFE, I WAS DOING PHENOMENALLY WELL MY JUNIOR YEAR WAS WHEN EVERYTHING FELL APART I HAD GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE I WAS GAMING PROBABLY 60 HOURS A WEEK IN THE SECOND SNEMESTER OF MY JUNIOR YEAR AT INDIANA UNIVERSITY, I DROPPED OUT

I WAS FAILING ALL OF MY CLASSES AT THAT POINT AND I MOVED BACK HOME WITH MY PARENTS I FELT VERY ALONE AND DESPERATE AND SO, I STARTED PLANNING SUICIDE BECAUSE I COULDN'T SEE ANY OTHER WAY AROUND THIS THIS WAS THE ONLY WAY FOR ME TO BEAT VIDEO GAMES WAS TO KILL MYSELF

AND SO, I STARTED BUYING THE EQUIPMENT I WAS GOING TO NEED FOR IT I STARTED WRITING OUT MY NOTES I HAD A FULL PLAN I KNEW EXACTLY WHO WAS GOING TO FIND ME I KNEW EXACTLY WHEN I WAS GOING TO DO IT

I HAD EVERYTHING IN PLACE >> CHARLIE'S WITH US HERE TODAY CHARLIE, WELCOME >> GLAD TO BE HERE >> WHAT STOPPED YOU? WHAT STOPPED YOU FROM TAKING YOUR OWN LIFE? >> I GOT REALLY LUCKY, HONESTLY

MY PARENTS CAME OUT TO VISIT ME IN VIRGINIA I WAS LOVING JUST OUTSIDE WASHINGTON, DC AT THAT POINT AND NORMALLY, WHEN THEY WOULD DO THIS, WE WOULD MEET AT MY BROTHER'S HOUSE

ON THIS PARTICULAR VISIT THEY SURPRISED ME AND SHOWED UP AT MY APARTMENT AND THEY COULD SEE IMMEDIATELY THAT MY DOG'S FOOD AND WATER BOWLS WERE EMPTY IT WAS 4:00 IN THE AFTERNOON AND I HADN'T SHOWERED YET THAT DAY THERE'S TRASH ALL OVER MY APARTMENT AND THEY KNEW RIGHT AWAY THAT THINGS WERE REALLY BAD AND THAT WAS WHEN THEY SAT ME DOWN AND SAID, WE KNOW YOU'RE GAMING AGAIN

WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO TO FIX THIS? WHAT'S THE SOLUTION? >> YOU WANTED TO GO FOR THE MOST EXTREME OPTION? WHAT IS THAT? >> I DID WHEN MY PARENTS SA S SAT DOWN AND WE WERE CHATTING OVER HOW TO BEAT GAMING ONCE AND FOR ALL, THEY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT MY SUICIDE PLAN BUT I KNEW HOW CLOSE I WAS TO THE END AND SO, I WAS KIND OF LOOKING AT THIS AS MY ONE LAST SHOT, THAT EITHER I'M GOING TO FINALLY BEAT VIDEO GAMES OR I'M GOING TO TAKE MY PLAN AND RUN WITH IT AND SO, I DECIDED TO JUST GO FOR LET'S FIND A REHAB FACILITY THAT WILL TAKE A VIDEO GAME ADDICT AND WE SAT DOWN RIGHT THEN ON MY COUCH AND STARTED GOOGLING WHO WILL TAKE ONE

>> AND WAS IT HARD TO FIND SOMEBODY WHO WOULD HELP YOU? >> IT WAS NOT PARTICULARLY EASY THEN I WAS RUNNING MOSTLY INTO SUBSTANCE ABUSE FACILITIES AND MOST OF THEM WERE NOT WILLING TO TAKE A VIDEO GAME ADDICT BECAUSE I WASN'T USING OPIATES OR DRINKING OR ANYTHING >> IT'S NOT UNLIKE DRINKING OR A FOOD ADDICTION, IF YOU WILL, BECAUSE IT'S EVERYWHERE IN TODAY'S DAY AND AGE TECHNOLOGY IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE

>> ABSOLUTELY >> YOU HAD TRIED MANY TIMES TO QUIT AND COULDN'T >> I TRIED TO QUIT TWICE ON MY OWN THE FIRST TIME, I ONLY LASTED ABOUT FOUR WEEKS THE SECOND TIME, I LASTED ABOUT 2 1/2 MONTHS

I COULDN'T DO IT ON MY OWN AND I ABSOLUTELY AGREE THAT IT IS — IT'S NOT INHERENTLY DIFFERENT FROM ANY OTHER ADDICTION I LOOK AT IT AS, IF I WASN'T GAMING, I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE ENDED UP AN ALCOHOLIC OR SOMETHING BECAUSE I WAS USING WHATEVER WAS HANDY AND FOR ME, THAT WAS VIDEO GAMES >> ONE OF THE REASONS THAT YOU TOOK TO IT, AS AN ESCAPE, YOU HAVE AN OLDER BROTHER WITH WHOM YOU WERE FINE

BUT YOU FELT BULLIED BY HIM AS A KID AND FOR YOU, IT WAS A SAFE PLACE >> IT WAS THE COMPUTER IN MY PARENTS' HOUSE WAS IN THE CORNER OF THE HOUSE I FELT IT WAS OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND SORT OF THING

IF I WENT OFF ON THE COMPUTER, NOBODY IS GOING TO BUG ME IT WAS AN ESCAPE FROM ANY BULLYING SITUATION >> IN A LOT OF HOUSEHOLDS, IT'S USED IN A WAY OF MAKING SURE NOBODY BUGS ANYBODY A KID CAN EASILY SPEND HOURS AND HOURS IN FRONT OF THE COMPUTER IT'S EASY FOR THE PARENTS

EASY FOR THE KIDS UNTIL IT ISN'T EASY ANYMORE I KNOW THERE'S A LOT OF PARENTS OUT THERE WHO ARE WORRIED ABOUT HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH WITH RESPECT TO THEIR OWN KIDS WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE SIGNS OF WHETHER YOUR CHILD MIGHT HAVE A

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