You're such an anime fan that your life revolves around them; you spend all your allowance on DVDs, manga, dolls and conventions, maybe even your grades are worse and your friends are gone, all because your anime watching craze consumes all your time. You know this is a problem to overcome, but you don't even know where to start. This article has some tips and advice on how to beat this addiction!
Part 1 of 3: Finding Out For Addiction
Step 1. Determine the role anime plays in your happiness
Try to remember if you were annoyed and at what intensity the last time you didn't watch anime, in case you don't already know if you're addicted or not. One of the signs of addiction is irritability when you can't satisfy the urge. You're probably addicted if you get really upset when you get grounded and have to miss a chapter, if an episode is delayed or if you get annoyed at the thought of not watching them.
Step 2. Define your emotional dependence on anime
Does your whole life revolve around this? If it's really impossible to find out, you might have to try to step back and observe from the outside. Ask yourself the following questions to find out your level of emotional dependency:
- Do you feel more attracted/intimate to anime characters than to real people? There's nothing wrong with having a favorite character, the problem is when the attachment is so much that you would refuse a relationship with anyone for real, it can be unhealthy. A character cannot give you the same love and attention that a real person would.
- Have you ever got into any serious fights over anime? It's perfectly normal to have disagreements between ideas, or to discuss theories, as long as it's in a mature way. However, if you're so protective and obsessed with drawing that you're rude and violent with someone you don't like, it's a sign that you have a serious addiction problem. This kind of behavior can cause your friends to turn away from you.
Step 3. Find out if anime affects your social behavior
Do you act and talk like your favorite anime character, or do you use a lot of Japanese words to sound more like him? As with any cartoon, anime is exaggerated; what might seem normal in an anime will not be admitted in real life. Maybe you don't mind being treated like an anime character, but other people might be offended if you treat them like your character would; they may get angry or find your behavior ridiculous and may treat you with less respect for it.
Step 4. Find out how much money you spend on your hobby
Do you spend so much money on it that you can no longer afford other necessities such as food, clothing, school supplies or rent? Make a graph on a sheet of paper and create sections like "Anime", "Food", "Clothes", "School Supplies". Every time you buy something from one of these categories, write down how much you spent. Write down how much money you have to spend, then note how much you spend on each category.
- If most of your purchases are in the "Anime" column, you may have an addiction.
- If you find that you're not buying important things like food and clothes to pay for anime-related items, you're probably addicted.
Step 5. Find out how much time you spend watching anime
Some people might say you're addicted, but is that true? Knowing how much time is spent on this and how much is spent on other activities can help you find out if you are really addicted or not.
- Have you been avoiding your friends to watch anime? Being an introvert is not a problem, but ignoring friends to do this can end up damaging important relationships; if you see that this is the case for you, it is a sign that you may be addicted.
- Do you use every free minute of your time to watch anime, giving up sleep, health and hygiene? Realize if you spend so much time on it that you no longer shower regularly and no longer eat healthily (it's much easier to open a bag of chips than chop an apple), maybe you're feeling limp and tired, getting sick more often. Note these issues.
- Are animes affecting your school performance? When you get home from school, do you start doing your homework, or are you going to watch your favorite anime? Doing well in school is important too, as it is a must to give your best.
- Have you abandoned other hobbies for the anime? Used to play soccer or play the piano, but interrupted classes to watch anime? If the answer is yes, you may be addicted.
Part 2 of 3: Creating distance from the anime
Step 1. Try to limit your time watching anime
It's not necessary to just stop watching them, but instead of watching them every day or several hours a day, watch them once a week or once every other day. Do the following:
When you find yourself watching several episodes per week, or even per night, try limiting it to one episode per night, or a few episodes per week
Step 2. Try to restrict the amount of anime you watch
When you feel like watching each and every anime that is available, resist: some have so many seasons that the time needed to watch everything is too much to commit. Choose only one or two that really interest you. You don't have to watch everything there is to be a fan.
Step 3. Think about taking a break
You can also try to rest from anime and manga for a while. Try to go a week without and see how you feel. You may be surprised by the hobbies and interests you will discover to fill that void.
Step 4. Use anime as rewards
Do boring chores and chores before watching. This alleviates the compulsion and will even make the anime cooler. Here are some suggestions:
- Don't watch any anime until you've finished your homework – not even after bedtime. This will help you get the job done faster and more clutter-free. If you happen to not watch your daily dose, don't panic – you can watch it tomorrow.
- Save a few episodes for the weekend. Your anxiety and desire will build up over the days and you will be able to accomplish a lot if you do.
- Do all your tasks first. Tell yourself you won't be watching the new episode of your favorite series until you've done all your chores (whether cleaning the room, folding laundry, washing the dishes, etc.). You'll do your job faster and, in the end, you'll still have a whole amazing new episode of your favorite anime to watch! You can make the popcorn!
Step 5. Eliminate related trinkets
You buy dolls, card games, stickers, pins, buttons, t-shirts, mugs, bags, etc. just to add items to the collection? Or do you buy these things because you really like or need them? If you want to accumulate, ask yourself:
- Do I really need this? A new backpack with your new favorite character can be nice if you're buying school supplies, but you don't necessarily need to buy the Seya doll, especially if the money is tight – buy what you need.
- Do you like it? Instead of buying something because it's related to your favorite anime, try saving the money to buy something you like even more than that.
- What to do with this money? Some things like mugs, watches, backpacks and t-shirts are useful. Other things like dolls, stickers or buttons are just for decoration. You can control your addiction by buying things you know you're going to use (instead of just looking around).
Step 6. Try to stay away from fan sites and delete them from your favorites
Simply stopping watching anime might not help much. Visiting fan sites and discussing your favorite series will only make you think about it more. Try to deal with your addiction without going to these sites – not discussing the episodes will help you resist the temptation.
Step 7. Know how to differentiate fantasy from reality
It's normal to have strong feelings for characters, from literary works to anime – they're made to captivate, nothing to be ashamed of; but when these feelings become a torrid crush on a fictional character, it can be confusing, embarrassing, and frustrating to live that "relationship." Remember that anime is a work of fiction – produced by a group of writers and artists – and that not it's real. The world and characters in the series do not replace the real world and the people in it.
Get out of the house and look for something you consider beautiful. Is there a tree that you think is very beautiful? Maybe some different stones you want to collect? Look for anything that looks wonderful to your eyes. The process itself shouldn't take long. Take a moment to reflect on how cool it is to breathe fresh air and observe the beauties the world has to offer
Step 8. Consider stopping the collection
Sometimes the only way to deal with an addiction is to eliminate everything that brings it up. This doesn't mean that you need to sell or donate your entire collection of comics, DVDs, dolls, t-shirts, backpacks, buttons, mugs, etc., but some items that you no longer use do; try not to buy more trinkets to expand the collection.
Maybe it's a case of deleting all your favorite sites and deleting files from your computer if it's too hard to resist the temptation, or if it's getting in the way of your academic life
Step 9. Pay attention to your behavior
If you find yourself trying to act like your favorite character, or using Japanese words (knowing that it irritates anyone), know that you are not helping with your addiction. Watch yourself to be able to stop this mania. If it's already become a habit you want to break, ask your friends to let you know whenever you're doing this kind of thing.
Step 10. Think about conventions
It might be a good idea to cut down on the amount of events you go to if that's a big part of your addiction. Try going to just one or two in a year instead of going to five or more as usual. So you'll save a lot of money and get even further away from anime.
Part 3 of 3: Busying yourself with other things
Step 1. Try to discover another hobby
You don't have to spend all your time on one activity, no matter how much you love it. Explore other interests that you've enjoyed before, but lost by just watching anime. Here are some things you can try:
- Martial arts. Since you like Japanese anime and culture, you might be interested in martial arts, especially Japanese ones like Aikido or Judo.
- Play a musical instrument such as guitar or piano.
- Running, hiking or cycling will make you happy and fit, as well as relaxing and providing a relaxing contact with nature.
- Knitting and crochet will help your hands stay busy and nimble – you won't even have time to think about anime.
- Photography helps you to get out of the house and meet people. You will see things in the world that may have gone unnoticed. Get out and keep an eye out.
Step 2. Find another fandom to join
Who knows, you can cure your anime addiction to have one in another kind of fandom, unrelated to anime: that includes books, movies and TV series. You may find that you are spending less time on anime and more on this new forum. Ask friends and classmates for suggestions if you're not sure where to start. Say the things you like, like horror, medieval and fantasy, or drama and vampires.
Go to different non-anime communities if you like roleplaying, like books and movies
Step 3. Spend time with your friends
This will help your mind stay away from anime and also remind your friends that you exist and care about them. So the next time you need someone to talk to, they're more likely to be willing to help.
Try to make friends if you don't have any. Join a club at school, go to the library or bookstore and take a walk in the park
Step 4. Ask your friends and family to support you
Tell your friends and parents that you want to get over your anime addiction. They might try to help by stopping giving out related stuff on your birthday. If you have friends who are also interested in anime, they can help by not talking about the series with you.