“Admitting that I’m a game addict has given me tremendous freedom.”

My name is Bram. I’m 19 years old and I’m addicted to gaming. But I wasn’t always like that. In the first part of my childhood, I was just a normal kid. I was much more intelligent than other kids though, which eventually led to me going to a special department for gifted kids in middle school, when I was 9.

I was simply overwhelmed by everything there and had a hard time fitting in, so it didn’t take long for me to start gaming to fit in with the other kids. I was also bullied at this middle school, which made me feel really bad about myself. So, in order to escape from these horrid feelings, I started focusing my attention on gaming.

About a year later, my parents realised that I wasn’t happy at this school and so they moved me to a regular middle school. It was certainly much better there, but I still didn’t really belong to any group, which made me feel very lonely. I didn’t have many friends outside of school either.

At home I’d just game whenever I was allowed to, but most of the time, my parents controlled this. This went on for some years and I slowly became more isolated from everyone around me. I also had a hard time in social situations, purely because I wasn’t used to them. I was also in love with a girl for some time during my last year of middle school and I didn’t know how to deal with that either. Because of this, I still haven’t had any relationships.

After finishing middle school, I started a Computer Science degree at university. However, my addiction was so severe that my behaviour affected my schoolwork a lot: procrastinating my homework, or just not doing it at all, skipping classes, avoiding contact etc. Eventually I dropped out and I spent basically all my time on gaming until the next school year started. My parents wanted me to get a job but I was too afraid of the social contact that would be required of me.

I started an Economics degree the following school year but I quickly dropped out of it because I didn’t enjoy it. Soon I was back to the madness of spending all my time at my laptop, writing codes for games. Not much later, I had a huge fight with my parents about my behaviour, and they gave me 2 options afterwards: either I moved out, or I went to Yes We Can. I chose the latter.

At the clinic, I learned that I have an addiction disease. Admitting this has given me tremendous freedom: it means that I don’t have to give in to my addiction anymore. I learned to make real contact again, get back in touch with my feelings, have social interactions and do fun things with other fellows.

When I returned home, it was very easy to go back to my old behavioural patterns. This can be very dangerous though, so I need to keep working on this, and luckily the aftercare programme really helps me to manage this. Since I returned, I’ve already achieved a lot: I got a job, which is something I never dreamed I could have got before the clinic. I took steps towards going back to school and I also got my driving licence. I think the best thing for me now is the contact I have with other fellows. We understand each other and, more than anything, I know I’m not alone anymore!

Need help for teenagers and young adults with a game addiction?

Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teenagers and young adults who are struggling with a game addiction. Do you want to know more about Yes We Can Clinics or do you have questions? Please contact us via +31 (0)85 02 01 222 or send us a mail via our contact form.


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