Review: Bram

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

Bram was treated at Yes We Can Youth Clinics for his gaming addiction. We are so grateful that he choose to share his life story and review of our clinic.

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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