This clinic serves patients with & # 39; mental health problems, including dependence on computers and smartphones
I session of & # 39; the most intense group therapy in which I got. It 'ring to exchange & # 39;' experiences & # 39; 20 people. Everyone, except the consultant directing the session, is at least five years younger than me, and they are here to try rebuild lives a & # 39; those who have lost control.
Dividing with the worst group did, they hope to change.
One group member, Eva *, 19, is reading a list of all times his behavior has damaged people most want.
"One: a few months ago I said to my parents that rridhomx," says b & # 39; voice without expression. "I iweġġgħuhom lot when I said."
"Two: The last year, shouted to my boyfriend I wanted to commit suicide"
The list goes on and maintained. Eva repeating many things that she believes she did wrong: she reveals her feelings, she perfectionist and m & # 39; has self-discipline, says. He does not think your teeth. It makes the sport. Sometimes I does not shower.
I am surprised at the honesty & # 39; Eve and, at the end of her speech, I begin to feel sorry.
Kyra, the consultant directing the session, he goes in the ring.
"Who has a comment?" Says. "Ethan *".
Ethan, son & # 39; 17 years with tight jeans, goes to Eva. Get bored if it offers some words of & # 39; support.
"I am tempted to say something obvious like" a good block or what is ", says Ethan, by peeling off his hair & # 39; away from his face." But x & # 39; were the consequences your perfezzjoniżmu? It is a bad thing if you take it to the extreme, but you really do it? Did your life unmanageable? "
"I think so," Eve responds with & # 39; caution. Its broken legs under the chair, and she looks from person to person. Twenty pair & # 39; silence eyes return their gaze.
Kyra look around, squints. "F & # 39; what do you feel is based?"Calls room.
There is a pause. Then another man, Thomas *, breaking the silence.
"I think your perfezzjoniżmu related with & # 39; victim. M & # 39; have to realize that mistakes made, so instead you play the role of & # 39; victim. "
my phone vibrating strongly. I remember that in eżaminajtx & # 39; hours and I nikkonsma b & # 39; conscious way the urge to look lejnha. It kept my breath when I look forward to Eva.
At first I think it is upset. My phone vibrating again. Do it out of my pocket without thinking and nressaqha back in its place instantly.
But Eva did not cry. Do not say anything. The room viewed in silence. I start I suspect that it is not upset: she is really furious.
Kyra turns to the group.
"Who feels Self eagerness? ", Says.
The room burst & # 39; a chorus of & # 39; "Safe" and "absolutely".
"Want change?"Kyra asks Eve.
"Yes, I inbiddel", says Eva, a touch & # 39; indignazzjoni in her voice.
"You know that after your behavior has been attempted that I get out?" Kyra says Eve.
Silence through the room.
"Not yet," says Eva b & # 39; low voice. "But I'll learn."
Two hours ago I arrived at Yes We Can, mental health center is a long boulevard & # 39; coated trees, f & # 39; quiet corner & # 39; city in southern Netherlands. When my taxi approached the black doors imposing it, the trees remind real estate b & # 39; extensive grounds and well maintained.
This pristine mansion could be made from blocks pixelated video game minecraft; or provided at a level of saga Hitman.
This clinic is only for people between 13 and 25 years worldwide to receive specialist treatment in & # 39; mental health problems, including dependence on computers and smartphones and other problems & # 39; behavior that the medical community does not know how to classify. deal less.
Most of the people who attend say they are dependent on them entire bodiesrphones, Social networks or video games.
First – this time – year – formally – Health Organization included in & # 39; June – 2008 reliance on computer games in the International Classification of Diseases (CIE).
Can & # 39; said that program & # 39; treatment in & # 39; this clinic goes beyond: put video games in & # 39; conditions & # 39; equal to the damage caused by drugs, alcohol and gambling games, and calls those who complete a & # 39 Program 10 weeks abstain from everyone to rest & # 39; lives.
The debate on whether smartphones and computer games are addictive because there was virtually.
Theme is the founder Willem Jan Poot, 42, believes growing b & # 39; powerful way. He founded the clinic in 2010 to fill a gap that perċepiet market and b & # 39; it has launched a center & # 39; Dutch mental health personalized treatment offered to people.
"I was inspired by – slogan – Campaign & # 39; Barack Obama"He says smiling.
It's pure enthusiasm. I think it is a stark contrast to the way your life was to be during your teenage years, when I consumed up to eight grams of & # 39; daily cocaine.
Clean from drugs and alcohol since 2004, Willem founded the clinic to help young people overcome their mental health problems. So it was no surprise when the first people arrived at his clinic & # 39; often said they were hooked on Call & # 39; Duty popular videogame, not cocaine.
"Every week we go for a walk in the woods," says Willem with all eyes. "And we had several children said:" This looks exactly like I'm in & # 39; & # 39 game; World & # 39; & # 39 ;, Warcraft or Battlefield, Or x & # 39; is. They imagine that, behind every tree or rock, was ħierejk enemies, or after every hill there was a complete army. "
F & # 39; this withdrawal in the middle of the forest, the first activity of the day route group is sandy. Thomas, who had indicated Eve as a victim, not exactly enjoy it.
"It's so unstable!"
It is the day & # 39; before twenty years. They link it & # 39; harness & # 39; security and jissospenduh in the middle & # 39; & # 39 ladder in; forest.
"I can not do it! narrows high.
Thomas begins to hold back the tears. It is about six meters from the ground, two steps from the platform in the trees. It's not far, but do not want to share.
"You & # 39; do it, Thomas!" James shouts, London.
Thomas lowered the stairs and escape his face. I inqabbih. It's heavy breathing and his cheeks are red. Ask why come here.
"Mainly dependence on the game", he says, fiddling with his arneju hike. "But also because of a disturbance in food and perhaps also pornika addiction. Well, that is still in & # 39; debate."
Thomas is in his sixth week in a clinic. The most difficult thing when it is made by deleting the accounts of his computer games.
"I was sweating and crying when I did it," he says. "Even if it was a problem, I still have good memories & # 39; my stage play computer games and people encountered".
In the past six weeks, Thomas teaches that enjoy & # 39; outdoor activities, Something rarely experienced when played 16 hours a day.
I am impressed with & # 39; Tomas, seems intended, conscious of itself, b & # 39; strong and vulnerable at the same time. F & # 39; age when most others & # 39; 19 years face their first year & # 39; away from home, beverages and nesting excessively, have a future they could not imagine a year ago.
I love when I Thomas takes the microphone and perform a perfect rendition of & # 39; Rag God for Eminem: rap of & # 39; six minutes and 1,500 words in which some of the best poems of the rapper.
The other children jgħajtuh all the time.
There is something about karaoke that seems strange to me for reasons I do not understand immediately.
Then I understand that is obvious: this is a group & # 39; teens and twentysomethings are completely sober, singing in a tent in the sunlight. F & # 39; this time, they look younger than they are.
how young people from wealthy families who can afford private treatment, those receiving scholarships & # 39; study from abroad are b & # 39; a certain way lucky. People from disadvantaged backgrounds face greater risk & # 39; & # 39 development; problems & # 39; mental health and have much less options to get treatment.
The price is & # 39; about $ 64,000.
There is growing evidence that young people from all backgrounds face West mental health crisis.
In recent years there has been a sharp increase in anxiety and depression.
An investigation by the Educational Policy Institute & # 39; London suggests that the number of & # 39; visits to mental health services for children and adolescents in the UK increased by & # 39; 26% in the last five years.
Jean Twenge suspecting that & # 39; a common denominator. Igen In her book, the psychology teacher argues that the behavior and emotional states of adolescents experienced a dramatic change after 2012.
That year, he wrote, was also exactly the time when the ratio of & # 39; Americans have super smart phoneor 50%.
Young people are "on the edge of & # 39; the worst mental health crisis f & # 39; & # 39 decades, years, "he wrote,"[y] Much of this deterioration can & # 39; be attributed to their phones. "
Twenge found a correlation between the increased use of & # 39; smartphones and an increase in depression and loneliness among young people.
It also explains that after 2007, the year it launched the iPhone, the American people have experienced a decline in socialization, the dating and sex.
The teens have more free time than ever, wrote. "So, what & # 39; is doing at that time? They're looking at their phones, in their rooms, alone and & # 39; & # 39 often in; difficulties."
However, not everyone agrees. Dr. Pete Etchells, a professor of psychology at the University & # 39; & # 39 in Spa, Ball, UK, says that the book & # 39; Jean Twenge show link between smartphones and depression, But not the one causing the other.
Warns that the risk we & # 39; medicalizing behaviors that are not recognized as problems & # 39; mental health.
research on reliance on computer or smartphone, Social networks and mess caused by computer games are still in preliminary stages & # 39; study.
"In the case of consumption & # 39; cocaine or heroin, see b & # 39; & # 39 clearly work; they cause the damage", he says.
"However, research on video game addiction does not do a good job to distinguish between people who are very involved, but did not suffer any problem, and people which becomes problematic."
I wonder if Dr. Etchells is right? Perhaps there is a risk & # 39; diagnosis too. On this visit I met & # 39; very different people with serious problems. They & # 39; & # 39 ;? sick enough And anyway, as you know if someone is "sick enough"?
And then rely to nintervista to Ethan, who has been at the clinic for nearly 10 weeks. It is friendly and charismatic, totally different, say, the person was when he arrived.
"I had an awesome & # 39; everyone," he says.
Ethan speaking characteristic honesty & # 39; I know everyone there. He tells what he did in his day to day before come to this clinic.
"Nqajt in sixth & # 39; afternoon," he says. "I used to stay awake at night. It is more comfortable. Fewer people around. When my parents were sleeping, I went to bed and ate something. "
What happened when your parents discovered? I ask.
"Very simple," he says. "I disregarded them."
severe trauma in childhood
My phone vibrating again. I am the Avalanche & # 39; messages & # 39; WhatsApp came to me. For a moment I totally distracted. I consciously will return & # 39; focus my attention on Ethan.
Ethan ended towns lot of time in his room. I had attacks & # 39; panic. It hurts & # 39; himself. He was drugged with "everything fell & # 39; in & # 39; hands", and had computer games at night. At 15, left school.
"I thought I was fucked for life", he says.
At first, the behavior of & # 39; Ethan did not even sense it. His parents were affected, he says, but did not know x & # 39; to make it.
Later, it was discovered that Ethan was concealing something from everyone: he had experienced & # 39; severe trauma in childhood.
The interview ended. Ethan leaves the room. It seems to me that although the people I met were exceptionally open about their behavior, as long as sit & # 39; to & # 39; Ethan I did not know much about their background.
Willem Jan comes with his phone in & # 39; hands. Niċċekkja my phone and feel a mixture of & # 39; disappointment and embarrassment when I see the blank screen. I had imagined the vibrations. I have a millennial cheated without friends.
It & # 39; pleased to receive notification on the cell phone?I ask. Willem Jan smiles.
"Yes! Sure," he says.
It is a sign of & # 39; habit? How to protect children from what? I ask.
"Sometimes we advise children to leave social networks", says Willem Jan. "But we never advise total abstinence them."
WhatsApp and social networks
"Because there, in the world, will need mobile phones and their laptops. I have a Facebook account and LinkedIn account which I use mainly for my business. And it is true that I am flawed. But it is also true that I need I use them. "
I have my phone in my hands because I was use the built-in recorder to record the conversation. The screen lights up. It is service and I am aware that I have an urgent need-open.
Does that make me addict? I'm hooked on WhatsApp? If I was not going to work, I & # 39; nqatta & # 39; several hours to send selfies on Snapchat? And I & # 39; Redirecting what to play, to alcohol, to drugs?
I look to Jan Willem and try to imagine life in which I'm consuming eight grams of & # 39; daily cocaine.
*Some names have been changed.
You & # 39; read the original story in English here.
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