Have you ever met a computer geek? I am not talking about the professionals that are hired on the geek squad to go out and help people with computer problems; I am talking about a geek that sits in a room filled with computer equipment and runs his life. My sister’s son fits into this category. In some ways his life is a bit sad and in others he is a bit scary. He was a normal healthy child who developed a bad case of acne when he was fourteen. He was so embarrassed and self conscious about the acne that he started communicating with others in chat rooms rather than facing them. Through this he spent a great deal of time on computers and found that he had great computer skills. He began making money off the internet by age eighteen and basically lived his life in his parent’s basement.
My sister knows that I am a therapist and so she asked me to intervene with her son. He claims to be happy with his life; however he spends almost no time outside the basement. My son, his cousin, is the same age. My son has invited him to many activities through the years, but he is always turned down. I told my sister that I thought the key was to start with the acne scar removal and to work from there. It was the acne that caused him to go into his shell in the first place so I thought this needed to be address. If he would go through the acne scar removal then he may gain the confidence to face people and start to live a more normal life. He was extremely successful at making money on the internet. At the age of twenty he was making over five thousand dollars a month. My sister wanted him to enjoy spending his money off the internet and out of the basement. I told my sister that in addition to arranging the acne scar removal she should also tell him that he needed to move out of the basement. Forcing him to find a different place to live would help him have new surroundings around other people. He could afford an apartment or to buy a home of his own if he wished.
My nephew was very upset when he was told that he needed to move. He agreed to go to the appointment to discuss the acne scar removal, but he insisted this was not why he spent time alone. Once he started the laser procedures on his face he was a different person. His skin improve drastically and so did his self esteem. He is still working on the internet and doing very well; however he is also socializing and getting out more.