Dan was a twenty-year-old young man with mild social anxiety and attention deficit disorder who — despite a genius-level IQ — was failing out of college. His social life had gone from being fairly active to nonexistent, his sleep-wake pattern was almost completely reversed, and he rarely left his room. Although not actively suicidal, Dan reported he often felt he ’d be “better off dead” and didn’t “see much point to life.” What was happening?
Upon graduating from high school, Dan had continued living at home with parents. But without the eight-hour school days and no job to go to, he suddenly found himself with a lot of extra time on his hands. His electronics’ use skyrocketed.
When he began college classes that fall, Dan continued to spend anywhere from six to twelve hours a day on the computer, playing games, chatting, or reading articles. Dan barely scraped by the first two semesters. By the end of his third, he had dropped one class and was getting Fs in the other two. Despite Dan’s high IQ, he was struggling to keep up.