You mentioned that his high school experience was “traumatizing.” That may be how you see it, but that may not be how he sees it. It would be interesting to know if he considered it traumatizing. Many people have similar experiences with peer pressure in high school and don’t perceive it as traumatizing. Maybe it wasn’t as traumatizing as you perceive it to be.
Also, you are assuming that his personality growth was stunted because of his limited social interactions in high school but the reverse may be true. His limited social skills may be the reason why he interacted so little with others. Deficits in social communication can prevent people from connecting with others.
One possibility to consider is that he may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD is a developmental disorder that primarily affects communication and behavior. There are two core elements of ASD. These include a deficit in social interaction and the presence of repetitive and restrictive interests and/or behaviors.
Your brother is showing a potential problem in the area of social interactions. His interest in video games may qualify as being a restrictive or repetitive interest and/or behavior.
One other element of ASD is that problems with communication and behavior interfere in an individual’s ability to function properly in life. According to your letter, the problems you have described with his communication and behavior do seem to be interfering with his ability to function in life. In fact, that is your major concern and reason for writing.
One other aspect of your brother’s behavior is his avoidance of eye contact. Individuals with ASD often have problems with visual attention. They often report having extreme difficulty looking others in the eyes. People with ASD say that it is a stressful experience. Some have said that “it burns.”
In our culture, it is considered disrespectful not to look someone in the eyes. If you’re speaking to someone who is continually looking away, people might be offended by it or even frightened by it. The reality is that sometimes individuals with ASD are overwhelmed and are not intending to be offensive or to show disrespect. Too few people in our culture understand this.
Obviously, I cannot diagnose your brother on the basis of a short letter. I’m simply pointing out the fact that he may be demonstrating some of the characteristics of ASD. You can read more about ASD. There are many great resources on the internet.
You might speak to your parents about the possibility of your brother undergoing a psychological evaluation. The evaluation could shed light on what might be wrong, if anything. If ASD is a possibility, then your brother should consult a professional who has experience with ASD.
Once he undergoes an evaluation, you will have a better understanding about what may be wrong. Hopefully he will be open to having an evaluation. That would be a great place to start. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle