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I seriously need help

 
 
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 07:15 pm
Help me, because I can't help myself. I don't even know what is wrong with me. I can't help but keep having this feeling of not understanding. I have this endless feeling of never being able to gain insight. Whenever I read something it feels so dull and insipid. I can't get my mind off of whatever it is that I may be missing as I read the book. There used to be a time when I was always confident that I was getting stuff, when I could feel happy as the horizons of my knowledge were being expanded. When I read highly abstract books and didn't think twice about the possibility of me not having gotten it. Then, I don't know when it happened, I find myself having this feeling of not understanding. I have this constant sense of intellectual inadequacy even though everyone around tells me that I am smart. I honestly can't take their words to hear, I just feel like there is always something I'm not getting and I don't understand why this is happening. Is it low self esteem? Is it some kind of phobia? Is it a disorder? Is it actually the way that we really ought to feel? I hate being stuck in this state. Constantly my mind is fixated on what I do not understand, always putting complicated stuff off because I fear that I won't understand. How do I overcome something like this when I don't even know whether I really understand the stuff or not? Does anyone else ever get this feeling? It's hard to feel that way with mathematics because whenever one is in doubt one can work with numbers. But how do you know whether you "get" a book or not? How do you know that you extracted everything you possibly could? How much can human beings even extract from a book? I feel all this pressure from everything to understand what I read but I can't seem to ever feel like I actually went through the process of "understanding" I just CAN'T! This is really eating me up. Sad
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,139 • Replies: 8
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 07:35 pm
Your feeling of insecurity - for whatever reasons - should be temporary. All of us have areas of inadequacy in our lives. Most of us are able to muddle through those areas of weakness by our ability have some confidence in others. Human personalities are unique; none are experts in every area of knowledge or skill. Don't worry about it; it's a natural part of growing up.
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 10:08 pm
manticore, i had the exact same experience when i was in high school. it didn't interfere with my life at first, but became a serious problem when i entered college, and i eventually dropped out after a couple of years. at the time i tried some psychotherapy, but that didn't work. i no longer have the problem, and even graduated from college decades after i first attended, but unfortunately i can't pinpoint to anything in particular i did to overcome it. i also think the obession about understanding books in my case was just a symptom of underlying psychological problems. if you're a student, it can become a serious handicap if you start rereading things in trying to understand them perfectly; if you're in college, you might take a leave of absence, or become a part time student, until you can overcome the problem. good luck.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 10:42 pm
yitwell's suggestion of dropping out or going part time to college is a good one. When your head is messed up in the manner you describe, studying is almost impossible. I barely graduated from high school, but eventually earned my college degree after I served four years in the US Air Force. Graduated in the top 25 percent of my class; a miracle for me!
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OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Dec, 2005 12:04 am
Having once suffered through L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics", I learned only one thing of real value (to me at least). I'll try to paraphrase as accurately as I can remember:

'Have you ever finished a paragraph only to find that you had no idea what you've just read... or what it meant? There is only one reason this should ever happen; somewhere in what you've read you past a word that you either didn't understand or that you misunderstood. Go back, find it, look it up and then read the text again. You should find now that you understand what you've read perfectly. ALWAYS keep a dictionary handy when reading and NEVER pass a word you don't understand.'

Words to live by. Some people carry the same dictionary forever, and circle every word they ever look up. You may be surprised how seldom you look up the same word twice.

I recommend you try this before doing anything too drastic (like quitting school).
Good luck manticore!
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yitwail
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Dec, 2005 12:52 am
O B, i hope for manticore's sake that it's something as simple as not knowing the definition of words. i had a better vocabulary than most, nor was i recalcitrant in consulting dictionaries, when i experienced my problem, which wasn't comprehending individual words but rather the meaning of phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Dec, 2005 01:20 am
Same here; I studied the dictionary since I was very young, so words were not a problem for me. What was a problem was all the insecurity and self-worth issues that monopolized my thoughts. In college, I could memorize pages of information with the best of em.
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Hazlitt
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Jan, 2006 10:06 pm
Manticore,

What kind of books are you reading?
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EuroGirl
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jan, 2006 02:26 pm
Try reading aphorism. Do they make sense? In the end, nothing does. But, that's not a problem.
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