Mental Help

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Thor
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Mental Help

Postby Thor » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:07 pm UTC

Please bear with me as I'm not really sure how coherent this is going to be:

First off I suppose a bit of background info is in order: I'm in my 3rd year of my undergraduate degree in physics and while I do not consider myself to be particularly quick or intelligent I'd like to think that I'm not impaired either.

Lately (for the last 3 months or so) I've been feeling as though my brain function is in some way impaired. I continually screw up simple things that I know how to do (everything from simple integrals to rudimentary circuit analysis). I've also found myself having a great deal of trouble internalizing the ideas in presented in my current set of classes. I can see them on the page and on a chalkboard but I can't seem to internalize them in the way that I could 6 months ago. It used to be that things flowed into and out of my mind with relatively little effort on my part and these days I feel as though I'm perpetually zoned out or something.

Having spent a bit of time considering the possible causes I've come up with a few things:
- My classes are simply harder now and I need to actually work to understand the concepts (This is likely part of it but the symptoms I've described don't apply only to material in classes)
- My professors are terrible at teaching. (This is true but I feel as though I've lost all analytical thinking ability and that can't just be because they can't teach)

Has anyone else experienced something similar to this?
If so, and you got over it, how?
Should I seek out a therapist or other mental health professional?
Or do I simply need to buckle down and work harder?

Apologies if this is on the wrong board

Роберт
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Re: Mental Help

Postby Роберт » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:33 pm UTC

Thor wrote:Should I seek out a therapist or other mental health professional?
Probably. Schools out to have those facilities available to students.
The Great Hippo wrote:[T]he way we treat suspected terrorists genuinely terrifies me.

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TheAmazingRando
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Re: Mental Help

Postby TheAmazingRando » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:37 pm UTC

Your school probably offers free mental health services. You're already paying for them so it wouldn't hurt to make use of them.
There are a bunch of factors that can affect mental acuity. Stress and fatigue seem to be the most common, for me. Have there been any big changes in your life/lifestyle in the past few months?

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dudiobugtron
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Re: Mental Help

Postby dudiobugtron » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:02 am UTC

Here are some things I have come across where people have had similar symptoms:

- Low blood pressure or low blood sugar (too many simple carbs, overactive thyroid, etc..)
- Low-level mercury poisoning (from tuna/etc...)
- Lacking of a particular nutrient (eg: iron, magnesium etc...)

Many uni students in their third year don't eat a particularly well-balanced diet, and haven't for the past three years either! Is it possible that your diet is causing this?
In any case, I'd recommend going to see a GP!

-----------------------
PS: Of course, it could just be that you've always been this stupid, it's just that your memory is bad too!
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Thor
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Re: Mental Help

Postby Thor » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:09 am UTC

As far as changes in my lifestyle go:

-moved into an apartment with my girlfriend of 2.5 years (is occasionally hard to deal with but has mostly been a positive change, I think)
-got a kitten (he's almost fully grown now)
-quit smoking marijuana (I don't tend to smoke while in school as it tends to kill my motivation)
-as of about a week ago I've been trying to cut down on my caffeine intake (mostly because it was becoming expensive) other than having a pretty constant headache this doesn't seem to have had much effect one way or the other.

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Drowsy Turtle
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Re: Mental Help

Postby Drowsy Turtle » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:54 am UTC

I was taking antidepressants for a while, I found they decreased my general cognition but increased my motivation. Since I stopped taking them, I've found work incredibly easy [again], but been far less motivated to actually do it.
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Choboman
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Re: Mental Help

Postby Choboman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:35 pm UTC

Since no one else has mentioned it... How are you sleeping? I've personally found that my mental agility is impacted a lot by how well rested I am. And ironically, when I'm sleeping poorly and mentally fuzzy I don't seem to realize that I'm operating at less than 100%. It's not until I start sleeping more that I realize how much sharper it makes me.

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Thor
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Re: Mental Help

Postby Thor » Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:Since no one else has mentioned it... How are you sleeping? I've personally found that my mental agility is impacted a lot by how well rested I am. And ironically, when I'm sleeping poorly and mentally fuzzy I don't seem to realize that I'm operating at less than 100%. It's not until I start sleeping more that I realize how much sharper it makes me.


As one of my professors put it: "I could sleep more"

I get 6-7 hours per night but I don't often wake up feeling completely exhausted.


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