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  1. #1

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    I have recently been feeling as though I have what might be called "intellectual anxiety" as opposed to social anxiety. It's possible I might have social anxiety, but the feeling of it has gotten much better since I first began to realize it.

    Anyways, within approximately the past year, I've been very interested in learning, reading, thinking, etc. and I've turned into an atheist and what some might call a "freethinker." When I first began, I read a lot and really got "into" the books I was reading. But lately I've been having this worrying feeling when I am reading or in school learning. I think to myself "what if I don't get it?" or "what if I'm not as good at learning or analyzing this as I used to be?" among other things. At that point my hands begin to sweat, I get slight "butterflies" in my stomach, and my mind begins to wander. It becomes much harder to concentrate on what I'm doing. The weird thing is that it's not like that all of the time. It usually depends on my current self-esteem I think...

    The reason I relate it to social anxiety is because it seems to have the same side effects (sweaty hands, butterflies etc.)

    It's possible I might be overcoming it, like I did with what I think was social anxiety, but I thougth I'd post this because I'm curious...

  2. #2

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    Are you saying that previously you had a problem with social anxiety? or some other anxiety disorder? If so, how long ago was this, when did it start, how did you "overcome" it, etc.?

    Do these feelings only occur in school or in connection with school work? Or can it be with any kind of reading? Does it happen when you are alone as well as with other people?

    Is there any (extended) family history of depression or anxiety, excessive worrying, perfectionsism, depression, etc.?

  3. #3

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    Well I could relate to the symptoms of social anxiety, so I assumed I had it. It started a couple years ago and I didn't really have any method for overcoming it, it just sort of faded off.

    The feeling occurs whenever I'm doing something that requires critical thinking or that I think requires it... so pretty much anything. And it does occur when I'm alone or with people.

    There is no family history of anything that you mentioned, as far as I'm aware.

  4. #4

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    within approximately the past year, I've been very interested in learning, reading, thinking, etc. and I've turned into an atheist and what some might call a "freethinker." When I first began, I read a lot and really got "into" the books I was reading. But lately I've been having this worrying feeling when I am reading or in school learning. I think to myself "what if I don't get it?" or "what if I'm not as good at learning or analyzing this as I used to be?" among other things.
    [list=1][*]When you say you've "turned into an atheist", what was your previous religious affilation? How big a part of your life was this? What religion?[*]How old are you? Any recent illnesses or other physical changes?[*]Do you or did you use street drugs of any kind and/or drink heavily?[*]How well or poorly have you done academically in the past? Has that changed recently, say in the past year?[*]Have you ever been diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability? Or has anyone close to you (friend, family member) been given such a diagnosis?[*]Has anything else notable happened in your life recently?[/list:o]

  5. #5

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    1. I was a Christian and I had received my first communion before. It was not a big part of my life, but I did go to church frequently.

    2. I'm 18. No, no recent physical changes or illnesses.

    3. No I've never used drugs heavily.

    4. I've always done really well in school, and it hasn't changed in the past year except for the fact that I read a lot more and am much more interested in learning.

    5. I've never had any disability or anything nor have I known someone close who did.

    6. Nothing notable has happened recently.

    It actually seems to kinda be wearing off, but I'm just curious about why it was happening anyways... and it might come back, I don't know.

    By the way, this is a great site with a lot of wonderfully nice people on it! I just finished reading a thread about a 16-year-old who was suicidal and I've never seen such caring people on an Internet message board before.

  6. #6

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    Hmmm... well it seems to me that this is likely an issue related to goals versus developing self-concept and self-confidence in someone who may tend towards anxiety or excessive worrying. That's probably not all that unusual given your age but if continues or if you find yourself struggling with or obsessing about different issues over time to a degree that interferes with your ability to accomplish what you have set out to do or that interferes with your interpersonal relationships, it might be helpful to make an appointment for a session or two with a counsellor or psychotherapist.

    Thanks for the compliment on our forum... :o)

  7. #7

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    I have been reading this thread and another one of yours about never having had a girlfriend. I came to much the same conclusions as David did, but in a really generalized sort of way and I didn't know how to phrase my answer. Now that I've read his line of questioning, I think I can express myself better! (See, I keep learning stuff here too!).

    You are at an age (18) where you are constantly being exposed to ideas and thoughts which may have never occurred to you when you were younger, whether it is through reading, school, friends, the media, the internet. Your thoughts about all kinds of things head off in different directions, and at the moment there are way more questions than answers. Answers to a lot of the questions you have will only come with time and experience as you continue through life. Having so many questions in your head makes it hard to develop a true belief in any one thing, and that's okay, as long as you keep on gaining useful information and reasoning things out with yourself.

    "At that point my hands begin to sweat, I get slight "butterflies" in my stomach, and my mind begins to wander."

    You know, a lot of young guys feel this exact same way when they have to deal with girls! I don't think you have any really serious problems in the girlfriend department. After reading the different things you have written here at this forum, I believe you are a thinking, sensitive and possibly slightly shy sort of guy, and it might take awhile, but a guy with those qualities doesn't come around very often. Many young guys these days are too macho, loud, and shallow! The biggest step will be to get beyond the shyness and self-doubt that I seem to detect, but once you do that, you may be surprised at the positive results in the "girlfriend" department.

    What do I know? I'm a 52 year old woman.....I'm WAY out of my league here.........I just think that you sound like a nice, thoughtful guy concerned enough to question things that have to do with your life, and that's a good thing! (Geez, I sound like Martha Stewart.........)

  8. #8

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    Quote Originally Posted by jubjub
    I have been reading this thread and another one of yours about never having had a girlfriend. I came to much the same conclusions as David did, but in a really generalized sort of way and I didn't know how to phrase my answer. Now that I've read his line of questioning, I think I can express myself better! (See, I keep learning stuff here too!).

    You are at an age (18) where you are constantly being exposed to ideas and thoughts which may have never occurred to you when you were younger, whether it is through reading, school, friends, the media, the internet. Your thoughts about all kinds of things head off in different directions, and at the moment there are way more questions than answers. Answers to a lot of the questions you have will only come with time and experience as you continue through life. Having so many questions in your head makes it hard to develop a true belief in any one thing, and that's okay, as long as you keep on gaining useful information and reasoning things out with yourself.

    "At that point my hands begin to sweat, I get slight "butterflies" in my stomach, and my mind begins to wander."

    You know, a lot of young guys feel this exact same way when they have to deal with girls! I don't think you have any really serious problems in the girlfriend department. After reading the different things you have written here at this forum, I believe you are a thinking, sensitive and possibly slightly shy sort of guy, and it might take awhile, but a guy with those qualities doesn't come around very often. Many young guys these days are too macho, loud, and shallow! The biggest step will be to get beyond the shyness and self-doubt that I seem to detect, but once you do that, you may be surprised at the positive results in the "girlfriend" department.

    What do I know? I'm a 52 year old woman.....I'm WAY out of my league here.........I just think that you sound like a nice, thoughtful guy concerned enough to question things that have to do with your life, and that's a good thing! (Geez, I sound like Martha Stewart.........)
    Wow, thank you :) That was very enlightening. And I think and hope you are right. So your advice would be to not worry and things will settle on their own?

  9. #9

    Intellectual Anxiety?

    That's exactly what I am trying to say! I'm at work now, but I will stop by later to check out this thread.

    Anna

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