I have a concern that’s been bothering me for many years. I wish to have some psychological advice, but cannot afford it. I also believe my good friend might be suffering from something similar. The most troubling thing about it is the general depression of my intelligence. I am aware that I am of above average intelligence, (or at least believe so) but over the years my mind has gone very fuzzy. Some days are better than others, but in general, I do not feel whole. As if, over the years, I have lost more and more of my ability to focus my intelligence. I do not currently believe I am lacking the intelligence, but merely the capability of utilizing it. If I could compare it to anything, it would be like trying to watch TV, and getting snow (in varying amounts). It has gradually become more and more of a chore to do even slightly complex mathematical equations in my head or follow a train of thought. I believe I am able to speak quite eloquently and have a broad knowledge of the English language, but I am rarely able to utilize this knowledge, typically in writing only. But to even attempt such a thing in speech is almost impossibility. Constantly stumbling over myself, always on a perpetual quest to find the right words. Not to mention the random periods of constant headaches. I have wavered from thinking it just coincidence or a matter of sleep, to thinking brain tumors or Alzheimer. I have a lot of questions I wish to be answered, and this has been barely the surface.

A: Thank you for writing to us. At 18 there are many possibilities that could cause this, not to mention changes in diet, allergies, changes in metabolism, etc. I think the first thing is to get a thorough physical exam, for starters. Let’s not jump to conclusions about what this is or isn’t. The medical route is the best place to start.

Once you have that information then you can decide what to do about seeing a psychologist. But first things first. While there may be psychological reasons, the medical ones must be ruled out first.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral