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Inferiority complex

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I’m extremely insecure, almost paranoid, about my own intelligence. Even though I’ve always been identified as gifted since youth, feelings of inferiority began to surface as I entered high school and was forced for the first time to compare and compete with others for marks and awards. I slowly noticed how unremarkable I really was, and would become depressed for days as I was forced to realise my own shortcomings. Eventually, I became obsessed with proving how intelligent I was to others and, moreso, myself, to an almost unbearable point. Now that I’ve found out that my IQ’s never been formally measured, I’m far too anxious to take any related test now for fear that I can’t or won’t live up to my expectations. How can I get rid of these feelings of inferiority or at least make them manageable?

I sincerely hope that you can respond – I tried to send this question before but it was never answered.

Inferiority complex

Answered by on -


I’m sorry we disappointed you the first time around. Although we do our best, we can’t possibly answer every question that comes our way.

It’s quite a burden to be continually told that you have “great potential.” At some point, the potential has to be realized. At some point, you have to face the fear that maybe it’s all been smoke and mirrors. Believe me: You’re not alone in your feelings. I wrote an article for PsychCentral about this very issue. Click here for some suggestions for how to get out of your funk and back into living your life instead of being afraid that you’ll only show your inadequacies.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Inferiority complex

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Inferiority complex. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.