Home » Ask the Therapist » Having Trouble Understanding Things

Having Trouble Understanding Things

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I never thought it was a issue until I hit a breaking point from my Internship meeting. I was told that I’m not processing things (as he pointed at his head) at that moment I felt like I was retarded. That’s where I began to see a pattern from my previous jobs and through life. I would make a lot of mistakes when I am being told to do something. I’m not nervous, or deaf. I can hear, but when people talk to me I block out/they seem like they mumble rather than talking so I block out. It is troublesome because I have to repeat people all the time, and when I do managers shout at me and I hold back my feelings until I finish my shift which have nightmares about. I feel like I’m slow when doing a task. However it does not makes sentence because I have good grades and do all my homework and yet I can’t do what is asked to be done. I came to the point were I had to confess to my employer and my school, that I have problem and don’t know what it is. All I know that I can’t understand messages or phone calls (Even in high volume) , can’t follow instructions, I try to concentrate what people are saying but the words cant process in my freaking brain which makes me mad and helpless at myself that I can’t do anything right, it is very had to multitask, I sturred/can’t talk right. Even my family notice something was wrong with me when they talk to me because I always do the opposite of what they say. I always thought if I try harder it will be better, but with me my mistakes remind the same. To be honest my mind works differently when people talk to me I mix words up or numbers. I always have to solve what people say if I forget/block out, which makes them repeat themselves, I always compare myself with other girls and be like why can’t I get it like her, you know. As for right now, I am taking notes and writing what people say so I won’t get mix up, but sometimes that doesn’t work so I have show to them what I wrote down “what I think they said.” I cry a lot because this a problem that stops me from maturing and succeeding in my career. I don’t know what is holding me back mentally because it’s effecting me physically. I’m scared because I might not going to find a good job to provide for my family. My school also wants to know what is wrong because they know I’m doing great in school learning medical billing, but they are getting my reviews on what I can’t do which is frustrating.

Having Trouble Understanding Things

Answered by on -


This problem seems outside of your control. It does not seem as though you’re deliberately being defiant. I point that out because of the self-abusive tone of your letter. If a friend or a family member had this problem, would you be equally as harsh on them as you are being on yourself? It’s highly unlikely. You seem to be legitimately struggling with processing certain types of information. I understand your frustration but remember it’s not your fault.

It’s possible that your brain processes verbal information differently than written information. This is not to suggest that something’s wrong with you per se but that perhaps you have an undiagnosed learning disability. It could explain why you have been struggling for years.

One diagnostic possibility is an auditory processing disorder. Its symptoms include difficulty processing and remembering language-related tasks. There are other possibilities but an evaluation would be necessary to determine whether or not you have a learning disability.

If you do have a learning disability that substantially limits a major life activity (i.e. learning, thinking, reading, concentrating and communicating), then you are entitled (by federal law) to reasonable accommodations from both your school and employer. You should consult the disabilities service office on campus. They can provide you with more information about how to seek help for this potential issue.

You should also discuss your symptoms with your primary care physician who can provide you with the appropriate referrals. He or she might suggest undergoing a neuropsychological evaluation. This type of evaluation specifically assesses how your brain functions. Good luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Having Trouble Understanding Things

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Having Trouble Understanding Things. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 2 Dec 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.