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I am very depressed... i need your help. (I understand this is not the right place to ask such questions but please?)

Hello, this may not be the right place to ask such questions, but i could not stop myself... (I am 14 years old)
I have an IQ of 124, that is from an online IQ site. So it is inaccurate for sure... Almost every friend i ever had in the last 1 year calls me a genius or a very smart person. I understand that they may be correct, but 1 year before, no-one even called me smart. I was just an average student.
I love physics. It is basically my life. I am starting calculus and advanced physics right now, and for my personal project for pre-IB, i am going to write a book, on advanced physics.
The title is Antimatter: does it really matter?

I just realised that i am not smart enough. I am a dumb good for nothing show-off... i got this idea after researching about the greatest scientists and their childhood accomplishments, which i believe are amazing. I feel like a retard. Even though i have done Youngs double slit experiment, and understood all the concepts included such as wave particle duality and the wave particle basic equations on my own, i still feel like i am not good enough to be a scientist. Even though i love science, i fear failure. I want to be successful at what i do, not just happy with my life, but actually "good" at what i do...

This has been bothering me for days. I mean, i am not a freak genius or savant like genius people. I am just an above average show-off retard... I am not sure if i should pursue my career as a physicist or just choose electrical engineering and have an ordinary life with no pertinent need for me to exist. (I believe i can easily do electrical engineering from a reputed university :|....)

This bothers me more than anything. I am really sad and i cannot concentrate in physics. Minor failures like failing to understand basic calculus (Derivatives etc.) discourages me and i feel like good for nothing...

I really need some help from someone, who can guide me. Please help me. :(
Thank you for your time and kind consideration. :)

  • Aug 26 2012: We live life forwards, but understand it backwards.
    So, you have to go forward with your dreams, Particularly if,
    you are no good at it.
    Then you go forward and live it until you are good at it, then,
    you get to stop somewhere.

    You don't stop because it's not working. You go on because it's not working.
    You stop when it finally works, or at least when you have moved on from it to something else or the next thing you might not be any good at. :)

    Think of life as a maze. Follow it, find your path and walk it with the attitude of, "I wonder what or where this will lead to?" Because that will be about discovery and then the maze of your life will become a-maze-zing!!

    Remember, experience is of supreme value in life.
    Good judgment comes from experience and....
    Experience comes from bad judgment.

    As far as depression goes, if you find you really cannot get yourself out of it, then you really may need to see a professional about that. No shame in that. One way that works for me is to not think about myself so much. When I don't, I am very happy. When I think about how I can help others, I am lifted by that. And, above all else, I do have one thing in my life that makes every problem shrink into nothingness.

    May you find one too.
    If you keep walking, you will get there, and when you are able to look back, it will be because you kept walking.
    Good luck. Wish I had had someone or someplace to have asked my questions because fortunately for you, the answers are everywhere, even in hell, if that is where you find yourself.

    Allow yourself your humanness, which is, you are not perfect. Learning means making mistakes.
    Making mistakes isn't what you are, but what learning you do with the mistakes you make.
    You will be fine and you already are fine. It's a done deal. You just don't know that yet.
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    Aug 26 2012: Here's some advice from various people who were once introspective 14 year-olds like you:
    "Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure."-- Thomas Edison
    "Trust not yourself but your defects to know, make use of every friend and every foe."--Alexander Pope
    "We know what we are but not what we may be."--William Shakespeare.
    "We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt enters."-- Johann von Goethe
    "You must believe in God, despite what the clergy say."-- Benjamin Jowett
    "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."-- Albert Einstein
    "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."-- Solomon
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    Aug 25 2012: HI! Any place you can ask for help IS the right place. Welcome.
    Many of us were smart and lonely teenagers once, too. I am 56 now and life is great and i just came out of a short coma in December and had to learn to walk and talk again. Now I am driving some people nuts.

    My point in it all is this and it sounds so pathetically small: in a little while the whole world can be so different, you will hardly recongnize your life. The only place that failure is not an option is in survival. I personally learned soooooo much from my failures. I sure hope that the doc who put me in that coma by messing up a surgery learned a lot too.

    How can anyone feel that they are further ahead by having experienced what I did in the last year? I too have a high IQ and I had ten roomates while I was in that rehab hospital and i loved 9 of them and they loved me (even the ones who spoke NO English) My final room mate was a girl who had been born in Jamaca. She told me I was RETARDED at least 15 times a day as I was recovering from my serious brain injury (the surgery sent 2 clots to my brainstem). Where else would someone like me, someone who has been identified with my brain as my self, someone who adores people in general, someone who advocates for different peoples EVER really FEEL what it is like to be called those names?
    I finally truly know what that hollow. punched in the gut feeling of self doubt and fear actually do to oneself and one's self confidence and it is NOT the same as what we feel when we see and understand and no one will listen to us. It is way WAY worse. So, now I have a clarity and a certainty that my gifts are not disposable but that they are necessary to make this planet livable. SO ARE YOURS.
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    Aug 25 2012: Write the book,at the end the cover will find the book.
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    Aug 25 2012: Some years ago I chose the easier path. I chose to live and avoid unnecessary suffering. I told myself I didn't really care about a career, or money, or whatever was going to cost me more years of my youth. So I went down the easy road.
    I'm a happy man now. Some people sacrifice everything for a (forever) postponed reward and live stressful and lonely lives.
    But at times, I sigh when I meet someone with a particularly exciting job. And I can't help but to wonder what I would've been capable of.
    Where I would be if I'd taken the harder path.
  • Aug 25 2012: Hi Yash. Fritzie is absolutely right in everything he says.

    I would add that it sounds like the 'fear of failure' as you put it, has been allowed to dominate your thoughts for too long, affecting the confidence you had in yourself. I know myself how debilitating that can be - negative self-talk can move one from an intelligent thinker into regarding one's self as being dumb. It can also destroy concentration, affect one's social life etc.

    I can tell you without much doubt that your passions and abilities will return, if only you can jettison that fear of failing.

    Fritzie's dead right about counselling. There's nothing weak about seeking help - in fact it shows strength. CBT counselling can be excellent at addressing fears.

    Hope this helps you Yash.

    Barney
    • Aug 25 2012: I am very grateful that you took your time to read the whole conversation and come up with a constructive, small yet convincing answer. Thank you for your time. I will persevere and become the best i can :)
      (Also, i am not depressed i am just very upset :P) I wrote that without really thinking. :P
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    Aug 25 2012: Yash, when a fourteen year old says he is very depressed, I always first answer that you should please get some help from someone in person who loves you or whom you respect. Does your school have counselors? If you are really depressed, please, please, do not put this off.

    In terms of your quandary, you are almost certainly capable of pursuing a career in science if you choose to. I expect your teachers would say the same. The fact that at fourteen years old you are not ready to write a book about advanced physics in no way suggests that you will not be able to undertake serious work in physics once you have laid an adequate foundation for such work. That will very likely be some years in the future for you, and I hope you can enjoy the journey rather than holding fast to speeding quickly to the end of that journey.

    I think you are mixing up two things. One of them is aptitude for a particular field. The other is the perspective that can come with the maturity. I believe that you are not at the point right now to be a good judge of your potential. It sounds like you may fluctuate between believing you can do great things in physics this minute and believing you can do nothing ever.

    Please consider whether perhaps there is a third option- that you have promise if you continue to work hard in laying the foundation for a future as a scientist without trying to take an impossible shortcut to a finish line.

    There is nothing wrong either with being a genius or not being one. Passion and hard work go a long, long way.
    • Aug 25 2012: Thank you, also, i am not "very depressed" all i meant to say was that i am upset. I understand why you are being so skeptical about my maturity and i also understand i am too young. But i feel it is always better to start of early and try everything which interests you :)
      I was passionate about computers, tennis, electronics, basketball, cricket, physics and even video games! After some time, i realised that they were my interest, not my passion. I tried some more, and i found physics the best. So i made it everything i am. And when i realised that there are really smart people out there, i was greatly discouraged due to this intellectual inferiority i faced... :(

      Thank you for your help, your really raised my morale. I am very very very very very grateful... Your small yet eloquent words really touched me and made a difference. Thank you
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        Aug 25 2012: I am glad, Yash, to have misunderstood "very depressed," and I appreciate that you clarified this as I, even not knowing you, would have continued to worry.

        I hope you will not choose to make physics, or any one subject, everything that you are. We humans are not so limited that we can do or be only one thing.

        I have a reading recommendation for you if you are interested in reading. James Gleick wrote a biography of Richard Feynman, who was one of the truly great physicists of his generation and a Nobel laureate. I like Feynman's autobiographical stuff as well for its humor, though autobiographies tend to distort people a bit.
        • Aug 25 2012: I really appreciate that you are involved in this conversation. Thank you. I will surely read the book which you have mentioned. :)
        • Aug 25 2012: I just want to ask one more question, if i may...
          For my book on Antimatter, i have made 2 covers, i will choose one of them. I cannot afford to get a graphic designer, and i am pretty good at photoshop, so i just made a cover... My english is not perfect. I am writing a book for undergraduate students for my project, more like for Grade 12 also. So i believe that for such books i do not need language, i need facts and information. Which i believe i possess. Your help would be nothing but appreciated. Please look at the 2 covers and choose the one which is more elegant and convincing. Thank you
          Link: - http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.196286790502020.46716.100003621016597&type=1

          Ignore the first image, that i just a list of books i will buy for reference... Thank you :) I really appreciate it :)
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        Aug 26 2012: Hi Yash,
        Fritzie offers some very good advice, and you sound like an insightful young person. I'm impressed that you are exploring so many interesting life experiences. Sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed, it helps to take a step back, relax, and let things "flow" in your life. It's not absolutely necessary to decide at age 14 what you will do for the rest of your Life. Be kind to yourself....give yourself time and space to allow your life and creative energy to evolve. I love it when young people are exploring life as you are. Best to you my friend, and I hope you will stay connected with TED.
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    Aug 26 2012: You may have depression or OCD. Your feelings and the lack of self worth which is associated with them are over exaggerated. OCD is characterized by obsessions over thoughts which are trivial but may cause major anxiety, depression is also a phenomenon where trivial thoughts can make you feel excessively miserable. Make sure you get diagnosed by a professional, I diagnosed and treated my own OCD, cognitive behavioral therapy works well for both OCD and depression. I applied it to myself but the responsible way to do it is to talk to a professional.
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    Aug 26 2012: I see two problems;
    First, you are having trouble discovering your life's purpose, and
    Second, you have this fear of failure thing going.

    For the first, I would recommend meditation to clear your mind and connect with the source of life. It may be able to help you sort out what matters from what doesn't.

    For the second, I would recommend you research what depression is. It can be treated and many people suffer from it. You are not alone, but there is help.

    If you feel retarded, just think about how the rest of us feel. Most of us are just smart enough to know what we need to learn to become smarter. We all do our best to deal with life. You may be overwhelmed with world problems and feeling helpless in not knowing what to do about it. You can't solve it all. You need to decide what your role is going to be and have faith that others will fill in all the missing pieces. We are all just individuals, but we are all part of a grand scheme that utilizes all of us collectively. Be happy to be who you are, and let the rest of us be the part you can't be.
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    Aug 25 2012: I think you shouldn't strive to be somebody you're not. We all have heroes sure, a few of my favorite ones are Einstein, Michio Kaku, and Stephen Hawking, but I realize I could never be like them because I don't "love" physics as much as they do. However, there are some things that I can do way better than those guys too. For example, Stephen Hawking's communication skills are pretty god-awful, even a child can communicate better than he can, no offense to him lol.

    As far as I know, your name is Yash Akhauri, and there's only one you. There are things that I can do that you simply cannot do, but there are plenty of things that you can do that I can't do too.

    As a fourteen-year-old, you probably shouldn't be so focused on a few things in your life, you're still incredibly young. Do you REALLY love science so much that you want to commit your entire life to it? Have you considered supporting a family too? Or what about trying to find a sustainable income through the profession of science? If you hesitated even once, then you should re-evaluate what you really want to do, and go off exploring yourself.

    From what I can tell you at the very least, are highly interested in physics. How about these fields: physics in art and animation? Physics in human anatomy? Physics in games and computer simulations? Physics in sports and sports analysis? These are just a few fields that may interest you a lot.

    Also, I think you're an incredibly smart kid. I did not take Calculus until I was like 17 in High school, so you're 3 years ahead me. Last time I was tested on my IQ I was like 124-126. I was also one of those kids who thought math was an easy thing and it just came naturally because I understood the logic much deeper. But my other subjects like History, English, and Biology kinda stank and I was slower at it. And I didn't figure out what I want to do until this summer, because I was able to answer the same questions with confidence.
    • Aug 25 2012: Thank you, i believe you are correct, and all of your statements are valid, and i believe i can trust your statements. I really am not sure you know, i seek fame and science. I feel like an idiot when i say that, but that is indeed true. That is why i am confused.

      But that is not a very big problem.
      The bigger problem is - Family.
      I feel mutual responsibilities are one of the most vital and respected things to obey, and if i fail, i would be a complete failure, being horrible at both. That is just 1 primary reason for my hesitation. If i had a choice to never fall in love, which i cannot as i am human, then i would not even think about anything else and dive into the world of physics :P.
      Thank you :)
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        Aug 25 2012: I mean, there's nothing to be ashamed about in fame and recognition, we all want bragging rights for something in our expertise :)

        In fact, I think a lot of scientists are driven by fame too, but it can get a little nasty when it comes to intellectual property and such.

        The geniuses in the world never stop trying because they are incredibly passionate in what they do.

        Also, don't be afraid of failure, you should welcome it. There is nothing to fear except fear itself. The actual experience of failure is not really that bad. Failure is one of the greatest teachers out there too along with curiosity. Failure helps you prevent the next failure, where the consequences are much more severe. So really, make as many mistakes as possible now lol as long as you obtain something valuable from them.
        • Aug 25 2012: Thank you... :)
          I just want to ask one more question, if i may...
          For my book on Antimatter, i have made 2 covers, i will choose one of them. I cannot afford to get a graphic designer, and i am pretty good at photoshop, so i just made a cover... My english is not perfect. I am writing a book for undergraduate students for my project, more like for Grade 12 also. So i believe that for such books i do not need language, i need facts and information. Which i believe i possess. Your help would be nothing but appreciated. Please look at the 2 covers and choose the one which is more elegant and convincing. Thank you
          Link: - http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.196286790502020.46716.100003621016597&type=1

          Ignore the first image, that i just a list of books i will buy for reference... Thank you :) I really appreciate it :)
          (I copy pasted it, hope it does not bother you :))
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        Aug 26 2012: Well if you wanna sell a book, you would need to know a little bit about marketing or get help from someone who knows a lot about marketing. Who's your targeted audience? How many people would want to read this book in the first place? How are you going to get people to read this book?

        I mean, your attitude is not gonna be like "Hey guys, check this book out, please!" Your attitude would need to be like, "If you read this book, it will change your life forever" Or else who the heck would want to read something they don't need/want to know about?