Do You Think Isolation affects Cognition? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Do You Think Isolation affects Cognition?


I seem dumber in public, like I am not really grasping simple concepts. I suppose it's partly because my attention is elsewhere but it's crippling in a way. I get home and see things more clearly, realizing I must have seemed dim-witted to people around me. I wonder if long term isolation locks in this 'condition?'

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-13-2020, 10:13 AM
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Part of it is being distracted by anxiety, but part of it is lack of practice/experience interpreting all the different ways different people communicate and their differing presumptions. And another part of it is that our first reaction to confusion is embarrassment and inadequacy instead of immediately stopping them to ask questions before we get more confused.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 03:57 AM
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Idk. I think I'm just as stupid at home as I am in public. Plenty of people have called me absent-minded. I've always had trouble grasping simple things, even as a kid, before the anxiety set in, and I was always surrounded by people then. Even when I write big posts I always feel like everything I'm saying must just be really obvious to everyone else so I end up deleting most of them without ever posting them. I should probably delete even more of my posts than I do.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 04:09 AM
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In my experience, it certainly does. Since socializing does exercise your brain and mind. Isolation and lack of socializing certainly will affect it. Especially if you are not doing other things to keep your mind stimulated. And generally with isolation, most people tend to be less motivated to do this.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 04:17 AM
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What Paul said sounds about right.

I do think I seem even dumber if that's possible in public, at least most times, when I feel anxious and uncomfortable. When it gets really bad I struggle with words bad.

Every mental health professional I've seen more or less regularly, has said a thing I've got going for me is what they interpret as intelligence. I don't know where they get that idea though, especially considering the jumbled way I speak to them. I feel pretty stupid most of the time.
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Originally Posted by truant View Post
Idk. I think I'm just as stupid at home as I am in public. Plenty of people have called me absent-minded. I've always had trouble grasping simple things, even as a kid, before the anxiety set in, and I was always surrounded by people then. Even when I write big posts I always feel like everything I'm saying must just be really obvious to everyone else so I end up deleting most of them without ever posting them. I should probably delete even more of my posts than I do.
I'll respectfully disagree. Think you would too if you could see yourself from the outside. You 'grasp' things I have absolutely no concept of. You calling me stupid? 'Cause if that's the case, I find that, uh... OK, I agree.

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 05:51 AM
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Absolutely. If you have no one to contest your harmful beliefs, you end up feeling as though they're true. They may be beliefs about yourself (I'm not good enough) or about others. I've seen people on other forums who have never had friends and they came to the conclusion that it was because of their super rare and socially unacceptable hobbies such as... chess and classical music. I think you need to have regular contact with reality to develop an accurate and possibly more positive self image and to dispel those superstitions.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 12:26 PM
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My IQ seems to drop 30 points whenever I interact with someone in real-time for something that's not an established routine, and I don't need to wait to get home to realize my latest ****-up that could have been avoided if I'd had time to think instead of just reacting.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zkv View Post
I'll respectfully disagree. Think you would too if you could see yourself from the outside. You 'grasp' things I have absolutely no concept of. You calling me stupid? 'Cause if that's the case, I find that, uh... OK, I agree.
I think you're just biased. If you saw how hard I struggle IRL you wouldn't think that way. There's a reason my life is a ****show. I have no common sense.

I just seem smart because I only ever talk about things I know something about, and one of those things happens to be psychology, which carries weight on a MH forum. Everyone sounds smart when they're talking about something they know a lot about. But this is a MH forum, not a political/legal/music whatever forum. Give me just about any job IRL and see how hard I fail. It's pretty spectacular.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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It's interesting how high the cognition level of the responders to this thread is. All great responses--things I had an inkling of but no clear language for.

...you gotta keep the goal in mind, develop tunnel vision to a certain extent. it's hard, and it's not for everyone.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 02:58 PM
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Well in isolation you can stare off into the distance in thoughtful reflection while stroking your chin more, so yes it probably helps.






And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow,
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-14-2020, 11:31 PM
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Yeah, in a way. Like I can see and understand concepts, but I struggle to put my thoughts into in the moment words, so I don't say anything. This also carries over to text and talking on the phone. The only exception is when me and my uncle talk about sports. Outside of that, everything else flies by without me saying much.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2020, 09:19 PM
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When I was in living in Kissimmee, Florida my mental abilities were sharper, because I was around less people. In New York City, I feel as if my mental abilities are decreasing from being around a crowed environment. Florida gave me the time to monitor my own thought patterns, memory, emotion and behavior more.

I started created my own concepts when I was in Florida. A member on here made me aware that my concepts are repetitive, and another member on here made me aware that my terms are unknown.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-16-2020, 09:35 PM
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2020, 06:04 PM
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I'm always dumber in public because I think I'm devoting a share of my brain's resources to making sense of that situation I'm in and paying attention to what people around me are doing rather than the task at hand. But, generally speaking, I do think that a lack of social interaction can in fact affect your cognitive acuity negatively. We take it for granted but communicating with people is a complex behavior and if you don't engage your brain in such complex behaviors regularly it atrophies to a degree.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-17-2020, 07:27 PM
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Given that I often limit conversations to one word responses, I probably seem pretty dumb to people. I'm definitely not socially intelligent. In that regard, I have no idea what the [insert word here] I'm doing.

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Part of it is being distracted by anxiety, but part of it is lack of practice/experience interpreting all the different ways different people communicate and their differing presumptions. And another part of it is that our first reaction to confusion is embarrassment and inadequacy instead of immediately stopping them to ask questions before we get more confused.
So accurate!

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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kesker View Post
I seem dumber in public, like I am not really grasping simple concepts. I suppose it's partly because my attention is elsewhere but it's crippling in a way. I get home and see things more clearly, realizing I must have seemed dim-witted to people around me. I wonder if long term isolation locks in this 'condition?'
I can definitely relate. When I'm around people it becomes way harder to think of the right words and I use my train of though more quickly. Listening to what other people are saying is just as hard, if not harder. I often just can't follow what people are saying. I often forget what people are talking about mid-sentence. But that's a general problem of mine, even if I'm watching movies or something. But if you add SA on top of that, even that gets amplified.



I think the lack of social social interactions over the years literally made me dumber. I think I once read somewhere that having regular social interactions is important in creating new neural pathways.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-22-2020, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I can definitely relate. When I'm around people it becomes way harder to think of the right words and I use my train of though more quickly. Listening to what other people are saying is just as hard, if not harder. I often just can't follow what people are saying. I often forget what people are talking about mid-sentence. But that's a general problem of mine, even if I'm watching movies or something. But if you add SA on top of that, even that gets amplified.



I think the lack of social social interactions over the years literally made me dumber. I think I once read somewhere that having regular social interactions is important in creating new neural pathways.
It can be really demoralizing. I lose the thread in conversations almost always--miss whole sections even though I'm putting in painful effort--maybe too much effort. What is most devastating is knowing that I am operating far far below my potential (not that I have great potential but I still want to be...me). I think everyone wants to, at least, be able to operate at a level they know they can operate at. When you see yourself falling so far short of that, it's like you feel robbed of true expression.

...you gotta keep the goal in mind, develop tunnel vision to a certain extent. it's hard, and it's not for everyone.

~bad baby

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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 11-08-2020, 12:42 AM
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i'm glad i'm not the only one who feels this way. never considered isolation itself as a cause, but it makes a lotta sense when i think about it. personally, i'm autistic, and it always takes me a minute to fully process things—especially in social situations. i've also been homeschooled my whole life, and haven't had many real-life friends. as a result, i can't really call myself streetwise. LOL
but in any case, i don't think calling yourself dumb is fair to yourself. you're trying your best, and i believe that's what separates an actual dumb person from a person who's just having a really difficult time, y'know?

"Y'know, sometimes, a story's just a story. You try to read into every little thing, and find meaning in everything anyone says, you'll just drive yourself crazy. And then not only that, but... you'll likely end up believing something you shouldn't believe, thinking something you shouldn't think, or assuming something you shouldn't assume."
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