Okay, so I am a math student currently on leave from a graduate program in math and computer science.
I have always been good at coursework. I ace examinations and manage good grades. I can understand and explain concepts well. All my professors have liked me because of all this.
But somehow it feels like I have tricked my way up. Everything goes wrong as soon as I take up a project or open problem or any kind of research. I start out beautifully- read and understand all necessary background instantly, get up to date on current results, impress my guides with my clear understanding. But things go down fast after that. I lose motivation, I get lost in digressions and extensive learning. Or I just slack and avoid the project altogether and somehow try to make a dignified exit.
This has happened too many times now. Each time I thought it'll all come together the next time. But nothing has changed. I have tomes and tomes of notes and expository material on all topics remotely related to my research areas. But I don't have a single original piece of research. It got so distressing that I was diagnosed with depression, OCD, etc. and subjected to medication and therapy. But somehow the problem seems beyond all that.
I really want to do research and solve problems. Even an insignificant, but original, result might greatly elevate my confidence. Are there others who have been through this? Is this just a difficult phase some people go through? Or am I just an idiot who's reaching beyond his level?