I'm a very accomplished software developer and designer and over the years I've written millions and millions of lines of code, worked on everything from video and social media platforms to complex AI systems and I am very comfortable with C, Python & JavaScript.

Programming has become a part of my life but now I want more, I want to know more and I want to understand more.

For example I don't know a thing about Chemistry, Physics or Maths. I would like to better my knowledge in these fields but my problem is that I have a perplexing "fear" of studying.

I can't even call it a fear, it's beyond that. It's like someone's dropped a 1000 tonne boulder on my heart and I don't know why this happens. I can sit for hours and hours (at times an entire day) and read documentation for a language / framework / library I've never used and I'll be fine but show me a study book and I freak out (inside).

I've tried all I could think of:

  • I've set myself a simple(er) schedule.
  • I've brought books meant for 16-18 year old's that lay everything out step by step.
  • I've studied for short(er) amounts of time.
  • I've even forced myself to stay seated studying for an hour or two.

By the end of all this the same thing always happens, I freak out (inside), feel like I'm "in danger" and leave the room. Not because I want to but because I feel like I need to.

I'm not actually "in danger" and I'd like to think that I'm a sane, calm and collected individual who can tell the difference between good / bad, right / wrong.

  • I'm an adult, is this even normal?
  • Could this mean I'm "losing it" or that I'm "going crazy"?
  • Is there a solution to my problem, if not how can I work one out?

Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really worried that this could be the start of something bigger rather than just another "fear".

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it.

  • 1
    While I'm sorry you're going through this, I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it doesn't seem to be primarily an academic problem. This isn't a question that is best answered by experts in academia and doing research, so we're not really the right people to answer this.
    – ff524
    Jul 28, 2017 at 19:32
  • 6
    Consider consulting a professional who works with people with anxiety - they are probably better positioned to help you, than the grad students and professors that hang out on this site.
    – ff524
    Jul 28, 2017 at 19:33
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    "I'm an adult, is this normal?" - No, but it's not too uncommon. "Could this mean I'm going crazy?" - You could have issues with anxiety, but I don't think the term 'crazy' is appropriate (it's poorly defined with unjustly negative connotation). "Is there a solution to my problem?" - Yes. It could be a past event that's haunting you (you can work through this using psychodynamic therapy), or it could be negative thought patterns such as fears of failure or feeling incompetent (you can work through this using CBT, as @DanRomik suggested). [cont.]
    – elan.em
    Jul 28, 2017 at 20:56
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    [cont.] Either way, it's great that you're actively seeking to address your challenges (it may well lead to "something bigger", as you said). Talk to an experienced psychotherapist - they help clients with problems similar to yours quite often. Apologies if this is hard to read; you can't insert line breaks in comments.
    – elan.em
    Jul 28, 2017 at 20:59
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    @scaaahu I write way more than 100 lines a day and I sometimes go an entire day or two (up to 17-20 hours a day) working on the a project. You can write a tonne in that amount of time. Oh and as for my age I'd rather not say :)
    – user56351
    Jul 29, 2017 at 14:33