OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Wednesday, October 15


QUESTION: This is going to be a long post but I thought I'd give it a try seeing as how problem has persisted for me for a very long time.

This may be more of a psychological problem but I'd like to see if it has any basis in physiology. 

For a while now (probably about 4 years) I've had this "itch" in my head. Not like a physical itch. More of a mental one. Like I need to be thinking at all times about something or another. Its kind of hard to explain. Lets put it this way. If I sit idle for any given short amount of time I immediately feel anxiety. As if I should be doing something. 

I also can't have a restful sleep. Remember that itch? Well, if I try to fall asleep I get the itch because I am Idle. I then need to "scratch" that itch by getting some stimulus. Something like browsing reddit, watching youtube, anything other than doing nothing. Eventually I become exhausted and am able to fall asleep (after a few hours). Every time I wake up I feel more tired than when I fell asleep. Regardless of the length of time I sleep.

At some points in time I get the same feeling you get when you are on a really fast moving vehicle. Heart beat elevated and head racing. I start thinking faster than ever. Multiple thoughts at once. And I can't stop until I'm done thinking those thoughts. 

On the other hand, for the majority of the time, I feel as though I'm thinking with a head full of sap. My IQ is cut in half and I can't focus on anything. 

People have said that I need to learn how to shut my mind down. I've tried and I simply can't. I've tried things like ASMR (for falling asleep) and it works sometimes (But as soon as I take headphones off I revert back to the "Itch").

Mentally speaking people say that I am "smart" (not trying to brag but just want to give an idea of what my external behavior is like). Although the "itch" severely inhibits by capabilities in terms of thinking I've somehow managed to struggle to the third year in an engineering degree (almost failing terms several times).

A few other points about me is that my social interactions are mostly faked. Most of the time I am "faking" feelings to others. I usually am in the company of others but being around people tires me. You could say I have "friends" but I know them more as "acquaintances" in that I do not confide in anyone in person. I often weigh on the side of cold - calculated logic rather than emotion when it comes to decisions and I have been called robotic, heartless, ect. Remember, through all of this the "itch" is always there.

I'd like to know what you guys think about this "Itch". I'd guess something like ADD but I think it may be deeper than that. This problem has been with me for a very long time but its only getting worse. I may speak with a psychologist but I doubt I'd be able to be honest in person with someone else.

What do you think?


  1. 1) would recommend checking out some of the local sleep clinics. They treat all sorts of sleeping disorders.

    2) get a grip on your browsing habits, be more productive when you need 'stimulus'. Try learning a programming language or something that might benefit you -> be a contributor rather than a consumer

    3) It seems as though the high contrast between your 'fast' and 'slow' thinking is the only reason why you think that you function poorly normally. I would guess that you probably are more of the laid-back type, where you work decently hard to understand and apply what you're being asked to do, but when it comes to full-time studying you slack off until it is necessary. To me, your behaviour (and analysis) is within the norm.

    4) You don't need to learn to shut your mind down, you just need to know how to satisfy your cranial condition. This is where getting an evaluation, or discussing with a psychotherapist may come in useful.

    5) I would hazard a lot less on the ADD side and more on the 'slightly autistic' side based on your description. I know a friend who is very lightly autistic and is completely capable of a normal life, except that he is very adept in computer science and although he is comfortable socially, he tells me he has no desire to socialize.

    Just my 5c (since 2c rounds to 0 nowadays)

    1. Your points are pretty spot on. I'm actually a software engineer. Programming is one of the things I do non stop sometime . I've programmed for nine hours straight once (only stopping to eat).

      Thanks for the advice. I may need to see a doc

  2. Sounds to me like the beginning of acute schizophrenia but I wouldn't jump to conclusions... Check out the article "this is what developing acute schizophrenia feels like"

  3. After reading the above comment, something on the autistic spectrum is possible too as there is grades and severities.. Hmm so interesting!! But you NEED to see a psychologist... They will know better than psych students. But I can tell you this is definitely not something you should be ignoring and keeping a secret!! It will only get worse. Please seek help, and good luck :)<3

    1. Thanks for all the replies guys! Another thing I forgot to mention is that I often forget what I'm saying mid sentence. Ie I'll start talking with a fully formed thought in my mind and it will just up and disapear after a few words. Other times I think of something and then immediately forget it. Then I'll try to furiously remember what it was. This may just be due to fatigue though

      Well these replies are pretty useful I think. I will be seeing a doctor asap.

      Thanks again!

    2. 3a I do that too but I'm the textbook case of "stoner since age 14 and am now 20" think i've lost too many brain cells :( if you can't relate it to drugs then this is def an additional problem to address with a doctor, as well as drug use if u do use :P

  4. There are medications to treat ticks like this.. Please consult a psychiatrist

  5. Along with a psychologist, maybe a neurologist? I think a psychologist might also order a few brain scans but the "itch" might be a real thing, meaning that something might be physically discomforting your brain.

    I don't know how to get an appointment with a neurologist, since they're not walk-in clinicians, but if you do see a doctor (or a psychologist), maybe discuss with them about if they feel that you might benefit from being referred to a neurologist.

    Good luck, maybe keep us updated?! We'd like to know how you're doing :)

  6. Yes please keep us updated! Some of us do care at UW (I think many are psych students, we have that caring nature to us). But I can't wait until someday I can actually read symptoms like this and be able to diagnose it! I just know know know that a psychologist will be able to help you! Please don't fight it alone. I have terrible anxiety, and I find the first step in making it better is to admit its there. Don't try and suppress it. Tell your friends about it, then you won't feel as embarrassed when it does happen. Ill be a nervous wreck sometimes but the moment i can finally utter "I'm sorry guys but i feel really anxious right now i actually have really bad anxiety" people are always like "omg that makes so much sense, is there any way we can help?" no one will ever be not understanding unless they're a close minded judgemental prick! We all have our own problems, its about working together to overcome them :) good luck OP!

  7. If by "itch" you mean urge (I often describe these urges as itches), I can relate a lot to your post. I have OCD. You should check in with a doctor at health services and see if you can get a referral to a psychiatrist. Keep us updated!