Word finding troubles

  1. Ok, so I am a very educated person (will soon (if things go well in the next year) have a Ph.D. in physics), but sometimes when having conversations I cannot say a word that I know and want to use in a sentence. It is very frustrating and very hard for me to move on when the problem comes up. The word seems to be on the tip of my tongue,. I can describe what the word should mean, just cannot say the word. I can be speaking very eloquently, making a formal argument and this pops up and destroys my credibility. I don't really see any sort of pattern to when it occurs. I don't believe I have had any great head trauma; well, I have had a few minor concussions in my life, but nothing very serious. By the way, I am young. 25 years old. It is not alzhiemers.

    Does any one else ever experience this? Is it normal?
  2. jcsd
  3. Yes its normal..

    I wouldnt analyse it too much. Or you may go mad with it :-)
  4. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The more other things you have on your mind, the more that sort of thing happens. Stress can also make your mind go temporarily blank. You're just starting to experience the early activation of the absent-minded professor gene. Just wait until after you get your Ph.D.
  5. Danger

    Danger 9,663
    Gold Member

    Happens to me all the time. I used to think that it was part of the ADD, but the meds haven't changed it. Since I have a fairly extensive vocabulary, I can usually just sub in a synonym with minor hesitation. It's a lot harder when it happens with names, which is even more frequent. Considering how incredibly complex the brain is, occassional little glitches like that are common. I don't think that I know anyone who hasn't experienced it.
  6. I have the same problem. It's one of the main reasons I like the internet. In cyberspace no one can hear you pause.

    I don't believe it is normal, and I don't find that most of the people I talk to have the same problem. For some reason I draw the most blank blanks when I'm trying to remember actor's names. At other times several words or terms are occuring to me, none of which is the "right" one I can sense lurking there.
  7. If it hasen't happened all your life, I wouldn't worry about it either. It may have more to do with stress, and your thought pattern kind of jumping ahead of its self. Its happened to me a few times, even in a well known topic.
    But if it has happened all your life, you may have a slight degree of a disorder called dysnomia.
  8. Danger

    Danger 9,663
    Gold Member

    Yeah, that's the word I was trying to think of! Thanks!
  9. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Like Danger mentioned, it happens to many, perhaps most people.

    It's a normal condition for me, but then I'm not normal. :rolleyes:

    I sometimes forget what I am going to do just after walking into another room of the house or office - probably something to do with ADD / Asperger's.

    Perhaps one way to deal with it, is try to recognize a pattern - a particular subject or situation - and perhaps prepare for it.
  10. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I attribute it to fatigue or doing too many things at once. I spent the beginning of this week doing experiments through the night, and the later it got, the more often that happened. Let's face it, most grad students don't eat or sleep well, so a lot of problems they experience resolve themselves quite nicely with a bit of opportunity to rest and relax.
  11. OK, thanks for the support. Good to know this some other people out there deal with this too. I am actually going to try and keep a journal that records this, but I am sure I will forget. I seems to come in phases, but I cannot remember if I ever had the problem as a kid. As far back as I can remember, it started in college. Which is weird, since my stress just changed when I went to college. I played soccer right after high school in Denmark for 3 months. That was very physically and mentally taxing and college was almost a welcomed respite from it.

    As a grad student, I take pretty good care of my body. My wife prepares excellent foods for me (if ever their was an angel it is her) and makes sure my diet resembles that of a normal human. I usually get 6-7 hours of sleep. Hopefully my record keeping will help out a bit and signal it is a kind of stress induced situation.
    Thanks again for the replies- that alone helps.
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    My wife characterizes me as the proverbial "absent minded professor".

    And I probably try to do too many things at once. Goes back to high school - preparing a snack, eating, watching TV and doing homework simultaneously. I was multitasking before there was such a term. :biggrin:

    And watch the sleep - regular sleep is important - something that I rarely do.
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