I don't get it...

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by a_nobody, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. a_nobody

    a_nobody New Member

    When I was in high school I was one of the smartest kids. I was in all the advanced classes. I went to college and didn't take it seriously, but graduated with a BS in Marketing. What followed was almost a decade of bullsh!t jobs that didn't pay much. So I'm 31 now, with no real experience in any real field. Over the past 2 years I've tried to learn programming, but it's been tough. I've been doing an online course in Full-stack development with Flatiron for over a year now and I'm only 1/3 of the way through it. It should take me less than a year to finish. I'm not sure why, but every time I get stuck I get super depressed. And I get stuck EVERY SINGLE DAY. I lose my mind every time. I start questioning what I'm doing, why I'm doing it. For as smart as I think I am, I'm pretty effing stupid. My dad is a computer programmer, and my mom is a professional in the health field. Both very successful. I just seem to lack whatever they have that made them who they are. Am I wasting my time? I feel like I don't remember anything that I learn in programming. I'm a daily weed smoker too, if that has any relevance. I need it or I would have offed myself already.
  2. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    Programming is not for everyone, but you aren't going to remember much as long as you're smoking marijuana. I suggest you stop self-medicating and seek professional help.
  3. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If you really need to smoke weed then I'm with SanAntone, you really need something different from that. If it helps, it doesn't sound like stupidity is your problem. :)

    In the meantime, you could also try doing a classroom-based course and see whether the enforced discipline and access to a live instructor makes a difference? I know this is a distance learning forum, but that doesn't mean one size fits all....
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    Not to pile on, but regular marijuana use has shown to cause short and long-term cognitive impairment. If you need that crutch to function, it's time for professional help.

    Ted Heiks likes this.
  5. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    I'm just going to add that if you smoke pot for medical purposes you can buy just the CBD oil and get the relief you need without the cognitive impairment. As for your aptitude for programming, I believe that if you have enough intelligence to get a 4-year college degree in Marketing that you can learn to program. However, it just might be that the bootcamp learning environment may not be suitable for your learning style. I suggest trying some free and/or low-cost, self-paced online Web Development MOOC courses from Udacity, Udemy, EdX, Alison, Saylor Academy and even YouTube. I hope this helps you and happy coding!
  6. cookderosa

    cookderosa Resident Chef

    I know everyone is jumping on your drug use, which is a cheap shot. IMO, you have to look at the bigger picture. Even if you were "smarter" in high school, our brain changes over time. Though I've taken biology, anatomy, and psychology classes, I defer to Google for my quickie copy/paste...... mainly because I took those classes as an adult. <smile>
    1. The hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the formation and retrieval of memories, often deteriorates with age.
    2. Hormones and proteins that protect and repair brain cells and stimulate neural growth also decline with age.
    3. Older people often experience decreased blood flow to the brain, which can impair memory and lead to changes in cognitive skills.
    The classes I took right out of high school (culinary school) are seared into my brain. Even without "use it or lose it" I can recall perfectly many-most things I was taught as a teen regarding recipes, ratios, and the like. I haven't worked as a chef since my mid-20's, but ask me anything (my husband and I attended together and often do "test" each other, so I'm not just saying it.) I do think "when" we learn things matters greatly. Which brings me to my point- in 2006 I started my path toward my BA degree. I tested out using CLEP exams, no problem. Motivated by completing my degree, I started taking pre-med and pre-nursing science courses. I took a LOT of them with the idea of choosing to apply to medical and or nursing school- I even earned straight A's. But.... my retention, recall, and ability to learn (deeply learn) the material was very poor. I am a great student, but I no longer have the ability to learn new information the way I learned information 25 years ago. It's a fact. Might not be a fact for someone else- but it's a fact for me. It was obvious enough *TO ME* that I realized getting accepted into med or nursing school wasn't an issue- but getting through the new enormous mountain of content *at my age* would be too hard.
    So, it is completely possible that you're right. You may not be able to learn something as complex as programming- I estimate that if your motivation was exceptional, that would at the very least improve your chances. If your motivation is average, it might not be enough.

    FWIW, I've never heard anyone say that drug use improved one's ability to learn, retain, and recall except in the show Limitless -which was pretty cool- but total fiction.
  7. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    You can't say that "everyone" took a cheap shot at a_nobody and jumped on his or her drug use, because I didn't - and that automatically makes your statement untrue. In fact, I feel I was sympathetic to a_nobody and gave him or her the benefit of the doubt regarding the marijuana use. I live with a painful chronic illness and, while I don't do it myself, I don't automatically assume that someone who smokes marijuana regularly is doing so just to get high. I know better than that.
  8. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    Unfortunately, a lot of people self-medicate with weed, and the byproduct of that is often memory and cognitive impairment. It seems pretty likely that is what you are currently experiencing. It is also well understood now that weed carries a significant addictive potential (as it is acting on the same neurotransmitter pathways as other drugs of abuse.) While I in no way am devaluing the struggles you have with whatever condition the weed is self medicating (depression or anxiety), you are likely in a place now where the self-medication is causing side effects that are as bad or worse than the primary symptoms you were trying to address in the first place.

    Quitting weed when one is a daily user can be really difficult, and the psychological withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Depending on the strength of the weed you are smoking, there can be physical withdrawal symptoms as well. But if you are genuinely interested in moving forward with your life, regaining the cognitive and memory capacity, this is something I would strongly suggest addressing. It's a pretty miserable existence to go through life having to use a pretty powerful drug with significant side effects to deal with an issue that could most likely be addressed through therapy and/or minimal medications that don't have the same sorts of side effects as you are currently experiencing. I suspect that once you do address the underlying issue, you'll find your cognitive capacity and memory returning (though it will take some time) and school will be a lot easier to handle.
  9. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    I suspect that you are less sclerotic than distracted. Too much roof brain activity to allow for the original awareness necessary to retention.

    Yeah, those terms have been much misused but I believe the concept to be true. Extraneous thoughts block the penetration of new material. You have to be focused to learn.
  10. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Okay, kiddies, let's have a reality check . . .

    Y'all have been addressing the O.P., as if he's reading your responses. But he's not. The record shows that he signed onto the forum on January 4, and the last time he checked in was . . . January 4. A one-shot poster who, unless he clicked back into DI as a guest, hasn't been back.

    His mention of smoking weed was a short statement at the end of the post and even he questioned whether this habit was relevant to the issue - before he presented with an incidental symptom of suicidality (the reference to offing himself). And his use of weed is clearly not medical - it's his psychological crutch.

    But y'all have missed the key issue that he has presented: this guy is clearly presenting several indicators of ADD (or ADHD, for some). The use of weed, in and of itself, does not necessarily present mental blocks to academic success. ADD does. ADD can be mastered, but that's another whole discussion.

    (By the way - and I discussed this on the board several years ago - I mastered my own ADD to the point of earning my three RA degrees in less than six years. And, FWIW, I haven't smoked a joint for well over 40 years.)

    So stop preaching to this guy - unless he's lurking somewhere, he isn't listening. And why should he? Y'all have focused on one issue that may or may not be irrelevant. I'd hold off on further responses until he adds some feedback to what has already been said.

    I have spoken. Um, get over it. :rolleyes:

    (I miss my driving simile . . . )
  11. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Well, you lose that bloom of youth and people stop noticing when you enter.
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily . . .

    Remember, I'm both a trucker and a (live) theatre geek. When I show up at a theatre in a tractor-trailer (or, when possible, just the tractor), believe me . . . people notice. :cool:
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I may not agree with Bruce on a lot of things, but he has a background in psychology, and I was a substance abuse counselor. Pointing out the issue with smoking marijuana is not a cheap shot among those who know a lot about drugs. Marijuana does cause issues with memory and even lowers your IQ potential if you start smoking heavily before the brain is fully developed. There are many, many studies that have found that marijuana has an adverse effect on academic performance. I taught this in substance abuse classes, but anyone can find these studies through Google.

    Mr. Levicoff, ADD is no longer used clinically. You're either ADHD primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive, or a mix of the two. ADHD is basically understimulation of the brain, which is why it's often treated with stimulants.

    Marijuana can trigger mental health disorders in those who have a genetic predisposition. The OP, obviously, has issues with depression, and marijuana is not doing enough to help him be fully functioning. His academic abilities aren't going to get any better as long as he's depressed. There could be other mental health issues that often come with depression and an inability to focus, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. The OP won't know unless he seeks professional help.

    Forget bootcamps, MOOCs, possible ADHD, and all that other stuff. He has suicidal tendencies. That needs to be addressed first.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  14. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    My inclusion of the Coming to America meme was intended to lighten and bring some humor to the situation.

    However, the intent behind it was completely serious. Marijuana, especially the strains being grown today due to so many states "legalizing" it (legal marijuana being an oxymoron, since it's still illegal under the United States Code) are off-the-charts powerful compared to 20 and even 10 years ago. I used to disagree with the Intro to Psychology textbook used by one of the schools I teach for that lists marijuana as hallucinogenic, but I'm not so sure anymore.

    I still think it should be legalized, regulated, and taxed, but it's not the harmless alternative to alcohol that so many people seem to think it is. It's still a (increasingly powerful) mind-altering substance, and should be used in moderation, much as alcohol. Depending on it for daily functioning is a HUGE red flag that professional help is warranted.
  15. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    One of the most widely used textbooks in the substance use disorder field lists marijuana as an "all-arounder", meaning it has attributes of stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogenics, and I think that's a pretty accurate assessment. As Bruce indicated, with the new more powerful strains... it's a totally different animal than what those of us who were around in the 60s and 70s had to deal with.
  16. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I just stumbled over this thread and thought I’d add a comment (even though, as Steve said, the op stopped paying attention long ago).

    I don’t smoke or drink anymore but what I remember about smoking weed is that it basically destroyed all motivation. I would get distracted by things and forget to do important stuff. I think that if you want to relax on a Friday night it might be ok but if you’re actually trying to accomplish something important then you can’t be screwing around with that stuff with any regularity. Also, if someone is smoking up everyday then I would wonder if they’ve got some sort of underlying problem with depression or anxiety. (I’m not a Doctor but I imitate one on the internet)
  17. onlymybest

    onlymybest Member

    I feel the same way, but I don't smoke. Would love to figure out a better way to learn programming.
  18. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    What have you tried?

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