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# Delusions of grandeur in mathematics Watch

1. I need advice. I'm not sure if this is better placed in medical advice or maths, but I'll put it here anyway.

At 18 I had 3As at Advanced Higher, 5 A1s at higher and had qualified for BMO1 through a high score in senior maths challenge, but only got a score of 9/60 in BMO1.

I went to study maths 2nd year entry at Edinburgh uni, got through second year (though I def didn't complete that year with a first), then didn't turn up to 3rd year exams when I was 20. Got taken to a psychiatrist who said I have schizophrenia, now at 24 and after an unsuccessful return to uni, it's autism and a severe and enduring mental illness.

A persistent thing I do, which can rob me of entire days, is try to prove Fermat's last theorem by elementary techniques. It hasn't worked obviously. There are times when I think I'll actually do it or have done it (until I spot the mistake in my proof) and I feel elated.

Typing this, it seems fairly obvious that it's a delusion of grandeur. I don't know how to snap out of it though. The medication stops me doing this, but I feel extremely tired on it and put weight on if I take it. How do I break out of this?

Also, given my past educational performance, how far could I get with self-study of maths? I know people from here with less than my school performance who manage to study to a fair level, and I didn't give uni a fair go with my issues.

How can I ease myself back into studying maths just for my own interest?
2. (Original post by boomboomblabla)
yeh it's not that funny for me
Fermat's last theorem is already solved though
Why not solve something that hasn't been solved
3. (Original post by boomboomblabla)
...
Because of your illness It's tricky for any of us to know how to help you. None of us are in your shoes.

I'm sure you've been told this before but you need to think logically. If you have a medical condition then that probably interferes with that ability. But if you think of this as a maths problem...

The best mathematicians in the world over the last 400 years have tried to search for an elementary proof and none of them have been successful.

What's the probability that you are going to find one? Even if you were the best mathematician in the world?

I'm not saying it won't happen but it's just so unlikely.

To qualify for BMO1 it sounds like you have the ability to self study a maths degree and do well. It depends how motivated you are. Definitely give it a go.

How about helping students on this forum and contributing to the threads with harder questions? A lot of students get motivation from this.
4. Hey I'm sorry you are going through this. Whilst I'm in my final year of school, I have excelled at Maths like yourself through school. I do not think that you should give up your studies or anything. I think you can be an amazing individual and complete your degree with flying colours!

I think every time you think of Fermat's Theorem, you should try your best and leave the room, close books etc. Although, I think a better alternative would be if you spoke to someone specialised in Mathematics at your Edinburgh University? They might be able to explain the theorem and you can have a discussion about it. There may be some unconscious thinking beneath your mind and maybe having a proper talk can sometimes automatically clear your mind and allow you to leave it.

Possibly have you thought of maybe taking a week out from Maths and University? Maybe go on holiday and when you come back it could help you focus better.

What do you think?
5. (Original post by boomboomblabla)
I need advice. I'm not sure if this is better placed in medical advice or maths, but I'll put it here anyway.

At 18 I had 3As at Advanced Higher, 5 A1s at higher and had qualified for BMO1 through a high score in senior maths challenge, but only got a score of 9/60 in BMO1.

I went to study maths 2nd year entry at Edinburgh uni, got through second year (though I def didn't complete that year with a first), then didn't turn up to 3rd year exams when I was 20. Got taken to a psychiatrist who said I have schizophrenia, now at 24 and after an unsuccessful return to uni, it's autism and a severe and enduring mental illness.

A persistent thing I do, which can rob me of entire days, is try to prove Fermat's last theorem by elementary techniques. It hasn't worked obviously. There are times when I think I'll actually do it or have done it (until I spot the mistake in my proof) and I feel elated.

Typing this, it seems fairly obvious that it's a delusion of grandeur. I don't know how to snap out of it though. The medication stops me doing this, but I feel extremely tired on it and put weight on if I take it. How do I break out of this?

Also, given my past educational performance, how far could I get with self-study of maths? I know people from here with less than my school performance who manage to study to a fair level, and I didn't give uni a fair go with my issues.

How can I ease myself back into studying maths just for my own interest?
Try Riemann.

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