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A mental block is either a repression of painful thoughts, or an inability to continue a train of thought, like in the case of writer's block. A similar phenomenon occurs when one cannot solve a problem in mathematics which one would normally consider simple. In the case of writer's block, many find it helpful to take a break and revisit their topic. Another tactic that is used when people with mental blocks are learning new information is repetition. Mental blocks can be caused by physical disabilities or simply a lack of focus. Mental blocks are also often used to describe a temporary inability to recall a name or other information.
Mental blocks can happen from lack of sleep. The loss of three nights rest before a polygraph, is often a tactic used to beat a polygraph, however, this technique will cause a surge of emotional energy that could leave one feeling emotionally overwhelmed. The result will be a lack of focus to re-call memories.
Academic block is a term describing the phenomenon in which a student feels unable to succeed at a subject matter because of the student's past experiences.
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