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Is it just the brush tool that is acting up? And when you say 'must exit the app', are you able to normally close the app or do you have to Force Quit it? In other words, is the Photoshop failing to respond after sometime/ crashing?
And while you have 8GB of RAM on your iMac, we need to know how much RAM is allocated to Photoshop itself. Go to (Title Bar) Photoshop > Preferences > Performance and take a screenshot of that dialog box and post it here. It will look like this:
With this, we can see how much RAM you're letting Photoshop use.
thank you so much for your advice. sorry i have been so late acknowledging it.
i have since increased ram to 16gb. no i do not have to force wuit. i have to select another tool and then go back to the first tool.
i won't trouble you with a screen shot.
very much grateful for your response.