Which operating system are you running on?
It sounds like elements has started a background process which may either need to do a lot of work or has become corrupted.
There are two main background tasks that I can think of, one is the generation of thumbnails. Are all of your images showing a thumbnail or do some have and egg timer?
Another background task is the media analysis. Have you turned off all the options in the preferences? (Edit -> Preferences -> Media-Analysis)
Which Display view are you in? Thumbnail view is usually better than Folder Location view.
Fast scrolling (if you can) can sometimes cause a problem for the organizer to catch up.