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Old 03-29-2011, 09:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Is this Adult ADD? Can't focus on homework...

I'm at risk of failing/doing poorly in my college classes (for the umpteenth time) because I can't focus on my work. I get distracted too easily and I sometimes just can't MAKE myself do it...it's a constant struggle. In the midst of starting to read/study/write, I'll immediately go to Facebook or Twitter, or constantly look up "how to make friends" and "how to get a girlfriend" although I've done it a million times in desperation to reduce my social anxiety/obsession with learning social skills.

Often I can only start working on something hours before it's due, and if I get a fairly good grade it's the sheer luck of having completed it under pressure (hurrying to finish at the last minute). I can go a WHOLE WEEKEND filled with anxiety and lack of focus, and there's only a simple assignment due, and I end up staying up all Sunday night into Monday morning just to start the work.

At one point a few years ago, I was sitting in the college library with a textbook for 2 hours and I started crying because I could not make myself open it! I literally get paralyzed sometimes where I can't move. Sometimes I literally can't do anything; sometimes I literally can't stop surfing the web.

It isn't normal college-kid procrastination, that's for sure. Does this sound like the "hyperfocus" aspect of adult ADD/ADHD?

I also suffer from social anxiety and OCD (anxiety disorders) and sleep deprivation--based on what I said here, is it a strong possibility that I have comorbid ADD?

Unfortunately I don't have access to a therapist or meds right now. Thanks for sharing any thoughts and insights.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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you just described what i go through perfectly:

- in the middle of starting to study, go Google "shame-based personality" etc. for the billionth time. see the same pages every time. still can't read them just like i can't read anything else.

- entire weekend filled with anxiety passes-- with me putting everything else on hold, feeling anxious about what i should be doing, only to burn the midnight oil at the last minute

- paralysis, can't open book or look at assignment (i didn't know anyone else had this)

- even doing this list of how i relate was an enormous effort

- i love reading people's responses to me but get exhausted trying to organize words into a response, so i often don't reply and it sux

- stuck on an activity, game, topic, meditation, site (like SAS) and can't break away

- have a terrible time with transitioning, get extremely grumpy and disconcerted when someone else forces me to change my activities

- i have been pre-tested for ADHD and Asperger's. i don't have Asperger's but i do have severe ADD

it sounds like ADD, it sounds like hyperfocus... but you need to get assessed. it's maddening. like you, i have both ADD and OCD, so i don't know if it's the combination that makes it all the worse.

a couple of questions:

a) did you have these problems in childhood?

b) when you try to focus do you experience especially provocative or emotionally charged thoughts that prove disruptive? for example, you try to start reading, then you suddenly remember something someone did to you that makes you feel embarrassed or angry?
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have it the EXACT same way. I suffer from social anxiety, and sometimes I wonder if I'm manic because I can clean the house without any problem (instead of homework). But when it comes to mental assignements like schoolwork I completely freeze and just end up on the net or gaming instead. This leads to extreme guilt and shame :/ but like you say: it's like I physicly can't open the books...
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by popeet View Post
you just described what i go through perfectly:

- in the middle of starting to study, go Google "shame-based personality" etc. for the billionth time. see the same pages every time. still can't read them just like i can't read anything else.

- entire weekend filled with anxiety passes-- with me putting everything else on hold, feeling anxious about what i should be doing, only to burn the midnight oil at the last minute

- paralysis, can't open book or look at assignment (i didn't know anyone else had this)

- even doing this list of how i relate was an enormous effort

- i love reading people's responses to me but get exhausted trying to organize words into a response, so i often don't reply and it sux

- stuck on an activity, game, topic, meditation, site (like SAS) and can't break away

- have a terrible time with transitioning, get extremely grumpy and disconcerted when someone else forces me to change my activities

- i have been pre-tested for ADHD and Asperger's. i don't have Asperger's but i do have severe ADD

it sounds like ADD, it sounds like hyperfocus... but you need to get assessed. it's maddening. like you, i have both ADD and OCD, so i don't know if it's the combination that makes it all the worse.

a couple of questions:

a) did you have these problems in childhood?

b) when you try to focus do you experience especially provocative or emotionally charged thoughts that prove disruptive? for example, you try to start reading, then you suddenly remember something someone did to you that makes you feel embarrassed or angry?

Hey, it's an incredible sigh of relief to know I'm not alone. I know exactly what you're going through.

Yes to both of your questions. As for (a) When I was a child I couldn't make myself get out of bed to go to school--led to fights with parents, etc. They didn't understand. I still don't freakin' understand.

The kinds of disruptive thoughts I have are about me being weird/socially anxious/a complete misfit everywhere I go/being unattractive or "weird" to girls/etc. When I start along that line of thinking (comes out of nowhere, or just from the hint of a word or overhearing words in conversation--see my other thread from today), everything spirals out of control for me: either full-blown panic attack, mental paralysis, or sudden deep depression. Or all three.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Aves View Post
I have it the EXACT same way. I suffer from social anxiety, and sometimes I wonder if I'm manic because I can clean the house without any problem (instead of homework). But when it comes to mental assignements like schoolwork I completely freeze and just end up on the net or gaming instead. This leads to extreme guilt and shame :/ but like you say: it's like I physicly can't open the books...
I hear you. I know exactly what it's like :/
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I go through the same thing, like everyone else here has. I even get irritated when my mom asks me to do simple stuff. A good trick is to reward yourself every time you get a task accomplished. For example, when you finish a big term paper, go out to the movies, or buy some new clothes. But you must be disciplined!
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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If you really do have ADHD, no amount of psychological tricks and conditioning will fix it, at best they'll only make it a bit easier to cope. ADHD is neurological not psychological.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Yup... that sounds like what I go through.

I was THAT GUY who would show up to lecture, sit in the front row and be asleep for the prof even started lecturing. I'd wake up right as soon as lecture was over and head the next one.

My friend literally has 100s of pictures of me sleeping in class. He has more pictures of me than anyone else.

This is my super great study strategy.

Step 1:
Take horrible notes, fall asleep in most classes

Step 2:
Do the minimum amount of assignments, study problems, ignore problems or concepts I don't understand.

Step 3: Avoid studying with friends or at school because you are uncomfortable with their ability to focus. Go Home to study, tell yourself you'll be more focused

Step 4: Take out my notes, get some practice promblems ready and sit down. Get your music set up. Make sure you didn't miss anything on facebook.

Step 5: Write down exactly 4 words and say "Fk this, im going to play Call of Duty".

Step 6: Get up the next morning and write exam.

The result:
In classes I enjoy, I get B+ to A grades
In classes I dont like, I get C- to B- grades

This has been my life since grade 7.
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Old 03-29-2011, 02:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Oh and I constantly feel the need to brag, boast, or One-up people...
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if this is related but I have extreme difficulty focusing, organizing, and completing certain boring, mundane tasks like paying the bills, cleaning the yard, eating, etc. I am a huge procrastinator when engaging in such activities. And yet, I can focus very intently (hyperfocus) on other activities that interest me. There are only a few. It feels like an addiction and I can become so immersed in such an activity that I become oblivious to everything else going on around me and if anyone get close to me or if the phone rings I feel like unleashing severe pain on them and smashing the phone to pieces. I haven't met anybody like this, so far in real life. Here's an interesting read:

"Attention-deficit disorder (without hyperactivity)":

"Individuals with ADD have difficulty maintaining a sufficiently high level of motivation to complete a task and grow bored quickly, perhaps tiring because the working memory demands of the task exhaust them. They go looking for something else to do or think about because they are bored, rather than being unable to inhibit the pull of distractions. Their problem is not so much that are distractible as that they are easily bored. When engaged in an activity they enjoy they are fully able to successfully ignore even potent distractions. To remedy a general lower arousal level, they may seek risks that increase their level of arousal and attentiveness."

http://www.devcogneuro.com/Publications/ADD.pdf
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Same with me. I used to be such a good student. This morning I have been sitting here with my papers, attempting to begin work on a lab report. I have done NOTHING in 2 hours. I glanced at the paper once or twice, and that's it.

I already had to drop a class because of this. I guess I'll give it up for now and go get an oil change.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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As a self diagnosis, I would say that I definitely display alot of Inattentive-ADHD type symptoms and tendencies. Officially, I've never been diagnosed with it.

I think that I'm probably going to have to give up on university soon thanks to these tendencies *sigh*.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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If the symptoms are bad enough that they're ruining your life and they can't be accounted for by other, more fitting disorders, then you'd have no trouble getting a professional diagnosis. Get it sorted out before you actually do give up on university.

Nobody caught my ADHD when I was younger (I already had a dodgy diagnosis for ASD because I wouldn't cooperate with staff at school or the rubbish child psychologist they hired to slap a label on me so they'd get extra money to deal with me) and now I've pretty much thrown all of my chances for education away because I can't handle any work, even easy work.

I procrastinate about everything, don't commit to anything because I know I'll lose interest leave it half-finished and end up wasting my time, can't just sit down and do anything unless it has loads of distractions (I can sit on the internet for hours but I can't do 5 unbroken minutes of work), etc.

ADHD is far more disabling than SA for me. I can work through the latter two, but ADHD puts a quick end to anything I start. For e.g. I managed to go to college just fine though SA, but as soon as I started feeling comfortable with the people there after the first couple of weeks, all the assignments just became too much. They weren't even difficult ones, and I could have done them all in one go in an hour, but I just couldn't handle sitting down and getting on with it.

That's not to mention the constant brain fog, forgetfulness, making careless mistakes in typing/writing (losing concentration half-way through sentences and changing the context without realising it so it reads like some kind of bad translation etc) that make even basic tasks difficult.

Note that I'm not actually diagnosed yet, but I've got appointments made so it won't be long. I know that stimulants work great for me though, I just don't have a reliable supply of them or I'd forget trying to get diagnosed and just self-medicate.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Recently I've considered that I have ADD but have never been diagnosed. Right now it's taking me almost 10 minutes to write just this. I can't quite get my thoughts in order. I'll get up to get a drink severals times, then come back and try to concentrate, which occurs in occasional bursts of productivity. It was like that in school too.

I never experienced the paralysis but when I read my textbooks, nothing stuck. I would be on the same page re-reading it 20 times and still not understanding or even remembering anything. This never happened when I used to read something for fun or when I'm doing something I enjoyed.

I think I've spent 30 minutes trying to write out my thoughts and I feel lazy for not adding more but I can't get all my thoughts out in a cohesive manner. Suffice to say that I understand what the OP and others are going through.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:05 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Oh yeah, I hate reading as well. I have to skim read everything to stay focused which means not absorbing it and then people think I'm stupid/not trying to learn when I don't remember things exactly.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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To be honest, what you described sounds like every human on this planet. Nobody likes doing things they don't feel like doing. If the internet is distracting you, turn off your computer.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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I do EXACTLY the same things as people in this topic.I'm redoing my current year for the fourth time even though I know I'm more then smart enough for it.

I just have SO MUCH trouble starting my homework I can't manage myself to do it but at the same time I know I HAVE to do it so I end up being on the computer till 03:00 or later hours and then starting my homework or just going to sleep and missing a half a day of school.
This topic made me discover something else was wrong with me...omg it's unbelievable I know NOBODY that would do the same things,so on top of having SA I must have some kind of ADD too?Life really cursed me.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:02 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Step 1:
Take horrible notes, fall asleep in most classes

Step 2:
Do the minimum amount of assignments, study problems, ignore problems or concepts I don't understand.

Step 3: Avoid studying with friends or at school because you are uncomfortable with their ability to focus. Go Home to study, tell yourself you'll be more focused

Step 4: Take out my notes, get some practice promblems ready and sit down. Get your music set up. Make sure you didn't miss anything on facebook.

Step 5: Write down exactly 4 words and say "Fk this, im going to play Call of Duty".

Step 6: Get up the next morning and write exam.
***** man I almost do exactly the same things,all this time I wondered just WHY cant I focus properly in class like other people?WHY cant I just try to listen and understand what the teachers says,cause I get bored immediately and it's really mentally tiring to just SIT write notes and do nothing.I feel tired as hell but I just cant sleep in class.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duke of Prunes View Post
If the symptoms are bad enough that they're ruining your life and they can't be accounted for by other, more fitting disorders, then you'd have no trouble getting a professional diagnosis. Get it sorted out before you actually do give up on university.
I think that's the problem, doctors seem to chalk my inattention up to being depression/anxiety related. Which may/may not be the case, I'm not really sure to be honest.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:09 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalLogOfZero View Post
Yup... that sounds like what I go through.

I was THAT GUY who would show up to lecture, sit in the front row and be asleep for the prof even started lecturing. I'd wake up right as soon as lecture was over and head the next one.

My friend literally has 100s of pictures of me sleeping in class. He has more pictures of me than anyone else.

This is my super great study strategy.

Step 1:
Take horrible notes, fall asleep in most classes

Step 2:
Do the minimum amount of assignments, study problems, ignore problems or concepts I don't understand.

Step 3: Avoid studying with friends or at school because you are uncomfortable with their ability to focus. Go Home to study, tell yourself you'll be more focused

Step 4: Take out my notes, get some practice promblems ready and sit down. Get your music set up. Make sure you didn't miss anything on facebook.

Step 5: Write down exactly 4 words and say "Fk this, im going to play Call of Duty".

Step 6: Get up the next morning and write exam.

The result:
In classes I enjoy, I get B+ to A grades
In classes I dont like, I get C- to B- grades

This has been my life since grade 7.
lol, you learn something about yourself everyday.
This is pretty much just self-diagnosed by this point but I would do all the same things.
My mom even said I was retarded or something cause I wouldn't learn anything from class.
Maybe it's my fault or I'm being lazy... idk
spelled it out perfectly though.
Like, I had a project for music class or something and it was suppose to be about a historical figure. You were suppose to make a poster and make a presentation out of that.
It was assigned for like 3 months and somehow I did it all the day before it was due... sad...
Looked very pretty though!
oh god... school was hell...
Thinking about it... I do that for everything >.>.. Oh well! Hard labeling yourself because there isn't really any definitive proof that you have any of this. Some of the symptoms look familiar but if I had to look at myself I'd be really inattentive. Course there could be a number of factors that could do that.
I have a hard time pinpointing who I am because I'm constantly trying to put myself into one category but it's all really complicated.
I commend people for putting these into facts because the only thing I know about myself are the obvious. Sucks.. I'm confused o.O!
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