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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
But this isn't wonderland
Welcome me, I'm new!
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Age: 22
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No focus - September 11th 2014, 08:53 PM

My own personality is kind of giving me a hard time. I absolutely can't focus. I can give things no more than 5 minutes thought and my mind will trail off. I can't really pay attention to or concentrate on anything, constantly forget stuff, and am generally very absent-minded. It's annoying for other people (you can probably guess that I'm not a very popular project partner at school) and it's making me absolutely hate myself.
I need to do something about it, but I don't know what or how. How do I learn how to focus?
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Celyn Offline
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Jeez, get a life!
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Re: No focus - September 11th 2014, 09:12 PM

Hey there,

There could be many causes for your lack of attention such as too much caffeine, not enough sleep, finding things to be difficult or boring, ADHD and other learning difficulties, depression and many more. Since no-one on TeenHelp can diagnose you, I recommend talking to your school nurse/guidance counsellor or seeing a doctor.

General things to help you concentrate more would be to make sure you are sleeping well enough, not drinking too much caffeine, doing some exercise and try to clear your head of any distracting thoughts. A counsellor will be able to help you learn to clear your mind and focus more, whilst a doctor/psychiatrist may give you medication to help you concentrate.

Specifically on forgetfulness, try keeping lists of any tasks that need to be done, or anything you need to bring into school and write down dates for exams. Keep these somewhere where you will always see it like on your wall. Try to keep things in routine as well, so create a little timetable for doing school work and stick to it. When doing revision, do it short bursts and reward yourself. Most importantly try not rush things, instead be patient with yourself. If a distracting thought pops into your mind, write it down and move on. Donít dwell on it.

Also, talk to your teachers and family if your school work is suffering because of this, as they will be able to help and support you.

Hope I helped a bit
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Always * Offline
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Re: No focus - September 14th 2014, 02:46 AM

Hi, like DutchWereWolf said, we cannot diagnose you. But I have similar experiences and was diagnosed with ADHD during high school. I would forget about things. I would "look" like I was listening in class but wouldn't be able to answer if called on in class or the question would have to be repeated. I forget about things a lot. I NEED pressure to get my work done because otherwise I'll do everything but that work, especially if I think that it is boring, because I see things like exercising or going shopping as more "fun". I legitimately can't sit still and being medicated only does so much. I multi task, like watching tv and playing on my lap top at the same time. I alway have a ton of different projects out because I'll switch back and forth a lot as I lose interest in that.

Before you get the idea that I am some how severely dysfunctional, I am not! I get high grades in school, and I have an ok social life. It took me a long time to nail these things though... I went from being very disorganized to very organized by keeping lists and keeping things in my calendar (I put them into the list or calendar the moment I think of it). And because I have such a low tolerance for just sitting around, I've learned to direct my attention to doing my school work instead of just browsing around on the internet at useless nonsense or reading books that aren't essential and that way I am getting things done, and if I lose interest and need a break I am not constantly being faced with such large time crunches. So many people think I am this amazingly organized and brilliant person because my work tends to be really good, but it also tends to be colourful because I have learned to insert my personality into it to make it more interesting - they don't realize I waste a lot of time, I've just practiced at being efficient at wasting time.

So hopefully my anecdote helps. From here I think you should consult with a doctor or psychologist and ask about what you should do, it might be "nothing" but if it is affecting your life a lot there is a greater chance that something is going on which should be addressed.

Whether or not you want a psychological assessment done is a whole other matter. I actually have formal diagnosis, which is really good because I need it in order to get accommodations at school and to get medications. I cannot get Adderall (which is an amphetamine and a controlled/restricted drug) with out producing your assessment in my province because it is illegal to possess this drug if you do not have a prescription and it is illegal to prescribe it to people without ADHD. A lot of students use it just to get through exams without realizing the risks to your heart, to your weight and diet and risks for dependency. Like I am basically addicted to adderall, when I stop using it I just want to sleep for days and feel wiped out even if I slept for 8 hours (I comfortably sleep for 6-7 hours!), I've had 2 ECG's so that my doctors will keep prescribing it to me (they were concerned about my heart because of my families medical history) and I have had to monitor my weight to make sure I am not losing weight to much/to fast. I tell you this because there are a lot of risks to using medications, so if you don't think you need it/want it then you don't necessarily need to go that way, however, if something is wrong you could benefit from getting assistance on a more social/academic level and having a formal diagnosis could be helpful in obtaining help there as people will know where to start.

If you need to talk to someone, let me know

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
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