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Attention Disorder really causing problems - October 27th 2016, 11:28 AM

Hey everyone,
So the thing is, I have an attention disorder. Its not ADD/ADHD, but is like a milder form of it. Now the problem is, whenever I try to study, I can't focus for more than a few seconds, or a couple of minutes at best. When I force my self to work a bit, my brain turns off, and I can't work at all. Like its a pain just to read. Throw in me constantly needing to jitter or something, and you can probably tell that its a nightmare to study. And its not just studing. I can't read long articles, so unless they are in small paragraphs or bullet points, I really struggle. I have to keep playing with the light setting on my laptop to get through the small paragraphs that are there in any case (Like I'm doing to write this post).
I was wondering if anyone else here has any idea about how to deal with it? I've got pills, that I take (as often as I can. Supposed to take them in the morning but some days I wake up past noon), and I try highlighting etc, but it doesn't work.
My family doesn't really understand it, so I can't really ask them for help.

PM me if you ever wanna talk. Send a message my way.
And remember, you matter. You're awesome. You're beautiful. Stay strong, the world will get better.

May The Force be With You.
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Re: Attention Disorder really causing problems - October 27th 2016, 02:06 PM

How are you doing with concentrating in class? If possible you can try recording lectures. Another thing to look into is your office of disability/accessability. They can evaluate your situation based on your diagnosis and struggles and then make accommodations for you.

As for studying and reading, I would do it in small chunks. Try 20 minute sessions, 15 minutes of studying then 5 minute break. Set an alarm clock.

Another thing to keep in mind is that skimming and speed reading isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes that's enough for you to get the gist and participate in class.

Do you use highlighters? I think highlighters helped me but it isn't for everyone. Sometimes I would get frustrated because I would highlight everything. Although sticky notes helped me way more. If you have a paper version, you can add stick notes to the page and write down notes, if you don't want to use the margin. I think there might be a way to use stickynotes via electronic reading too, depending what you're using.

But do you think paper reading would help? Some people find it hard to read electronically. Others don't mind.

I would say to find out what kind of learner you are and then apply that to your study habits. Meaning, if you like saying things out loud, flashcards would be a good way to repeat things and memorize material.

Setting is very important. At least to me, it helped with distractibility. The main library was too quiet, but the cafeteria was too loud. I ended up finding a few spots, such as a place to use the computer, a place to rest, a place to eat lunch or snacks, and a place to do reading/writing/thinking using paper.
Having these different "zones" helped me. Looking back, taking walks and going to a nearby park helped me too.

Lastly I wanted to point out the tutoring services, office hours, writing center and study groups. These things helped me, especially the writing center.

I am someone who had trouble staying focused, got distracted while doing homework especially when the task gave me anxiety. I would procrastinate. My sister loves music and putting loud music would make it very hard for me to do anything. As she got older, she understood my need for no music and it was a struggle but I do want to mention that depending on the task,, certain music helped. For instance, meditation music without words.
You can also find a 20 minute one and tell yourself you will read until the music stops. If not, wearing earplugs can help block out audio stimuli.
As for visual, if you're in your bedroom, try to make your workspace look different. Clean it up, don't let your desk face your bed. A little arranging of furniture can go a long way. Bring a blanket if youre cold. If you fidget, you can get a fidget toy. They're great. Bring anything you need for studying, so that you don't have to keep getting up.

I think of it as being on an island. You bring everything with you, but the rule is no getting up unless you need to. If you're not ready to sit down for a long time. Doing something physically active before that, can help get the jitters out.

Lastly, don't beat yourself up for being jittery. We all want to be productive but we all have our limits and that's okay. I know for me, I will always be anxious when doing academic work. But the idea isn't to eliminate anxiety or attention difficulty. It is to reduce it enough to get work done. So listen to yourself and you're allowed to break rules from time to time because you're the boss
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