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I have a hard time focusing & reading with understanding?


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Ok this is really a problem & this has been happening to me ever since High school.I didn't really do well in high school because of this & I think I need to face these issues now, especially since I'm going to college pretty soon. I'm currently taking drivers ed, I know I am super late as I am 19 years old. I'm like the oldest guy in my class LOL. Anyway when it comes down to focusing & reading, I just lose it seriously. I mean I have a hard time staying on track & it takes alot for me to obtain information with understanding. I can easily get confused with tasks & I often find myself lost while everyone else seems to catch on quickly & move on with their assignments.


For example today, we had to read a whole chapter in our books. Shortly we had to write down questions & answer it on a sheet of paper. I read the chapter but it was like I couldn't remember anything I read. So I had to scan through the book while everyone else was moving on rather quickly & proceeding to their next assignment. I eventually got frustrated & I had to stop one assignment & move to the next just to catch up with everyone.It's like I read but I often find myself not taking in the information & I have to keep reading over & over again until I can grasp it. But it shouldn't be like that though?Then when I try to learn new things, sometimes it takes so long for me to understand it! I feel sorta like I'm slow or something.


Another thing is focusing & paying attention. A teacher can talk or a video may be playing but I'm not listening. It's unintentional but I always do this.I find myself daydreaming or just off in another world. If I find the topic very boring, this will happen alot. This is what got me in trouble alot in high school. I get extremely sleepy, even if I had a decent night sleep. I find it so hard to just stay alert & listen to my teacher talk. Sadly I fell asleep today during a video & we had to answer questions. Again I was lost & I had to end up getting help from a peer.


I really lost confidence in high school & I let my grades fall ever since 9th grade. It's happening to me again now in drivers ed. I was always the kid that was left behind while everyone moved on. This was another thing I hated about school. I got help from teachers & I went to tutorial but even they got frustrated with me lol. Especially with math which I hate! Since I had so much trouble, I eventually stopped doing my homework because I got frustrated & I barely passed my classes every year in high school. I had such a sorry gpa to show for it! My parents got mad at me & claimed that I wasn't trying hard enough but I really am trying but I find it so hard.


It's frustrating for me honestly, I never really was a school type guy. Now if a topic interests me, I might actually focus & stay in tune but if it doesn't this is where I seriously get lost! I understand that I'm not going to like everything & I have to read & do things I may not like. Focusing & learning quickly are the main problems that I will have. I really feel that if I go to college, I'm going to fail because of what happened in high school. If I couldn't grasp high school, I don't know about college since I know it will be harder!

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I've been doing exactly the same as you since I was at school. It was a waste of time revising for exams because the information wouldn't stick. Plus I had too much information to deal with.


Years later when I left school and decided to go to part time college I discovered that if I concentrated on one subject I wanted to learn then it was easier. However, I still struggled at times.


I've never mentioned it to the doctor maybe I should?


Sometimes I can read important letters 6 times and I still don't understand what it's about. I end up taking the letter to a friend and getting her to interpret it.


These days I have to read with a bookmark because I go from one line to the other and then realise it doesn't make sense.


I suggest you mention it to your doctor.


I hope you get help soon.


Good luck

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Hi kidd,


Found more sites and deleted my first post.


As you focus when you are interested, it could be a mild case of ADHD.


The symptoms of ADHD include inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity that are inappropriate for a person's age level.

Children who have ADHD often

  • Are easily distracted by sights and sounds in their environment.
  • Are unable to concentrate for long periods of time on low stimulation tasks (homework vs. video games).
  • Are restless and impulsive.
  • Have a tendency to daydream.
  • Are slow to complete tasks.

Adults who have ADHD often

  • Miss work deadlines.
  • Miss appointments.
  • Appear hectic and disorganized.
  • Have significant problems prioritizing.


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This sounds somewhat like attention deficit disorder.


I don't think he's dyslexic because KIDD writes extremely well...


My best friend has ADHD and he has the attention span and concentration capability of a rabid tick. However, when he takes his medication he's a straight a student...


You may need a professional diagnosis, but I think that MIGHT be it.

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Oh boy, I don't really know about being diagnosed with something. I guess I will set an appointment & look into it. The problem is getting to a doctor without my mother knowing. She'll probably talk me out of it saying that I'm looking for excuses to condone my actions.


It seems like I match some of the symptons but I'm really scared about taking medicine & all of that stuff though.Will I have to see a therapist or someone?

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Hi Kidd,


Myself has mild ADHD since childhood, I realized this a few years ago when reading about it on the web. All I do is discipline myself. I never took med's.


It's not a big deal. Why not talk to mom, hiding it is honestly not good for your wellbeing because it makes you feel bad about yourself.


The doctor will evaluate you and come up with ideas on how to treat you.


You can also research self-help and please share with us here if you find anything.


BTW, do you have (had) stress at home? - I had abusive parents who fought with each other a lot too.


If you have questions or problems just ask.

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Hi Kidd,


Myself has mild ADHD since childhood, I realized this a few years ago when reading about it on the web. All I do is discipline myself. I never took med's.


It's not a big deal. Why not talk to mom, hiding it is honestly not good for your wellbeing because it makes you feel bad about yourself.


The doctor will evaluate you and come up with ideas on how to treat you.


You can also research self-help and please share with us here if you find anything.


BTW, do you have (had) stress at home? - I had abusive parents who fought with each other a lot too.


If you have questions or problems just ask.



Ugh, sorry I took so long. Life for me is pretty hectic & right now. My mind is spinning seriously with everything that I have to do.Anyway I'm wondering what I can do myself to focus better? Am I not trying harder enough? I want to see a doctor seriously & look more into this.. I feel that there's something definitely not right with me. I talked with my mother about it & as I expected, she said that there's nothing wrong with me. She said that I'm lazy & I don't apply myself enough. I really think I do apply myself but I just don't catch on to certain things easily.

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I dont think parents are always so open to admitting their child has a problem. If you feel you are applying yourself, and your still not retaining, of focusing on the task at hand, then maybe it is time to see a doctor. If you have benefits through your job, or can obtain benefits look into that first and take it from there. Best of luck.

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I have a similar problem but not as severe


I can't read novels (except for harry potter)


and News paper stories bore me after the 1st few lines, even if the subject is interesting or important.


I have very good long term memory




it takes me a VERY long time to absorb information and I have very low concentration span when listening to others


I suffered with this all through school


As I got older, I improved

my own "writing" is ok


I can only read and absorb if i am very interested

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piggypooh - It seems we're in the same boat almost. Have you tried talking to a doctor about it?


Ugh, I have no way to get to a doctor unless I can catch a ride from my friends but I don't want them in on my business either. Not having a car sucks! My mother refuses to take me to see someone](*,).


Now I feel like maybe nothing is wrong & I'm trying to look for an excuse. I'm confused because maybe I am lazy. Maybe I'm not doing the best to my ability. All I know is I have to get my act together because I refuse to be lost in a fog all of my life!

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Don't give up, go and see your doctor. Ask your friends for a lift.


Your parents aren't doctors and neither are you.


Remember some people have gone to the doctors thinking they've had one thing wrong with them and the doctors have discovered a different one. It's better to have a check up than regret not doing it later.


Good luck and take care.

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Different people have differnet ways of learning: visually, hearing.

I would try different tequniques to absorb the information. High light and summarise key points then re-read them to get them from your short term memory into the long term. Try reading those important points aloud.


Don't be too hard on yourself if something is boring it is not unatural for the mind to drift. Try to become aware of this so you don't loose to much time daydreaming and make a choice to try and discipline yourself to refocus on the work and not spend time thinking of those other things. If thoughts become really presssing you could try writing a to do list for "later" but for now say 'I choose to say focused on the task at hand.

Learn what works for you. If you feel burnt out take time out. Keeping balance is so important. Have time out to do the things you like so when you go into study mode your mind has had a break and feels more refreshed. It is just about being patient with yourself to find learnjing techniques that suit you. High school can involve learning certain subjects that can be boring, I would not be surprised if you find there are things you are exceptional at and thrive in. Enjoy your path of self discovery.


I had some tough time in high school with lower grades because I was bored to tears, and could not concentrate in class. But then in college did very well because I was concentrating on subjects that I love.


Find your passion, the subjects that you enjoy learning about , you will thrive.

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Now I agree with MI Shell. Maybe you just need to indulge in something that interests you. What do you love to do?


My first few years in college I lolly gagged because I didn't know what in the hell I wanted to do...Which led me to just get a certification in computers and look for a normal job...Then it struck me that I have loved writing and English my entire life.

Long story short; I've gone back and I now have a 4.0 GPA as an English major.


It could be ADD, or it could be that you are bored and don't know what you want to do.

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I'm in a very similar situation, except I'll be going into grade 12 with this problem. I totally understand how it's sooo hard to comprehend chunks of information. When I'm given instruction or a word problem, I just take forever to comprehend it - most the time, I'll interpret it wrong and get everything wrong. Novels - throughout highschool, i have yet to finish reading any of the assigned novels (lord of the flies, shakespears, etc)... Most of the novels, I read, but I don't grasp anything from them, it's just meaningless and I don't even remember what I read(i passed with the help from online summaries). Same goes with the lessons, I can't focus on what the teacher is saying half the time, even if i try, i just somehow tune out and im thinking about something else. In-class esssays were the worse, I just stare at the paper, its like a permanent writer's block.


I've been pretty frustrated with this problem as well, and I thought I had ADD for the longest time too, but I don't know since i haven't had a diagnosis. I've read up a lot on ADD and am pretty convinced that I have it, but something tells me that theres always the possibility that its not since i can further distinguish the problems.


A few weeks ago I read up something called link removed and I thought tada, that's my problem - I'm a passive listener, I don't process what I listen to(eg. music, i don't listen to the lyrics - or rather I can't concentrate on it). Also with a mix of the personality of a perfectionist... here I am, the reason why I fail at school. I say perfectionist because my work is never good enough in my opinion, and that's probably why i'm never able to start my in class essays, why i take 2-3 hours to do homework that can be completed in 20 minutes, why i can take the whole night to write a 5 paragraph essay and most definitely the reason why I rarely finish anything that isn't pressured. With passive listening, a bit of perfectionism and also a little trouble comprehending - that totally sums my problem up, without calling it ADD. (OR maybe i'm just in denial!)


I hope what I just said will shed some light on your problem. Oh and also... you said something about not being able to focus on things that doesnt interest you. I think that, if you're able to focus on something that interest you to start with, then you're capable of focusing, but when its something that doesnt interest you, its just because you're lacking the motivation



ps. sorry for the bad grammar - too tired to fix it

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I agree that I do need to indulge in things that interests me. However I really don't know what that is right now. I mean I used to love writing & I would make comic books & everything back when I was in high school. Now I just lost my creativity & motivation in it. It's funny, I would spend all day writing & drawing in my room making comic books & just having fun by myself but I just lost motivation by the time I hit 11th grade. I would focus more on writing & making stories back in school than doing my homework. I would literally get frustrated with my schoolwork, I'd tell myself that I would do it later.Then I find myself back writing or making comic books, just neglecting my homework. I usually end up doing it at school & copying off of someone else's homework, I know it was wrong & sad.


I'm also on a constant search to find out what is my passion in life? I'm really sure it has to do with writing & the arts but I'm not really feeling it now. Maybe going to an art or writing school in college would be best. I think I would be able to focus more & I'd probably be interested.I keep procrastinating about looking into schools & getting focused on that!I'm really left behind because it's like I'm knowledgeable about the world & then I'm not, I don't feel like I'm smart. Some people talk to me about certain things like the government or simple things & I'm completely lost. I need to get serious & read more, meaning newspapers, watching the news instead of tv shows. Like my mother told me recently, I will be left behind in the wind if I don't get my act together now. I also focus too much on what I WANT to do, rather than what I NEED to do. I spend too much time on the computer or listening to music when I get home but it seriously needs to stop!


Also maybe eating a healthy diet,excercise & going to bed at a reasonable & scheduled time would help me focus better also. I'm already excersing & I'm feeling great! So I'm going to learn to discipline myself & I got to. However I'm going to try to find a way to take a bus to see a doctor whether my mother likes it or not. We have alot of bus routes in the Stone Mountain area so getting to where I want to be shouldn't be a problem, I don't think.


I have alot on the plate right now so I'm seriously worried,lost & confused.. I'm just an average guy trying to find my place in the world. Somedays are better than others but I feel there's something missing in my life. I really haven't been completely happy since I was a child to be honest. Ever since I turned 13, life has been a rollar coaster ride. I used to do really well in school back in elementary school. But once Middle school hit, it changed! I was constantly lost all the way through high school & I'm still am.I honestly don't know who I am & that's scary.It's up to me to make a change, I just wish I could be disciplined enough to do what I say on here!

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What you write is really good!, and you have todo it. What our minds do is not always under our immediate control. But we must learn control.


Talk to your mom to help you with an appointment to look into ADHD. Explain the problem to her. Try to convince her. Also hold her and be kind and loving to her more often! Also offer her to be more helpful in the house. Make a deal!


You are a fine creative young man, work on your good future!

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Hi Kidd... I'm very similar to you in a lot of respects. Up until the 4th or 5th grade, I was a very strong student. I could absorb info very quickly. Around grade 5, I think I stopped trying. I was harshly bullied through school, so maybe that was why. I didn't have confidence in myself. The only books I read were Sweet Valley High books and other juvenile fiction. I stopped reading books that were suited to my level and even up to age 14, kept reading those juvenile fiction books. When I would try to read a novel, I had no attention span. I couldn't remember what I had just read. I haven't ever read a whole newspaper ( even though I'm 29 years old ) because I just don't think I'd really be able to understand. Plus, at this point, because it's been so long since I have read the news, I feel a need to " catch up " and feel like I will never be as knowledgeable as I would like.


I get what you mean about the short attention span. When I try to read articles and chapters for a grad studies course I have to keep getting up every couple of minutes because I can almost never process the information and it makes me anxious. I can't find the meaning in what I've read ( unless it's very straightforward or it's a subject that interests me greatly ) I've alway been awful with doing summaries because I have trouble deciding what information is most pertinent. When I highlight information in books to study, sometimes I just highlight whole pages because I just don't know what's most important to know.


I too feel like I'm not very knowledgeable about things going on in the world. My sister is extremely worldy and well read and sometimes I find myself mimicing stuff I have heard her say because I know it sounds intelligent.


As for not listening to people... guilty as charged. I'm constantly tuning out of conversations with people. I don't mean to, it just happens. This happens alot with my bf. He'll be talking and 2 minutes later I'll realize I haven't heard a word of what he has said. It's not that I find him boring, I think I just don't feel confident that I could understand what he is saying or I'm afraid I won't know how to respond. I also spend alot of time measuring how I'm feeling about him at any given moment ( I have relationship ocd so I'm always thinking about whether or not our relationship is right ) My mind always either feels like its going or its sleepy. I've been trying harder to listen to people though.


I wonder if it's ADD or just poor nutrition and sleeping habits. It's partly my ocd. I just wanted to let you know you aren't alone.

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