Advice on Concentrating/adhd

  • txtri02

    Posts: 13

    Apr 23, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    I recently started going back to school and have found I am having trouble concentrating when I actually sit down to study. I had this problem all through high school and undergrad.
    I've heard of adderol, but also the side effects.
    Just wondering if any guys are on adderol out there and how if effects you.
    also, if there's any other prescriptions out there or preferably, natural solutions.
    I don't exercise enough as I should and probably need to change my diet.
    Wondering if that would help as well.
    Thanks
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2012 9:57 PM GMT
    Before you go reaching for the drugs there are a lot of non drug things you can do (Dr. of Pharmacy here).
    First, eliminate sugar and caffeine based drinks/snacks or highly curtail them: they hype you up and make you want to do oher things.
    Second, study to classical type or film score music (I made a series of film score mixes when I was in school); stuff lively enough that you won't fall asleep but not rock music type that wil be a distraction
    Third, remeber you live in a culture that cultivates ADD (we call it multi tasking at work) and you are often working against the programming of television and internet. So a certain amount of discipline and retraining yourslef may be needed.
  • TadPohl

    Posts: 259

    Apr 23, 2012 10:06 PM GMT
    I too have ADHD and try to approach life with as little medication as possible.
    There are many natural ways in which I combat ADHD... and though I have ADHD attacks on rare occasions, it is very controlled in comparison to when I was a kid.

    Method:

    Diet:
    High Omega-3 diet (Fish& Nuts). Cut out sugars (soda, candy etc)
    No processed foods from a can, bacon, hot dogs etc.

    Brain Exercise:

    Play Smart BrainGames (video game researched to help re-wire your neurotransmitters)


    Physical Exercise:

    Daily cardio routine (running outside is more useful than on a treadmill)

    Go often outside onto a green atmosphere.... park, lawn etc and jump rope

    Routine:
    Develop and stick to a routine.

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2012 10:09 PM GMT
    TadPohl saidI too have ADHD and try to approach life with as little medication as possible.
    There are many natural ways in which I combat ADHD... and though I have ADHD attacks on rare occasions, it is very controlled in comparison to when I was a kid.

    Method:

    Diet:
    High Omega-3 diet (Fish& Nuts). Cut out sugars (soda, candy etc)
    No processed foods from a can, bacon, hot dogs etc.

    Brain Exercise:

    Play Smart BrainGames (video game researched to help re-wire your neurotransmitters)


    Physical Exercise:

    Daily cardio routine (running outside is more useful than on a treadmill)

    Go often outside onto a green atmosphere.... park, lawn etc and jump rope

    Routine:
    Develop and stick to a routine.

    Good luck!


    Great advice and I'd 2nd it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 23, 2012 11:18 PM GMT
    Try meditation.. it tends to calm the mind down
  • jsd8675

    Posts: 23

    Apr 24, 2012 1:10 AM GMT
    Are you serious? Clinical ADHD isn't a concentration issue.

    It's a brain drive issue. You concentrate on the wrong stuff. Your brain is in the wrong gear and focuses on objectives other than accomplishment.

    It's a reward system issue. It's not concentration.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 2:06 AM GMT
    jsd8675 saidAre you serious? Clinical ADHD isn't a concentration issue.

    It's a brain drive issue. You concentrate on the wrong stuff. Your brain is in the wrong gear and focuses on objectives other than accomplishment.

    It's a reward system issue. It's not concentration.



    But it is a problem if you cannot focus on reading material that is not objective based, or requires an extensive commitment.

    I can read short blog posts, posts on here, and some content related to my interests but if you ask me to sit down and read Kant I won't be able to focus on his writing for more than 3-5 minutes at most. I can try all the reward based incentives in the world, my brain will just shift focus and before I know it I'm up doing something else.

    The difference with me is that I've learned to surround myself with multiple activities that are beneficial to me. I read about psychology, philsoophy etc.. I don't watch TV or play video games.

    To the OP, I understand the difficult you are going through. I'd be lying if I didn't say that medications like Adderall do not help. They can help a lot. But, they have to be part of a comprehensive plan. Lest you take it and start rearranging your closet for 6 hours ;)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 2:16 AM GMT
    I have a very hard time concentrating too, and it drives me crazy (well, more crazy). I haven't been diagnosed with ADHD, but I wouldn't be surprised if I had it. Even as a kid, I couldn't focus on any one thing for very long. I don't multi-tasking is the problem. I think it's the symptom. My brain can't focus on one thing, so I do multiple things at once to keep it occupied.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 2:30 AM GMT
    OMG tell me about it. I have severe ADHD and yes I'm scripted Adderall. I am PARTICULARLY sensitive to psychotropic medications (even caffeine) and I try mightily never to take it, but in preparing for the LSAT this June, I will be taking it during that. My doc first scripted me Concerta, to which I had a non-epileptic seizure neither me, nor my doctor, nor a pharmacist could explain (I have a THEORY but the chances of something like what I theorize happening are approaching zero, but so was my reaction to the drug.)

    It's something I can't escape and I have coping strategies but it's just kinda preparation before I have something important to do (like going to work.)

    Adderall suppresses my testosterone and causes hypogonadism in me for a day or two; neither side effect is reported as a listed side effect with the FDA. I'd rather just not fuck with my neuroendocrinology and be able to have wild, crazy kinky sex so I stay off it. It is a schedule 2 controlled substance and an amphetamine; the potential for abuse and tolerance is high so I stay away from it as much as possible but it DOES work.
  • InsatiableBlo...

    Posts: 442

    Apr 24, 2012 2:52 AM GMT
    Try meditation.

    Its sounds like a bunch of new age bull but there are scientific studies that show it helps rewire your brain and increases intelligence, diminishes anxiety, and helps you focus.

    I didn't take it seriously when someone suggested it to me, but it has really helped with ADD and anxiety issues. It might not be easy at first considering your having concentration issues, but it gets easier with practice. Give it time and take it seriously.

    Sources:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314170647.htm

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110121144007.htm

  • TheBizMan

    Posts: 4091

    Apr 24, 2012 2:53 AM GMT
    Just take adderol if you can find it ;).

    Works like a charm for me during crunch time.
  • Phosphor

    Posts: 7

    Apr 24, 2012 2:54 AM GMT
    yoga
  • Ethan_1990

    Posts: 34

    Apr 24, 2012 2:59 AM GMT
    If you're willing to try anything, I suggest you look up a book called "The joy of living: the secret and science to happiness" by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche. It's a book about meditation. I'm not sure what you've heard about meditation but it's basically training your thoughts to help with focus. I have add but I will never take medication for anything. I don't believe in it. I can honestly say that meditation has helped immensely. You have to keep an open mind and be patient. You won't suddenly have complete focus on anything. It's something you gotta work on. Just remember, if it were easy it wouldn't be worth it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:02 AM GMT
    Meditation makes sense -- not the religious kind, but the focus and calming kind -- but how do you meditate when you can't keep your mind focused? How do you read a book on meditation when you can't focus enough to read?
  • txtri02

    Posts: 13

    Apr 24, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    wow guys, thank yall so much for the advice. I don't consider myself to have a BIG problem concentrating so I will try the natural things first - diet, exercise, and the meditation. I am doing my pre-reqs now for nursing school. So if the problem persists into nursing school, then I will consult my PCP.

    Once again, thanks guys. Good luck to all of you !
  • Ethan_1990

    Posts: 34

    Apr 24, 2012 3:08 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidMeditation makes sense -- not the religious kind, but the focus and calming kind -- but how do you meditate when you can't keep your mind focused? How do you read a book on meditation when you can't focus enough to read?



    The book I suggested has numerous types of meditations you can do. They are short to read (about a third of a page) which makes it easy to follow. The book also teaches you how you can meditate while performing any activity. Also, the point of meditation isn't to be able to focus your thoughts perfectly but to keep working at it. You have to keep working at it. I promise you notice results but not in one day.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:15 AM GMT
    All these other suggestions - diet, exercise - don't really see how that helps. My diet is AMAZING and I work out to intensities reserved for the gods of men and it does not help. I've tried meditation a little too, doesn't work.

    However

    Your results may vary! Good luck!
  • InsatiableBlo...

    Posts: 442

    Apr 24, 2012 3:16 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA saidMeditation makes sense -- not the religious kind, but the focus and calming kind -- but how do you meditate when you can't keep your mind focused? How do you read a book on meditation when you can't focus enough to read?


    Thats a good question.

    When I was doing it I learned to just focus on my breathing. Any thought that tried to interfere with my focus I learned to consciously recognize it and do my best to send it away. Think of your mind being filled with a howling thunderstorm, when you meditate your goal is to clear the sky by sending away all the thought clouds. C L E A R Y O U R M I N D

    I'm beginning to sound like one of those people who work at Whole Foods but I'm just trying to give you a helpful metaphor.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:23 AM GMT
    Ethan_1990 saidThe book I suggested has numerous types of meditations you can do. They are short to read (about a third of a page) which makes it easy to follow. The book also teaches you how you can meditate while performing any activity. Also, the point of meditation isn't to be able to focus your thoughts perfectly but to keep working at it. You have to keep working at it. I promise you notice results but not in one day.


    So, you're saying I have to read a book, learn how to meditate, AND be patient? You're asking a lot ya know. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:27 AM GMT
    I have ADD bad. I cant do anything by itself. Here is what I do to help me read/watch tv/listen to music.

    Do 2 of the above things at the same time. I know it sounds counter intuitive but it does help me focus on both...at the same time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:29 AM GMT
    InsatiableBloom saidThats a good question.

    When I was doing it I learned to just focus on my breathing. Any thought that tried to interfere with my focus I learned to consciously recognize it and do my best to send it away. Think of your mind being filled with a howling thunderstorm, when you meditate your goal is to clear the sky by sending away all the thought clouds. C L E A R Y O U R M I N D

    I'm beginning to sound like one of those people who work at Whole Foods but I'm just trying to give you a helpful metaphor.



    I've done that for short periods of time, but I haven't been able to do it consistently. When my mind is clear, then I can't absorb information, like I need to do when I'm reading. Reading out loud helps to some degree because I have to put more effort into that rather that just skimming the words silently.
  • InsatiableBlo...

    Posts: 442

    Apr 24, 2012 3:33 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    Ethan_1990 saidThe book I suggested has numerous types of meditations you can do. They are short to read (about a third of a page) which makes it easy to follow. The book also teaches you how you can meditate while performing any activity. Also, the point of meditation isn't to be able to focus your thoughts perfectly but to keep working at it. You have to keep working at it. I promise you notice results but not in one day.


    So, you're saying I have to read a book, learn how to meditate, AND be patient? You're asking a lot ya know. icon_biggrin.gif




    Meditation in a nutshell:

    Sit down indian style, with your back straight.

    Rest your hands on your knees.

    Close your eyes, and just try to empty your head and completely focus on the air surging in and out of your lungs.

    Remember to consciously recognize your thoughts and repel them as best you can.

    Set your phone to vibrate and time yourself to do it for 4 minutes. Its not long, but its a good time for beginners.
    Now log off RJ and get meditating!
  • InsatiableBlo...

    Posts: 442

    Apr 24, 2012 3:39 AM GMT
    DudeInNOVA said
    InsatiableBloom saidThats a good question.

    When I was doing it I learned to just focus on my breathing. Any thought that tried to interfere with my focus I learned to consciously recognize it and do my best to send it away. Think of your mind being filled with a howling thunderstorm, when you meditate your goal is to clear the sky by sending away all the thought clouds. C L E A R Y O U R M I N D

    I'm beginning to sound like one of those people who work at Whole Foods but I'm just trying to give you a helpful metaphor.



    I've done that for short periods of time, but I haven't been able to do it consistently. When my mind is clear, then I can't absorb information, like I need to do when I'm reading. Reading out loud helps to some degree because I have to put more effort into that rather that just skimming the words silently.


    The goal is to clear your mind (as best you can) during meditation, not afterwards. You don't want your mind to be blank while you read because you can't absorb any of the information. Meditation is helpful for calming the mind, so that disruptive thoughts don't interfere while you read, study, work etc. throughout your day.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:40 AM GMT
    InsatiableBloom saidMeditation in a nutshell:

    Sit down indian style, with your back straight.

    Rest your hands on your knees.

    Close your eyes, and just try to empty your head and completely focus on the air surging in and out of your lungs.

    Remember to consciously recognize your thoughts and repel them as best you can.

    Set your phone to vibrate and time yourself to do it for 4 minutes. Its not long, but its a good time for beginners.
    Now log off RJ and get meditating!


    Woah! Woah! Woah! You didn't say nuthin' about having to cut back on my RJ addiction!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Apr 24, 2012 3:41 AM GMT
    InsatiableBloom saidThe goal is to clear your mind (as best you can) during meditation, not afterwards. You don't want your mind to be blank while you read because you can't absorb any of the information. Meditation is helpful for calming the mind, so that disruptive thoughts don't interfere while you read, study, work etc. throughout your day.


    But what do you carry over to times when you aren't meditating? Whenever I've tried to meditate before, it's fine, but as soon as I stop, my mind is racing again.