I am a senior in high school, and i'm just now starting to believe that i've had some sort of attention problem(though not ADD) all my life. I have always made good grades, but i'm lacking in the concentration department. For example, when i take tests, i am ALWAYS(no exaggeration) the last person to finish, even if it's a test on a subject that's a breeze for me. Throughout elementary and middle school, my teachers always noticed something special about me and tested me for gifted programs. I never got in, though, and i believe it was because i'm such a slow worker. I always have to read sentences over and over to apprehend them. And even right now, i'm supposed to be working on a project for my Anatomy class, but i am too distracted-that's why i came here!
This might be irrelevant, but throughtout high school i have battled with anorexia and bulimia. I was never diagnosed with one because it never got to the point where my life could be in danger; plus, no one knew how serious my obsession got. I spent many days, though, where i had a lot going on or a lot to look forward to, but i was always preoccupied with my weight-how i could lose it, how i would look in an outfit for my date next week, etc. It was like my world revolved around what i ate and what size i wore, and this caused me to lose focus in school and other situations that were important. Eventually, i was depressed. I told my doctor about this depression and my eating disorder(unfortunately, i didn't mention my concentration problem!) and was prescribed to take Prozac, which i have been taking for about half a year now. It helped immeasurably with the depression but not really with concentration or preoccupation with weight. So later on i started going to an eating disorder therapist and improved a lot, but i still have trouble with it. The reason i'm telling you about this is because i'm curious if this could have anything to do with my "attention problem".
I do not believe i have any degree of ADD, because i have heard that to have ADD you have to be "hyperactive", which i certainly am not. On the contrary, i am perpetually exhausted. I fall asleep in school at the exact same time every day; it's like my body's on a clock. I do a lot of extra-curriculars after school which prevent me from having time(or being too tired) to excersize as often as i would like. And when i should be doing homework, sometimes i am too distracted and/or tired to do it! On a typical school night, i go to bed around 11:30 and wake up at about 6:45.
And one last thing, my friends have always made fun of me for constantly being "in the clouds". I admit i get really deep into thought sometimes, but i never consider it to be a real problem. Could it be the result of something potentially harmful, like an attention defecit, though?
If anyone knows what might be going on with me and what i might could do, i would greatly appreciate it! I empathize with anyone in a similar situation. Hope everyone's having a good day!
[This message has been edited by VintageLemonade (edited 09-23-2002).]
One thing that caught my eye was the anorexia/bulima business. So, how has your intake of fats been? I'm not suggestion this is the whole thing, but work on getting some good quality fats - salmon, in particular. Because fats are very important to mental activity.
The other thing people tend to cut when they are trying to keep their weight down is protein.
Thanks for the quick reply, i really appreciate it.
Currently i'm going to a dietician/trainer and am eating more protein than usual, but not cutting out all carbs.
If i'm being good, i eat about 60-70 grams of carbs per day, and make sure i eat 3 square meals. I try not to eat anything high-fat or high-cal. What did you mean by eating more fats? Did you mean your good fats, like omega-3 fatty acids? I don't like seafood, but for the sake of health, i might try eating salmon. What other fat/protein sources do you suggest?
Next time you see your doctor or therapist, make sure you tell them about your problems concentrating. It could be any number of things. I'd lean towards looking at your eating disorders as the culprits. I think that a side effect of malnutrition is a lack of focus. Try posting your question on the Eating Disorder page; maybe someone over there can help. It could be plain old ADD, not ADHD (Attention Deficiet Hyperactivity Disorder). It could be hyperthyroidism, or an untreated yeast infection. So talk to your doctor or therapist, they may be able to point you in the right direction. Good Luck!
I went throug high school in almost the same situation as you did, except I don't have an eating disorder. I would always be day dreaming or fantasizing in class. It was embarrassing b/c whenever the teacher called on me, I was totally clueless. Then they would call on me more to punish me. Still to this day, I'm usually one of the last ones to finish an exam. I do horrible at tests, especially standardize testing. I hate'em! I'm always re-reading the problems several times, double checking my answers, second guessing my answers, and even re-checking my scantron answer sheets to make sure I fill them all in. The worst is when I start day dreaming during a test. I admit it, I am a poor student. I'm surprised I've made it this far and I'm graduating college next May.
So what I'm trying to say is that you're not alone. I don't think you have a ADD either. My friend has ADD and he takes Ritalin for it. It's so hard to have a conversation with him too, b/c his mind is somewhere else. You can see it in his eyes.
Your mind is your greatest weapon...
ADD does NOT involve hyperactivity. That is ADHD. ADD stands for just plain attention defecit disorder while ADHD stands for attention defecit hyperactive disorder. Do a search on the web for plain old ADD and I think you will me amazed at how similar you probably are to the signs of ADD. If you think this might be you then see your doc and ask for a referal to a center that does ADD testing. I always thought ADD meant ADHD too but as soon as I started reading about plain ADD on the web even before my son could get in to be tested I was going "wow, that's my kid" as I read about it. Do some research and see what you think. I do not think your eating disorders are related to your concentration since those are related to how you see yourself. Glad the therapy is helping you.