ADHD and reading


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    • #86963

      Hi there, I’m new to this forum so i guess i’ll share a little about myself. I’m a sophomore in college and I was only recently diagnosed (like a week ago actually) however, I’ve known I’ve had ADHD for a very long time (specifically struggling with hyper-activity and impulsiveness.) The reason it took me so long to be diagnosed is because i’ve always made really good grades and my parents were rarely home from the time I was 12, so they couldn’t see how it was effecting me in other aspects of my life, so they didn’t think I needed to be properly diagnosed. Anyway, after going to college, I had to readjust to a completely new environment, and being very hyper-active made it difficult to make new friends (which is a shame because i’m really out-going) but the friends i did make were quickly turned off by my constant on-the-go behavior. Despite overcoming some obstacles my first semester, I adapted academically and became an honor’s student, and my second semester I made the President’s honor roll, but despite all that, I still knew I needed a change, so after a l o t of bargaining with my parent’s i finally got an appointment to see a psychiatrist, and she quickly diagnosed me, and i began taking adderall. I saw immediate changes in my self control and focus, and while i’ve always been an academically strong person, i have never been able to study or read before (I was blessed with a very good memory.) Now that my focus has improved, i’ve been trying to read, and it’s always been very easy for me to focus on things i find immediately interesting with constant changes and broad topics (such as a wikipedia article) it’s very difficult for me to read more in-depth things like books or primary sources, even though i do find them very interesting. There is so much I want to read, but I still can’t quite find the focus I need, and I was wondering if anyone else has been in my shoes and has advice for me, anything is appreciated!

    • #87013

      Yes!! I am exactly the same!! I’ve been trying to find someone who could actually relate to me! I’m very outgoing and hyperactive. I don’t have very many friends either, and reading articles that are boring are a real pain! My advise is just saying to myself, “you can do this, if you do this, you’ll get that.” Also since I’m very hyperactive, I like to exercise first before I do anything school related and mentally sustained. It really helps. Have you tried any fidget toys?

    • #87022

      I have inattentive type, so reading for me has also been really hard. I’ll “read” a paragraph only to realize I have no idea what it said haha. Sometimes I’d even have to go over it more than twice .. bleh 😛

      My advice is to go as slow as you need to. With books, atleast for me, it doesn’t take long before I can start to visualize the content, and it can kinda take off, until my brain decides to go “Hey! Guess what? You’re visualizing!” and then that derails it. So if your book has little paragraph sections per topic or something, you can just read one, take a sec, process the info, let it soak in, then move on to the next.

      I’m the same where I can’t find quite the right focus I need to read as much as I wanna, even though its improved loads. I think it’s all about baby steps with stuff and work your way up sorta. “I made it through a paragraph! I can do another.” or “I made it through a paragraph — SQUIRREL!” naw 😛 — but yeah, pace yourself and it’ll get easier.

    • #91395

      Hey there,

      I’m trying to get diagnosed atm, so maybe take what I’m saying with a pinch of salt, but I have the same issue. Except, when I’m reading fiction (that I enjoy), I read extremely fast. Without actually using speed-reading techniques (most of which are hokum anyway), I reach about 700wpm, and about 95% comprehension and recall. Stick something totally boring in front of me, or even something interesting, but written in a boring manner, (such as a nice, dense philosophy text), and I can spend an hour trying to read, without even making it through a page.

      The best advice I can give you for this type of thing is to do your best to find summaries of whatever the texts are you have to read, then skim the source text for key quotes. I didn’t actually read, cover-to-cover, a single book relating to my field when doing my degree. I couldn’t. I’d rather try to eat rocks (philosophers are REALLY bad at writing in an engaging way). I see you like Wikipedia. Wikipedia is your friend.

      The only other thing I can recommend for generic focus is to try doing pomodoros, if you haven’t tried before. Basically, set a timer for 25 minutes, and for those 25 minutes, do your DAMNEDEST to focus on whatever boring task you have to undertake. Don’t check that email, don’t look out the window, don’t grab a snack. If you get PROPERLY distracted (as in, for more than a minute), reset your timer and start again. Then, reward yourself with a 5 min break. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed (but take a longer break after 4 pomodoros). It makes it easier to concentrate by turning the ‘task of indeterminate importance that just has to be done some time before whenever until i get to the end’ into ‘Task that is the ONLY THING I need to do for the next 25 minutes until those 25 minutes are up’. It’s surprisingly effective, at least in my case. I actually wish I’d discovered pomodoros 10 years ago. Would have changed my life.

      Hope everything goes well, buddy!

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