Having trouble concentrating and staying focused

Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2014 09:06 am
Hi all

About 4 months ago I started drinking Lexamil 10 mg because I was severely depressed. This is not the first time that I have been depressed, this is the first time that I have been prescribed anti-depressants though.

Anyways, before I started using these pills I was even more forgetful than usual (I would almost change my passwords every few days or every week because I would forget them constantly) and I also lacked motivation and couldn't concentrate to save my life, I had given up on my love of reading </3 until about two months ago when I noticed everything improving again, I have finished reading 3 books (not very long books but it's a start) and I am generally more interested in things I used to enjoy. Now here is the thing: my focus and concentration still isn't what it used to be and it is bugging the hell out of me. It never used to be great in the first place but it's worse than it used to be and it's just really demoralizing and irritating.

When I told my psychologist about this she said I just needed to implement other study techniques and things like that, but I feel like that just won't help; it's not like I haven't tried that before -_- She said she doesn't want to increase my dosage just yet, and that was when I suggested that maybe I try something else, that will also help with my concentration, but she said we have to wait and see. What I meant by that was I maybe try a different medication, or an additional one, or maybe that I didn't just have depression but also ADHD or ADD or something in that direction.

I am currently studying an IT degree, something that I have always been fascinated by and been interested in (or used to be? when I used to be interested in things), so it's not like I lack motivation, I really have loved this since I was young. I can't concentrate for long in the lectures and when I have to do assignments or group work or when I have to study I can only focus for like 15 minutes if I'm lucky and then I'll end up doing something else or I'll wander off, either physically wandering off or daydreaming. Now I'm not necessarily saying I have ADHD/ADD, maybe I'm just lazy (gasp! not lazy!) but I would just like to make 100 percent sure it is nothing before I let this go.

Do you guys maybe have any advice on what I should do? I know it's kind of vague but should I ask my psychologist if we should look into it? I have considered suggesting it but I always feel like she never really takes me seriously. Well I am a hypochondriac, but in my defense I have so far been right about most things I have freaked out about.

P.S. I have been a type 1 diabetic for about 5 years now.

P.P.S. When I was little my mom used to give me this weird tasting pills to drink (they were definitely not vitamins!), they were kind of peach slash light brown coloured. When I asked her about it awhile back she wouldn't tell me what they were and when I asked her again she said she had no idea what I was talking about... maybe I was on meds for something (like ADHD/ADD?) and thought that I had gotten better? Ha or maybe I'm just reading too much into it, but it is pretty weird.
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Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2014 09:23 am
Whatever you were given or not given during your childhood is highly likely not to be important right now.

Your psychologist (are you sure you don't mean psychiatrist? Psychologists are, so far as I am aware, not permitted to prescribe drugs) is saying one thing, but it probably wouldn't hurt for you to have a full physical workup. Eliminate other issues.

But I do have to say that I think it's a more correct course of action to try other techniques and not just grab another drug if there's an issue.

I say all of this as a layman, I might add. I am not a doctor, and this site is not for medical advice. Get checked out by your regular physician, who has access to your records and knows your medical history. Don't cherry-pick information off the web, which may or may not be right or applicable.
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Reply Fri 7 Mar, 2014 09:47 am
Yes - you do have to change the way you take in information. Take notes; leave yourself notes; record lectures and listen to them at 15 minute intervals. Keep journals. Try meditation to clear your mind so you can increase your concentration time. Drink a cup of coffee or tea before beginning a project.

Exercise often.

Your diabetes may have something to do with this, too. Be sure to check your sugar levels often.

You don't say how old you are. College kids are taking ritalin, supposedly to increase attention and concentration, but I would not recommend that.

Good luck. Try to relax.
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