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Feeling like a failure, desperate.

Feeling like a failure, desperate.2012-02-07T01:44:49+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! I Suspect I Am Feeling like a failure, desperate.

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  • #90499

    Post count: 14413

    Hey, I’m a 23-year-old undergrad (a couple of years behind due to slacking throughout high school). I somehow managed to scrape by all these years, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever really gotten better at getting work done. No matter what I try, I always fall into the same habits.

    Now, I don’t know if I have ADD, but I got 7/9 on the virtual doctor test, and my past has been a history of failures, so maybe it’s worth looking into. Kind of desperate anyway. Been in front of my desk for the past three days, trying to study for two midterms, and I haven’t even read a damn chapter.

    It’s close enough to exam time that I’ll probably get stressed about it and get some readings done, but if anyone can offer some immediate advice for an undiagnosed possible fellow sufferer, I’d be grateful.


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, lost the T-shirt, bought a new T-shirt, forgot I bought it, bought another T-shirt, realized I now have 2…

    You get the idea.

    I went from straight A’s (except for penmanship in elementary school, and except for math in high school) to barely passing at university, because I couldn’t concentrate on my studies or assignments, and preferred to go to the reference library and study things that were more interesting. Then, I struggled through a succession of jobs that should have been very easy for me, but were actually soul-destroying and very difficult. That was a long time ago, and I only discovered I have ADHD, about 3 years ago. So I can imagine how you’re feeling right now, because that’s how I felt.

    Now that you suspect you might have ADD, please do the other diagnostic tests on this site (listed under “Tools”), and print out the results to discuss with your doctor. These tests are just a first step, and you really need a full diagnostic test to determine whether or not you probably have it. I say, “probably” because there are many symptoms that overlap with symptoms of other conditions. Plus, a lifetime of struggling to function, can leave you with comorbidities like depression and anxiety. (Or, in other words, when ADD moves in, it often brings along a bunch of friends.)

    Dr. Jain and Rick Green have just published a great little book, organized into small easy-for-the-ADD-brain-to-absorb segments. It’s a great first step to understanding what ADD is, recognizing the symptoms (which you will probably respond to with, “You mean, that’s not how most people feel/act?”), and coming up with structures & plans to maximize the benefits of ADD (and there are lots of them) while minimizing the difficulties.

    The book is called “ADD Stole My Car Keys”, and you can get it from here or from Amazon.com. It even comes in e-book form, which means you can adjust the font size on your Kindle to make it even easier to absorb!


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    As for what you can do right now, please talk to your student services department as soon as possible. They may have a staff psychologist or psychiatrist who can do the necessary diagnostic testing on you. If you’re diagnosed with ADD, there will be supports available to you (e.g., someone to take notes in class, so you can focus on absorbing the content of the lecture).

    Even before you’re tested, you should talk to your professors about your difficulties. They may give you an extension of the deadlines, and extra help, so you can get a better grasp on the material.

    Some of us learn differently from others. When you have ADD, you often find it much easier to learn when the material is discussed in class, than in a standard lecture in which the prof talks and everyone takes notes. If your classes are lecture style, then meet with your prof and/or T.A., to discuss the material together.

    As for how to make yourself study, try setting a timer for 15 minutes. During that time, you turn off all distractions, and just study. 15 minutes is a really short time. Tell yourself that you just have to concentrate for 15 minutes.

    When the timer rings, set it for 5 minutes, and do something physical, even just jogging on the spot. When the 5 minutes are up, do another 15 minutes of study, followed by another 5 minutes of movement. Repeat several times.

    Those 5 minutes of movement are important because they freshen up your brain and make it easier to concentrate.

    I only wish I’d known this stuff when I was an undergrad!

    Good luck! And remember, you’re among friends here!

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