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can you read, i mean, really?


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Does the ability to read--more than a magazine or newspaper headline--improve? WOW, I miss settling in for the night with a good book and a cup of tea.

i sure hope it does, as i've been borrowing books from the library and returning them without having read more than a page or two. weirdly, i can read stuff online without trouble. distractibility sucks!

stay well,

carmex

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Pre-diagnosis and medication, I spent about 18 months just reading celebrity gossip magazines - and this was without having any idea of who half the 'stars' were nor having watched their movies or TV shows! They were all I could focus on & also fueled my manic shopping episodes ('Ooooh - look at her SHOES....')

A terrible waste of time & money in hindsight.

Once meds started kicking in I could read proper books again (for me this means literary fiction), and now average a book every week or two depending on whether I also need to read other stuff for work. I no longer buy the trashy gossip mags, thank god.

So I think with any luck you should get your reading attention span back!

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i've been borrowing books from the library and returning them without having read more than a page or two. weirdly, i can read stuff online without trouble. distractibility sucks!

In the past 3-4 years, I have been the same. It's very annoying. I used to read lots of books, even while depressed. I hope that now that I'm on meds that actually help, I will get my focus back.

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I'm with you freckles ... I totally can't "read" anymore... when I was growing up, I used to CHEW through books, like several a week... even when I was on drugs, I could still read lots and lots... but I noticed that shortly after college, after I had started my first major breakdown, I could absolutely no longer sit through more than a chapter of anything. I've managed maybe, 3 or 4 books front to back in 5 or 6 years...

I've had no problems however sitting down and WRITING... that comes very easily when my head is a mess...

Magazines rock though. They're all colorful and glossy, and offer very usable information in easily digestible chunks... and they're colorful... and some of them are very educational (although I'm still a sucker for trashy celebrity tabloids)...

Of course, my neighbors are noisy dicks and my meds totally aren't working for me right now, which makes focusing on anything kinda difficult......

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I find the ability to read or not to read is a good indicator of my mental health. When stable, I read, on the average, about 5-6 books per week, plus school reading. But i can only concentrate on light reading. Mostly romantic suspense and paranormal suspense. Sometimes horror, but I have to be careful or they can increase my anxiety. But I love to read. It keeps my mind busy so i don't have to face the realities of life; i.e. my house is a wreck, I really need to clean and do about 6 loads of laundry. Actually, I guess I should go clean now. If I ever win the lottery, I want a live-in housekeeper!

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I know exactly what y'all are talking about.

My dad used to occasionally get CAT scans because he "couldn't read," but would never elaborate on what exactly that was like, only that other relatives had also experienced. It mostly disappeared when he got heavily into downers.

My mom came out of anesthesia last fall in a full-blown mania. To this day, she maintains that the scariest part about it wasn't the paranoia or the racing thoughts or the insomnia, but that she could no longer read. She's a nurse, and collects old nursing books and books on the history of the profession as a hobby, so this was a big deal for her.

Another thing. For my mom, this extended beyond books. She had difficulty following the plots of television shows and movies, as well. Driving directions, even routes she knew very well, were confused as well. At one point she set out to take me to the dentist, and we ended up in the parking lot of a restaurant and missed the appointment. (I didn't say anything because, dude, it was the dentist.) Anyone else experience that?

For me, my first really, really bad episode was memorable not because I couldn't read, but because I couldn't write. It scared me so bad that whenever I tried to load a word processor, I'd have some kind of panic-attack-ish thing.

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I'm with Mel and Susan on this - I simply can't NOT read. Even at my worst I manage to get through 2 books a week. When I'm relatively stable I can easily finish 4 in the same period. It's my escape from the noise inside my head. (or rather, seroquel is #1 for dealing with my noisy head, but books come a very close second).

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Reading is a good indicator of my mental health as well. When I'm really anxious or depressed, I either have so much trouble concentrating (nasty thoughts in my brain) that the idea of sitting down to read is horrible because it will allow the thoughts room to surface. Alternatively, I will only be able to read *certain* books - mostly ones I have read hundreds of times before, and ones without anything that triggers me. The worse I am, the more triggers I have and the less books I can read. I still can't read, but maybe once I get my shit together, I'll be able to again.

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I'm very distractible during movies, unless they're nail-biters [but not too much] if I'm depressed and/or anxious. At the same time I use them to get me out of my head. Sometimes they work better than books for that.

On the other hand, I used to be an AVID reader- couldn't get enough. But it had to be fiction. I have very little patience for anything non-fiction, even tho I can read stuff on the internet more.

So I always want a good novel on hand. I need the distration, even when the distraction is leading me around.

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One of the things that made me go "oh hey, maybe this is depression" was when I couldn't read.

I read lots and I read fast, probably 2-3 books a week. When I became depressed I couldn't even read half a page, but now I have improved to be able to read about a book a week, as long as it's good.

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I also used to be an avid reader. Now I have to read and re-read sentences.

If all is quiet around me and my brain is fairly quiet, I can read chunks of a book, but my mind still wonders off.

Sucks.

Same here...I love books but must have a pile of at least 10 that I've bought in the past year that have yet to be read. Having 4 boys doesn't help but even when I do get a few minutes to sit down and read, I usually forget what I've read. The only time I get to read is at the end of the night when I am exhausted, though.

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If there ever comes a time where I am unable to read, I will shot myself in the head (sorry if that's triggering). I've been reading since I was three (according to my mom) and I would just lay down and die if I lost the ability to get through a book.

That being said, I have had times when I've been too distracted to get through a book, but those times are few and far between, and they don't last. During those times, I just get loads and loads of magazines and anthologies of my favorite genres (they're out there you know). If I can't get through a short story, then I'm in serious trouble.

My trouble right now is that I can't write - other than essays for school - and that's just as bad...

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Since I started on 3 new meds I'm having a really hard time reading and its so annoying. I live for getting into my bed at night with the heated mattress pad cranked and reading whatever novel I'm into at the moment. Every night now I give it a shot and get through about one page before I'm thinking about something else. Crap. And crud.

Gracie.

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I have a very hard time reading. My concentration sucks, and I'm always re-reading lines and paragraphs. Sometimes I'll read as much as 5 pages before realizing that, hey, I have no idea what the last few pages were about. And it's not like it's a med thing, at least I don't think so - I've been on the same meds for awhile now. This issue makes being a university student very, very difficult.

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One of the things that made me go "oh hey, maybe this is depression" was when I couldn't read.

That's me. Not being able to read was the tipping point that got me to the doc. All of the other symptoms crept up so insidiously that I didn't recognize them as depression, but being unable to sink into a book was truly pathological.

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