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As the title says, I feel pretty shitty about myself lately. Edited to Add: Sorry this is so long, I tangent a lot.


I am taking a statistics class at university and bombing it. I'm considering dropping it actually, because I'm barely passing. 


I know the reason I'm barely passing is because of my ADHD. You would think it's because of the Mathematics Disorder, but that actually only affects my ability to do arithmetic. 


Anyway, ADHD. So, I'll be trying to study and my brain fights me the whole time. It's so bad that I have a system: Study for 1 minute, break for 1 minute... Or 2 minutes... Or 10 minutes. UGH. 


I cannot focus whatsoever in class either, I just sit there and draw. You see, I do better in class when I take my own notes or otherwise have my hands busy. It helps me focus. But, since this is a summer class, it's condensed and there's no time to take notes. So, I draw and passively absorb what the instructor is saying. It works about 50% of the time, which is probably why I got 55% on my midterm. I'm an A student, that is NOT like me. 


Where was I going with this? Anyway, I feel like shit. I am ashamed of myself, my grade and my inability to pay attention. I realize it's a learning disability and it isn't my fault, but I can't help feeling like a huge failure. Why can't I just MAKE myself pay attention??? If only it were that easy. 


Does anyone have any suggestions for paying attention to things you hate or that are boring? 


Also, is it weird that I feel like, since we got my schizoaffective under control, it feels like my ADHD is 100% worse??? It's so bizarre. 


TL;DR: I feel like a huge failure. Please give me tips on how to pay attention. 


PS: I desperately want to try stimulant meds or something like Straterra, but both my Pdoc and my GP staunchly refuse. They say it'll cause hypomania and worst of all, psychosis. I am terrified of being psychotic again, so I trust them. Oh, and, my pdoc says I've been "too successful in life" to warrant ADHD meds, as evidenced by my excellent grades. But I LOVE school, of course I'd do well. That's how ADHD hyperfocusing works! Anyway, if there was a magical pill that could make me pay attention, I'd fucking take it right now. I don't know if stimulants would do that for me, but I guess I'll never know. So, stims are out. Sadly. 


PPS: I also feel like a huge idiot for not requesting a volunteer note-taker, but it's too late now. UGH. 


Help. :(

Edited by Parapluie
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Ok, first off, I'm sorry to hear about the problems that you are going through. I had this problem when I was in college. Yesterday, I talked to my pdoc about giving me my vyvanse back. The thing is, when you talk to your pdoc about getting a stimulant, you have to calmly, and clearly state your case. You can tell your pdoc that if he/she allows you to start a stimulant, that you will keep track of your mood and psychosis and that if you feel like they are starting to get out of control that you will immediately contact your pdoc. If you make this type of agreement, your pdoc is more likely to give you a stimulant. Tell her/him that you will be very careful and track yourself. Tell your pdoc how badly your ADHD is effecting your school work and that you are almost failing a course in school because of it. 


When I was in college, I would walk out of the classroom for 10 minutes. Sometimes that helped. Another thing, if you can, get a tape recorder. Try to listen to the tape recorder at your own pace and then take some notes and engage yourself. Highlight things in different colors on your notes if that helps. Sometimes acronyms or making them helped me a lot. To remember how to do a certain type of problem, try to be creative. Put your ADHD creativity to use if possible. Or, if you have to remember something like, the area under a bell curve, make something up like, "Wow, that's ONE big area!" Doing things like this helped me a lot. When I couldn't pay attention, I looked for help on youtube. There are SO many youtube videos that are short, about how to do certain things for subjects in school. Some people even make the videos funny. :D Does your school offer a tutoring center? Perhaps that could help you out somewhat? 


Another thing, when you are doing homework, take frequent, but short brakes. If you try to sit there for too long, that will not work. 


I hope that things improve for you sometime soon. 

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I like the idea of a tape recorder too. Never had one or tried it but I saw others doing it in classes that I was in.


I can't even watch a half hour tv show my concentration and focus are so bad now.


Another thing that helped me study and made it so I basically felt like I was supposed to be studying was to go to the library and not leave until the assignment was done. Same concept of going to the gym. You are there and you will look silly if you don't workout and just stand there. So may as well do as others are doing (let it kind of rub off on you) and you may as well exercise too. Then you get it done and feel good about yourself. Same with the library. If you are there and all the other people are studying you may feel like you have to be studying too. There are no distractions. My school library even had a "quiet room" where no one was allowed to talk and there were nothing but large tables and seats in that room. No computers, nada.


It's kinda like life. You've gotta take it one day at a time. With studying you need to take it one page or sentence even at a time.


And I totally know what you mean when you said your ADHD feels worse after your SZA has been in remission. That happens a lot I believe. We focus on the worst thing and then once that is gone we notice a different problem that had been there but the worst problem was so prominent that we didn't really notice the other problems. Like if I have a broken leg I'm not going to be thinking about that bruise on my arm. I'm going to be focusing on healing my leg (which is the major injury). Once the leg feels better I may notice the bruise on my arm and address that at that point.


Sorry if this is discombobulated. It's one of those nights.


I hope this helps and that you are able to focus better soon!

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I understand your frustration, I think we all have been through something similar. I know I have! The thing is though, stims just may not be the answer for you. I went through something similiar like I explained, however when I got my BP under control and was actually able to take stimulants without fear I learned that stimulants actually do little to nil for me. Instead I take non-abrasive like Straterra or Vyvanse. And even then, I was more happy with doing some of the life-changes and coping skills CR describes in her post. Because in actuality, that is what helped me.


I'm not saying dont take stims, or they suck. Because they do help a lot of people. And if you are in the situation like I was, where you have another disorder to also look out for, sometimes stims are not the correct option at the time.


But luckily there are alternatives like mentioned by CR. They are extremely hard alternatives that take a great amount of time, effort and hard work. But in the end, at the time it may be best if you and/or your doctors think at the moment ADHD meds are a little too risky.


The positive side about this med quarrel? Well, when I was in that spot I had no other choice but to do alternatives. But when I was able to take meds, and I found the right one, I also had the skills and practice of coping alternatively where my ADHD symptoms are much, much more manageable these days.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Math is just dumb. I'm not a fan. ;)


Have you talked to your advisor? Do you absolutely have to take Stats? Or do you have to take it now? Can you still drop. That summer term is just unreasonable for some kinds of classes. I've been talking people out of taking summer biology for two weeks at my job.


One thing most universities (and your advisor) don't like to tell you: you don't have to take that one particular class at their univerisity. Take the credit somewhere else (Community college or online) and transfer the credit.


Math is so varied, and different brains pick up different kinds of math. I was a stats person- can't do arithmatic for anything. Check into the other classes that meet the requirement. Maybe there's a logic or a linguistics class that would float your boat. It's not you. It's math.


That "too successful in life" line is bs, too. I'm pretty successful at life, too, except that I was miserable for year from just barely being able to hold it together. Perhaps it's time for a second opinion.

Edited by girlwiththefarawayeyes
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Thanks for all the support and opinions guys! 


I ended up dropping the class cause I was just doing too badly. I'm taking it again in the fall. 


Girlwiththefarawayeyes- I have to take stats, it's a requirement of my degree. Boo. 


Again, thank you all! 


I'm gonna talk to my disability advisors about things I can do next time to make sure this doesn't happen again. 

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