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I have had this problem for 10+ years.

 

I can't even concentrate enough to read one page of a book. My mind wanders and I think about pessimistic thoughts.

 

It hasn't let me read any books. I have only read one in my life.

 

 

I'm guessing this is my depression? Since it's never really been under control.

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Depression does make it more difficult to concentrate, and if your brain is unable to focus, it is going to make it difficult to read anything. Some people read more when they are depressed, because it is a solitary thing to do. But that is just some people. And some people just don't like to read as a hobby, period. My aunt even used to bitch and moan that my sisters and I read too much, and weren't having "authentic" experiences!

 

I used to be the type of person who was always reading 3-5 books at a time, going back and forth between them as if they were television channels, especially when I was depressed. Then my psycho-ex beat me, and I developed PTSD (you don't always have to have a HUGE trauma, just one that makes *you* fearful of loss of life or serious injury). One of the worst parts of having PTSD was that I couldn't read anymore, when reading had been a source of solace for me in the past. I was already depressed as it was, and my brain just kind of blew up.

 

Even now that my PTSD has pretty much gone away, I have never regained the ability to read more than one book at a time, and then at a snail's pace. My brain goes skittering off to other things, instead of staying fixed on what I am trying to read. I don't even notice it, until I realize there is a book open, and that I had been trying to read it an hour ago.

 

Do you want to read books? There is not a requirement that you enjoy reading. But if you *do* want to read, you should address it with your pdoc specifically, there are meds that may make it easier to concentrate.

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Thanks for the reply.

I would love to read.  But I just can't.

 

I told my P-doc and he said that depression has cognitive effects.

 

He just put me on Abilify so I hope that helps.

 

I wasn't always like this. Before my depression got really bad I was able to read a little bit. Now I can't even read one page. I haven't read a book in 10 years

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I have had this problem for 10+ years.

 

I can't even concentrate enough to read one page of a book. My mind wanders and I think about pessimistic thoughts.

 

It hasn't let me read any books. I have only read one in my life.

 

 

I'm guessing this is my depression? Since it's never really been under control.

I have no idea if it is depression or not but I know I get the same thing.  When I am struggling mentally I find it hard to read anything that requires concentration - forums/internet surfing is fine but textbooks, storybooks, etc.... impossible.  I read the same sentence over and over yet it makes no sense, I read a paragraph and my mind drifts off into daydream land.........IF I can force myself to get over that then I find it absolutely exhausting just to read a few pages......basically it is just impossible.  

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I used to really struggle with not being able to focus/concentrate enough to read.

 

I started listening to audio books when I couldn't really read at all. And then transitioned to reading along with recordings of the books.

 

That helped a lot.

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I used to really struggle with not being able to focus/concentrate enough to read.

 

I started listening to audio books when I couldn't really read at all. And then transitioned to reading along with recordings of the books.

 

That helped a lot.

that's a really good idea! I had the same problem for a long time with my depression, but I found a book that has pretty short chapters and that helps so I can have a lot of breaks. I'm sure soon enough I will be able to read whatever like I used to. Some books are just easier to read than others too and that helps. 

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I have not finished a book in years.  I will try my best to read a few pages, put the book down, and never return to it. 

 

For me, there is also some anxiety that has built up over time around tasks that require a lot of concentration.  It is hard for me to even try, because I am so afraid of "failing" again. 

 

I really like Woo's suggestion about audiobooks.

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I happen to also have a mac laptop.

 

They come with built in accessibility features like text-to-speech.

 

I got someone from the public library's accessibility program to help show me how to use it.

 

That way I could have pdf files etc "read out loud" to me.

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I happen to also have a mac laptop.

 

They come with built in accessibility features like text-to-speech.

 

I got someone from the public library's accessibility program to help show me how to use it.

 

That way I could have pdf files etc "read out loud" to me.

Ooh! Ooh! I have a Mac Air! But I haven't yet located the library.

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I read the same sentence over and over yet it makes no sense, I read a paragraph and my mind drifts off into daydream land.........IF I can force myself to get over that then I find it absolutely exhausting just to read a few pages......basically it is just impossible.

 

^THIS  I can totally relate to.  I can read factual books though without a problem.  It is the ones that tell a story that I can never understand.

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I have trouble reading a lot of the time when I'm depressed. I just can't focus long enough. Or I just don't enjoy anything enough to stick with it. I get bored too easily. I think maybe there is a direct mechanism where depression impairs your concentration and also another where it impairs your ability to enjoy anything so you just get bored. I do have ADD but I have found that the meds do not seem to work for depression-induced lack of focus (for me). 

 

It's a source of pain for me, too. When I was a child I was a voracious reader. I would read a piles of books every month. Now I read one or two a year. I do recommend trying audiobooks. They're great when you're on a road trip, you can knock out 250 pages a day easy. 

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I don't remember the last time I was able to read or watch a half hour TV show even. My concentration is shot. I'm going to ask to be tested for ADHD. I really don't need another diagnosis or med, but I can't function like this. I'm sick to death of it. I'd do anything to get rid of my poor concentration.

 

I hope you find solutions to your concentration issues too.

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I have trouble reading a lot of the time when I'm depressed. I just can't focus long enough. Or I just don't enjoy anything enough to stick with it. I get bored too easily. I think maybe there is a direct mechanism where depression impairs your concentration and also another where it impairs your ability to enjoy anything so you just get bored. I do have ADD but I have found that the meds do not seem to work for depression-induced lack of focus (for me). 

 

It's a source of pain for me, too. When I was a child I was a voracious reader. I would read a piles of books every month. Now I read one or two a year. I do recommend trying audiobooks. They're great when you're on a road trip, you can knock out 250 pages a day easy. 

Yes you describe it very well.

We all suffer in similar ways I guess.

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