Hi Guys,

As you've all probably figured out by now (the main page being a huge clue), I've had a really bad form of this all my life.  It has GREATLY hampered my ability to concentrate.  I fail my classes, though I'm smart, and kick, scream, and cry every time I have to try and study.  It's really fun.  Anyway, so here's my "does anyone else do this" post.  I pretty much can't read anything and absorb it even a LITTLE bit unless I'm writing out everything I'm trying to read.  I've tried to embrace this, but it's just so much work.  Obviously I can't write out everything, and it takes so long that I usually end up getting bored and having to stop & come back.  It started out as me just trying to take notes off my writing, but I quickly realized that I was copying almost every line down.  It sucked, but I weathered it.  Lately my MD has been as bad as ever, and so has my concentration.  I've found that I'll literally stare at something and try to read it dozens of times, but I'm so spaced out that I can't even absorb even a single word............until I copy it down.  Then a light switches on in my head and I absorb it.........somewhat, at least.  I absorb it a lot better.  While I'm glad this works, it's extremely tedious and time-consuming to try and type or write every little thing out.  Does anyone else have to do this?  

 

Thanks,

Cord   

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I remember in University, I`d sit in class and try to concentrate and get angry that I did not understand much.

 

after class I`d take the bus home and I`d read on the bus, or watch people. Then it`d all be clear to me and I`d comprehend everything from class 30 mins ago.

 

sometimes stuff just has to sit there and stew before you can devour it.

Yeah, having MD and ADD at the same time effects my ability to read heavily, in fact I almost hate reading completely unless it's something that will make me daydream.

It depends. I've exams at the moment, and in my maths, Eng and health exams (and in maths and English normally, especially maths) I just can NOT concentrate, and with the exams, I often just have to read it again and again and it just doesn't go in until I'm properly thinking straight again, and I'm not sure exactly how I do it.

But in interesting books, I read really fast (and sometimes I don't take things in, or, even sometimes just skip a bigger paragraph, and then have to read it once or twice again, before I keep on reading. And I love reading.)

I also suck at taking notes, I just copy stuff. I think I just need more practice at note-taking, though.

I have ADD and I always thought that was why I had to read things over and over and that it was "easier" for my brain to stay where it wanted to be, which was usually not on the printed page especially if that page was in a textbook.  I'll have to think about this.

I am in school and am facing this same thing right now.   I suppose my uberfocus on school has helped me control my DD's better and when I have to read for my classes I will either a) create a scenario where my DD characters have to wait for me to finish, since they think so highly of me they are happy to linger like Wii mii's.  In essence using the DD's as a reward for doing my homework.  or b) incorporate the reading into my DD.  My alter might be taking a class in a certain area that intrigues my celebrity guest who tells me that they've always been fascinated in...enter boring class here...and could I read some of the text to them.  One more thing I do to keep myself interested is reading outloud in another accent.  I've heard that's actually very good exercise for your brain.  

I'm certainly not bragging here...I'm just sharing strategies that usually work for me.  I still have my off days when no matter how long I read I just can't absorb the text. 

Cordelia - this is amazing. I am currently trying to study for a very intense exam that includes a lot of statistics and math...I have "read" through the ten books for the curriculum, and literally have no retention of any of the material. I daydreamed my way through junior high and high school, sitting for long hours in front of books, but mostly being caught up in my head. In college, I had given up altogether and never studied, because I knew that if I sat down with books, it would basically go nowhere. I have such a desire to study, a desire for knowledge, but I can't get there with it. My only mechanism for studying as an adult is by writing everything out - like you said - totally time consuming. Once I'm able to somehow absorb the information, I have a really strong ability to use it - however, until then, I'm worthless at reading. Is there some solution for this? Something better than being prescribed Ritalin for ADD? Thanks.

This isn't ADD, so for many people Ritalin will do nothing.  I managed to get through my last years of college and graduate, though it was extremely difficult.  The solution was to stop judging myself and to give myself as much time and help as necessary.  Whenever I had a paper due, I almost always asked for an extension (and got it).  No matter how small the paper was, I would break it up by day and give myself a specific goal.  I would then give myself all day to achieve that goal, even if it was a small goal.  I stopped judging myself for taking a long time to get things done.  I did the same with reading.  Eventually I got through it and got my degree.  It is possible.  Hang in there.  

Cynthia Wells said:

Cordelia - this is amazing. I am currently trying to study for a very intense exam that includes a lot of statistics and math...I have "read" through the ten books for the curriculum, and literally have no retention of any of the material. I daydreamed my way through junior high and high school, sitting for long hours in front of books, but mostly being caught up in my head. In college, I had given up altogether and never studied, because I knew that if I sat down with books, it would basically go nowhere. I have such a desire to study, a desire for knowledge, but I can't get there with it. My only mechanism for studying as an adult is by writing everything out - like you said - totally time consuming. Once I'm able to somehow absorb the information, I have a really strong ability to use it - however, until then, I'm worthless at reading. Is there some solution for this? Something better than being prescribed Ritalin for ADD? Thanks.

YES! Its the only way I could get threw uni. Ive had friends think Im insane when they see all the writing I do and relize I have rewritten practically a whole book. But its the only way it sinks in. 

It takes so long learning this way dosnt it? studying is twice as long for people like us then regular people who can just read the notes and take it in.

Another style I adopted in later years at university was to turn my notes into question and answer format. I would read a line of info and then write it down as a question with the answer on the other side of the page.

I found I was able to condense the info more in this way and it was a great way to make sure the info was sinking in. When I had finished rewriting my notes as questions and answers I would cover up the answers side of the paper and quiz myself with my own questions.

I must have gone threw so many pens and so much paper but at least it worked.

I don't know i do have this problem sometimes especially when I had information overload or overwhelming emotion. Does it happen with your favourite book or when you read some books for researching or digging into something that you really need to discover?

I have to do write down anything that I don't want to forget, because my mind is like a sieve.  I actually stopped reading for many years because I thought "what's the point, I'll forget it as soon as I close the book".  I love to read fiction, but the same thing happened.  I hated that.  If I wrote down important passages, I could retain it a bit longer, but not indefinitely. 

I think I now know what that was happening.  As soon as I was done reading or even while I was reading, I would drift off into a DD.  So instead of reflecting on what I had just read, I was basically erasing it.  Short term memory only last for seconds 20 or 30 - to put information in long term memory for later use it has to be repeated or used.  So writing it down repeats it.  Of course, if there's no reflection on it later, what was written down is eventually lost also.  There's an old saying "use it or lose it".  I think that can be applied to our memory. 

Now that I've got the DD somewhat under control, when I read a book I will think about it throughout the day.  I don't allow myself to DD about the book though.  I don't put myself in it, etc.  I just think about it and I have to say, that for me at least, I'm able to remember it.

Oh yes, I have a real problem with reading. I don't have to write things out, just keep it to very small sections at a time. I perfer audiobooks for that reason. I still zone out but just rewind and listen again.

My son had trouble with writing and reading retention, his school suggested he speak out load what he wanted to write while recording it. Then Listen and write down what he heard. He had problems with the thought to paper process but could do it that way.

Can you read out load? If you could record yourself reading it then play it back you may retain the playback better then the reading. Just a thought.

I do usually daydream while I read, but for completely different reasons depending on what I'm reading. If what I'm reading is interesting but takes a bit of effort effort to understand (like science books, classic fiction, etc; Tolkien's works are a perfect example), then I'll get "stuck" and just mentally wander off. This is why I prefer listening to things rather than reading them. Audio grabs my attention better than anything else (I can't even hear my parents talking if the TV is on...), so if I can hear it read to me, I tend to concentrate a lot better.

Another time that my daydreaming kicks in is when if I'm reading something that's not too interesting, like a school assignment. Almost every time I'll have to play ambient music in the background just so I can focus (I have a set of "brainwave" tracks that help immensely with this). And it has to be ambient music - anything with a melody, and -POOF!- I'm gone to Lala Land.

The other scenario that I encounter a lot is when I read modern fiction and start putting my own characters into the plot. I may space out for a moment or two as I imagine what would happen if my characters were there, but I'll be so excited to find out what happens next that I'll soon go back to reading. In this scenario, the book practically becomes the daydream (this happens to me for movies & TV shows, too).

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