View Full Version : Feeling like I want to run away!

06-15-14, 10:38 PM
Guys I'm 28 years old, it took me 8 years to finish my bachelors degree due to undiagnosed adhd.

My current psychiatrist wont prescribe me Adderall because she doesn't think I have adhd.

Right now I am thinking about going back to school for engineering because I got accepted.

The major that I got didn't help me get the career I wanted.

Problem is when I crack open a textbook I can barely sit down for 20 minutes before I want to run away and do something else. I cant even get myself to finish the book on ADHD and college success that I bought from the sticky.

No matter what I study I find it hard to get myself to want to keep reading. This problem is prevalent no matter what subject I try.

I tried reading mathematics textbooks, biology textbooks, etc.

Within 20 minutes I'm up walking about.

Considering that I'm having a hard time focusing does more school make sense.

I really would like to become an engineer, I love airplanes and rockets, and I was great in math and physics in college.

But even then I managed to force myself to sit down for an hour and could never do more than that.

Is this an ADHD problem or an interest problem?

06-16-14, 05:02 AM
It could be either. Has your doctor said you definitely dont have adhd?

06-16-14, 05:06 AM
Doing a degree can be a long road.

If I could make some suggestions.

* Consider doing work experience with with someone doing the job you hope to study for. You can see what you'll be facing at the end of the degree. It may not be what you were expecting. It may be better.

* You also might want to find strong reasons for doing it. You might be passionate about something in that field. Something you can read all day about. When you're having those moments wanting to do something else, you can remind yourself of those reasons.

* the pomodoro study technique might suit you.

I hear you. I used to struggle trying to study by force of will after deciding something was boring and switched off.

If you're having trouble being able to stay on task when studying, you may want to consider changing your psychiatrist for a second opinion.

06-16-14, 10:52 AM
Yeah, get a second opinion.

06-16-14, 08:47 PM
Studying and reading is an interesting thing--everyone does it differently. And really there is no one way to do it. Some folks read things cover to cover, while others just jump around and get what they need.

I've personally never understood the merit of reading college textbooks cover to cover. It always seemed more important to me to be able to figure out how to get the information I needed within them, than to review it all and try to commit it to memory.

I'd definitely recommend the book Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole--they were two students with learning disabilities and ADHD who survived ivy league schools. Some of their strategies can be a little controversial depending on who you talk to as they seem to "game" the school system, but when you realize that school systems are pretty imperfect themselves, you can start controlling it to make it work for you.

For instance the book reading thing: you aren't really supposed to read everything you're given. My brother is in a PhD program and he says that there is actually NO physical way to read everything they're assigned. But it's more about being able to read efficiently--namely going broad so you know what you're dealing with, and setting yourself up to dig into details later for further research, or during discussion--where the real interesting stuff actually happens.

So most efficient reading will have a hierarchy that you'll go down depending on your time, energy, etc. The most top level is just to skim like crazy, read the table of contents, read the introduction and conclusion of chapters, section titles, first/last sentences. Most important thing is to identify the thesis of what you're reading and how everything else applies to that. (My experience is that most students REALLY HAVE NO IDEA why they are even reading something.) This alone will probably cut your reading time in half or more.

Don't be discouraged about being antsy after 20 mins--there are so many variations on how to study. Just find the one that works for you. There is a theory that when we sit and read, we only remember the first 10 mins, and the last 10 mins. So 20 is the "perfect" reading time. Dunno how much that holds water, but I study for short bursts (15-25m with short 5m breaks in between). Though it seems inefficient, I get more done, and less likely to burn out and play a video game in frustration.

The Pomodoro Method is exactly about this, not just for studying but work in general. Short bursts with frequent breaks. Look into it as it may be the way to keep your sanity!

Also, see if you can find ways to learn the same stuff, but through more active methods. Learn by doing. School programs like that are wonderful, but your school or instructor may have a different philosophy unfortunately. If so, see if you can dig up something outside of class, like an extra-curricular group.

Unfortunately, for a lot of high-end careers, a degree is almost a necessity. I know there are stories of folks who have gotten around it in some strange way, but it's definitely not the norm, and not something you want to bank on. Tho, you do have a bachelors already, so that may accelerate a bit of the process.

By the way, you do say you love rockets and planes. What do you like about them? Does that mean you love the engineering required for it also? If so, then that's great as the love for it will help get through the parts where it gets tough. And you say you were great at math and physics so should be easier going. But if you see the engineering as too much of a chore, you may want to see if there is another career path that isn't as obvious that still gives you what you love.

And definitely get that second opinion!

06-16-14, 10:21 PM
A bachelors degree is a HUGE achievement.
If you can do that without meds, then you are 10x more better off than most people with ADHD that actually take meds.

I didn't finish anything in life. Barely got a high school diploma....and that's about it. I don't have a career or job.

06-17-14, 04:42 AM
@ Addesso: Too Long; Didn't Read

06-17-14, 05:08 AM
@ Addesso: Too Long; Didn't Read

lol. It's a joke 'cause my replies tend to be long. And I'm really against summarizing them. Guess it doesn't sound like a joke. I'll have to work on that. :p

07-03-14, 08:13 PM
Hi Harkam,

My first post to this board is something that I am passionate about! I completed a 4-year Bachelor of Engineering in Melbourne 15-odd years ago with classic ADHD symptoms (undiagnosed, but I have a son with ADHD so it makes sense now!)

I found a new passion for learning there - nearly every subject that I took I had an interest in, and that made me a voracious learner. Not sure about anyone else, but I have real "lightbulb" moments where I just "get" a concept. Once it's in my head, then it stays... much different to others that studied with me, as they had to tough it out by rote learning.

Of course assignments were only started a couple of days from the due date, and the rushed work that was submitted was good enough for a grade point of 6+ :-) - who knows what I could have done if I had started earlier lol.

Tests - always did nothing during the term but absolutely crammed the night or two before. Got all the slide packs and wrote my own summary notes, carried them with me and read them constantly right up to the test. Still forgot pens, calculators and textbooks but managed to receive a First Class Honors with a GPA of 6.2 :-)

I could never read a textbook either - but found them useful for quick facts only.

My advice would be to look for your interests. Mine was problem solving using elegant and creative methods, and this really made Engineering click for me.

Go for it!!!