View Full Version : Can't Study vs Don't Feel Like It


Fraser_0762
02-28-17, 07:51 AM
What would you say best describes you more? I feel like I don't want to study, although I should want to study and if I "made" myself study, then everything would be ok. But I can't seem to make myself want to study, even although I "need" to study. :eyebrow:

Fuzzy12
02-28-17, 09:05 AM
I think with adhd it's often the case that

1. You can't make yourself to feel like studying

2. If you don't feel like studying you can't do it.

Making yourself study is not easy. There's no just about it. It used to take a lot for me to study, most importantly lots of deadlines and stress, interest, easily accessible good quality study material, nothing else to distract me, etc...

Fraser_0762
02-28-17, 01:35 PM
It's really annoying though.... because it's like I "should" feel like studying. I understand the importance of studying, especially high level material. But just thinking about all the reading, writing, listening, note taking involved makes me shut down big time. :(

midnightstar
02-28-17, 01:41 PM
I remember at college I had to have someone from student support helping me when I was trying to study outside of lesson time because I really struggled :o

Fraser_0762
02-28-17, 01:42 PM
I remember at college I had to have someone from student support helping me when I was trying to study outside of lesson time because I really struggled :o

Yeah, me too. I'm going back to college again and they're going to fix me up with a tutor. Not really sure how helpful that will be though.

dvdnvwls
02-28-17, 02:23 PM
When you actually can't do any particular thing, and you've already experienced that inability in the past, then you're quite likely to also not feel like trying again - because you don't want to waste time, ruin the project, or feel guilty or discouraged or embarrassed.

That means it's often very hard to figure out the correct answer to "Am I unable, or do I just not feel like it?" The only way I can think of to get better answers to this question is

- deeper knowledge of ADHD and/or other conditions involved, and deeper knowledge of yourself.

BarnabyKettle
02-28-17, 05:41 PM
It took me six years to finish my four year degree as an adult because I just couldn't make myself study or finish assignments. I was lucky enough that the second time I did the unit with the 10,000 word essay I was able to find a topic that interested me and that I already New a lot about. It's hard for sure.

My advice, which it took me way to long to do myself, is to get help. There's no shame, get help early and often from whoever you can. Don't get overwhelmed, fall in a hole and lie to everyone like I did. It doesn't end well! Just being on this board is a good start because everyone here will know where you're coming from.

Good luck, and remember, it is harder for you than for most people but you're not alone!

AshT
03-01-17, 06:15 PM
Honestly the best tip I was given is that I can do something, even when I don't feel like it. Truth be told, I'm never gonna feel like doing something boring. But I do focus on being able to finish because then I won't have to think k about it, because I get bored of my own repetitive thoughts at times haha.

It's hard as **** at first. But slowly it gets easier. (doing something even if you don't feel like it)

I have to be careful though, cuz if I do this too much it becomes draining. But I no longer have to force myself as much as I once did - might be I'm better at managing my energy levels. Started off simply, choosing one task a day I DIDNT want to do. It would be short, like fill out a form. Would take me an hour to fill out the 3 basic pages at first... Slowly it got easier and still now every day I'll choose ONE thing I don't want to do... And now I'm better noticing when I'm running away from things I don't want to do, and if I'm running away I'll catch myself and run towards it instead. Just to see if I can do it, make a game out of conquering myself.

Sometimes also helps to listen to what I feel though. Else if I'm 24/7 thinking about how I should be studying, I have no mention break and I start hating on it. And procrastinating more. So if I really don't have to study and I can out it off, I'll consciously do that and give myself a break, play games and let me do it. Chances are I'll regenerate enough energy to be able to do it later. If I'm drained, there's no way I have enough energy to spot when I'm running away, no energy to make me stop. I become the runaway train, not the driver.

However, I could only learn these things after uni. I've gone back to education after I graduated, because I do love learning things, but I fortunately had time to have a break, reflect and take time to develop better habits. No ******* way I could in uni. Wish I'd have gone at 21 instead of 18!

Postulate
03-03-17, 01:20 PM
Keep in mind that getting a job that best reflects your University studies is in itself a lifetime University. It's just that there's no finals but there is work, there are papers and reports you need to submit in tight deadlines so the activity in itself is pretty much what you have to deal with during University.

So whether it is that you cannot get yourself to study or you can't study, I suggest doing something you like instead or you run the risk of not being able to deliver once you get hired, despite passing all your finals and graduating University.

dvdnvwls
03-03-17, 02:49 PM
Honestly the best tip I was given is that I can do something, even when I don't feel like it. Truth be told, I'm never gonna feel like doing something boring. But I do focus on being able to finish because then I won't have to think about it, because I get bored of my own repetitive thoughts at times haha.

It's hard as **** at first. But slowly it gets easier. (doing something even if you don't feel like it)

I have to be careful though, cuz if I do this too much it becomes draining. But I no longer have to force myself as much as I once did - might be I'm better at managing my energy levels. Started off simply, choosing one task a day I DIDNT want to do. It would be short, like fill out a form. Would take me an hour to fill out the 3 basic pages at first... Slowly it got easier and still now every day I'll choose ONE thing I don't want to do... And now I'm better noticing when I'm running away from things I don't want to do, and if I'm running away I'll catch myself and run towards it instead. Just to see if I can do it, make a game out of conquering myself.

Sometimes also helps to listen to what I feel though. Else if I'm 24/7 thinking about how I should be studying, I have no mention break and I start hating on it. And procrastinating more. So if I really don't have to study and I can out it off, I'll consciously do that and give myself a break, play games and let me do it. Chances are I'll regenerate enough energy to be able to do it later. If I'm drained, there's no way I have enough energy to spot when I'm running away, no energy to make me stop. I become the runaway train, not the driver.

That's just it. All of the "can't do it vs won't do it" in the original question comes down to "Yes, of course you can, but how much will it cost?"

The assumption from people without ADHD is that any task will cost me the same as it would cost them to do the same task. Often, the cost for them to do a particular task feels sufficiently close to zero that they don't even consider it worth calculating. People who don't have ADHD can be surprised or not believe that things are different for those who do have it - "Seriously? Come on, this isn't difficult."

And I often misjudge, sometimes wildly, how difficult or draining a certain task will end up being for me, especially if it's something "emotionally heavy".

Then again, maybe being constantly in a state of high stress (from things not done yet) and having a low ability to handle that stress (due to emotional dysregulation) IS a legitimate reason to avoid tasks that come with excessive emotional turmoil.

Except then they never get done, the stress continues to increase, the urgency increases right along with it, until a Chernobyl-like disaster occurs, and just like the Soviet government I cover the disaster zone in concrete and try to forget that it happened.

Good times. :(

Fraser_0762
03-03-17, 06:07 PM
Keep in mind that getting a job that best reflects your University studies is in itself a lifetime University. It's just that there's no finals but there is work, there are papers and reports you need to submit in tight deadlines so the activity in itself is pretty much what you have to deal with during University.

So whether it is that you cannot get yourself to study or you can't study, I suggest doing something you like instead or you run the risk of not being able to deliver once you get hired, despite passing all your finals and graduating University.

Problem is, I don't seem to like anything that involves studying. :doh: Or I don't like the studying aspect to things, even if i'm interested in a particular profession.

I want to "get there" without putting the hard work in to "get there". Which obviously isn't going to happen.

Postulate
03-03-17, 08:40 PM
Problem is, I don't seem to like anything that involves studying. :doh: Or I don't like the studying aspect to things, even if i'm interested in a particular profession.

I want to "get there" without putting the hard work in to "get there". Which obviously isn't going to happen.

Fraser, do you realize we live in a zoo called Earth, surrounded by Death millions of light years all around, and unlike other animals which vegetate, in other words, exist for no good reason, we humans are the only thing that stands in Death's way, through our ability to:

1) Learn
2) Pass on what we learned to the next generation

The rate at which we do that is Humanity's reaction rate, and the final product of the reaction is immortality, or the persistence of life and life becoming more than an insignificant occurrence, that would otherwise disappear as easily as it appeared. When this process is broken, I don't think there will be hope for anyone or anything. Think about it, if there was an advanced alien species out there, we would already be that, and there would be no such thing as being born. Our birth according to me confirms that there's not much else left of the explosion. So we have no choice but to keep learning and rebuilt whatever blew up during the Big Bang.

Isn't that a good enough motivation? :)

I know our learning process is slow, if we were computers we could transfer information around much easier, but it's what we have right now. We have no other choice.

_edijane_
03-04-17, 12:22 AM
What would you say best describes you more? I feel like I don't want to study, although I should want to study and if I "made" myself study, then everything would be ok. But I can't seem to make myself want to study, even although I "need" to study. :eyebrow:

I'm a mature age student with life long ADHD. I'm studying part time, doing 2 out of 4 subjects each trimester (I have to in order to stay on top of it, and even then it consumes all my time). The thing is, up until now I have enjoyed the perks of hyperfocus. But this term, despite sitting at my desk, eager and willing to study all day, my brain just isn't working! I am absolutely familiar with the invisible brick wall that can appear between me and a task if I can't achieve the right head space / motivation / enthusiasm to jump into it, but this is different. This is me showing up, and my brain isn't. It feels like my meds aren't working. I've tried coming at it a million different ways: pushing through, watching YouTube lectures & animated videos, drawing diagrams & mind maps, listening to podcasts. But I'm reading paragraphs over and over and they're just not going in.
I've come to this forum because despite perhaps being well read in ADHD, or knowing someone intimitley with ADHD, non adhders don't seem to get it.. other than my Dr.. They don't get that it's like working with broken machinery. It's more than being vague, forgetful, having a wicked imagination thats way more enticing than reality, &/or not being able to break down that blastard invisible wall that's always popping up in your way; it's also plainly and simply that your brain doesn't do what you tell it to. The amount of will power it takes to make progress is monstrous, this image of ADHDers being undisciplined is another subconscious notion most people hold without knowing it, and in my experience it couldn't be further from the truth!
So I take a break & try again, & when that doesn't work, I think 'it's clearly not going to happen today, might as well do something else'. But you can only do that so many times before your failing & throwing thousands of dollars in student fees down the drain.
Well today I'm ******! I've had enough! And I'm over it!!
Time for some wine.

sarahsweets
03-04-17, 06:18 AM
Fraser is it a particular kind of studying or literally every single imagineable way of doing anything academic? Is it reading, questions and answers, studying or all of it?

ToneTone
03-04-17, 08:25 PM
I'm a teacher. Do I ever feel like grading papers, as I'm doing this weekend? Uh, no! ... and I don't even ask myself that question anymore. What gets me to grade or do the other work?

Well, for one, I want to keep my job. So that encourages me to get going. I want students to feel like I'm a good teacher, so that gets me going.

There is also the negative. To be blunt, not working is just as miserable--or MORE miserable--than working. Because when I'm avoiding work, I know it and feel it and worry about it and fret about it and feel guilty about it. Jeez, much easier to just do the doggone work.

Sometimes I have to set a 5-minute timer to get started. I do that a couple of times and it doesn't take long for my brain to realize, "hey, this isn't going to kill me." ... And I can keep going ...Sometimes I watch television in the background. Often I use music to get me over my start-up anxiety. I play some music, always some of my favorites and I can get to working without a lot of pain.

One thing I've learned is to be really aware of how I talk to myself about work I want to do. If I tell myself, "this is gonna be a major pain," then yes, I will avoid the work.

Really, the most helpful move I've learned in the past ten years is to focus on how good I will feel when the work is done. How relieved and positive I will feel compared to avoiding the work and delaying the work.

Frankly, when it comes to predicting how I will feel after starting an activity, my brain simply doesn't work. I can't tell you the number of times people have invited me to movies or parties or other gatherings and my first reaction was, "I don't really feel like it." Sometimes I REALLY didn't feel like it ... as I have had a problem with depression. And yet, I've learned, my brain is TERRIBLE at predicting whether I will have a good time. Time after time, I have dragged myself out only to have a blast after I get there.

Literally, in my case, there is almost no correlation--none, the brain just can't get it right--between how much I feel like doing something and how good I will feel once I do the thing. So if I generally know that doing such and such is good for me, I try to drag myself to the activity--even if I don't feel like it.

Just a few cents ....

Tone

emmaugoh
03-05-17, 03:21 AM
I'm a teacher. Do I ever feel like grading papers, as I'm doing this weekend? Uh, no! ... and I don't even ask myself that question anymore. What gets me to grade or do the other work?

Well, for one, I want to keep my job. So that encourages me to get going. I want students to feel like I'm a good teacher, so that gets me going.

There is also the negative. To be blunt, not working is just as miserable--or MORE miserable--than working. Because when I'm avoiding work, I know it and feel it and worry about it and fret about it and feel guilty about it. Jeez, much easier to just do the doggone work.

Sometimes I have to set a 5-minute timer to get started. I do that a couple of times and it doesn't take long for my brain to realize, "hey, this isn't going to kill me." ... And I can keep going ...Sometimes I watch television in the background. Often I use music to get me over my start-up anxiety. I play some music, always some of my favorites and I can get to working without a lot of pain.

One thing I've learned is to be really aware of how I talk to myself about work I want to do. If I tell myself, "this is gonna be a major pain," then yes, I will avoid the work.

Really, the most helpful move I've learned in the past ten years is to focus on how good I will feel when the work is done. How relieved and positive I will feel compared to avoiding the work and delaying the work.

Frankly, when it comes to predicting how I will feel after starting an activity, my brain simply doesn't work. I can't tell you the number of times people have invited me to movies or parties or other gatherings and my first reaction was, "I don't really feel like it." Sometimes I REALLY didn't feel like it ... as I have had a problem with depression. And yet, I've learned, my brain is TERRIBLE at predicting whether I will have a good time. Time after time, I have dragged myself out only to have a blast after I get there.

Literally, in my case, there is almost no correlation--none, the brain just can't get it right--between how much I feel like doing something and how good I will feel once I do the thing. So if I generally know that doing such and such is good for me, I try to drag myself to the activity--even if I don't feel like it.

Just a few cents ....

Tone

This is the best read of the day for me...
actually am not diffrent from you.... I do tell people my psyche is messed up cos i dont know what is good for me...i just reject doing so many things because my brain and strenght wont connect to it.

But i found strenght in your motivation....if only i can focus on how i willl feel if i complete the task than how i feel before the task

Letching Gray
03-05-17, 04:35 AM
I'm a mature age student with life long ADHD. I'm studying part time, doing 2 out of 4 subjects each trimester (I have to in order to stay on top of it, and even then it consumes all my time). The thing is, up until now I have enjoyed the perks of hyperfocus. But this term, despite sitting at my desk, eager and willing to study all day, my brain just isn't working! I am absolutely familiar with the invisible brick wall that can appear between me and a task if I can't achieve the right head space / motivation / enthusiasm to jump into it, but this is different. This is me showing up, and my brain isn't. It feels like my meds aren't working. I've tried coming at it a million different ways: pushing through, watching YouTube lectures & animated videos, drawing diagrams & mind maps, listening to podcasts. But I'm reading paragraphs over and over and they're just not going in.
I've come to this forum because despite perhaps being well read in ADHD, or knowing someone intimitley with ADHD, non adhders don't seem to get it.. other than my Dr.. They don't get that it's like working with broken machinery. It's more than being vague, forgetful, having a wicked imagination thats way more enticing than reality, &/or not being able to break down that blastard invisible wall that's always popping up in your way; it's also plainly and simply that your brain doesn't do what you tell it to. The amount of will power it takes to make progress is monstrous, this image of ADHDers being undisciplined is another subconscious notion most people hold without knowing it, and in my experience it couldn't be further from the truth!
So I take a break & try again, & when that doesn't work, I think 'it's clearly not going to happen today, might as well do something else'. But you can only do that so many times before your failing & throwing thousands of dollars in student fees down the drain.
Well today I'm ******! I've had enough! And I'm over it!!
Time for some wine.

Is it time to consider a med change? Depending on the rx you take, how often and the dosage, it may be time to do some fine tuning or to try another rx. How is your sleeping? Are you exercising? Under more stress, in emotional turmoil, gaining or losing weight? Have you had a complete work up by a physician in the last 5 years? Do you need a vacation? Is the material particularly boring?

No judgement here. Perhaps you could ask yourself, if it seems relevant, if your consumption of alcohol is safe while on ADHD meds?

You come across as someone very dedicated to his education. That is great to see.

Letching Gray
03-05-17, 04:38 AM
Your response helped our newbi. Good job.

julialouise
03-06-17, 03:04 PM
That's just it. All of the "can't do it vs won't do it" in the original question comes down to "Yes, of course you can, but how much will it cost?"

The assumption from people without ADHD is that any task will cost me the same as it would cost them to do the same task. Often, the cost for them to do a particular task feels sufficiently close to zero that they don't even consider it worth calculating. People who don't have ADHD can be surprised or not believe that things are different for those who do have it - "Seriously? Come on, this isn't difficult."

And I often misjudge, sometimes wildly, how difficult or draining a certain task will end up being for me, especially if it's something "emotionally heavy".

Then again, maybe being constantly in a state of high stress (from things not done yet) and having a low ability to handle that stress (due to emotional dysregulation) IS a legitimate reason to avoid tasks that come with excessive emotional turmoil.

Except then they never get done, the stress continues to increase, the urgency increases right along with it, until a Chernobyl-like disaster occurs, and just like the Soviet government I cover the disaster zone in concrete and try to forget that it happened.

Good times. :(

This is exactly what I've been going through this school term!! The emotional dysregulation is mostly under control thanks to Wellbutrin, because when I was just on an SSRI, I was a MESS. Now, I can experience the stress and frustration and regret without letting it consume me until I've fallen into a pit of depression.

But the emotionally charged thing is so real, because I'm in a 20th century history class, and all the political issues and conflicts and developments were all awful and have led us to where we are now, which is also awful, and my anxiety tells me that it's all going to get worse, and my ability to catastrophize goes way up. (: (: (: So, reading about the lead-up into WWI and WWII and the Cold War are not very reassuring.

I think I understand now why ignorance is bliss. But awareness can mean survival :/ Unless it gets out of hand, like it does for me.

And then I have trouble being able to do work for my other class because I'm just so mentally and emotionally drained.

Can't/won't. I think that "can't" happens when you know you need to do something, you really want yourself to do it, and you may even physically try, but the wall comes right up & then you're paralyzed trying to figure out what to do and how to do it, wasting even more time. And then that's how a person ends up playing video games or reading a book they like or drawing or scrolling through facebook (which honestly isn't very enjoyable, but I get sucked in too easily)
"won't" is more like, "wow, that sounds awful, i'm definitely not doing that." The emotional response to the inability to complete the task is what makes the difference.

I spend much more time wondering why i can't do something, rather than "just" getting up and doing it. I've had this word document open for a while now. Still haven't been able to start, and it's because I need to cite sources for this 1 page reflective assignment for my major, and I would be able to write a response if I didn't have to deal with the tedious process of trying to remember how things from different readings can be relevant to my response.

Postulate
03-08-17, 11:30 AM
I'm a mature age student with life long ADHD. I'm studying part time, doing 2 out of 4 subjects each trimester (I have to in order to stay on top of it, and even then it consumes all my time). The thing is, up until now I have enjoyed the perks of hyperfocus. But this term, despite sitting at my desk, eager and willing to study all day, my brain just isn't working! I am absolutely familiar with the invisible brick wall that can appear between me and a task if I can't achieve the right head space / motivation / enthusiasm to jump into it, but this is different. This is me showing up, and my brain isn't. It feels like my meds aren't working. I've tried coming at it a million different ways: pushing through, watching YouTube lectures & animated videos, drawing diagrams & mind maps, listening to podcasts. But I'm reading paragraphs over and over and they're just not going in.
I've come to this forum because despite perhaps being well read in ADHD, or knowing someone intimitley with ADHD, non adhders don't seem to get it.. other than my Dr.. They don't get that it's like working with broken machinery. It's more than being vague, forgetful, having a wicked imagination thats way more enticing than reality, &/or not being able to break down that blastard invisible wall that's always popping up in your way; it's also plainly and simply that your brain doesn't do what you tell it to. The amount of will power it takes to make progress is monstrous, this image of ADHDers being undisciplined is another subconscious notion most people hold without knowing it, and in my experience it couldn't be further from the truth!
So I take a break & try again, & when that doesn't work, I think 'it's clearly not going to happen today, might as well do something else'. But you can only do that so many times before your failing & throwing thousands of dollars in student fees down the drain.
Well today I'm ******! I've had enough! And I'm over it!!
Time for some wine.

The psychiatrist who gave you your ADHD diagnosis, did he do an IQ test on you as well to ensure that your IQ is able to support the University program in which you enrolled? And I say this respectfully because I wanted to go to medical college and my psychiatrist who gave me the ADHD diagnosis told me my IQ was able to support post-graduate, but that in terms of memory and non-verbal it would be a close call so he recommended a program where there's less by-heart.

Was an analysis like this done with you?

acdc01
03-09-17, 02:11 AM
How much more schooling do you have to finish? I kept telling myself it was almost over. Just focus on this one step, I only have to do this one step more and I'm that much closer to finishing. This plus study groups made finishing homework a million times easier. Studying for tests though, I usually always waited till the last second and then would cram when the pressure was strong enough.

Work didn't feel remotely the same as studying in university to me. I found it much, much easier than school after i graduated though i still had some difficulties.

There were tests every week so I felt the pressure of cramming every week in school. I was really burned out by my senior year. At work, deadlines were more spread out so the pressure wasn't constantly high. I'm not sure what kind 9f job you were thinking of after you graduated. If say you studied to be a vet, well the hands on with the animals would make it feel totally different than book studying to you too. It'd give you something to look forward to if you liked animals. I hope you majored in something that will give you a job in something you like dojng. Maybe you can look forward to the fun things you'll do after graduating to help you get one step closure to being done with school.

finallyfound10
03-09-17, 04:42 AM
I have issues with studying/writing papers for school too. It's a huge struggle and I'm probably on my best med combo ever.

I can't psych myself up/out like ToneTone can and I'm jealous!

I work better at a coffee shop than at home. Maybe give that a try!

proileri
05-07-17, 05:30 AM
What would you say best describes you more? I feel like I don't want to study, although I should want to study and if I "made" myself study, then everything would be ok. But I can't seem to make myself want to study, even although I "need" to study. :eyebrow:


First of all - you are right, but do not feel bad about it. I've noticed it's certainly hard to start, and everyone has the same thing. Some just handle it better. You need to get into the mood to study, and it doesn't happen instantly. It's something you need to learn how to do - but wanting to be able to do so is the first step. Getting yourself to study is, essentially, a trick.

A couple of small things I've noticed that have sometimes helped:

-Having a dedicated place to study, like a small desk in the kitchen or something. Some people go to the library etc. for this purpose.

-Watching or reading some general stuff related to the matter. Articles, YouTube videos etc., that get your brain thinking about the stuff. Sometimes you end up chasing other stuff outside the subject matter, but I'd count that as studying as well.

-Starting with a very small bit. "I'll just read these first two pages and see how it goes." Set a tiny goal where you have to focus for only 5-10 minutes, and see if your brain gets into mood.

-Certain type of music or noise generator to listen to - for example www.mynoise.net has a ton of different noise tracks that can get you in the mood.

Right now, I should also be studying, and actually writing this might help me get into it :lol:

Mathemagician
05-24-17, 07:07 AM
for me it's I CAN'T STUDY
I feel and want to study, but after I go through a couple of paragraphs, I just have a huge repulsive power that pushes me away from the material, I can't refocus and follow the first thing to distract me. Even though I know I must go back, I just can't. It's really frustrating.

Aliiciia
06-08-17, 12:34 PM
There is also the negative. To be blunt, not working is just as miserable--or MORE miserable--than working. Because when I'm avoiding work, I know it and feel it and worry about it and fret about it and feel guilty about it. Jeez, much easier to just do the doggone work.
Tone
This right here is my motivation to study because I FEEL so guilty if I don't. That's my type of personality. Also I am really competitive so I have been setting standards for myself and trying to compete with myself to do the best I can.

MickeMouseFan
07-27-17, 07:59 PM
If I want/need to study, I drag my *** into a library. Gotta get away from creature comforts of home such as a bed, fridge full of food, TV, computer, pets etc.

In a library, there are no distractions, and the fact that you are surrounded by people who are also studying reinforces the study mentality.