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Trouble Concentrating

Future BluesFuture Blues Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So I've never been particularly good at things like studying and whatnot. I'm not saying that I've had trouble academically, in fact, I flourished... but I've never been able to buckle down and really get anything of substance done. I've always done things in short bursts and been lucky in the sense that I'm clever enough to get it usually.

In college I could never buckle down at the library and work for more than 30 minutes or so. I'd hear about my friends spending hours in there taking notes or doing papers, but I always preferred to work at home, where I could distract myself every few minutes with something pointless like games or food and I never really did a lot of "studying" ultimately. Luckily, I was clever enough to pick a lot of it up without much time invested and that sort of got me through school.

In any case, now I'm living and working in Japan and lately I've been wondering whether or not to see a doctor about my general inability to concentrate. Now, take note, I've always just told myself that blah blah blah, "it's not a condition, it's a fact of life, etc." but I'm starting to wonder if I've been sweeping things under the rug when I should talk to someone about them.

Basically, my problem is this: I have trouble make decisions and once I make them, I have trouble sticking to them. Like for instance, I've been trying to write, recently, in my spare time, but every time I sit down to do it, I find myself switching gears. As soon as I open up my document file I want to instead turn to my Japanese study or get up and start the laundry. I've always considered this just a fact of life and nothing of importance, but lately I've been getting almost nothing done because I'm constantly picking things up and putting them down. Case in point: I bought a bunch of art supplies this week and as soon as I got home, gung ho as hell about cracking the sketchbook open and getting down to business, I set them in a drawer, still in the bag and as of yet haven't touched them. My novel sits on my HD, the whole thing written and waiting to be edited with one chapter that I work on on and off every week and get nowhere with. Every time I open the document, I feel like doing something else. I'm about 1/3 into reading 3 different novels with no absolute desire to finish any one of them first (they're all interesting, yeah) and every time I pick one up, I read a few pages and then put it down and go do something else. I've got a half-finished Japanese test sitting in with my work stuff, a Japanese novel I've literally been reading a sentence of a week for the past 3 or 4 weeks now (mostly because I can't concentrate long enough to even finish an entire page in a sitting).

Gabe's post on the front sort of filtered down into my thought process and I realized that the number one thing I anxiously worry about is my inability to complete anything. It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and have trouble appreciating my own work because of some wacko standard I hold it to. I mean, I don't have general anxiety about all sorts of things like it seems he does, but I do know that the biggest stressor in my life, bar none, is the fact that I worry constantly about how I'm not able to work towards any of my long-term projects or goals.

So I dunno. Is there treatment available out there that helps one focus and concentrate in both the long and the short term? Is it worth talking to a doctor about? Does it sound like I might have some sort of clinical problem or is this just BS?

I ask here because if I end up going to a doctor I'd like to know a little bit about what they might say to me, considering I'd be going to a Japanese doctor about this. But the fact of the matter is, I want to be able to sit down and be able to concentrate on studying kanji for an hour if that's what I want to do, or be able to sit down and write for an hour or two. Now, I just can't do that. I can hardly even sit down and do that sort of stuff for 10 minutes before I get antsy and need to eat or drink or do almost ANYTHING else. I can't dedicate long swathes of time to really anything and its affecting my mood because I feel like I'm a complete failure when I can't dedicate time to nearly anything I want to do. I guess I've really come to notice it now because of the great amount of free time I have and the way I've been squandering it.

Does it sound like talking to a doctor might be worthwhile or am I just a tool?

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