ADD / ADHD Community
3.38k Members
Avatar universal

Major Concentration/Sleep Issues


I was unsure as to whether to post this in the ADD / ADHD as I have not officially been diagnosed with any medical conditions however, I'm more or less certain I've developed (or the symptoms have become a little more obvious) something like ADD or a condition with

I'm 15 years old, and have an average BMI, live an average life and never really noticed anything until about a year ago. In school, I've never really been a "good student" but have always had high grades. Just before summer break last year I began to find it fairly hard to focus, nothing major, just I would often find that I'd be going off task, talking to people - which I have always done, just it began to get in the way of school work, etc. It was also becoming increasingly harder to get homework done; whereas beforehand I'd always do it after dinner, now I'd be doing it in bed or in the morning before school, and the quality of my work began to drop.

After summer break, things became a lot harder. I noticed that often I was not doing any work at all and any work which involved the teacher verbally describing I could not listen to at all - it wouldn't go in, I'd get distracted (not even talking, just fall into a day dream) or I'd literally find myself thinking about focusing that I wouldn't focus at all. Class assignments, homework and studying for exams are now a huge issue. Whilst I'll stop everything I'm doing at 9pm and attempt to get some work done (all that is due the next day), I'll browse the web, put my head of the desk or do anything apart from completing the initial task; most evenings I'll end up going to bed at 1am as I'll put off doing the work so much that it will take so long and some evenings I'll stay up to ridiculous hours in the morning just trying to focus and complete the work.

I don't know if I generally just put off going to bed, or doing my work, but often I cannot sleep without having watched a movie and/or tv show in bed before sleeping and normally on school evenings this is between midnight and 2am in the morning so I'll often end up getting about half of the sleep I should be getting each night. This easter break I've attempted to get into a regular sleep pattern, however failed. I end up going to bed at 2am-5am in the morning (once again after watching a movie or two in bed), and I will sleep for ridiculous amounts of time, often 12 hours. My alarms go off (I set multiple) yet I will sleep straight through them, literally, they wake up everyone in the house except me - I've tried changing the tune and everything - I really will not get out of bed until someone physically speaks to me and makes me get up.

Lately, I've been getting headaches, and for the past few months, always when I wake up, unless I sleep until I literally cannot sleep anymore (12 hours or more) and even then sometimes I still have a slight ache. If the headache is there when I wake up, it often has gone after about an hour into the day. Throughout the day they come and go, often when I attempt to focus on a certain job really hard, e.g. a question on a maths paper, a headache will spurt up. I seem to feel as-if nothing is real, and when people speak to me, it takes a long time to process, they often have to repeat what they say to me and even then I will find it hard to make out what they have said.

Forgetfulness is also a major issue. A teacher once pulled me out of class several times as I was unable to complete a simple task (look for a worksheet), despite pulling me outside and telling me what to do, I would sit back down and not search, she ended up getting very agitated. Words often leave my mind, or I'll forget what I'm saying halfway through a sentence and I'll take 10-60 seconds to re-think what I was going to say. Like I said before, people need to ask me things multiple times in order to get a response sometimes. My friends say that I've became increasingly "dopey" as I often do not know what I am talking about and ask completely irrelevant questions or will daze off into my own world during conversation. Also, having been an "intelligent" student and now failing to come anywhere near to my predicted grades, teachers think I am slacking off when I am genuinely attempting to focus in class, etc.

In relation to the "hyperactive" part of ADHD, I don't really suffer many symptoms. I mean, my parents have always asked my to stop fidgeting in places like Church but I guess that is only because I am bored. I often do shake my legs without realizing but I doubt that is anything abnormal and more of a habit.

Studying for exams, and completing assignments is close to impossible without staying up late at night as I literally will do anything but complete the task - even if it is something that I want to do. I have become increasingly unorganized over the past year. my desk is filled with empty food wrappers and have things like clothes and school books all over my floor. Another issue I've ran into that has become a huge problem is completing the smallest of tasks for example if my mum comes into my room and asks to take a plate downstairs which would take a few seconds, I will lie on the bed and close my eyes (not sleep, just for some reason do not want to take the plate downstairs when obviously it is a very small task that would require very little effort).

Commonly, I'll put my head in my hands and close my eyes in class, blanking out the rest of the class. Sometimes this is when I have a headache, but often I will do this for the entire lesson and get no work done. If I am given a book, to copy something down, I manage to do that OK, perhaps a little well, but anything involving taking information in and analyzing is a huge issue, I literally cannot do it. I'm also becoming increasingly anti-social. I cannot be bothered to go out and meet friends - and even make up lies in hope of not having to leave my house. Also, I believe I may have some form or paranoia, I find it hard to look people in the eye and often my eyes water in mid-conversation with someone (not crying, they just start to water, as-if I had been hit in the nose or something, I am confused as to why this happens).

Easter break I've attempted to catch up on sleep in hope that my lack of sleep would be the problem, but instead, I'll end up watching movies until I am tired (as I cannot get to sleep otherwise) and sleep for up to 12 hours a night! Still, my alarm clock fails to wake me up.

So, to sum up - I'm suffering headaches throughout the day, unable to sustain a regular sleep pattern, I cannot complete tasks for my life, have terrible memory and all of this has only began to happen within the last year. My grades are failing and I really do not know what is happening. I sometimes feel that life has no value at all - I am not depressed, I am perfectly happy and do not have a mental issue. I'd just like to know if this is normal or if I should get checked out or you can recommend anything for me, I feel that this issue is getting worse every day and waking up is becoming increasingly harder. I'm considering taking a drug such as Modafinil on prescription as I feel it may help, please, let me know if you know of these symptoms or anything that could have caused this. Any response is greatly appreciated.

3 Responses
5914096 tn?1399922587
Hi Mark.  Your symptoms to me sound as if you are suffering from anxiety.  Anxiety would explain all of the symptoms you described.  But the best thing to do is to discuss these issues with your MD to find out what exactly is going on and why.
189897 tn?1441130118
      I agree with Mark that you really need expert advice on this as it is beginning to really affect you.   While you do have some symptoms of ADD (I'll give you a link to this later), it really does sound more like an anxiety issue that is slowly building up.  Of course, ADD does cause anxiety.
     The one thing that I am fairly sure of is that your sleep habits are causing many of your day time problems.  There is a lot of research on this.  The last thing you need (in my opinion) is Modafinil.  You need something to help you sleep.  Exercise, I think would be really helpful now that the weather is getting better.   Get outside as much as possible.  Any chance you were inside much more this year then in the past?  You are also showing signs of SAD - seasonal affective disorder.  I know you guys had a really rotten winter.   a link for SAD - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
    There are several things to try to help you sleep.  One is "Bedtime tea" by Yogi.   Also Melatonin can be very helpful and is sold over the counter.
     I would really try and get your sleep habits under control and if you can do so with out prescribed medication, that's really important.
       This is a link for ADD -http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK8
    but, this has come on so strong for you, that I kind of doubt that it is ADD, unless the school curriculum has suddenly gotten a lot tougher.
       Anyway, as Mark said, this is something to discuss with your doctor.  What you are feeling is not good, not normal.  And definitely start dealing with your sleep habits as that will make major changes for you.
      Hope this helps.  Keep us posted and please post if you need any more info.
Avatar universal
I too agree with Mark.  I suggest going to a school counselor.  They deal with this type of thing all the time.
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Development Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
What to expect in your growing baby
Is the PS3 the new Prozac … or causing ADHD in your kid?
Autism expert Dr. Richard Graff weighs in on the vaccine-autism media scandal.
Could your home be a haven for toxins that can cause ADHD?