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Learning Disabilities Forum
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Avatar universal

Learning Problem/Disability

I am having a hard time learning new material, processing what I read, have terrible working memory/memory issues, have a hard time learning concepts/big picture of what I am actually trying to learn about and connecting what I am reading to how it applies to the concept. I read things slowly over and over, then when I do understand it I forget it. maybe 1-2 days a week I have a day where I believe my brain is functioning like a normal persons, Even my diet has an effect on my brain functioning. I also have an issue with making decisions.

About me: I have OCD, social anxiety and general anxiety issues. I take 50mg Zoloft. But the memory issues seem to still be there. The OCD definitely effects my reading as well. I think I have  what I have found to be "reading OCD". I also have this issue where I have to visualize what I am reading about (OCD).

When I read I get very anxious because I have a hard time understanding what I read. This causes me to pick my scalp until I have sores and a little bleeding. I have picked scalp since 6th grade. This makes me avoid reading and learning things as I dont like feeling anxious or picking my scalp.

I was diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. I did not take any meds for it until recently. I have been taking a small amount of Adderall (5-10mg). It has seemed to help me get focused, motivated to do my school work, and helps with the visualization problem I have while reading. But after about a week of taking it I start to get confusion, memory problems, personality change , and when the stimulant meds where off my anxiety is increased and I feel crappy about life outlook, etc.

Would seeing a neurologist and having brain scans done help me determine the issues and best treatment? Could my issues be related to head injuries? What types of learning disabilities are associated with slow processing, working memory, memory, etc.?

Thanks.

2 Responses
521840 tn?1348844371
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Hello,
A neurologist is probably not going to be your best bet unless you have had significant head injuries (those with loss of consciousness or symptoms such as vomiting, blurred vision, and disorientation), or suspected seizures. Brain scans are very useful for finding organic conditions like tumors or lesions, but are not as useful for making diagnoses that lead to treatment plans. Some also would expose you to radiation, which is best avoided unless a doctor feels strongly that it is necessary.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are the professionals with the best skill set for coming up with practical ideas about how you can overcome your symptoms. Among adults in particular, ADHD is highly likely to co-occur with anxiety and learning problems. The distractability of ADHD makes it even harder to turn your attention away from intrusive thoughts and urges (such as the urge to pick your scalp). You are not alone in having both conditions.
I think you can get the most symptom relief from selecting a psychiatrist and psychologist who work together (or who are willing to work as a team) for you . Psychologists can help you overcome the picking and learn to control those anxious thoughts that are sucking up so much 'cognitive counter space.' Anxiety negatively impacts working memory and information processing. If you can get your anxiety under control you will likely see improvement in your cognitive symptoms. It will be well worth the time.
Stimulants can take the edge off, however, you have to keep in mind that it is often a long road to find the right one. Any stimulant is likely not to work for about one in every four people. Don't give up though, just be patient. Make sure your psychiatrist is aware of all the changes you notice with the medications. Your psychiatrist can combine stimulants with other medications such as mood stabilizers that should bring relief. The research shows that you are most likely to get symptom relief that lasts from combining cognitive behavior therapy with medications.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Rebecca Resnik
Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace face to face psychological or psychiatric care.
Avatar universal
I had a learning disability like you.  I recently discovered that I was born with Congenital Lyme. Buy yourself a book called The Lyme-Autism Connection by Brian Rosner. You'll be glad you did.
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