Hi there. Your symptoms are suggestive of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, which is a chronic condition that manifests in childhood and is characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity and/or inattention. There is difficulty in academic, emotional and social functioning. There are diagnostic criteria and other associated neurological, behavioral and developmental disabilities. Consult a neurologist for evaluation of these symptoms. Therapy may include medications, behavioral therapy and lifestyle changes. Hope this helps. Take care.
If you ARE dyslexic and have been diagnosed with that, difficulty with focus is an issue for that disorder. If you do NOT have it, and if this symptom interferes with gliding thru this world in a calm way, you should probably visit a specialist, psychiatrist or neurologist, and find out what the problem is, so you can perhaps take medications that might help you.
Usually if I hear someone is having somersaulting thoughts going a million miles an hour, I think of the easy problems first, which this can come from not getting enough restful sleep, too much caffeine from sodas or coffee or tea, not enough exercise to release tension, these sorts of things.
I indeed am dyslexic...was diagnosed when I was in my early 20's. I had struggled to read and write throughout my youth, but testing did not discover that I was dyslexic until adulthood. I must admit I did not know that dyslexia came with a focus issue.
I go to the gym 4 days a week, I don't drink soda and only 2 cups of tea or coffee in a days time. However, I should look at the other things you suggested regaring tension and restful sleep. Purhaps, added issues in these areas are adding to the already existing issue.
Thank you Dr. Sharma -
I wouldn't have even thought of this one, as I have know many people with ADHD and never saw myself having the sasme struggles. I'll have to look into it.
I presume you've heard some rather famous people have had dyslexia, including President Woodrow Wilson, an intellectual and visionary man, and my understanding is he had to read and reread books to understand the subject, so there is the focus thing... if you can pay attention long enough and study hard enough, you can "get it," which it sounds like most of the time you are able to block out all the white noise and concentrate on the important thing at hand.
Dyslexia is very interesting topic, I hope you will associate yourself with a physician who is expert in it and shares your interest, he can explain a lot of various issues that come up with you and sort out what is dyslexia and what is some other sort of problem, and give you tips on how to overcome its specific difficulties. If it's any consolation, if I am worn out and have a lot on my plate, it becomes a dizzying confusion, and I'll wind up standing in the middle of a room and not knowing what's next. So, in some ways, a racing mind is somewhat normal... altho you could have a regular doc give you a checkup to make sure your heart isn't beating too fast, for example, which can make a person overly sensitive to what's going on around them.
I did research my dyslexia when I was diagnosed in my 20's. Throughout my education I have always had to read and reread items. However, I did not feel it was because of a focus issue at that time, but the ability to know and understand the words on the page. It was difficult to understand when the letters appeared backwards and there were missing letters. Although, over the years I have learned to ID many words and build my reading vocab. With technology as my assistant I was able to complete grad school.
The issue really is the thoughts that run through my mind at the sametime. For me it really does feel like a 1000 movies running...if I dare to explain it so someone could visualize it I would say. Imagine sitting in a room, with the lights out and suddenly a 1000 old school projectors turn on. Imagine that you can see and hear them all, and that you can look at each one and focus enough to understand it...but that the struggle is to stay focused without your eye wondering off to another movie in the room or not knowing if the one you are watching is the right one to watch at that moment (what thought is the priority).
Over the years I have learned how to tell the difference and to stay on track, but it hard and on my down time I find myself tire and struggling to stay focused. The worse part for me is in the morning or when I am tired. Which seems to be more often than before and more problematic. I had a doctors appointment just recently and the heart is fine, and my vit levels now that I take supplements each day are now on track. Outside of a few minor gastro issues and spinal cord issues I appear to be in fairly good health. So, I am thinking my next step will be to follow Dr. Sharma's advice and chat with a neuropsychologist for a few evaluations and a MRI of the brain. The MRI will check to make sure the brain looks right or if something is a miss, since this issue is an increasing issue for me. The evaluation is to see if it's ADD or something else and requiring a new approach to dealing with it as my body changes and new stressors are added into my life.
That is interesting about how you had some spinal cord issues. Let me explain how my bad back affects my thinking. I busted it in three places in a car wreck years ago, and as I've aged, it has worsened via settling (I guess), and pretty soon I had trouble with concentrating. I asked my neurologist how come I could not focus on things. So, he took this clipboard he had, we were both seated, and he began to tap firmly on my knee with it, whilst talking about how he was doing this and did I notice I was having any trouble following what he was saying. A lightbulb went off in my head. I was so angry and uncomfortable with his tapping that I caught maybe half of what he said, and mostly wanted to push away that tapping clipboard. This is the nature of discomfort in the body, it wrecks the focus. Now, I don't imagine this is exactly your story, of lotsa points of views splintering into an unmanageable bunch of information, but just wanted to mention it in case focus is a factor.
You know, I suppose even "focus" may need elaborating and modified as a term, as relates to what I originally said to you in my first post. One time I was studying dyslexia, I was a double major with psych and philosophy, and I was sitting in a car waiting for someone at night. Reflection and window caused some stenciled writing on the windshield to flip around and upside down, and I knew I was seeing sort of what a dyslexic sees. It took a lot of effort to make out what I was reading. Throw on top of that what I have now, which is bad eyes where letters disappear and reappear, and I'd be pretty annoyed and tired of the whole thing. Maybe when you see all these movies projected at once, it's your mind trying to set itself free from having to pay attention. You just let responsibility rip, and the wholeness of your experience flies apart in a really dramatic way. In this manner, perhaps focus is the key to why this happens. But I'm no expert, and I think other dyslexics may relate a whole lot better to your experience of this projector thing than I can, that's for sure, could be there's a forum somewhere online where dyslexics talk about these things.
Let me tell you something that works for me when I get overwhelmed. I am very emotional and I can get quite mixed up about separating my personal feelings from normal events, I tend to take on the whole world. I'll get to wondering just what is expected of me, what is my purpose, how do I separate my emotions from ordinary stuff that I shouldn't worry about. So, for a few months there when I was falling apart, I put a reflective object in my windowsill, sat on the floor and stared at it, like meditation, deliberately emptied everything out of my head. Staring at reflection can allow you to banish thoughts, but not for very long. So, once I know my head is clear, I close my eyes into darkness, and then ask myself or the universe or whatever, "What is my problem here?" And BANG here comes the answer to whatever is bothering me deep inside. I always cry like an idiot, but it helps define what is distracting me and making me miserable.
It actually sounds to me like (a) it is connected to your dyslexia, and (b) it's become an issue because of some outside cause, which you may can find thru meditation, but is probably connected to having too much on your plate, perhaps lack of deep sleep to naturally reorganize your thinking, being miserable with some part of your life, any number of things can wreck your focus. It would be nice to turn off all those projectors! I wish I knew how. I suppose in the end, if you are a perfectly adjusted person, well-rested, stress-free, and you still have this, then perhaps treat it as a dyslexic "thing," practice knowing which subject or scene to "go into," and, as you said, "learn to focus on one at a time."
One more probably useless tip, whenever I feel "out there" or disconnected somehow from what my life is about, to ground myself, I take a walk outside in nature. I LOVE being in the trees along a little path... just across the street on the corner is a bunch of pine trees, a little path goes up in there and back again to the main road. It's my neighbor's property, and I hope they don't mind, but sometimes I walk over there just to make that little trip thru those trees. I feel brand new when I come out of the trees. It's so pleasant that I plan to plant a bunch of pines down on the lower quarter-acre of our property near the creek, and that way I can walk thru my own woods anytime I want to. Another way to REALLY ground yourself is at night when the weather is pleasant and the stars are out, is just go outside in the evening and lay flat out on the grass and look at the sky. You can almost feel the world turning, you can feel the pull of gravity, and looking at constellations is enjoyable enough, especially with someone to talk to.
Gosh, I gotta shut up. I know nothing and yet I say too much. I'm a philosopher, to be sure. Gotta write my book of short stories and quit saying so much in these forums! GG