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Lack of concentration and alertness

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I am convinced that there must be something wrong with me. Some sort of mental or psychological disorder.

Firstly, I’ll say that my memory is lacking severely. I can watch a movie and forgot a lot of it by the next day. I remember very few events from my childhood. Of those events I do remember, I don’t really remember anything in vivid detail. Everything is a blur to me. Family and friends usually speaks of events that had occurred in the past but I cannot remember any of it. My memory seems to really hinder my experience in school and my ability to learn, well, anything. Even things I’m really interest in. I’ve forgot everything I’ve learned through school. I struggle to remember the page I have just read (sometimes end up reading a page 3-4 times). I never really feel like I can focus. I can sit down to read a book in a house with complete silence, start reading and be completely distracted by my thoughts or anything else. Or I would fall asleep. Ill start thinking about anything and everything. It’s not a lack of motivation to learn or read and it’s not a lack of interest.

The inability to focus carries over into many things other than reading books. I feel like I’m never focused in a conversation. I can be talking to someone one-on-one and I won’t even by listening to them. I’ll be drifting off into some other world. Staring at the wall, blindly saying “yeah.” Typically I cant recall the beginning of a conversation or what we are speaking of. Even when I put the effort into it and consciously try to focus, I find it extremely difficult. During conversations I stumble on words frequently or say the wrong words. Also, I have a hard time remembering the word I am trying to say. I struggle to thinking of the word I am saying. I have a lot of trouble conversing and I know other can tell to some degree. I struggled my entire life with speaking and didn’t develop the ability to talk until a later age. I’ll often just stop mid-sentence because I either lost my train of thought, drifted off into some other world or just can’t think of the right word. I feel that my cognitive abilities are lacking.

I don’t know if I have ADHD, a learning disability or something else.

I tried caffeine pills recently for the first time. The pills worked wonders (memory was much better during the few weeks, energy was good, concentration was good). The pills only worked for 2 weeks and then stopped working entirely. If I don’t use caffeine pills for an extended period of time (few weeks to a few months) then try them again, they will work for a few weeks then

Went to a doctor who prescribed Cipralex (Escitalopram). Best I felt in my life (memory, energy and concentration were amazing) at first but after 3 weeks the effects started to dissaper. Went back to having bad memory, low energy and poor concentration. Doctor tried to increase dosage but didn’t work and went back to feeling tired all the time and symptoms started to come back. The doctor then tried to put my on Sandoz Bupropion SR (antidepressant) but effects only worked a week then stopped.
My mom has had the exact same issues her entire life. She does have thyroid but is using Synthroid to help with it. She’s complained to her doctor her entire life but never had been able to solve this issue. Other issues that run in my family are low blood sugar, higher cholesterol and arthritis. I have done a blood test and everything is normal. Iron is fine, thyroid is file and everything else good.

See below for a summary by age.

As a child
- had a hard time concentrating, could never read a book and developed reading, writing and speaking skills much later than everyone else
- difficulty reading and speaking
- anxiety
- very active child, loved playing sports and was always active
- difficulty socializing excluding close friends
- extremely poor memory
- A lot of daydreaming – spent most of my childhood daydreaming
-as the day progresses, my abilities became a lot worse.

- hard time concentrating, struggled to read, write and speak. When I would write something, every sentence would have an error. Missed words or wrong word used. Could never write a complete, correct sentence.
- slept a lot more and felt depressed (started losing hair)
- Extremely poor memory – worst memory out of everyone I know
- anxiety started getting worse. Have always avoided doing things that caused anxiety including speaking with a group of friends. Felt stupid during conversations because I couldn’t understand or recall past events.
- hard time speaking and reading. When I tried to read my concentration span was very short
- A lot of daydreaming
- hard time thinking of the word im trying to say, difficulty putting sentences together
-could never think at night (no memory, no ability to speak) – always tired at night

- hard time concentrating
- feeling of depression when I am very tired
- Energy level is very low mentally and when I am really tired I feel depressed
- daydreaming all the time
- in big group settings when i am required to talk, my anxiety gets really bad where i feel like i cannot talk
- brain fog
- difficulty talking some days (very bad some days) – cannot put simple sentences together like “Hi, how are you doing?”
- difficulty reading, trying to read puts me to sleep
- extremely poor memory – feel stupid all the time as a result of not being able to memorize past events (important events – ex. the date of birth of siblings/parents birthdays)
- hard time thinking of the word im trying to say. Better in the morning but as the day progresses it becomes a lot worse
- difficulty reading menu's
- hard time understanding when I am speaking to someone one on one, tend to end up saying “yeah” but not absorbing anything
- forgetful
- when im writing sentences i make a lot of errors and one sentence can take me a few minutes even though very simple.
- sometimes i feel dizzy all of sudden - energy just fades
- hard time understanding
- No retention
-brain feels foggy

Category: Psychiatrist

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Thanks for your consult at and for discussing the issue further. I had gone through your case before and would like to thank you for providing extra details.

The symptoms that you have described suggest that you have a attention deficit hyperactivity disorder predokinantly inattentive type. Now this type is very common and frequently missed out cause of the vagueness of the symptoms.

You have already tried out bupropion and it probably has not worked fine with you. You should try methylphenidate as this drug will show instant improvement in case if you have adhd. Its a restricted drug and will be available only after a legal prescription from a psychiatrist.

Also you seem to be having a comorbid depression along with ADhD and this needs to be taken care of with fluoxetine or venlafaxine etc or with cognitive behavioural therapy.

This is a very common illness and luckily the drugs are avaialbe with minimal side effects. You dont need to suffer and you can start the medications.

Hope this helps, If you have any further concerns I would be more than happy to help you via follow-up queries.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD

Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
Dr. Srikanth Reddy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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