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Having A Hard Time Concentrating And Staying Focused

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by sheba, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. sheba

    sheba New Member

    I was officially diagnosed a year ago and my husband has been really supportive except that my ability to concentrate on 1 thing at a time is virtually impossible and he gets frustrated. For example, when I'm cleaning house I can't concentrate on what I am doing and end up doing " half ass" job or I start doing something else before I'm finished with what I was originally doing. I walk around in such a fog that I don't notice things like leaving every light in the house on. Also, I have had problems sleep walking in the middle of the night - my husband has found me trying to walk out of the house, this is just really frustrating and I don't know what to do to make it better.
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  3. sheba

    sheba New Member

    impossible to concentrate

    I had to close my last post because my husband walked in but anyway I am finding it impossible to concentrate on what I am actually doing at that moment. It's like I retreat into my own mind and can't focus on real life. Even when people are talking to me I am not listening; my mind wanders to something else or I find myself thinking about my traumatic event. Any advice on how to keep my mind in the real world?
  4. nickeldoor

    nickeldoor Member

    Hi Sheba, welcome here. When I first knew about PTSD, it took me quite a while to seek treatment, as I was lost and disoriented with life. I must say that you are kind and brave for your desire to find a better life for yourself and your family. Keep seeking help and you will recover for a better and fulfilled life.

    As in your condition that you are experiencing now, I am not sure if there is any treatment out there that will change your behavior. For myself, I meditate at least once a day for about 10 to 20 mins. It's really helpful and I suggest you to pick up meditation skills so that you could be peaceful and focused in most situations. Meditation by itself is harmless, but to achieve the maximum impact, you got to 'let go of your mind', and just sit and relax, paying attention to your breathing and thoughts that are running through your mind. Sometimes during meditation, it also helps to 'ask' yourself why certain thoughts are running in your mind, and is there any unneccessary desires/feelings that you are keeping in yourself.

    As with all things in life, practice will make your mind clearer and more focused. Training the mind is like working out the muscles. The stronger you want your muscles to be, the more you got to work it out.

    First-timers usually find it rather difficult to concentrate, but multiple practice, you will find it smooth-sailing.

    Good luck, and keep us updated how you are doing.

  5. Manic11

    Manic11 Mystery Member


    I'm sorry to hear you are having such a struggle.
    An idea would to be trying grounding techniques. They are more commonly used to help control flashbacks but trouble concentrating and zoning out are along the same lines.
    Try concentrating on what is around you in the room. Pick an object and study it; What does it look like, What does it feel like, Is it heavy or light, etc. If you're sitting, what does the chair feel like on against your back, your legs, your arms if it had armrests, etc. If you are vacuuming, take off your socks and concentrate on how the carpet feels.
    Another technique is to pick one color that's in the room such as green. Look around the room you're in and count how many things in the room are green. You can do it with different colors, shades and shapes.
    You don't have to do this the whole time but if you feel like you are about to get distracted or zone out, try these techniques and ground yourself.

    I hope this helps! Take care of yourself, hun!

    BethRSA and skyp56 like this.
  6. skyp56

    skyp56 Well-Known Member

    Sheba, I am also having the same problems. Mine may be due to recent medication changes. I am trying to get back to taking my meds exactly as prescribed, hoping that will help. I tried going off them, because of money Anxiety--Bad Move!

    I'm going to try that grounding technique Manic talks about.

    Hang in there!
  7. Pam

    Pam Active Member

    Some simple ideas would include putting a cleaning schedule somewhere that has two rows. One says to do, the other says done. You then have a stack of business size cards with the activity written on the cards. You could glue magnets or Velcro to the back. It works kinda like an in/out board in a typical office so that people can look at the board and see who is in and who is out. You use the board to keep yourself on track. Can't touch the next cleaning activity till the one you are working on is on the done side.

    As for the lights, have motion sensors installed. Otherwise I have no clue as to how to fix this one without leaving a sign above the light switch in every room.

    Can sleep walking be a medication issue? Sleep disturbances can be a major life issue (and can be hazardous!) that your doctor should know about.

    I also like the idea of practicing the skill of concentration. But in the meantime, try some quick fixes while you work on the skill. Less frustrating. Yes?
  8. LikeCharlotte

    LikeCharlotte Active Member

    I had the same issue recently. It appears and disappears dependent on my level of anxiety. I am now on medication and that helps tremendously. Before I took medication kept endless lists to keep myself on track just in case things got bad. Unfortunately if I was in that state for a long period of time I could not keep track of the lists. Aside from medication exercise was the most helpful in regaining concentration in difficult times. Are you in treatment? Could you start an easy exercise program?
  9. anthony

    anthony I'm Not complicated.

    Yep, another symptom of PTSD strikes again. Concentration is a massive issue for me now.
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