Trouble focusing on anything – natural remedies?

I was once diagnosed with ADD, then with Asperger’s, and at one point I decided that both of these diagnoses were the popular diagnoses at the time, according to what I’ve heard and read, so, for the most part I now choose to ignore them both, despite evidence that I may in fact have AS. There’ll always be something doctors can pin on anyone and say they need to buy meds for it.

But in my case, I’m a poor college student whose budget goes to books and food, and in my own case, I’d rather toss 0 for a year’s membership at a gym than the same dough for a couple months’ supply of whatever pills doc Smith has to push.

Either way, I have trouble focusing on anything – I can’t sit down and read a book for more than 20 minutes to save my life. If a movie’s over 2 hours long, I’ve taken 3 bathroom breaks and am sipping on my fourth 42-ounce refill while I twiddle my thumbs. Studying for anything, for me, is torture – long lectures, my bane.

Are there any ‘natural‘ solutions for me?
Experience:
Doctors push pills. Most of my family is in medicine. A relative of mine, for example, denounced one of the products I had been put on (Provigil), though he himself sold it in several places.

I’m not looking for quack alternative medicines, I don’t need someone to tell me to detox my colon, burn incense, smoke grass, pray, and flog myself, but I’ll take some advice as far as altering my diet goes, or particular forms of exercise, as long as it doesn’t involve sprinkling magic powder in my orange juice.
I might try the ginkgo bilboa. But I simply can’t afford to visit psychiatrists, or try a handful of drugs at apiece each month.

5 comments

  • SkepDoc 2.0

    Doc Smith isn’t "pushing" pills…you say that as if he’ a street drug pusher making a profit from the pills he’s got you addicted to. Straw man ad homine argument. Uncalled for doctor bashing.
    Pharmaceutical companies are guilty of creating demand for their products, and half the time doctors try to explain to people why they DON"T need that drug the TV ad said to ‘talk to your doctor about.."

    So "you decided" the diagnosis was wrong and trendy "despite evidence". Well, where did you do YOUR medical training to make such an important decision?

    ADHD and AS are both real conditions….and you are proof. Deal with it. There are no "natural" treatments clinically proven effective. Some types of behaviour therapy are effective. That also costs money. I’m sorry you don’t have enough money, and you live in the richest country in the world that doesn’t think looking after its citizens health is more important than manufacturing weapons.

    The medications when used properly are safe, effective, and have made a huge difference in the lives of millions of kids and adults. Yes they have been overprescribed to kids that are probably not ADD but just ‘rambunctious’ because overworked and harried schoolteachers and parents put pressure on doctors to ‘do something’ about little Johnny who’d driving them crazy.

    Drinking a lot of water is potentially dangerous, and excessive thirst and urination may be symptoms of diabetes.

    Do yourself a favour, see a doctor to make sure there is nothing else going on, and get back on some medication.

  • oldtimekid2

    The most popular natural products for brain health are Ginkgo Biloba, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Fish Oil (Omega 3), Phosphatidylserine (abbreviated PS), DMAE, Huperzine A, Bacopa Monnieri (or Monniera), and Vinpocetine.
    There are a LOT of people that get a lot of benefit from any combination of those. I would suggest adding one at a time to your daily regiment as too much too fast can be tough.
    And for what it’s worth, research has shown that Fish Oil is very beneficial for helping with many people’s ADD and ADHD, plus it’s cheap enough that you might want to try that first. Good luck!

  • Ginkgo Biloba is good- it improves circulation to the brain, so it’s good for attention and memory.

    Bach’s Rescue Remedy could also be very beneficial for you- it helps with the panicky, trapped feeling you may have in class. (available at health food stores)

    You would also (obviously) be advised to limit caffeine consumption, and get frequent, strenuous, weight bearing exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week.

    Good luck, and try to avoid Doc Smith- he looks kinds shifty.

  • What helped me while in college was caffeine.You said 42-ounce refill but I don’t know of what. For me what helped were umm… chocolate milk, hot chocolate, coffee etc…

    Also, I used to feel better when I sat down, took my time and ate a full "healthy" meal. Something stomach filling… Something, with fresh fruits and vegetables, salads, smoothies…, juices like cranberry juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, …. oatmeal, muffins ( really really guess they were made with flaxseed, but not sure ), the muffins really really really helped… don’t know why…eggs, cereals.

    Also, lots of sleep ( quality sleep ), exercise – walking, jogging, fresh air, pets ( I had a goldfish ), somebody to talk to, chats with friends ( a good laugh helps a lot ), interesting books, movies, etc…

    You might also be anxious. I found that my anxiety was partly responsible for my lack of concentration. If you could address the cause of your anxiety ( if you do in fact have it ), that would be great. Music also helps increase concentration.

    Set aside some time for fun. Sometimes you need some time outs, and "rewards" to keep going… Chocolate…

    flaxseed, coffee, exercise, yoga, are some "natural" remedies for ADD.

  • Chamomile tea helps me many times.
    If I have too much on my mind, or I just can’t get myself to sit still, I can drink a cup of the tea, and about twenty minutes later it becomes easier for me to focus on what I’m doing, rather than being distracted by everything else, and without feeling like someone drugged me.
    You can find it in the tea section of just about any good store.
    If you’re not used to it, though, it can make you feel like falling asleep, so only start off with one chamomile tea bag per cup, one cup at a time. You can always make another cup later if you start to feel unfocused again.
    A little tip, though – If you do try it, add some sweetener, or brew it with a bag of regular tea, for at least the first few cups. By itself, it has a grassy-taste that turns some people off until they are used to it.

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