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  1. Thanks for the responses guys, it's good to know some people are having someway similar experiences. I certainly do relate to the point about ruminating. It seems to me that I almost always ruminate on how to try to feel better/make positive changes etc. Obviously there are times when ruminating distracts from other activities. Over short periods of time, I can stop myself thinking (I have studied mindfulness and meditation in the past) but over prolonged periods I find it almost impossible to maintain concentration and I tend to get dragged into negative thought patterns - this makes studying in particular a terrible experience. It feels like my subconscious takes control of my cognitive functions to an extent and to be honest it makes life difficult in general. On a bad day, I struggle even to follow a conversation when I am in a group of people. I would add that I have a healthy lifestyle, a good group of friends, a supportive family, and have had no major trauma in my life (I realise that I am lucky in this regard). There is a history of depression in my family and I feel that I have probably inherited this. Although I am trialling medications, I hope also that being more open with people about my depression will reduce its effects. I'm still positive that I will get a better handle on the situation but I must admit that I find the lack of concentration very frustrating, particularly given how long I have been feeling the effects and how fundamental concentration is to almost everything in my life. Fingers crossed I suppose!
  2. Hi All First time poster here.....I am 31 years old and have had ongoing issues relating to low mood/anxiety since my early teens. Since my late teens, this has had a drastic effect on my concentration. Almost overnight at the age of 17, I went from being a high achiever academically to my current state where I have issues absorbing information and focussing for any sustained period of time. I have been seeking help for depression since about the age of 22 and started using SSRIs at the age of 24 (I continued this for about 4 years and then stopped as I felt I was not getting enough benefit to justify the trouble and expense). I have recently been very low and this has impacted on my career to the extent that I am now on stress leave from work. I generally cannot study in any meaningful way or undertake research projects at work to any reasonable standard. My attention to detail is also badly impacted. Until now, I had never spoken to anyone about my issues but in the last week I have made my family and some friends aware of what I have been going through. I have visited my doctor and been prescribed with mirtazapine (I am still waiting to feel any benefit but have been told it may take 2-4 weeks to take effect). If it doesn't I will trial other meds. I am very determined to get well and hope that opening up to some people will help, together with hopefully finding meds that work, will have a positive effect. I just wanted to know if anyone on here can relate to my specific circumstances regarding a dramatic loss of concentration? I have always read other people's experiences of depression with interest but it appears that the dramatic loss of concentration I have suffered might not be a common product of depression, which concerns me slightly. I do realise that depression is a broad area and that everyone's experience of it is unique. I have been screened for ADD/ADHD, for example, and have even tried out the relevant little medication, which had little or no effect. I do suffer other effects of depression such as social withdrawal, general anxiety etc but the concentration issue is probably the most damaging aspect of it, as it has held me back hugely both professionally and academically. If anyone has had even a slightly similar experience they would like to share, please let me know. Thanks :)
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