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Old 11-02-2011  
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Default Anxiety disorder effecting learning?

I was wondering if anyone here knew if anxiety disorders can make it hard for a person to intake information and stay attentive. Ever since I was a small child I'd always have a hard time in taking information in a class room setting.
I think it goes along with me having neurotic perfectionist tendencies and afraid of making mistake, afraid of falling behind and sheer utter panic and frustration.

I am responsible for how my life is right now.
I am responsible for my thoughts and feelings.
I am responsible for what I do NOW.
STOP blaming and decide to take action.
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Old 11-02-2011  
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Hey, it affected mine greatly, in grade 9 i hardly went to school aswell grade 10 and now i'm here today not in school but going next year
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Old 11-02-2011  
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For me my anxiety makes all situations personal. What I mean by that is that I become very self conscious and self reflecting (ie. people are looking at me, is this person laughing at me?, i came into class a little late, did the lecture notice? etc) So automatically focusing on the work at hand becomes difficult. I tend to pick up little bites of information rather than being totally immersed with what is being said.

By and large I got away with it by having a good rote memory, which made it easy to remember theory and written work, without really having a great understanding of it. Much more difficult subjects like physics, calculus, civil engineering equations - I had no chance really. Those subjects need concentration and practice. I was so stressed out in uni that that became impossible and hence i had to give it up :(

Yes I panic too, and ironically wanting to be perfect and thus not failing actually lead me to failure it is important to keep your anxiety under control. The best thing (although it is not easy for us anxious types) is to convince yourself that learning is not a challenge but a gift really. just imagine how dull your life would be without knowing the things you know, and how it helps you to think of more things than just yourself.
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Old 11-02-2011  
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Default Re: Anxiety disorder effecting learning?

It's no wonder. Since anxiety does a lot to your brain, i saw a brain scan yesterday, my therapist showed it. it's really doing you a lot of trouble, not dangerous, don't worry, just a lot of stress and less concentration. your body produces a lot of adrenaline and weird symptoms like always in flight mode and wanting to running away.

Normal system = Only warns you when it is neccesary. we feel this EVERYDAY.

So, that is a real interesting thing. Our body process is different. That's why I love reading so much and want to know more about this medical research. If there is a cure for this amygdala problem and process in the body , too much anxiety.

when you stay away from certain things, your brain confirms that its something to fear, so face your fears, so your subconcious mind gets used to it

Last edited by Falkor; 11-02-2011 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 11-02-2011  
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Originally Posted by Saskia View Post
It's no wonder. Since anxiety does a lot to your brain, i saw a brain scan yesterday, my therapist showed it. it's really doing you a lot of trouble, not dangerous, don't worry, just a lot of stress and less concentration. your body produces a lot of adrenaline and weird symptoms like always in flight mode and wanting to running away.

Normal system = Only warns you when it is neccesary. we feel this EVERYDAY.

So, that is a real interesting thing. Our body process is different. That's why I love reading so much and want to know more about this medical research. If there is a cure for this amygdala problem and process in the body , too much anxiety.
I hear what your saying, I used to think I had a learning disability of some sort or at the very least inattentive ADD symptoms. Its so true how much my concentration is affected and I do feel panic when I dont absorb information at a normal pace. I also get very forgetful when Im working by myself but when Im working with a tutor or parent or teacher I`m great.

We need our education system to be more aware of the possibilities of anxiety disorders in children, it almost ruined my life.

I am responsible for how my life is right now.
I am responsible for my thoughts and feelings.
I am responsible for what I do NOW.
STOP blaming and decide to take action.
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Old 11-02-2011  
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I was diagnosed ADD I did the test before I knew had anxiety because I couldn't concentrate on anything in school, staring at my books the whole day long without learning a single thing...-_-
Now I know that I was misdiagnosed and the anxiety caused my concentration to drop to zero
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Old 11-15-2011  
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Default Re: Anxiety disorder effecting learning?

I can relate. I had a tough time staying focused in school. I was smart and did pretty well but I always took so long to get my work done because I'm a perfectionist too. Even in elementary school, I always felt like I had so much more homework than anybody else because it took so much effort to do well and I wouldn't settle for average grades. By high school I was getting pretty stressed out. I never got enough sleep. I was taking some AP classes which was good in a sense because it was nice to be in classes with intelligent people instead of all the schmucks who never gave a damn. The crappy thing was that it was more work than I could handle. I managed to do fairly well but it was a struggle and I had to work my *** off. Some of the other students in my classes seemed to breeze through everything. During university my grades started slipping. For the first two or three years I was mostly getting As and Bs, but still, it took a lot of effort to get there. But the work got harder and once you start slipping it's difficult to get back on track. I wasn't fully understanding things, and then it became difficult to move onto other courses when I struggled with the prerequisites. I started getting a lot more Cs and it got to a point where I was just glad to pass. But I was so disappointed with myself. I really wanted to do well and I believe I had the intellectual capacity to do much better than I did. But anxiety got in the way. I hardly got any sleep. I was constantly doing homework and not really getting anywhere. Sometimes I would just stare at my books, unable to concentrate. Sometimes I would get stuck on a problem and then waste time because I was too stubborn to move onto another. I was too shy and too stubborn to see my profs for help. I just wanted to figure it out on my own. I didn't really know anybody in my classes so I had no one to study with. School just got increasingly more difficult and I couldn't retain information anymore. I had absolutely no balance in life. No time to see friends. When I wasn't at work or doing school work I just wanted to sleep and relax. It was only towards the end of my schooling that I finally realized I was anxious and depressed. All that time I had just thought I was tired and stressed out. Turns out it was a much more complicated situation. But it was too late by the time I figured that out.

I put the "wkw" in awkward.

Last edited by awkwardamanda; 11-15-2011 at 03:00 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 11-15-2011  
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Default Re: Anxiety disorder effecting learning?

I always had ADD, but for sure SP/SA can affect learning. Being too afraid to ask questions, group work is intimidating and you can't focus on anything but how terrible you feel just being around others. The feeling that everyone is watching you and judging your every move. Defenetly makes it hard to learn, specially when you got other students poking fun at your being shy/quiet.

Last edited by -lonestar-; 11-15-2011 at 05:09 AM..
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Old 11-15-2011  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planemo View Post
By and large I got away with it by having a good rote memory
I'm the opposite, I'm terrible at rote learning, but good at maths and physics. In exams I figured it all out from first principles. I'm a generalist.

And I would repeatedly tune out of lectures. I don't process audio well. I do much better with visual material, and better still working things out myself.

You may need to find what style of learning works best for you. Different styles suit different temperaments. Educationalists are much more aware of this than they used to be, so it maybe something you can work on with your teachers.
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Old 11-15-2011  
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Originally Posted by Broken, Beat & Scarred View Post
having neurotic perfectionist tendencies
I'm a neurotic perfectionist. For me, this didn't take its toll til working life, but my brother was so afraid of turning in imperfect essays, he'd turn in nothing at all and kept failing his courses. (He got over it and now has first class honours.)
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Old 11-17-2011  
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During university my grades started slipping. For the first two or three years I was mostly getting As and Bs, but still, it took a lot of effort to get there. But the work got harder and once you start slipping it's difficult to get back on track. I wasn't fully understanding things, and then it became difficult to move onto other courses when I struggled with the prerequisites. I started getting a lot more Cs and it got to a point where I was just glad to pass. But I was so disappointed with myself. I really wanted to do well and I believe I had the intellectual capacity to do much better than I did. But anxiety got in the way. I hardly got any sleep. I was constantly doing homework and not really getting anywhere. Sometimes I would just stare at my books, unable to concentrate. Sometimes I would get stuck on a problem and then waste time because I was too stubborn to move onto another. I was too shy and too stubborn to see my profs for help. I just wanted to figure it out on my own. I didn't really know anybody in my classes so I had no one to study with. School just got increasingly more difficult and I couldn't retain information anymore.
This is how I feel about school right now, and the direction I feel like I'm moving in the later stages of it. The bolded part sums up very well how I feel most of the time while trying to do school work. Especially if I'm doing work in advance I'll move slowly, and I'll hold myself to much higher standards than I do when doing it the night before. If I'm doing it on short notice, I have an excuse for it not being an A+, if not I don't and act in a more perfectionistic manner. I'll end up just spending 3 times as long doing slightly higher quality work.

I'm a stranger to myself

“Live so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
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Old 11-17-2011  
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Default Re: Anxiety disorder effecting learning?

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Originally Posted by vj288 View Post
This is how I feel about school right now, and the direction I feel like I'm moving in the later stages of it. The bolded part sums up very well how I feel most of the time while trying to do school work. Especially if I'm doing work in advance I'll move slowly, and I'll hold myself to much higher standards than I do when doing it the night before. If I'm doing it on short notice, I have an excuse for it not being an A+, if not I don't and act in a more perfectionistic manner. I'll end up just spending 3 times as long doing slightly higher quality work.
Actually, I worked faster under pressure too. It was still more stressful than doing things ahead of time but I was more efficient. When I tried to get started on things sooner, I simply couldn't work as fast. Also, what usually ended up happening was I'd have to work on whatever was due first and other things got pushed back until later. And I can't count the times I handed in partly finished assignments because I either got stuck and couldn't figure things out or I just ran out of time. Part marks are better than not handing it in. I was never happy with myself for that though.

I put the "wkw" in awkward.
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Old 11-19-2011  
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Actually, I worked faster under pressure too. It was still more stressful than doing things ahead of time but I was more efficient. When I tried to get started on things sooner, I simply couldn't work as fast. Also, what usually ended up happening was I'd have to work on whatever was due first and other things got pushed back until later. And I can't count the times I handed in partly finished assignments because I either got stuck and couldn't figure things out or I just ran out of time. Part marks are better than not handing it in. I was never happy with myself for that though.
Yeah I prioritize the same way as well, I'll start working on what is due first, work way to long on it, and then have to rush on the other assignments. What's the worst is when I have two assignments due on the same day, because I know I have to finish both and never give myself enough time to finish the second assignment well.

When I write papers and hit a snag I almost completely stop working until I can resolve it or I have even changed topics before. A few days ago I had a long paper to write, and I got to the end and didn't know how to finish it, but had to finish it, so I just wrote it and was so unhappy with it. I couldn't even proof read it, I just ended it, saved and closed the window. I felt helpless, I didn't know what to do but knew how to do it well, so I just did it. No grade is worse than a poor grade. I'm not looking forward to getting it back.

I'm a stranger to myself

“Live so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
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Old 11-19-2011  
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A lot of my anxiety and low self esteem stems from my "learning disabilities." was put into learning disability classes from elementary school to my sophomore year of high school. I think it's harder for me to retain information because I was put into the LD classes, not because I have a disability. I also think they put me in the classes because I was shy. I became even more of an outcast when I was separated from a normal learning atmosphere. I'm honestly pissed that the teachers didn't ask me what classes I wanted to be in, and always told me it was best to take the easier classes when I wanted to try the harder courses.
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Old 11-19-2011  
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Yup, having the problem almost every day.

Sometimes it feels it would be better for you all
If I ceased to exist or was never born at all
Sometimes it feels it would be easier to fall
Than to flutter in the air with these wings so weak and torn
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Old 11-20-2011  
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Originally Posted by vj288 View Post
Yeah I prioritize the same way as well, I'll start working on what is due first, work way to long on it, and then have to rush on the other assignments. What's the worst is when I have two assignments due on the same day, because I know I have to finish both and never give myself enough time to finish the second assignment well.
I know the feeling all too well. I once had three exams in the first two days of the exam period. Two of those courses were tough too. It was brutal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vj288
When I write papers and hit a snag I almost completely stop working until I can resolve it or I have even changed topics before. A few days ago I had a long paper to write, and I got to the end and didn't know how to finish it, but had to finish it, so I just wrote it and was so unhappy with it. I couldn't even proof read it, I just ended it, saved and closed the window. I felt helpless, I didn't know what to do but knew how to do it well, so I just did it. No grade is worse than a poor grade. I'm not looking forward to getting it back.
I had that problem too. I was always better at math and science, but when it came time to write papers it was hell. You can hand in a half finished math problem but it's pretty hard to hand in a half finished essay. I was never satisfied with what I had written and I couldn't really half-*** it. It was like, all or nothing. I would draw a blank and not know what to write. I didn't know how to word things and I didn't know how to transition from one idea to the next. I wasted plenty of time. Eventually I came up with something but I was still never pleased with my work.

I put the "wkw" in awkward.
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Old 11-20-2011  
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Pretty much my entire school career after grade 9 was from home- including college.
Not really just because I'm agoraphobic but I find the school environment hard to work in. I don't like people watching me work. haha

I'm dyslexic and find it impossible to read textbooks or novels or long paragraphs/blocks of text.
Everything blends together and morphs into a big black censor bar.
I feel awkward and anxious and self-conscious when I know someone can see me trying to read or write or study.
Numbers are the worst, though. I can't even understand what I'm looking at unless I'm staring at each individual number for a few minutes.

My grades were great, honestly.
The only reason my high school allowed me to remain a student and would lie to the school board about my poor attendance was because my grade average was high. (though... perhaps the guidance counselor knowing about my agoraphobia and anxiety/panic disorder was another big reason)
It was SO hard to do any work or concentrate when I was around people, though.
A few of my teachers allowed me to listen to my discman while writing final exams until I'd obtain a perfect score... then they investigated my music to make sure I wasn't cheating with it. -__-
Really... who does that? haha
I was good at cramming information for an exam into my brain half an hour before writing-- then once my pencil was set down at the end, my mind would forget all of the information; not absorbing anything because I was too busy being paranoid about people looking at me.

In college, attendance didn't count for anything in most of my classes. (except one - that one, I attended half the time)
But since most of the assignments were hands on, I'd have to show up for class to do work and I found that extremely difficult.
Couldn't concentrate and nearly failed a few classes although I knew exactly what I was doing and would score near perfect on written exams.
I'm just too anxious to perform around other people when it's not a professional environment.
First year students are far from professional in their work.

I'd say, yes.
Anxiety and paranoia are a contributing factor - making learning in a class environment extremely difficult.
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Old 11-20-2011  
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I had that problem too. I was always better at math and science, but when it came time to write papers it was hell. You can hand in a half finished math problem but it's pretty hard to hand in a half finished essay. I was never satisfied with what I had written and I couldn't really half-*** it. It was like, all or nothing. I would draw a blank and not know what to write. I didn't know how to word things and I didn't know how to transition from one idea to the next. I wasted plenty of time. Eventually I came up with something but I was still never pleased with my work.
Yeah this is exactly what happens to me a lot when I try write papers. I usually have the thoughts in my head but can't make them go down on the page in the right way. Also when I'm not sure what I'm saying I'll second guess a lot of what I write, going back and forth between including something I'm not sure about or leaving it out. I'm almost never satisfied either, I always feel I could have done more, or that I didn't do some parts as well as I could have.

I'm a stranger to myself

“Live so you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.”
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Old 11-20-2011  
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Also when I'm not sure what I'm saying I'll second guess a lot of what I write, going back and forth between including something I'm not sure about or leaving it out.
Oh, I second guessed myself all the time! Not just in writing though, with math problems too. I'd think I knew how to do something and then I'd realize I wasn't that sure and I'd fret over it and waste time and then I'd start doing it one way and then change my mind and start over because I'd think maybe that wasn't right after all. Ugh.

I put the "wkw" in awkward.
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Old 11-24-2011  
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When in a group we were assigned work, some students never lifted a finger while other students took the lead.

It is hell to take charge and get people together, especially in college. You had all the exprienced students and I was stuck with a bunch of a fellow freshmen who knew jack about the subject. So what happened? We messed up, with the only person who attended the class missing, and three remaining students who did not did nothing. I was soo god damn embarrassed, I think one of the students was also a pornstar. The flat fact is that if your team leader you have to force people to work together, to avoid that fricken D.

However one time in school ( grade school ) we had a
in class project to work on, and we were answering questions like no tommorow. It felt great when your in a group that pushes and pushes back, instead of a one man army. The same happened in college but in college this was a group of adults who has children, and so forth.

Then when I was studying for the regents. In my school system we have the regents, a test that bypasses students passing or failing. If you pass the regents you don't need to pass the class, but then if you fail, and your class score was high, you don't need the regents. What nobody tells you is that if you pass the regents with an extremly high score ( you can bypass classes in college ) but nobody has that information but the college advisors, whom most do not talk to......So I was studying for the regents, and I was in a group of great studying students. I had to come early to study for both sessions. We were both in groups. The point is it felt great to be in teams even if we did not know what we were doing. However the teacher came around to checkup on how everybody was doing. This was not a math regents.

So it really depends. Yes duh it feels great to study alone, but when your in a team of dedicated peoples who are able to work together you will yeild something.
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