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Not listening to people when they are talking to me?
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An_191150 posted:
Does anyone else feel like even when someone is talking straight to you, and you appear to be paying attention you can't grasp what they are saying even when you try? I am trying to rule out whether I have ADD-INATTENTIVE type only or if I have a learning disability like slow processing speed or some time of auditory processing disorder.

I managed to get buy in high school and most of college until I went in to get accomodations at the learning center in college. They told me bvery vague reasons why I could get accomodations, possibly a mild learning disorder or maybe ADD. I am now all graduated and have a degree but I have too much anxiety about getting a job that requires a degree because I feel that I barely made it through college with just passing grades and lots of struggles.

Anyways any help would be appreciated
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luvmy2babiesmuch responded:
I think I am ADD, I'm 40, and have a great job. I always knew that I did that, but just thought it must be normal, and that I had a very high metabolism, BUT in recent years, it bothers me that after talking w/ friends or hearing a lecture, I can't recall what they said. Lately I think it's ADD, but I do not plan on medicating self, YESTERDAY, when a friend came over to my desk, and talked, i really payed direct attention to what she was saying. I made a conscience effort to focus on her words, and to remember them, and today, I can tell you word for word what she has said.. I think that once I felt like I really had a problem, and was conscience of it, i can impact my own life and focus more, and benefit from it in my future. JMO,, your not alone.
 
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anna_bugz responded:
Yes, I feel this way quite a bit, especially if someone is explaining something.Oddly enough I had no problems in college or grad school paying attention in classes. I believe it is because in class, you are expected to take notes. So, you have the professor speaking, you can see the notes or powerpoint on the board, and you are actively engaged in writing stuff down. I took COPIOUS notes in school, and I believe that's why I functioned so well. In addition, most professors are actively TEACHING so they are trying to speak in a very clear and organized way, so it helps.

However, I have never, ever been able to pay attention when listening to a presentation, in school, at work, conferences, anywhere. Presentations are not condusive to writing everything down, and they are usually an attempt to present something, not teach it. Panel discussions are the absolute worst. Meetings are pretty bad as well. I have improved with meetings significantly since taking Adderall, especially if I am actively involved, but I have not improved with presentations.

I also have trouble if a boss comes in and tries to explain something to me or gives me something over the phone. My solution has been to write everything down and THEN go back and try to understand it later. I never noticed it at the time, but this was always my strategy in school. When someone is speaking to you, there is the pressure to follow along in real time and understand everything they are saying. You also have pretend that the way they are explaining is going to make sense to you! This is too much when you have ADD! When you have notes you can go back to later, you can figure it out however is comfortable for you. I make schematics and drawings, let my mind wander when it needs to, etc. I explain it to myself my own way in my own time. I'll also go back and ask the person questions. I ask a lot of "stupid" questions, but I've learned that people rarely get fired just for seeming dim-witted and if you're asking questions it at least shows the boss you're working on it.

I also really gravitate to doing something FIRST and THEN asking people to comment on it. For some reason it makes it a little easier to pay attention and to understand what's going on.
 
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healthfreakgrl replied to luvmy2babiesmuch's response:
Thanks, luvmybabiesmuch..it's good to hear that I am not alone and I feel the same way about medication. I was on adderall for the last year and 1/2 of college and it helped me very much with my grades, but I would really like to see if I can overcome the struggles on my own now without medication. It's scary because medication gives me comfort and confidence, but I also just got married and the worry of getting pregnant while on adderall is a horrible thought since I know that can be a very bad thing.

I was wondering though what you meant about having high metabolism? I didn't understand what that had to do with ADD? Please explain. thanks.
 
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luvmy2babiesmuch replied to healthfreakgrl's response:
well, all my life, i have just been very active, seldom resting during the day, very small, petite, and have always had a huge appetite, but remained tiny. So, like my father, i thought it was a high metab- but after recently thinking of ADD, i'm thinking it may be that, and not metabolism that's always kept me so busy. I used to NEVER get tired, now at 40, and an 8 YO and 2 YO, i do get tired, but still am a very active women.
 
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pdm_diva responded:
Hello, I too struggle with not actually listening, when going through the testing the dr. said that it was possible that I had a small learning disorder, but because I aced most of the rest of the "intelligence" type testing he ruled it out but when it came to having to repeat the stuff hed just said, in the right order or whatever I really struggled.

Its the same in day to day life, if I was asked what was just talked about with details 5 minutes later, I wouldn't be able to do it. I think with ADD I am a very visual person, someone could explain to me what features they want on a part, but unless I see a sketch, and can understand it in my own time, I'm not gonna be able to fully comprehend it...

Some things that I have found to help me is to ask questions, get involved in what they are saying, dont take over the conversation, but just an example, if someone is telling you about their pet, "is it male or female; so and so had one it had stripes, does yours, what does it look like; I've heard "breed of dog" has a very amuzing personality, does yours; etc... and this is just me, but I REEEEAAAALLLY struggle with names, (its a joke between my husband and I) but I find that repeating it back to them, (well Jesse, its nice to meet you) really helps. Same with anything else, "oh really? you had, blah blah blah? or "so your saying I need to blah, blah, blah" it helps you concentrate on the discussion, and an added benefit, the other person sees that you are really listening to them, (everyone wants a good listener as a friend) and again with me, i really struggle with making, and keeping new friends, so not only will these help you with remembering/listening, it'll gain you some new friends along the way... Hope this helps, and sorry this was so long....
 
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healthfreakgrl replied to pdm_diva's response:
No please, do not apologize for it being long! All of your advice was good and I will definitely try to do that in conversations since lately it seems like I just avoid them altogether! So what I am gathering is that this not listening well thing may actually be part of ADD? The only thing that seems weird to me is that sometimes even when I am trying hard to understand what someone is saying to me, I don't get it. Maybe I am just slow and have slow processing speed or I think I may try to get tested for auditory processing disorder which my mom has said she thinks I may have. It's not so much I forget what people say to me it's just that it doesn't always go in or process. Thanks for the responses.
 
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pdm_diva replied to healthfreakgrl's response:
yeah im pretty sure I've read something about the "not listening" thing when doing my research on ADD. It's definately one of the things that people with ADD/ADHD struggle with. And actually while I was doing my testing for it, it was one of the things it asked you if you had problems with actually listening and remembering conversations later. So yes I'd say it was safe to say it's part of ADD. But it also could be a learning disorder since it isn't the only symptom of ADD. But any good doctor when testing you for ADD will also test you for any learning disabilities at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone and just get it done, will make you feel so much better knowing whats actually wrong, you gotta take that first step down the right path... I know just knowing that yes, there is something wrong with me, and it's not just me, I'm not lazy, I'm not stupid, and I'm not selfish, made me feel soooooo much better; and now that I know I can correct it...
 
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gentrybean replied to anna_bugz's response:
Wow! You hit so many nails on the head with your post. I found myself nodding the whole time while reading. I do a lot of the same things you do in my professional life but I constantly beat myself up over it. I have started to accept the fact that I may be suffering from ADD and I have started taking steps to diagnose/treat this condition. Your post was very helpful!
 
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baubo responded:
YEH I CAN'T REMEMBER DIRECTIONS OF ANY THING..i just nod my head like i do then i'm ashamed to ask the person to repeat...i have no sense of direction either...my trick in college was tape all the lectures and the listen over and over...i have started to reailize i have the wrong meaning many words...do you?..i find if i accept myself my self esteem goes up...i am me with all my parts and i love myself today...now i ask people to repeat stuff...i am not ashamed of my illness no more than if i had cancer...i others have a problem with me so be it...
 
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kimber815 responded:
I can totally relate. Someone can tell me their name or I will be introduced to someone and literally 3 seconds later I have no idea what their name is. I have been diagnosed with ADHD and I also suffer from social anxiety/phobia. I avoid social situations where I don't know the people well because I can't keep up with the conversations. I'm so slow and processing things and I just end up being super awkward. I hate it.
 
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MissBeckham responded:
I have read mostly everyone's comment, I too am struggling with this...It's keeping me from doing everything in life..whenever people are talking to me I try so hard to focus, and all I do is nod or just say yes but when they try to tell me can you explain what I just said.. I'm totally blank...and the thing is I feel so stupid, then I think Oh God I just want to go home so I don't have to embarrass myself.. I go to college now, I took some time off..but I'm going back soon, I'm scared to go back because all I want to do is concentrate and work hard..but it is just so hard..I can't remember anything the professor is saying..so I have made a decision before going back that I have to open up to someone and tell them about it..and thank God they care enough to help me out...I'm suppose to be seeing a Doctor soon so he can finally tell me if there is anything wrong with me....
 
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Kare_ responded:
have always had symptoms of adhd and did not realize it at until recently. I have struggled like you all of my life to pay attention to people when they talk to me. Even in one on one conversations with my husband or my therapist, i could not hear what they were saying if they talked without a constant back and forth in the conversation. One of the reasons that I initially developed the habit of "over-talking" or "over-participating," (blurting out) in class was so that I could stay focused on what was happening in the classroom. I knew that I was disturbing teachers, and others, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't drop the compulsion to speak out excessively. I have always struggled with reading - highlighting every sentence, reading words over and over again so that I could figure out what i was reading.

Because I always loved learning, I worked very hard to do well in school. My teachers in grade school would say that I was "slow but thorough." They said this year after year, and i struggled to pick up the pace in test taking and reading, and finishing school work. I have been a student off and on - and now i have lots of units, lots of student loans to pay back, and no degree to show for it. I was diagnosed with severe chronic depression, anxiety disorder and OCD. Finally, I told my therapist and psychiatrist that I believed that I had ADD. My psychiatrist was reluctant to treat me, and told me that the facility did not test for ADHD. Her reluctance made me feel as though she did not believe that ADHD existed. Speaking with another patient of hers, tended to confirm my belief. This other patient was diagnosed with ADHD at another facility, but she told him that she did not think he had ADHD, and has kept him away from meds designed for ADHD. Her diagnosis of choice seems to be OCD. I have learned since that OCD and ADHD often go hand in hand.

Regardless, she reluctantly prescribed Welbutrin for me. Though not one of the stimulant meds often prescribed for ADHD, this is an antidepressant that has been known to be successful for some in treating ADHD. I dropped one of the other meds, I was taking when I started taking Welbutrin. I have since dropped another med (topomax) and added an over the counter amino acid - N-Acetyl Cystein - which is also reported to help both ADHD, OCD, and depression. I have never felt better in my life!!! These two medications have made a huge difference in my life. (I have continued to take effexxor also because this is effective for all depression, anxiety and OCD as well.)

I can read, and write, and converse effectively. I can hear what people are saying to me. And I can follow through and finish tasks. My husband was at his ropes end in trying to converse with me about anything important. I could not sit still before hand. He has been tremendously happy with the changes that have taken place in my ability to focus and hold conversations with him.

I would recommend "Change your Brain, Change your Body" by Daniel Amen, M.D. It has an excellent discussion of various symptoms, and both behavioral, medical and non-traditional medicine (supplements, diet, and exercise) to treat symptoms of ADHD.

I was very frustrated before taking these steps. I also felt a big sense of loss to realize that my life could have been different for so many years, had I been given some awareness of what was wrong with me. However, these changes have made me feel better and better with each passing day.

I hope this is helpful.
 
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Kat_2011 responded:
My 10 year old son has the same issues. He was diagnosed with Central Auditory Processing Disorder. I'm not saying it's what you have as I am not a medical doctor. But from what these posts have shown, it is what my son was doing for a while. You have to give him simple tasks and tell it to him with as less words possible. Look into it and see if this may be something you're experiencing. The school is allowing him more time on tasks, tests, etc.., but not really sure how that would work on adults. Ask your doctor about it. Good luck.


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