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Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

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  • Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

    Among my myriad of age related typical stuff, I am having trouble focusing while showing. I go over the course several times and rehearse what I need to do each step of the way. I start out following the plan and part way through I seem to "forget" and just wing it.I have videos of really nice trips, and then it becomes very obvious when I lose focus and begin to cut the turn, or over ride the last line, or forget to set up for the change etc.

    I wonder if there is any medication that might clear my brain and help me focus. Something like the new suppliment "Totally Calm and Focused" that is helping my horse!! Ofcourse Iwill ask my doctor when I get back home, but I just wondered how anyone else is dealing with this situation.
    "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

  • #2
    Omega 3 and zinc (only if there's a deficiency) are said to help with brain function, though what you're describing doesn't sound like ADHD, especially as you say it's "among your myriad of age related stuff". Unless of course you've been diagnosed previously.

    Anyway, what are you like at home when you're schooling? Do you remember courses when the pressure's not so intense as it is when showing? Can you look at a course on paper and remember everything perfectly? There are some people who lose their sense of where they are (spatially) when they're actually out there but can memorize a complicated sequence when it's represented visually (on paper).

    Maybe anxiety is creating or exacerbating the inability to focus? Relaxation techniques might be helpful in that instance. Also, people have a variety of tricks they use to remember things, and maybe you should post under the H/J forum and ask others for their techniques and try a few.
    "The slogan will take you like lemmings to the cliff. You'll feel better than ever, and into the abyss... There'll be no more war, there'll be no more choice." PiL


    • Original Poster

      When I said, "I wing it" I didn't mean I forget the course.....but I forget all the little things I planned to address during my round. It happens in the middle of the course. It sounds so strange to say that...but I just stop focusing and continue on however it works out. I feel like I lose my attention.
      "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt


      • #4
        OK, so you're not going off course or forgetting the number of strides but forgetting routine things that have nothing to do with a particular course. Halfway through. How about at home when you're in a lesson?

        I can see why you're questioning things...not cutting off the turn and setting up for a lead change are things that become automatic after you reach a certain level in your riding. Unlike when we first start off, when everything is cognitive and you have to think about doing it (like when you first start to drive a car), after a certain amount of practice, things become automatic and our minds are free to focus on other (higher order) aspects of the task.

        I'd be interested in hearing other H/J riders' responses--maybe this isn't such an unusual thing and there might be techniques that others can suggest to help you out. For me personally, when I was showing my nerves would get the better of me and I would make mistakes that I wouldn't during a lesson so I learned to do relaxation and visualization before going to sleep. It helped me reinforce certain things that I was trying to perfect, like keeping the same rhythm instead of rushing before or after a jump.

        I really don't have suggestions for a supplement other than the DHA Omega 3;maybe others have experience with some of the other non-prescription treatments like Focus Factor.

        Otherwise, if you're really worried that it's physiological, you definitely need to talk to your doctor.
        "The slogan will take you like lemmings to the cliff. You'll feel better than ever, and into the abyss... There'll be no more war, there'll be no more choice." PiL


        • #5
          When I went back to grad school I was worried that I had lost any skills necessary for studying, concentrating and remembering huge amounts of information. So I did some research and decided to take Ginkgo biloba. I actually read a study in the Lancet where Ginkgo was used in a human trial and among elderly with some deficit, and statistically significantly improved their performance. There have been some meta-analyses since then but I don't know where the opinions lie now. Obviously you should speak to your doctor about supplements and not just go by some anonymous internet "expert". I also take B complex -it helps with stress.

          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


          • #6
            OP have you had your thyroid checked, and are you on any new medications?


            • #7
              Are you remembering to breathe when you're on course? It's amazing what oxygen deprivation will do to focus.

              Maybe practice at home, breath at each jump until you develop the "unconscious" habit. (Ask dressage riders that use each letter as a prompt to breath. works wonders.)


              • #8
                I would talk to your doctor about something prescription.

                I have ADHD, and have taken ritalin in the past for school work. However I found that because I'm prone to migraines in the heat, a stimulant (which dehydrates) didn't work for me.

                So your dr might have you try a low, short acting dose of ritalin. Or it could be anxiety making you forget, not necessarily distraction. In that case maybe a low dose valium? I've heard other people on the forum say it helps (that, or a glass of wine before they show!)


                • #9
                  I was having a heck of a time at work, which is a lot more serious, and evidently a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD is made only after consultation with a specialist, and then oodles and oodles of tests. After that medication is supposed to be secondary to retraining yourself to use routines and become more mindful. I never did get to the specialist, having to pay for one doctor visit was enough, I hate doctors anyway and really hate paying for more tests if I can possibly teach myself coping techniques for free.

                  I'd just go to more shows, stop caring so much and think of it as a lesson. My biggest problem was that we never did a full course in a lesson and for some reason I never quite got the hang of putting together the elements we worked on - I was sort of stuck at " one jump and we're done" or "these three and we're done", although I was beginning to just be able to do three, and then three more and then two more after that, which might have kept improving, who knows.
                  Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                  Incredible Invisible