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My Interests Are Easily Scattered

Asked by on with 1 answer:

My problem is a sudden inability to read in past; present and my interests are easily scattered.

Background, and issue:

My father would drink, but life seemed normal, though with hindsight I think our family were not so close. In my 40s I found Al-Anon helped me through chaotic times.

In the first six grades, I was ill a lot and didn’t become very social, though I’ve always had a few friends. In school, music, math, and science were easy. In high school, I tried zen meditation, solo; it worked too well, in a math class the teacher’s equation looked like only “chalk on board” one day, after everything seemed to become not even nothing in one session. I gave up zen.

Behind in college linear algebra, I studied eight hours straight with short breaks; it went well, but a year or two later, trying to read geometric algebra, I couldn’t read two lines without discovering that I wasn’t reading — it was the mental version of watching static on TV. I dropped out and found easy work to rest my mind. German teacher confronted me, as I’d been getting A’s. (She thought I needed a girl friend — and was probably right!)

Several years ago, I realized I’d been in deep depression a long time; I recovered mainly using Edelstein’s book, “Three Minute Therapy.”

Nowadays, I keep finding it hard to focus on a topic for long, or to study deeply a topic to learn it well.

I’m not sure whether something may be wrong inside, needing professional help, or if I should try something like taking fresh aim, adjust, and try simple, limited study goals, with simple, easy steps. I was so used to reading and learning a lot; maybe it’s time to take things with unimaginable slowness!

I’d be glad to consider a professional’s view on this, as I doubt I have enough background to assess it; feels like my mind may have gotten “hurt” somehow, and I’m game to explore healing.

My Interests Are Easily Scattered

Answered by on -


I think you are right. You should get a professional’s point of view. I can’t be very helpful on the basis of a letter alone. A counselor who can really listen to you and ask careful questions will be in a much better position to help you get some answers. Please don’t hesitate to give it a try. The only thing you have to lose is a few hours of your time and perhaps a co-payment. You may gain answers to questions you’ve had for a very long time.

I do think you would find it very reassuring to get to the bottom of the problem. It’s a shame that at those various decision points you didn’t get the help you needed to clear your mind so you could continue working on the things that interested you. Your teacher may have been correct that you needed a girlfriend, but you also certainly needed a professional to help you make sense of your experience so you could work through the problem.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Interests Are Easily Scattered

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Interests Are Easily Scattered. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 12 May 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.