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Gawd dayumnit this is 'tissin' me off! Who's been experiencing it? Brain fog symptoms, it's really starting to aggrivate me. I've been diagnosed with a type of ADD since early childhood, and it's been a prob with focus. Not talking about just where your attention is at the moment but how it tends to affect visual focus as well. And god oh boy does it f**k with my art making. It's not an every day happening but very often, too often to say "Ah whateveh, just one of those days." And I'd hate this as an "excuse" to not draw.
Today I sat down to do some drawing warm-ups, and as soon as I sat down and began sketching I felt my focus get worse. I've been in a slight fog today before sitting down, but oh boy does it worsen when I use anything using my focus.
I have a couple questions for y'all. Who here is familiar with this, and who's heard or read into neuro biofeedback? I've read how neuro biofeedback has helped many people with particular neurological related problems. Migranes, crazy ADD, brain scar dammage etc. Referring only to current medical resources, not flashy new-age "My Special Device uses Kryptonite energy waves.." crap.
Forgive me if any of this sounds like a blunt cry for help, rushed or whatnot but with all the consistant nuttyness happening I can only wonder who else has simular experiences or, managed/healed their problems.
I have some form of ADD as well, and I know exactly the kind of thing you're talking about. I can't even play a game longer than 15 minutes without feeling irresistibly compelled to put down the controller and find something else to do. If you're reluctant to seek medical treatment (I know I am- they'll never put me back on Ritalin if I can help it), then there are two things you can do which work well in conjunction. The first one is moderately vigorous exercise early in the day, like a bike ride of, say, 5 or 10 miles, or an hour or two of hiking or walking. A well-balanced breakfast and some exercise are an excellent way to get your system into an efficient state for the day. The second part is caffeine. Small doses of caffeine, such as a few ounces of coffee or a cup of tea, every hour or two will actually have an effect similar to prescription ADD medication. Mild stimulants will actually help your brain zone in on an activity and tune out distractions. It works, I've done it for years, and it's the only way I can get anything done. The key is small doses, remember. Just a trickle of stimulant to keep the brain on track.
There is some thought that attention deficit disorder is actually the exact opposite- the brain is paying too much attention to external stimuli and internal associative activity. It gets bogged down trying to process every little thing that crosses its synapses. Thus, another method of focusing is simply to do all your work in the wee hours of the morning just before you crash. A tired brain is less inclined to pay attention to distractions.
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
-T. S. Eliot
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M.C.Barrett, thanks for posting! Great post and I agree with intense (areobic) exercises. I like certain stimulants and coffee is one! I've been cutting back on the coffee intake for the past few weeks because I tend to have a slight 'crash' with brainfog symptoms when having so much of it. Lately I've tried coffee again the past few days, one cup a day. Still crashing... lol.
On the subject on stimulants I recently got myself onto energy drinks, such as SoBe (more natural juices than chemicals) and lately Venom drinks. It's the combo of herbs, minerals, vitamins and other stims they use along with flavors that has gotten me slightly addicted. (I only drink maybe one if it's a decent size, half a bottle if it's large in quantity stim ingredients.) Been thinking of making my own homemade energy drink batch here too! At least it's worth a try.
I'm still continuing research on Biofeedback and quite excited about it.
Thanks again, M.C.Barrett. And I'll take your word on doses per time and experiment!
I would also stop watching television completely. That helps your concentration quite a bit because TV constantly is flashing and jumping from shot to shot and going to a new and more exciting thing, never still, always shoving more crap in your face.
I'm going to stray off topic a little bit, but I think it's related enough to help you out a bit. I get the brain fog myself, and I know a few things to try and help with that.
This is good advice, and to continue with this, get off the internet. The internet is just as much of a distraction, and while it's a bit more intellectual and full of fun facts to learn, if you restrict outside stimuli you wind up sitting there with nothing to do but draw.
I should know, I have ADD myself. And not the "lazy so I don't want to do stuff" type they overdiagnose kids with, I'm talking about the "almost get into car wrecks because the sunset distracts me" type. The "spends six hours cleaning his room because he'll stumble on a book and wind up reading three chapters before he can stop himself" type. It's pretty bad. I was on medication but my situation doesn't allow me the insurance to afford the doctor visits, so I've been restricting my habits to force myself into certain activities, and it's been working.
TV and internet are inspiring stimuli, but they should be used as rewards once the real work is done. If you lock the TV up or block your internet browser, you can begin to create barriers between you and such relaxing activities, enough so that the easier thing to do is just pick up a pencil and paper and draw. Also, to help with that, leave drawing stuff available all over your living area. You want to make drawing the absolute easiest thing you can. Reference within arms reach, Photoshop constantly open and ready for a new piece, your tablet plugged in just waiting for you, your sketchpad and pens and paints and canvas all set up. If you block what's keeping you from drawing, and make drawing the easiest available "distraction," it really helps.
It's not the most ideal solution, because real ADD stems from a deficiency of certain chemicals in the brain, combined with personality traits and modes of thinking. By taking the internal problem of being unable to control your focus, and making it external, you can control it better. Not as well as you can with proper medication, but enough to where your life will be improved.
It's a constant battle, I know, because our minds were built in way opposite of how the world works. I'd love to just eat whenever, sleep whenever, draw whenever, play video games whenever, but as it stands that's not how things work, so I have to follow some sort of schedule. To that end, blocking what's keeping me from doing that has gone a long way, even without the necessary medicine to balance out my thought processes.
Last edited by lavhoes; August 30th, 2008 at 02:48 AM.