Forums / Discussion / Serious Debate

14,092 total conversations in 681 threads

+ New Thread

It honestly scares me that I can't seem to force myself to concentrate on one thing at a time, and I feel like I'm having a harder time just enjoying things

Last posted Nov 24, 2022 at 03:23PM EST. Added Nov 22, 2022 at 12:45PM EST
7 posts from 3 users

For the past few years I've had this bad habit of constantly starting something, finding I didn't concentrate on the thing for a few seconds, and then suddenly going "oh damn it I spaced out, guess I'll just stop playing/watching this" and then keep restarting the thing over and over. Games, movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, I don't know if it's that my ADD from childhood has somehow managed to come back with a vengeance, or if there's something else to it. Thing is it used to not bother me if I spaced out very briefly, and I also used to develop methods of enhancing my concentration on certain things, but now I find that's suddenly become harder to do and it scares me that this ability I used to have to help me concentrate seems to be gone now, and I think this is having a negative affect on my ability to just enjoy things in general.

It may be less focus-related and more dopamine-related.

As biology already knows, anything that produces enjoyment, pleasure or any "good feeling" involves chemicals like dopamine, and these have diminishing returns. The more you do something, the more of it your body will demand to get the same amount of enjoyment it did before. Eventually, it becomes unsustainable and you simply cannot derive enjoyment from that thing anymore, so you have to do something else.

This happens to me with videogames from time to time. Sometimes, I simply drop a videogame I am enjoying out of nowhere and play something else, without having planned to do so on a complete whim, and then I may retake it over a year later, also on a whim.

This is also why so many content creators go through what they have called "burnout". Having to pump out often routinary content naturally makes them get fed up with their own content and can no longer gather enthusiasm to do it, so they either take a long break or outright quit.

Maybe you just need a switch on your daily routine..? Nothing big necessarily, try with small changes at first and see how it affects your overall enjoyment of things from there.

That actually makes a lot of sense, it could explain why I sometimes will suddenly stop a marathon of a specific game series or genre despite originally saying "I'm absolutely going to play ALL of it right now." Like I was in the middle of marathoning GTA games earlier this year but once I got to GTA4's final DLC campaign, The Ballad of Gay Tony, I suddenly stopped and played something else for a while. The problem is I've been having this annoying nagging feeling in the back of my brain saying "dude, finish GTA before playing other stuff!" and it's like sometimes I can fight off that nagging feeling and other times I can't, but then I start to feel bad about letting the nagging win and then don't feel like doing ANYTHING. That's another issue of mine as of the past few years, I feel like unless my conditions are 100% perfect I can't bring myself to start something. Like if I start up, say, a horror game but then suddenly I get distracted by a sensation as mundane as feeling itchy or something a bit less mundane like a neighbor is being a bit louder than usual suddenly I'm "mood ruined, fuck it I'm not playing anymore." Again I swear I used to not be that easily bothered by some of this stuff in the past, I remember when I played Final Fantasy 9 for the first time I had a terrible itch on my legs but despite that I kept playing because the enjoyment would override the annoyance, and I used to use video game and movies as a way to feel better whenever I was sick as a kid.

I guess as a small FYI for anyone familiar with my other thread on this same board, I am in fact about to see a therapist soon, but as of making this comment it's still a few weeks away and I guess I've gotten impatient and felt like I NEEDED to vent this stuff now and see what ya'll have to say. I mean it does kinda help to let someone else know my frustrations/issues rather than keeping it all to myself.

Hm. The latter half of wanting to complete something but also not "feeling it" at the same time could be more related to an attention disorder, yes.

This reminds me a lot of Arin's description of ADHD:

So perhaps the issue could be somewhere in there too. Combined, it would be the mix of dopamine's diminishing returns and attention disorder giving you intrusive thoughts about continuing to do things as if they were tasks you need to "complete".

I am just guessing, of course. Take none of this as medical advice.

Oh gosh intrusive thoughts. I also sometimes feel like I over think things way too hard sometimes too.

The biggest one as of late? I can't believe I'm actually starting to have some form of issue when it comes to playing games where you kill human enemies because then I start to get intrusive thoughts like "what if that fictional character had a family that loved them, ever think about that you murderer?" It's like my fucking brain suddenly choosing now of all times to become Jack Thompson or those senators in the 90s. Now a possible reason why this is a think all of a sudden could be because this very year I lost my father, and one of the big reasons why I feel I need a therapist is because I can't help but feel like I'm simply not over his death yet and the subject of just "DEATH" in of itself leads to thoughts like "my dad died and I blame myself for not being at his house when he had a heart attack so now I feel like when I kill this 100% fictional character I'm not supposed to care about at all my got damn stupid brain somehow wants to connect this to dad and make me feel guilty for taking a fictional life because I wasn't there to save the life of someone who cared for me for 30 years of my life and DAD DIED BECAUSE OF YOU YOU COULDN'T SAVE HIM THIS COULD HAVE ALL BEEN PREVENTED IF YOU TOOK HIS OFFER TO LIVE WITH HIM BUT NO YOU WANTED TO LIVE ALONE, SO LIVE WITH THE FUCKING GUILT YOU PIECE OF SHIT AND YOU'RE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO FEEL HAPPY, LET THAT URN ON THE SHELF ACT AS A REMINDER OF YOUR FAILURE YOU PIECE OF SHIT."

Yes my brain felt like it needed to type that out and now I feel like I'm about to cry at work, got damn you you fucking meat that controls my life can't you just let me be happy and not try and relate every got damn thing in my life since April to dad being dead and how I'm not allowed to enjoy things because all you want me to feel is guilt over how I chose to not move in with him last year when he offered it to me?

Fuck me I really typed that shit didn't I? Again, got damn my brain. Guess I do feel a little better after airing out my laundry like that so that's something I guess. Bah, this therapist appointment can't come sooner.

Sometimes, especially in recent years when I found myself with some energy to start a project I'd get some progress on it and then get too worn out on working on it to complete the project. I developed a bad habbit of trying to force myself to get those projects done, or make plans to do them on days I could work on them, but when I tried that I almost always wound up doing something off task.

It's hard to really do anything you want to do when you're concerned about various things. In recent times, one thing that has helped me keep hold a better state of mind is just spending time with anyone available. Taking some time off and being with a good freind has usually given me some peace of mind.

Don't know if this will be of much help, but I can somewhat relate to being frustrated on not getting progress on a project you really wanted to work on.

Last edited Nov 24, 2022 at 03:24PM EST

This thread is closed to new posts.

Old threads normally auto-close after 30 days of inactivity.

Why don't you start a new thread instead?

Hey! You must login or signup first!