Anxiety and Depression Support
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In need of help


I don't know what to do. Growing up my dad was authoritarian and my mom was the very definition of a permissive parent. So I never learned good habits or to do chores unless if there was a punishment and I was afraid of my dad. I struggled a lot academically in high school and college because my mom never enforced consequences. My parents divorced when I was in college and now I live with my mom. I had poor grades and no sense of future direction in college. I only did my schoolwork so I could see my friends. Now that college is over and we have all parted ways I have been hooked on TV for two years. I start writing resumes and cover letters only to never finish them, because I have no motivation and it's not due to depression. I am not suicidal however I see my life as being at a dead end living with my mom or getting married to escape the job search. I've even been tested for ADD and ADHD and the tests said I didn't have it. Any tips on how to improve my ability to pay attention? Thank you and God bless!

6 Replies

Hi, there!

Based on the symptoms you mentioned (poor grades, no future direction, no motivation), I believe that those are the effect of the wrong style of parenting. Children raised by authoritarian parents usually have low self-esteem, passive attitude to their own role in life, adhere to rigid tradition and fear of new experimentation, etc.

Whereas children raised by permissive parents usually display low achievement in many areas (because their parents have little to no expectation of them). They also display more agression, prone to delinquency, unable to manage their time or habits, etc.

Childhood experiences have a profound effect on a person's life as he matures. It can be dangerous if the parents don't have much knowledge about parenting skills. But I'm not saying that it's okay for you to lose your respect for your parents, just learn from their mistakes :)

I don't exactly understand what you mean by "tips to improve ability to pay attention", but I have some cool suggestions for your case.

1. Reset your mindset/philosophy. Bad habits and depression are the result of a poor mindset.

I love to watch Jim Rohn's talks on Youtube. His talks changed my philosophy completely. I can listen to the same recording over and over again, everyday, without getting bored. That just how awesome the message is.

2. Set goals. You said that you have no motivation to finish your works --I bet you're not into setting goals.

The secret of successful goal setting is "to do as little as possible, as consistent as possible". Please keep that in mind, that is REALLY important. Also, always write it down.

3. To break a bad habit and to improve your time management skill, I suggest you to implement "self punishment and reward" technique. For example, whenever you watch TV, you'll do something you don't like (e.g. push-ups), or you'll stop giving yourself something you like for that day (e.g. coffee, if you're really into it)

Likewise, you have to give yourself rewards if you do good for that day. This technique really works for me. Seriously. You should give it a go too.

I suggest you to do the ALL threes, and just do it. And I'd love to know if those tips work for you. You can message me to report your progress. I'll think of another solution if it doesn't work.



Agree with most everything, except the Jim Rohn part. He worked for many shameful pyramid companies. Many many motivational speakers on YouTube that are moral.


Is thee anything you used to enjoy? That might be the way to get going. If you once had a hobby or activity you liked you could start doing that. It will help you get away from to which we know is the easy way to pass time. If you haven't had a hobby before have a look online. What is thee that catches your eye or that you always fancied doing but never got round to. It doesn't matter whether it's reading, training. For a run, learning to bake, whatever. Just something to start to break your habit of doing nothing. Are you still in touch with your school friends? Maybe you could meet up and try something together?

Then start to think about where you want to be in 5/10/20 years. I'm hearing you don't want to be sat in front of the to, or living at home, but what do you want? For some it might be having a family, or working at a particular job, owning your own place. Again it doesn't matter what your goal is as long as you have one. Then start to think about how to break it down. If you want a family you have to get out and meet people, if you want a particular job then maybe you need to get some work experience or go back to college. Once you have a goal it will motivate you to work towards it even if stuff gets difficult or feels too much. Just keep breaking all the steps down till you have something you can achieve soon.

Once you are started it will get easier I promise.


I have similar struggles with motivation. I agree with Sarah11111 to start off with your interests and hobbies. I have little issue doing work that I enjoy. Even if you don't have a rigid plan for the future, do what you like to do, go with the flow, and you'll end up somewhere.

It seems like it's not that you don't care. Lack of motivation to other people can sometimes seem like you don't give a crap. I assume you are here because you do care. That is a great step to improvement.

I need motivation to wash my face, even though I can't not wash my face before starting the day it going to bed. ADD/ADHD also ties into my struggle and moving from task to task is a struggle because if distractions. A strategy I am trying is to set timers to try to complete a task in a certain amount of time, then move on to the next thing. Even if your struggle isn't caused by depression or ADD, I think you could benefit from working with a counselor to come up with some tips and tricks or strategies to manage your motivation and complete tasks.

My mom is not super strict, but she becomes stressed and overwhelmed and puts it on me. When she has a load of work stressing her, she dumps her stress and work on me. Instead of telling to do something, she'll yell at me to do it, and yell at me again if I don't do it right away, regardless of what im doing at the moment. When she suddenly dumps a whole laundry list of tasks on me to complete, I get almost nothing done. What I have been trying that has been more productive is tackling one task at a time. For example, I'll first look at laundry and say okay, all of my laundry will be clean by this day or by this time. I will of course take breaks and relax, but the only task I'm working on is laundry. Once laundry is done, I'll set a new goal for a new task.

It's easier for me to work on one thing at a time and to try to complete it in one sitting. Once I'm in something, I'm in it. However, simply getting to the task and starting it is difficult. Since motivation is an issue, it is difficult for me to return to a task over and over again. I especially struggle with essays and revising for this reason.

Also a blank journal using the Bullet Journal method for keeping record of tasks and other things is very useful because of how flexible it is. Maybe look into it. I like to write sticky notes of the deadline I make and put them in visible places so I don't forget that this is something I need to do. The idea of being organized and having it together also motivates me. Every day is the day I say I'm finally gonna get my life together hahaha. It is a vague goal that is difficult, so it is difficult to achieve, but breaking it down into smaller S.M.A.R.T. goals makes it more attainable.

My biggest suggestion for strategies is to try not to make drastic changes because the it is difficult to maintain. Try to implement one strategy into your life at a time and things will slowly but surely improve, rather than being stuck in a rut.

These suggestions are based on my experience and struggle with motivation. I hope this is useful to you in some way. Good luck! I hope things go well!


All good responses. I was looking online and it says that media multitasking has a negative effect on cognitive control and the amount of grey matter in the brain. I firmly believe that this is the cause of my lack of attention.


You will have to re parent yourself and break some bad patterns and habits. It's going to take discipline and will power just as if you were training for a sport. Here are some tools

-Meditation and self hypnosis for ADD. Search YouTube

- excercise to create routine and burn off wandering energy

- avoid distractions like social media and video games, endless texting.

Good luck- I listened to a podcast yesterday that had good tips that might help you Check it out here ✌️

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