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Lots of thoughts just keep on coming into my mind (mostly unneccessary about me, friends, relatives). Then I forget about myself and my mind wanders from my studies. Please help.

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You are describing a common phenomenon that most of us remember from our High School and College days. However, knowing that does not answer your question so, let us look at some possibilities:

1. It is possible that your mind wanders from your studies because you are bored. Now, I have no way of  knowing if this happens at home, in class or both. Either way, bored is always a possibility. If this is so, change classes to those more challenging.

2. Why would you be bored? You could be bored because the work is too easy and unchallenging. That can be extremely boring. The other possibility is that the work is too difficult and way beyond your abilities. This also happens. If that is true, you need to change classes.

3. Depression and anxiety can and often does cause lack of focus and attention. There are many causes for depresson including family problems, financial difficulties, girl or boy friend problems and etc. Perhaps you have a genetic predisposition to depression. If any or all of these are the case I suggest that you consult a good psychologist or clinical social worker so that you can begin dealing with and resolving whatever is the cause of your depression.

4. Possibly you have Attention Deficit Disorder and, that means that you always had difficulty focusing on your school work. Regardless of your age there is help available for ADD and you should have yourself tested by the school psychologist or counseling department at your college so that you can have this addressed.

5. Yet another possibility is that you have some type of sleeping disorder. People tend to overlook this possibility but it is very real. What would cause a sleeping disorder other than depression? There are a number of problems that can make it difficult for people to breathe while asleep. They may not be aware of it but they awaken at night and fall asleep again. This can be caused by an obstacle to full breathing at night caused by tonsils, problematic sinuses, or esphogeal problems. For this, you can go to a sleep disorder clinic and have it diagnosed or you can see your ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) Doctor to have this diagnosed and treated.

6. It should go without saying, but I will say it, that drug and alcohol abuse interfere with the ability to concentrate.

I would suggest that, as a first step, you see your family or primary care doctor and, then, take it from there.

Good Luck

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