Prayer and ADHD?
#1
As an appendix to recent Asperger's/ADHD threads:
A few people mentioned that they have ADHD. I was just wondering how this affects your prayer life, and if there are any particular ways of praying that work especially well for you.

I ask in part because I often feel like my brain is made up of rabbit trails, and it makes silent prayer extremely difficult. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one, so I thought that a number of people might benefit from some advice on this. Hence the thread. :-)
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#2
Tinuviel Wrote:As an appendix to recent Asperger's/ADHD threads:
A few people mentioned that they have ADHD. I was just wondering how this affects your prayer life, and if there are any particular ways of praying that work especially well for you.

I ask in part because I often feel like my brain is made up of rabbit trails, and it makes silent prayer extremely difficult. I'm guessing that I'm not the only one, so I thought that a number of people might benefit from some advice on this. Hence the thread. :-)

I wonder why Asperber's and ADHD as grouped together? There is no connection.

I do not "have ADHD", but I do have a very active mind. As long as one does their best to focus and not willfully be distracted, there is no fault. Saint Louis de Montfort recommends redirecting one's attention if it drifts. Some people (recently on this forum) expressed concerns you have to start over if you are distracted. That is not the case at all.

For focusing, some physical object may help. Prayer beads or a pray card for example. Sometimes reading a prayer (more or less) out loud will keep one focused.
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#3
LaRoza, thanks for the suggestions. :-)


In response to the other part of your post:True, there is no connection between Asperger's and ADHD. My memory might be failing me, but I thought that one of these recent threads started by talking about both of these things... So they're both on my mind at the moment, which is why I mentioned both, even though this question has nothing to do with Asperger's. My mistake.


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#4
Tinuviel Wrote:LaRoza, thanks for the suggestions. :-)
I hope they help. I often read prayers I know for the added concentration.

Quote:My memory might be failing me, but I thought that one of these recent threads started by talking about both of these things... So they're both on my mind at the moment, which is why I mentioned both, even though this question has nothing to do with Asperger's. My mistake.

Yeah, there was a thread about both. It just seemed odd. No problems with it though.
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#5
I have ADHD. Sometimes during Rosary, mind begins to wonder to other things like "Hm...what am I going to post on Fisheaters", etc.
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#6
I don't have ADHD, but I do have an active mind (which was worse before I started taking medicine for borderline personality disorder), which makes it difficult for me to concentrate at times. Just today while I was praying my rosary, I was simultaneously thinking about the movie that I watched last night. :(   Grrr at being unable to focus.
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#7
Munda_cor_meum Wrote:I don't have ADHD, but I do have an active mind (which was worse before I started taking medicine for borderline personality disorder), which makes it difficult for me to concentrate at times. Just today while I was praying my rosary, I was simultaneously thinking about the movie that I watched last night. :(   Grrr at being unable to focus.

Remember, if you have to work to pray, the reward is great.
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#8
I don't have ADHD, but I do have difficulty praying.  It does not come easily to me.

So when I read Jennifer F's post on ConversionDiary.com about teaching herself to pray when she converted to the Church from Atheism, it really rang true with me.

http://www.conversiondiary.com/2008/11/f...rayer.html

Quote:Up until my late twenties, I'd never said a single prayer in my life. I tried to follow advice like, "Start by committing to only five minutes of prayer per day!" but I actually managed to fail at that. Maybe it's that it was a brand new habit or that I have some strong ADD tendencies, but my efforts at five minutes of prayer tended to go something like this:


Quote:Is this thing on? No, kidding. Hi, Lord, it's me. I guess you knew that though. Anyway, I am grateful for all the good things in my life today, and sorry for the things I did wrong. (What can I say, I just don't know where those f-bombs came from. At least it wasn't in front of the kids.) Anyway, I ask you to strengthen my faith, and to help me be a better person...
72 seconds later:


Quote:...and when they say "dolla' dolla' bill, y'all" in Sweetest Girl, I wonder if that would be considered sampling WuTang. Let's think here about what technically constitutes sampling: to use a portion of a recorded song. So since they did not actually play anything originally recorded in C.R.E.A.M., it would probably be more accurate to say that Wyclef Jean was "drawing upon the wisdom" of Wu rather than "sampling" Wu. That reminds me of Busta Rhymes lifting Dangerous from a public service announcement. You cannot tell me that was an accident...
That is about a direct transcript of my first attempts at prayer. Trying to read the Bible for five minutes didn't go much better. I'd end up getting hung up on some technicality, getting lost in the footnotes and wandering over to the computer after about 45 seconds to Google questions about some verse.

What I found was that going from a lifetime of zero seconds of prayer per day to a full 300 seconds of prayer was just too much.

She goes on to describe learning how to pray in small snippets and learning to recognize blessings when they happen.

That's been good for me.  The short little prayers have helped me build up my prayer life more than sitting to say a psalter at a time.  I have a higher-quality prayer life now, even if it's not a higher-quantity prayer life.
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#9
WRC,

:laughing: YES! That is exactly what happens to me when I try to pray! It's so frustrating!

Thanks for sharing. I've been thinking about the whole "pray throughout the day" idea quite a bit lately. I'm happy to see that it's been helpful for you.
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#10
WRC, I agree with you on saying shorter prayers through out the day. It certainly does help a lot. What I also like doing is breaking up activities for just mere moments and reflect on my interior life and foster a bit, interior silence. I usually ponder a bit and imagine our crucified Lord in front of me. It certainly makes secular activities such as work, video games, a book, a little bit more holy. Once you start getting better at finding your interior silence, you become less distracted during prayer time. At least, it has helped me.

Also, it's not so much that I get distracted by worldly things during prayer, I often get distracted if I am even praying right in the first place. Let's take an Ave for example. I of course know the words by heart, too well in fact. To the point I can comfortably do anything while reciting it out loud or in my head. My main problem comes from am I paying with enough attention in the first place. As in, is my frame of mind right? Am I saying it with love, if so, enough? That sort of thing.
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