What Are the Most Common Concentration Problems?

Erik J.J. Goserud

Concentration is the ability to maintain focus on a specific task and is necessary in many of the activities that present themselves daily. Although often taken for granted, without concentration, a person could not solve problems, pass a necessary test, or dial a phone number. It is obvious that concentration is important, which is why concentration problems may hinder one's ability to function to one's full potential. Among the most common concentration problems are attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), which are often coupled with bipolar issues or other ailments on the autism spectrum.

Some people find it difficult to stay attentive in class.
Some people find it difficult to stay attentive in class.

Concentration problems may be diagnosed by a physician or perhaps someone more specialized in psychological issues, such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. A diagnosis is likely based on something as simple as a survey that asks questions related to attention span or something more complex such as an in-depth questionnaire or intake interview. Regardless of the means that may lead to a positive diagnosis, this is the first step in effective treatment of concentration problems. Due to the subjectivity that surrounds psychological disorders, false positives and false negatives are very common. One way to avoid such mistakes is to seek multiple professionals in confirming a diagnosis, which decreases the likelihood of misdiagnosis.

Concentration skills aid people of all ages and backgrounds to work more efficiently.
Concentration skills aid people of all ages and backgrounds to work more efficiently.

ADD and ADHD are most commonly present in children; however, adult versions of these concentration problems do exist. These conditions are used interchangeably; however, originally the H present in attention deficit disorder referred to an additional hyperactive aspect. Some characteristics of ADHD are frequent distraction, beginning numerous tasks without completing one, and organizational difficulties. Easy confusion, difficulty following instructions, and lack of basic abilities to listen may also be present in a person who suffers from ADHD.

ADHD is the most commonly studied of the all concentration problems as it affects 3 to 5% of children globally, more often boys than girls. Constant motion, impatience, and difficulty controlling emotions are also characteristic of this disorder. The stigma surrounding concentration problems makes many sufferers private about their issues, oftentimes causing reluctance in seeking help.

There are many schools of thought pertaining to the origins of concentration issues. Most experts agree that there are genetic predispositions that cause such problems; however, environmental factors may also play a significant role. The modern generation has seen a spike in ADHD diagnoses. Some argue this is due to increased physician and patient awareness, making diagnosis more achievable. Others insist that generations Y and Z are affected by the fast-paced nature of a technologically dependent way of life.

Concentration problems may hinder a person's ability to function to her or his full potential.
Concentration problems may hinder a person's ability to function to her or his full potential.

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