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How to read more when mental health stops you? watch

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    I have anxiety, OCD and depression. I love books and I used to love reading but since my mental health has deteriorated even further I just can't seem to read much and it's really annoying. If I do eventually get myself to read I'll read about 10 pages or less and then not read again for ages. Does anyone have any advice please? Thank you.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I have anxiety, OCD and depression. I love books and I used to love reading but since my mental health has deteriorated even further I just can't seem to read much and it's really annoying. If I do eventually get myself to read I'll read about 10 pages or less and then not read again for ages. Does anyone have any advice please? Thank you.
    Don't put so much pressure on yourself. If you used to love it, by forcing yourself for the sake of it will not bring back the enjoyment. When do you try and read? Have you tried before going to sleep, when all of the days jobs have been done and there is nothing else to distract you? I find if I start reading at a certain time each day it becomes part of my routine, and I can settle easier and look forward to that part of the day than sporadic sessions across the week.
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    I suffer from the same conditions as you and when it came to reading, my OCD would be the biggest problem. If I didn't read a certain amount by a certain time, thoughts like "you deserve something bad to happen to you now because you didn't finish on time" and things like that and as you can imagine, it make reading difficult and made me lose interest in books that were once my escape from the bad times.

    My tips would be to get back into the swing of reading are - try audio books for a small period just to get you back in the mood of following stories. Audio books helped me as I found it hard to even follow a film or TV show let alone reading.

    Also start with shorter and lighter books. Don't jump into deep and thought provoking books straight way, build up to them again.

    Don't force yourself to read so many pages at a time. That will only further your frustrations and make it even harder to get back into reading.

    Trying to reduce your anxiety and depression will also help. Be it through meds or therapy if you haven't sought help yet but also through things you can do on our own such as gentle exercise, cut out or reduce caffeine and booze, make sure you aren't skipping meals, try to get a good night's sleep etc.

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    (Original post by Ola.O)
    Don't put so much pressure on yourself. If you used to love it, by forcing yourself for the sake of it will not bring back the enjoyment. When do you try and read? Have you tried before going to sleep, when all of the days jobs have been done and there is nothing else to distract you? I find if I start reading at a certain time each day it becomes part of my routine, and I can settle easier and look forward to that part of the day than sporadic sessions across the week.
    Thank you. I thought about reading before bed seeing as I have trouble getting to sleep but my night goes like this: tired, should probably go to bed but don't want to, stay up online and watching TV, wake up a bit, then after a while I'm a bit tired but I still don't try to sleep, watch videos then I'm sleepy so don't tend to read and then it takes me an hour or two to get to sleep and I feel dehydrated. I did read a little this morning but found myself skipping parts and I know that actually sitting down and reading is now a rare occurrence for me now.
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    (Original post by Spock's Socks)
    I suffer from the same conditions as you and when it came to reading, my OCD would be the biggest problem. If I didn't read a certain amount by a certain time, thoughts like "you deserve something bad to happen to you now because you didn't finish on time" and things like that and as you can imagine, it make reading difficult and made me lose interest in books that were once my escape from the bad times.

    My tips would be to get back into the swing of reading are - try audio books for a small period just to get you back in the mood of following stories. Audio books helped me as I found it hard to even follow a film or TV show let alone reading.

    Also start with shorter and lighter books. Don't jump into deep and thought provoking books straight way, build up to them again.

    Don't force yourself to read so many pages at a time. That will only further your frustrations and make it even harder to get back into reading.

    Trying to reduce your anxiety and depression will also help. Be it through meds or therapy if you haven't sought help yet but also through things you can do on our own such as gentle exercise, cut out or reduce caffeine and booze, make sure you aren't skipping meals, try to get a good night's sleep etc.

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    I'm sorry that you went through that.

    Thank you. I did try an audiobook before but found myself stopping with that too. I have a bunch of books I want to get through. Another thing is I'm so indecisive that I find it hard to decide which book to read and so that makes it harder to read, as well as the not being bothered to.

    I've had CBT before and I'm waiting for more but it's taking such a long time. I'm currently on a diet for IBS which makes eating difficult. I can't really be bothered to exercise but I know I should sometime. I don't really drink, I mostly eat three meals a day and I don't have much caffeine, I also don't sleep very well and don't often feel refreshed by sleep. I feel so on edge all the time, it's like my mental illness is basically a part of me most of the time now, I can feel it physically which is annoying.

    How are you doing now?
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    I struggle to start things like books, video games, etc. unless I know I'll finish them (I'm fed up with buying a brand new game and not finishing it). I don't know if it's my attention span or if I just don't like the things I want to enjoy enough to dedicate the time and feel that I could be doing something else.

    Maybe try reading for half an hour to an hour before going to sleep? I find it helps to convince yourself that it'll relax you for when you're going to sleep.
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    (Original post by Luneth)
    I struggle to start things like books, video games, etc. unless I know I'll finish them (I'm fed up with buying a brand new game and not finishing it). I don't know if it's my attention span or if I just don't like the things I want to enjoy enough to dedicate the time and feel that I could be doing something else.

    Maybe try reading for half an hour to an hour before going to sleep? I find it helps to convince yourself that it'll relax you for when you're going to sleep.
    I'm similar, when I do start things I don't really finish them anymore. Maybe we just need to keep trying or find out what hobby you really want to do and focus on that?

    Thank you, I will try to put the tv and internet away and read.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I'm similar, when I do start things I don't really finish them anymore. Maybe we just need to keep trying or find out what hobby you really want to do and focus on that?

    Thank you, I will try to put the tv and internet away and read.
    Not finishing things just made me hate myself so I stopped starting things in the first place. Realising how stupid that was made me care a bit less about actually finishing everything and made me think more about just enjoying what I can out of the media that I start; if the story isn't gripping me and making me take it to the end, it's senseless to finish it.
 
 
 
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