psychological problem with boredom

Hey, guys. Here’s something interesting.

Recently I came to realize that I have a serious problem with boredom. Since our everyday life is so filled with stimuli, I’ve never known this, but recently I spent time at a place where this was impossible. I could smoke, eat and drink, and listen to music, but nothing that would distract me from myself for more than a short while, like watching TV, reading or writing etc.
I’ve found that this is entirely unbearable for me! Left alone with my thoughts only, my train of thought quickly becomes a very dark and painful one. I can’t convey how it feels, so I won’t even try, but trust me, it’s quite disturbing.

Since I know other people don’t have such a problem with this, even though I’m sure they don’t enjoy it too much either, I’d like to know if there is a psychological condition that is characterized by this or something similar.
I’m a normal guy, I have no traumas or anything in my past that may explain this (other than being depressed in high school - I’m sure that’s special :slight_smile: ), and I’m in a wonderful loving relationship. While there may be reasons for my worry, I’m sure the extremity was caused by the boredom, since the thoughts weren’t specific.

Help me understand how I’m psychotic. :slight_smile: please?
(again, what I’m looking for is psychological disorders. And not ADD)

Well, first I would just say that ADD is a psychological disorder.

Now, IANAPsy, but it seems that it usually requires some time with a patient (as opposed to a brief description on a message board) before a psychologist can accurately diagnose someone with a mental disorder. You should probably look into getting some counseling.

What do you do? If you are in school, you might be able to see the school counselors at no cost.

There are some psychological disorders that do require the good old lie on the leather couch and tell Freud about your mother… (I think one would be hard pressed to find a kid who wasn’t depressed some time or another during their highschool years. I did.)

To me, ADD always seemed like a hormonal imbalance, but I’ll leave that to the pro’s. Take Moe’s advice and seek professional help, or find a new hobby to sink your appetite for distraction into. There are plenty of strange new things to discover, after all… from new age phenomenon, herbalism, Feng Shui. Heck, go street racing, just don’t get caught. :slight_smile:


This is a complete WAG, but its easy to believe that the brain becomes accustomed to a certain level and can’t function normally without it. It may not be a serious disorder at all, but simply your mind adjusting to the condition it typically finds itself in. If you spent more time without such stimulation you’d probably get used to that as well.

ADHD is characterized by just what you’re describing - inability to control racing thoughts - and it is a serious disorder. I can’t diagnose you online, of course, but a psychiatrist can, so get thee to one of them. They’ll tell you if it’s ADHD or not, and if not, what it really is and what you can do about it.

Just out of curiosity… what did you do with that kid when you found him/her?

Notify Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

As Moe said, diagnosis from afar is a bad practice.

Disclaimer: My thoughts below should not be construed as implying a client-counselor relationship:

A lot of people find their own minds intolerable when they slow down or meditate. Whether this is a psychological disorder I couldn’t say. How willing are you to explore this? If you are, either a counselor or a meditation retreat might be useful.

I’ve been in some unstimulating environments for extended periods of time, and it does weird stuff to my mind. I worked in a factory where I did the same repetitive motion for 11 hours a day (except for a 30 minute lunch and two 15 minute breaks) and I would start daydreaming, but instead of being the usual fantasies it would be bizarre, unpredictable, and dream-like in it’s lack of logic. Not particularly unpleasant, but not my normal thought processes at all.

Actually, as an ADDult, I can tell you that extreme boredom can be part of ADD.

I am bored, extremelly bored. Just started on my ADD meds today. Boredom to the extreme usually means you are NOT being stimulated by things and could be a sign of ADD. No matter what is going on around you, you are passe about it.

Well, I spent 14 years in education and it all bored me but it also frustrated me because I wasn’t being stimulated in the right manner. I don’t learn like most people, I learn very strange. Whoosh in your face learning, bold and engaged learning. I have found that my jobs need to be the same or I feel like a lump of mud in a slimy pond.

Regardless of your thoughts, you might look to see if it’s something like ADD. I wont hurt you and if you go to a specialist, you might be enlightened to your issues.

I have fought the diagnosis of ADD for 19 years, this time I am not looking back and I am looking forward to what I hope is a productive, stimulated and full life. I refuse to go back again.

Good luck to you to find the answer that could possibly be ADD.

I ruled out ADD because from my on-line research, I do not have any of its other symptoms. Same goes for ADHD, though it is admittedly closer.
The only thing that bothers me was the situation I described. In every day life I (believe I) am perfectly normal, given the small quirks and mini-OCD-type thingies I’m sure we all have.
That is why I asked for your help in finding out about a psychological disorder that is specific to boredom, (or something similar) so that I may educate myself on it and see if I do, in fact, need counseling, since that would be more difficult and expensive. Even if it won’t be the exact condition, I’m sure reading about a similar one would help me find out more about myself and what may be causing this.

I’m pretty bad with boredom. The phrase “bored to tears” isn’t really metaphorical for me.

I can’t help you with a psychological evaluation, but I can tell you what I do to keep sane. I make up lots of little games for myself to play in my head- mostly word games, or things like pretending everyone is an ancient Roman in a toga, and silly stuff like that. I wear lots of jewelry- especially bracelets, so I’ll have something to play with. In class I doodle constantly to keep myself from drifting off. I take lots of walks, pace when I’m stuck waiting somewhere. The trick is to find things that keep your mind focused and working without taking up all your attention.

Now that I think of it, are those ADD-type behavoirs? I know I’m a little restless when left alone with nothing to do, but I never have trouble concentrating or anything like that (well I guess I do tend to leave in the middle of class a little bit too often…)

Anyway, if it is hurting your lifestyle, seek psychiatric treatment. But if it is just a little quirk that only comes up every once in a while and doesn’t really affect your life, I wouldn’t worry.