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Strange problem - cannot concentrate during the day

Nearly every day for the past six months or so, I've been having the problem that I feel like I can't concentrate during the day. It's a distinct feeling that always comes on a few hours after I get out of bed, no matter how long I sleep (usu. 8 hours) or what time I get up (usu. 9 AM).

The problem is difficult to describe: it's like a brain fog mixed with slight physical exhaustion. I can't keep focused on my work, I have a hard time remembering words, I get slightly jittery, when I try to speak it feels more jumbled than it ought to be, and most disturbingly, I have an odd feeling of distance from what's happening around me. The only thing I can think to compare it to is when you pull an all-nighter, then when the following day rolls around you get a second wind and you're awake, but you're still not fully yourself.

When I get home from work I almost always feel like I have to take a nap, which is helpful if I can fall asleep for a few minutes. The strange thing is, the feeling typically subsides at around 9 or 10 in the evening, or later if I woke up later than usual. If I get more than 8 hours of sleep (such as during the weekend), I find that the accomanying sleepiness is less severe, but the jitteriness is worse.

I've pursued several means of diagnosis and treatment: first I went to a sleep specialist who started me off with a standard sleep study and then an MSLT (narcolepsy test). The only thing that was out of the ordinary for either test was that I tended to fall asleep more quickly than normal for daytime naps. My doctor called it 'idiopathic hypersomnia,' which is a fairly useless descriptor except to rule out other common sleep disorders. He had me go on Provigil for a while, but I stopped taking it after a couple of weeks because a) it didn't help and b) it made the jitteriness much worse. I went to my GP to see if she thought I should any other type of specialist, but instead she wrote a prescription for Wellbutrin, suspecting that the problem could be depression-related. I've been on this medicine for several months and it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything.

To give some background, I'm a 25 year old male and I'm in otherwise good health. I get regular exercise, have a decent diet, and get what should be enough sleep. As for the depression part, I probably do have some form of it, but it's never been severe for long enough that I've been compelled to talk to a doctor about it.

I should mention that this problem started when I got home from a vacation to Europe last winter. As a result of the time zone difference and a grueling set of return flights/layovers/delays, my sleep schedule was turbulent for the whole trip, to say the least. I don't know if this incident is the cause of the problem or if it just stirred some existing but dormant condition. Admittedly, I was a lot worse for the first few weeks after I got back, but since then my symptoms have leveled off.

Does anybody have any idea what this problem could be? I know my doctors had ideas for further courses of action, but I feel like it's going to be more of the same. I am at a loss.

Thanks to anybody who takes the time to read this, I greatly appreciate it.
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replied July 11th, 2009
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Hi hon..I'm not sure what the doctors have in mind but I would ask them to refer you to a neurologist..some of what you describe made me think of Parkinsons and some reminds me of Fibromyalgia..Wondering if an MRI of the brain was done to check for anything going on in this area? I'm afraid I don't have answers just more questions..I do hope you get an answer and quickly..If you don't like what ever the docs say ask for a second opinion..You never know..Doctors are human they are overworked and could miss something as well as the person who reads tests it can happen-so don't ignore..
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replied July 12th, 2009
I have the same exact problem I have tried too explain to my hsband he thinks I am crazy.only thing I do not have is the jittery symptoms. I have tried drinking coffee thought it would wake me up and concentrate. its like half my brain is sleeping. let me know if you have had any success treating yourself
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replied July 12th, 2009
I'll try the neurologist route. I haven't had an MRI or any other type of brains can so maybe that could shed some light on things.
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replied July 12th, 2009
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Good luck with a MRI..I would be interested in hearing what you learn..kd
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replied July 22nd, 2009
Hi Everyone!!

yes most of the people are suffering from this problem.They can not concentrate during the day and night also.For that there are many reasons one of those is bladder problem.Because of Overactive bladder most of the people will go restroom for every 10min.It is the major problem, and they can not concentrate during the day and night.To overcome this problem they should take treatments for permanent solution.mindoverbladder.com
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