Life pressures put young people at risk of distraction

By Minh An   November 9, 2022 | 04:44 am PT
Life pressures put young people at risk of distraction
Young individuals who experience continuous stress suffer more severe absentmindedness. Photo by Freepik
Linh, a third-year student at the University of Foreign Languages, has been suffering from poor concentration and forgetfulness of late. There are times when she has forgotten the schedule for her classes.

The 21-year-old college student is a girl with an independent spirit. She studies from 7 a.m. to noon every day, after which she works part-time at a convenience shop.

She struggles to get enough sleep because of her busy schedule. Concerned that her inability to focus might affect her education and career, she sought medical attention. The doctor diagnosed her with anxiety and absentmindedness.

Similarly, 38-year-old Lan in Ba Dinh District felt that she had suddenly lost the ability to focus. She’d become forgetful and easily irritable, especially after giving birth to her second child.

She could not remember where she put her motorbike key, tickets, or other belongings. Sometimes it took her hours just to find her motorbike in the basement.

Lost in thoughts about work, Lan once absentmindedly turned on the hot water and put her 8-month-old baby in the bath. The baby suffered some burns.

After this incident her husband took her to the Medical University Hospital where she was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder and prescribed antidepressants as well as treatment for postpartum absentmindedness.

The experience absentmindedness and protracted stress is not an uncommon experience these days. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Trong Luu, vice president of the Vietnam Association for Rehabilitation Assoc., said the fast pace of life and attendant stresses is afflicting individuals of all ages, including the middle-aged and young, with absentmindedness.

Stress at work and a lifestyle that is heavily reliant on technology are some of the factors behind the rising incidence of absentmindedness, Luu said.

"Online communication is still passive communication; there is awareness but no vocal expression," he noted.

Many young people are constantly multitasking these days, like jogging while listening to music or watching movies on the phone. Such habits can cause youngsters to lose their ability to concentrate and affect their memory, he added.

Other risk factors for absentmindedness include an increase in the number of young individuals who are obese, have high blood pressure, have developed a drinking habit or the habit of using other stimulants.

A family history of dementia syndrome, depression and dietary deficiencies, particularly iron and vitamin B, are also likely factors.

Nguyen Thi Tam, a psychologist with the Soul Viet Center for Training and Applied Psychology, said young individuals who experience continuous stress suffer more severe absentmindedness.

In addition, young people these days frequently stay up late and get little sleep, which prevents the brain from recovering and eventually results in dementia.

On the other hand, young people can be too confident about their health and not pay enough attention to their lifestyle or diet.

Young individuals may also be less able to handle pressure or may lack basic survival abilities, making them more likely to become disoriented or lost while under stress, she said.

"Youngsters should pay more attention when there are signs of absentmindedness. It is advisable to go to a doctor to screen for timely detection and treatment, to avoid sleep disturbances and stress that persist for too long, leading to unpredictable consequences."

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