Adult ADHD and Worship

August 26, 2013 Elizabeth Prager

Two things you're never supposed to talk about with strangers: politics and religion. My apologies in advance for my step away from doing what is required by decorum. I want to talk about the difficulties I face with attending worship services and why it just might be hard for your priest, rabbi, minister, etc to meet your specific needs during service.

ADHD Makes It Difficult to Focus on Sermons

Ritalin helps me to be successful in a number of ways, but it has not increased my attention when it comes to speakers speaking to large groups. The few times I've been to worship services (Unitarian Universalist, Catholic) recently, I have tried so hard to focus. I hear the first few sentences of what the person is saying and then I drift off thinking about how I should be listening. Then, I get down on myself because I'm no longer listening. Then, I tune back in after missing many key points and I feel lost for the rest of the service.

Next, I start to wonder why religious leaders don't take classes in educating others. Why are they not speaking to people of all different learning styles? I'm a visual learning myself and listening, listening, listening just isn't my cup of tea. I prefer a peach rooibos.

I've never found a good way around this. When I was at jury duty, I took notes. It would feel so embarrassing, though, to take notes at church, don't you think? I wish that priests would start using Powerpoint or give handouts at the start that outlined the major points of their sermons. Now, that's something I could get into.

Do any of you have issues paying attention during your weekly religious practice?

APA Reference
Prager, E. (2013, August 26). Adult ADHD and Worship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Elizabeth Prager

August, 26 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi! I think that the priests and ministers don't use more learning styles is that it's not taught in seminary school. It's sort of do the same thing because that's the way it has always been done. I do find that I pay better attention when the speaker is more energetic. I do loose attention even then, not sure how much of that is bipolar though.I think it is normal for people to have thoughts drift off during long services or speeches and such even outside of church.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Elizabeth Prager
August, 28 2013 at 5:03 am

Thanks Cindyaka - I think you're right about people losing their thoughts during services, but I know for me I'm pretty hard on myself about it. I often find myself assuming it's an ADHD thing, rather than something everyone does.

Julie Anne
August, 28 2013 at 8:25 am

I use a page a day diary and take notes. It helps me to concentrate.

September, 6 2020 at 11:39 am

42 yr old male. I really dislike church and always have. Now I just doodle and couldn’t care less about what someone had to say. My closest experiences to God have been through nature. The rest just seems like a lot of bullshit.

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