PDA

View Full Version : How do ADHD people think? Read this for a realistic explanation



davef
29-09-17, 06:53
As someone with ADHD, I can seriously relate to this post from Quora:

"How do we think? Profusely. I can't think of a better word to describe it.


You see, we struggle with a staggering number of thoughts and ideas. A person with a neurotypical brain has something known as “executive function,” which acts like the brain’s train conductor in that it regulates which of many thoughts and impulses get to ride on the main track. Irrelevant trains of thought are halted or rerouted so that the most important thoughts take precedence, and a main goal or key idea can sail on through to completion without interruption.

My brain has no such conductor. My thoughts are so prolific that I often interupt myself in mid-thought, with a completely different thought.

Any thought or observation can interrupt any other at any time, no matter how important or trivial either of them might be. This is because my brain doesn't weigh them at all. Instead, it treats each one as being equally important.

In a crowded room full of conversations, my brain has trouble following just one. It wants to listen to all the conversations at once and ultimately fails at being able to follow any of them.

Also, each thought resonates with associations, so, for one example, I might think “I need glass cleaner,” which leads to a memory of an old Windex TV commercial, and how its jingle, “Put On a Windex Shine,” is a rewrite of a song from Bye Bye Birdie called “Put On a Happy Face,” which leads to me playing a short clip of the song in my head several times.

When you have a lot of thoughts and each one leads to multiple associations, which may in turn lead to their own associations, it can quickly become an overwhelming cascade.

Plus, I am also compelled, with each and every interaction I have with another human being, no matter how brief or inconsequential, to dissect and examine the exchange of words and to replay all of my responses, examining each one to make sure I didn't come across as odd or strange. This can sometimes be done quickly, but if an exchange was awkward in any way I might end up mulling it over for quite a while.

We have so many thoughts to deal with, and even our thoughts have thoughts, which spawn yet other thoughts, all while our brain is constantly bombarding us with a steady stream of new (and mostly random) information, in no logical order whatsoever.

And our mental memory banks are horribly disorganized. When it comes to retrieving a memory or a stored idea (which, like our thoughts, are in no logical order whatsoever) we may locate them via a series of weird associative leaps that wouldn't make sense to anyone but us. Or, like someone with a habitually messy desk, we might just remember exactly where important stuff is at among the files, and be able to go straight to it when we need to.

The only real advantage is that we eventually learn to navigate in this torrential downpour of thoughts, ideas and memories, and to see the larger patterns in the resulting ocean of details. Eventually, we are able to see the big picture of an organization or situation, and can fully conceive and articulate its overarching functions and tendencies.

The truth is probably far more complex than what I have described here, and no two people (even ADHD people) are alike, but in a nutshell, this is a taste of how ADHD people think."


I couldn'tve said it better myself.

davef
29-09-17, 07:07
And anyone who believes ADHD is a made up disorder thought up by big pharma trying to scam people into buying adderall is ignorant. The ancient Greeks were well aware of this disorder...
"Prior to the distinct personality types described by Galen (131-201 AD), which are only vaguely related to the current definition of ADHD[32], Hippocrates (460-375 BC), almost universally considered the father of modern medicine, provided the earliest report of a condition that appears to be comparable with what is currently identified as ADHD[36]. Approximately in 493 BC, he described patients who had “... quickened responses to sensory experience, but also less tenaciousness because the soul moves on quickly to the next impression”[37]. Hippocrates attributed the condition to an “overbalance of fire over water” in the patients bodily humors and prescribed as a remedy for such “overbalance” lots of water and a bland diet, barley rather than wheat bread, fish instead of meat, water drinks, and many natural and diverse physical activities[36]."
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4694551/

And yes, I engage in intense aerobic activity that would make most people vomit to combat this disirder. My superb aerobic fitness is a result of my battle against ADHD.

firetown
07-11-17, 12:49
I am not sure I want to call it a disorder as it helped me in many aspects of life to display those symptoms. When in management positions, multitasking came natural to me. But when studying something I was not that interested in, that was very hard. I look at it more like an indicator regarding a need to specialize in what my passion is and what comes naturally to me.

Expredel
07-11-17, 16:26
ADHD is likely non-binary, meaning it's shaped like a bell curve, with autism being at the opposite end of the spectrum.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2064478/Autism-linked-clever-parents-Are-high-achieving-parents-rise-autistic-children.html

Education selects against ADHD, and the rise in autism might be the result of highly educated people cross-breeding.

We should then expect genetic correlations with high educational achievement to be predominant in people with autism, with the ADHD types at the opposite end of the scale.

This then also implies people with ADHD have different educational needs, however, text books are mostly written by educated people. I think we also see rigid linear thought that is incapable of deviating from the norm in universities. Similarly real understanding is no longer a requirement, students are expected to repeat information verbatim, when asked "what it means" they simply repeat the dictionary definition.

People who aren't capable of doing this have an innate need to categorize information. When information is presented in a linear fashion this quickly becomes overwhelming. This then requires them to specialize and wreck their brains to understand anything of significance and create a linear pathway the hard way.

However, when ADHD people want to pass on their knowledge they (naturally) try to pass on this linear pathway they created, which is useful for people without ADHD, but useless for people with ADHD. This then creates the need to teach them things using practical examples because they tend to be less linear, but overall it's highly impractical.

The downside of people in the autism spectrum is that they can't categorize, so they cannot easily detect errors in their teaching. This may then explain behavioral issues and hostility toward deviations from their internal hierarchy. Autism thinking is very concrete, literal, and absolute.

For those who are still with me, how do you guys claiming to have ADHD score on the educational achievement score provided by dna.land?

davef
07-11-17, 18:13
Firetown is right, it does have its own advantages and it makes completing tasks that aren't interesting is much more difficult.

Expredel, interesting how you brought up linearity. Sometimes, orderly structures and being organized are things I often times struggle with. My code for example, can be very efficient and clever, but on the flip side is often not very readable without including comments.

I never had my DNA tested so i can't answer that, but I was a mixed bag academically where I'd do real well in courses heavy in programming, math (though I hate matrices) and spatial reasoning, but poorly in ones that required a lot of reading (or ones that didn't interest me in particular).

I'd say I'd make a much much better engineer than a physician or lawyer. You couldn't get me to read a legal document rich in lawyer speak with a gun pointed to my head and I have no idea how lawyers accomplish something as Herculean as that.

don_joe
07-11-17, 20:02
What strikes me is such a structured explanation from someone who's thoughts can be so easily sidetracked. But to be honest, I don't obviously know much about this condition. Thanks for this insight, it was an interesting read.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Eupedia Forum mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)

davef
07-11-17, 20:11
What strikes me is such a structured explanation from someone who's thoughts can be so easily sidetracked. But to be honest, I don't obviously know much about this condition. Thanks for this insight, it was an interesting read.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Eupedia Forum mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)
I had to edit it as i went along, took breaks and Im on meds. Sadly, they seem to be losing their effect, either due to tolerance or quality has been plummeting, as I've often heard.

davef
07-11-17, 20:49
Oh and the psychiatrist who diagnosed me as a kid had ADHD himself, which I'm happy to know.

firetown
08-11-17, 13:54
What strikes me is such a structured explanation from someone who's thoughts can be so easily sidetracked. But to be honest, I don't obviously know much about this condition. Thanks for this insight, it was an interesting read.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Eupedia Forum mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)

As I have stated above and have observed within myself, people with ADHD can be very passionate when interested in something. Even to the point of becoming accused of being obsessive. Which I do not consider a bad thing. In today's school system all are forced to learn more or less the same things regardless of predispositions and talents. It was unbearable for me being in university. But now that I have found my niche, I am publishing medical papers. Even though most of the broader areas of my studies I have had zero interest in and would never again force myself to spend time on again.

Why is it that we are expected to accomplish things outside of our areas of interest and then get accused of being too interested in whatever comes natural to us? We are not all the same and should embrace that and compliment one another in our differences.

Expredel
08-11-17, 15:50
Why is it that we are expected to accomplish things outside of our areas of interest and then get accused of being too interested in whatever comes natural to us? We are not all the same and should embrace that and compliment one another in our differences.
There was a time that left-handed people were forced to write right-handed. The problem you address here is a variation of that same old pattern.

The solution would be to develop tests and place children in different schools depending on mental aptitude. Based on experience I know certain people would have a big problem with that.

davef
08-11-17, 17:41
As I have stated above and have observed within myself, people with ADHD can be very passionate when interested in something. Even to the point of becoming accused of being obsessive. Which I do not consider a bad thing. In today's school system all are forced to learn more or less the same things regardless of predispositions and talents. It was unbearable for me being in university. But now that I have found my niche, I am publishing medical papers. Even though most of the broader areas of my studies I have had zero interest in and would never again force myself to spend time on again.

Why is it that we are expected to accomplish things outside of our areas of interest and then get accused of being too interested in whatever comes natural to us? We are not all the same and should embrace that and compliment one another in our differences.
I would give this post all the upvotes in the world if I had the means

Seanp
12-11-17, 15:39
I think this Youtube personality called Jason Genova can be a good real life reference on how some people within the ADHD spectrum struggle through their daily lives. He's a honest guy and open about his conditions.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZpD_Y58HgE

kitbluee
27-11-17, 16:49
I have ADHD and wasn't diagnosed until last year (age 27!).
I struggled all through school and got rubbish grades, but nothing was 'picked up'. I also have dyscalculia which is isnt uncommon with ADHD.
ADHD is known to be the thing where people can't focus on anything and jump around hobbies a lot, but when you're into something, you're REALLY into something. It's called hyperfocus and that's actually why I'm here. I'm adopted and had my DNA tested for my ethnicity. When I got my results it completely overwhelmed me but a month later and I'm still obsessed with finding out who I really am.