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Old 04-18-2008, 06:00 AM   #1
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What is wrong with me?

This is a test ... for you.

Before you can take the test you need to know that a computer program is actually 50 or 60 or whatever little programs tied together to make a big program. Kind of like I have a heart program, a lung program, a brain program (yeah, I know, mine is buggy) that make up the me program. Let's call the little programs modules.

I am within seven or eight hours (a days work) of completing a module. Also I have four more modules assignments to do after this module is done.

The test ...

Why can I NOT stop thinking about the four new modules and start thinking about the one that I am so close to completing?

If you know the answer you understand ADHD. If you don't know the answer you don't understand ADHD.

What's the answer?

 
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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Re: What is wrong with me?

That is a good test. I think I know the answer, but I'll let the rest of the class think it over for a minute.

 
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:39 AM   #3
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Smarty pants, you are, JaneWhite.

Actually I'm proud of you. You beat snot out of the beast.

Question 2:

Brain just locked in on module near completion. I'll have no problem finishing module today, and play around on this board and do anything else my little heart desires and keep boss and everyone else that normally hates me happy.

Why did my brain just lock in now?

 
Old 04-18-2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Hmmm. Is module #1 due at 5pm today, perhaps?

 
Old 04-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Jane,

Your reply taught me something as your replies often do. There are multiple reasons and yours is one of them. Now that I think about it, the more important reason. It is always much more fun to put off the impossible to a later date so that it becomes even more impossible.

What I thought was the main reason is still valid. Clue: Why are ADHD kids able to sit mesmerized in front of video games, which frankly, aren't that easy to play, but can't do their homework?

What is the secondary reason that I thought was the main reason?

 
Old 04-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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Re: What is wrong with me?

I'm going to take a stab at this one, because I'm still learning about my ADD and want to know how my ideas compare to yours. It's too bad we can't send personal messages on this board, because then I could try it out and not spoil it for the rest of the kids (assuming, of course, that I'm correct. )

The reason you cannot focus on the module at hand and want to focus on the other 4 or 5 is because those others are still at the idea stage. You have little trouble coming up with ideas which seem to pop up out of the blue even as you try to focus on the task at hand, but have difficulty focussing on the more tedious task of following through on the coding. Coming up with ideas and solutions is exciting to the ADD mind, while tedious ground level work is almost unbearable.

Question 2 is more difficult for me. I've never understood the "hyper focus" side of ADD as well as I do the unfocussed side. My guess is that now that you've managed to dig into the guts of the coding, you're having to think and discover and problem solve which begins to engage your mind more. In my very limited coding experience, I found it somewhat engaging to look for the bugs and try to make things work the way I'd intended.

I think it's similar to my creative process when I write for university. First of all, I never seem to start writing until after dinner the night before the paper is due (touche, Jane. ), and I never manage to stick to my ideas or outlines that I'd managed to prepare before. Writing for me is a journey of discovery where I find I gain an increased understanding of what I'm writing about while I'm writing. This is why I'm always shocked when my professors rave about the clarity and straightforward organization of my papers.

 
Old 04-18-2008, 03:08 PM   #7
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunor View Post
Writing for me is a journey of discovery where I find I gain an increased understanding of what I'm writing about while I'm writing. This is why I'm always shocked when my professors rave about the clarity and straightforward organization of my papers.
I've graded college papers, in fact I've got a stack sitting next to me right now. Anyone who writes as well as you do on this board, Thunor, stands head and shoulders above the rest.

 
Old 04-18-2008, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunor View Post
The reason you cannot focus on the module at hand and want to focus on the other 4 or 5 is because those others are still at the idea stage. You have little trouble coming up with ideas which seem to pop up out of the blue even as you try to focus on the task at hand, but have difficulty focussing on the more tedious task of following through on the coding. Coming up with ideas and solutions is exciting to the ADD mind, while tedious ground level work is almost unbearable.
Thunor,

You get the cigar. You are just like me except you are much smarter. You get the tough ones but not the simple. That we have in common. Simple doesn't stimulant whatever it is that needs stimulating in our brains. I must vigilantly watch not to complicate a simple 2 minute job into 10 hour quagmire so I can get off on it.

Question 2 Answer is ................

My meds kicked in.

Jane,

I saw it first in the boy. Brains is oozing out his ears.

Out of here for the weekend. Yeeeessssss.

Bob

 
Old 04-19-2008, 11:49 PM   #9
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Re: What is wrong with me?

addprogrammer,

I'm sorry I was away during the test and wasn't able to participate and show how ignorant I am (in contrast to janewhite1 and Thunor who posted wonderful pieces of the puzzle). Yes, the difference in brain power with and without meds is astonishing. In fact I am going to try upping my dosage of Ritalin a bit this week to see if it helps. With 10 mg, I can function (get things done) when I'm undisturbed. If I'm interrupted or if I have to interact with people, 10 mg is not enough. With no meds, nothing gets done.

Thunor sez: "Writing for me is a journey of discovery where I find I gain an increased understanding of what I'm writing about while I'm writing." This is true for me with both writing and painting. I couldn't write before I had access to a computer. I may have a more or less vague idea of the message that I want to convey (a topic discussion, an email, a post on HealthBoards), but until I get it down and can look at it, I can't see what needs clarifying or re-ordering or deleting, or even if the message makes any sense at all and should be entirely deleted before I make an even bigger fool of myself. Painting is the same for me -- I may have a picture in mind, but I don't know what colors or contrast or proportions or background or corrections are needed until I see what I've got. So I can't paint in watercolors because that can't be corrected. Oil paints allow for hiding a multitude of original sins, and for adding the dark tones and highlights and changes in color which can be decided only after I see what I've got.

Short(er) version of paragraph above: the creative process is a lot easier when it's on the outside (visible on a computer screen or splotched on a canvas). My brain processes aren't linear.

And none of this is possible at all without Ritalin. Except for the adrenalin panic of waiting until the last minute before starting a project, as janewhite1 mentions -- that does sometimes manage to force the brain to focus.

Although even Ritalin doesn't help when I'm short on sleep because the cat keeps waking me up at 5 a.m. to fill her food bowl and drag a string through the house so she can pretend she's a big bad hunter before she kills the prey and then eats it. She gets food plopped in her bowl and has to forego the hunt at that hour while I plop myself blearily in front of the computer and try to distract myself from wringing her neck because she has gone back to bed. Ritalin helps, but it's no substitute for a good night's sleep. Zzzzzzz.......

--Rheanna

 
Old 04-20-2008, 03:18 PM   #10
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Rheanna,

You and I may not have the same raw brain HP as Jane and Thu. Wanna know what? All four of us are equally as dumb with unmanaged ADHD. If anything good can be said about ADHD it's that it levels the playing field.

I worry about you because you live in a country where scientists do not "believe in" ADHD. Do not do this just imagine doing this: Ask your doctor if he believes in gravity. Then ask him if he understands how gravity works. If he says "yes" call him a liar because no one does at any kind of meaningful level. You get the point. My guess is you need a minimum of 30mg for all day efficacy. Can you get him to work you up to that?

All the ADHD work-around books I've read recommend writing lists and a few suggest writing things out. So you learned the trick without reading the books. I am not so sure you are ignorant in contrast to Jane and Thu. I understand perfectly why oil paint works for you while watercolors don't. I think it similar to why pencils worked better for me than pens before what's-their-names invented computers. It's "what's-their-names" because it started in the early 19th century by a dude named George Boole and since then many bright boys and girls built on his work to invent our ADHD fix.

You are as ADHD as me, Rheanna. In the wee hours of every morning I got this huge slimmy tongue in my face. It's my yellow lab announcing play time has commenced. A smart dog he is. He knows "don't even think about it" with my wife. No sireee. He wants no beating. He wants to play. People can't understand why I can't solve my dog problem or you your cat problem. It's the ADHD. Is it or ?

Bob

 
Old 04-21-2008, 08:03 AM   #11
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Re: What is wrong with me?

My secret? I read like 4 books, and I thought about my own experiences a bit. Oh, yeah, and I've worked as a camp counselor, so that's what I know about kids.

Laugh of the day: when I first started studying this stuff, I went to my college library to get some general-audience adult ADHD reading material. The catalog had about a half-dozen titles listed. The status of all but one? "Not returned by patron."

Good to know they're in the hands of the right people.

 
Old 04-21-2008, 07:17 PM   #12
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Re: What is wrong with me?

lol, geez you guys, I'm blushing.

I don't honestly think I'm any smarter than anyone here; indeed there are some people on this board I really look up to.

I do have a talent for writing (non-fiction) prose and for talking my way out of trouble. I've always had the ability to sound somewhat intelligent.

If I really were all that smart though, I don't know that I'd have spent the last 25 years mired in feelings of laziness, depression and self recrimination (I'd probably have a much better job too, lol). I only hope that I can make the next 50 or so count for a lot more.

Last edited by Thunor; 04-21-2008 at 07:18 PM.

 
Old 04-22-2008, 03:44 PM   #13
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Thunor,

I really don't make it a practice to admit publically that I not as smart as the next guy. I broke my rule in your case because you need a reality check. Your perceived lack of accomplishment the first 25 is because of ADHD NOT because of lack of effort and certainly NOT because of lack of potential. You didn't mention another factor so I'll do it for you. People that matter to you have been labeling you lazy. I suspect those that know you personally say about you if not to your face, "ol Thunor, he's so bright. He's working as a <whatever> for HomeDepot when he could be CEO. If he'd only apply himself."

The above has been going on for 25 years now and you believe it. Your own words ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunor View Post
If I really were all that smart though, I don't know that I'd have spent the last 25 years mired in feelings of laziness, depression and self recrimination (I'd probably have a much better job too, lol). I only hope that I can make the next 50 or so count for a lot more.
You are much more intelligent than the lies you believe about yourself. You are articulate beyond belief and have an expansive vocabulary. The greater the spread between verbal IQ and functional IQ the more severe the ADHD that is skewing your performance.

We face a bigger challenge (than ADHD) and that is we long ago stopped believing in ourselves. I really don't care if you are smarter than me or if anyone else is. What has driven me into the lowest state of depression is knowing that I never met my own potential despite my best efforts.

You need to start believing the truth about yourself. You are smart as can be. You are also ADHD as can be. Fix the ADHD and you will start living up to your God given potential. You (or me) cannot live with a defective version of ourselves. It will torture you until you get it fixed. You can't trick me in believing anything else because you are just like me cept smarter Ok, you are "in-process." Just keep going.

I got to go but before I go I got to tell you about JaneWhite. Jane is a very rare bird (no offense Jane). Her IQ is over 140. I said it is over ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY. Do you know high that is? Well, neither do I but my guess is maybe one in every 1000 or possibly one in 10,000 people have that much brain power encased in their skull bones.

Jane couldn't do college before she got her ADHD managed. Then she aced it. Came out with a 4.0. At any rate, if Jane thinks u smart u smart.

Bob

 
Old 04-22-2008, 07:37 PM   #14
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Aw, Bob, you're sweet.

Anyway, Thunor, he's right. Making a couple basic statistical assumptions, about .15&#37; of people score at my level or higher on a test called the WISC. I took it at age 8, 11, and 19. Age adjusted, the results were the same. At 8 and 11, it was, "See, look how smart you are. So why can't you do your homework?"

At 19, after I had (let's be honest) failed out of college, someone actually read the subscores, instead of just the bottom line, and explained to me what was going on. I got on meds, went back to school, older, wiser and a little less cocksure, and graduated "on time and under budget" as my father put in, even counting the semester I'd spent finding myself. Definitely, the books I read and my work with my coach were key parts of that.

Trust me, Thunor, I grade term papers, and I get about one student out of a class of 25 who can write the way you do.

Last edited by janewhite1; 04-22-2008 at 07:39 PM.

 
Old 04-22-2008, 10:11 PM   #15
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Re: What is wrong with me?

Bob, Jane:

I appreciate the support, I sincerely do. I suppose I was a little unfair in my last post, in some ways it was rather phony. I've always been insincere when it comes to being humble, because I've always felt a little superior, something of which I am very often ashamed.

My issues have never been lack of belief in my intellect. While there are times that I get down on myself and call myself stupid, I've never actually managed to convince myself of that. I believe very firmly that I'm extremely intelligent, but some part of my psyche stops me from doing what's required to demonstrate that intelligence. I've spent nearly eight years, off and on, full time and part, trying to complete a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Alberta, and believe me, the reason I keep going back and bashing my head against that brick wall in my head is that I know that I have what it takes to not only complete my degree, but to distinguish myself (sorry, monster sentences are a weakness of mine).

I could go on and on about when I started, how I've scored, etc, etc, you know how I love to ramble, but that part would be superfluous, so I'll try to stay focussed. I have a pattern at the University; it's the same pattern I followed in my six off and on years in High School, so I know it well:

I always start a semester registered in the maximum number of classes (well, the last couple of years I've been more realistic, but I digress), and start off with big plans to 'do it right this time.' I make myself promises about how I'm going to do all my reading and homework as soon as it's assigned this year, how I'm going to start my papers early, how I'm going to not only keep up with my reading, but read ahead and bring in outside sources. I'm always so hopeful early on.

But it's just the first week! Why worry about the first week, it's never important anyway . . . just get to class and I'll do fine. Suddenly it's midterm time and, 'oh crap! I haven't done any reading!' I cram for all I'm worth, pouring over my notes and trying to read the 350 or so pages per course that I'm behind by this point, but of course there isn't time. So I prioritize! Ah! These are the courses I like best/need most/have kept up best in, so I'll do as much as I can for those and try to fake the rest. I have varying degrees of success with this, but always end up bombing one or two.

At this point I start to feel a little desparate. I drop the one or two courses that I'm doing the worst in, just before the deadline for 50% tuition refunds, and try to focus on the three or four courses I have left. Naturally, this has shocked me into motion for a week or two. This is also when I start to get depressed. I've done it again! I've blown another bloody semester! Why can't I get my &%@$ together?? Rather than saving my semester, I start to spiral downwards, beginning to miss lectures and still not doing enough reading/homework.

Now I'm up to my second midterms or first major papers. This invariably results in the dropping of another course, just prior to the "receive a grade of 'w'" deadline. At this point, I generally focus myself enough to get my papers done, often working on six or eight week term papers for ten or fifteen hours over two days (and generally receiving As or Bs, at which I shake my head in disbelief), and reading enough (very little) that I manage Bs on my remaining exams.

Thus, I finish two to three courses per semester, usually managing two high Bs/low As and a C. Yay me! Of course, this is just in time for the whole pattern to start again, but hey, 'this time I'm going to do it right!'

Through the years, I've elevated self recrimination to an art form. I do suffer from depression from time to time, usually when I've washed out of another job or another year of school. The fact that the U of A hasn't run me off already is simply dumbfounding to me (well, not really, they're squeezing every student they can in right now to fund their expansions . . . so as long as my tuition cheque doesn't bounce ).

The point of this whole thing, though, is: If I didn't believe in my intellect, I would have given up on the whole idea by now. Bob, you're right, there are people very close to me that tell me I'm lazy on a regular basis, but none closer or more important than myself. My father always had the same problems that I have, but on the day I brought up ADD to him, he asked me why I can't just accept the fact that I'm lazy. My little brother may well be an even more spectacular failure than myself, but got very angry with me that I'm considering medication for my laziness. It's obvious that I internalized this belief during my childhood, but it's easier to understand that than it is to overcome it.

I feel that until I came here, I was alone in my fervent belief in my intellect (this is where poor Aenanna gets mad, she has supported me completely in this for far too long). My Dad, my brother, the illustrious Dr. Wong who told me I need my antidepressants so I can learn to accept the fact I don't have the tools to function.

It is precisely my desparate belief that I'm capable of so much more that has driven me down this road, to try to discover what's broken so I can unleash the intellect that I know I posess. For the last 35 years, I've been trying to break this wall, this laziness, this lack of will, and only now I've come to realize that it may be ADD. I'm not doing as well yet as I want to be, but I do see improvement. I don't feel as alone as I did before, and I know that's a good step for me. Seeing that you guys have overcome similar issues has been a real comfort for me, and hopefully by continuing to learn from you all I will manage to become what I know I can become.

 
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