ADD and redundant/lengthy explanations drive me crazy! Anyone else?

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    • #70562

      Hello! I’m 46 and was just diagnosed last year with adult ADD. I take generic Adderall. I don’t think I have it as bad as some people by reading the problems on here but it does very much affect my relationships.
      One thing I have noticed about myself is that I cannot stand for someone to tell me something or explain something and then to continue to tell me the same thing 10 different ways. I feel trapped and anxious and just want to escape the conversation. I just start replying in short, curt responses until the person gets the hint. With my wife or mother I tend to be more rude about shutting down or moving the conversation along. I don’t think I have this problem with men because men (generalization here) tend to be to the point while women (another generalization) seem to add a lot of unnecessary information (my opinion). I’m trying to figure out if this is an annoyance of receiving the information I deem redundant because of ADD and if anyone has ever felt this way.

    • #70792

      Yes it does! It could be that if the person talking doesn’t see you “taking heed” of their words right then and there they assume you aren’t listening well. So how do we make the other person know if we are listening? How do we show it? Because I always thought that is done inside our heads via our ears. A reaction perhaps? Lengthy explanations are torture to get through. Paying attention and trying to carefully understand whats being said because its important… is like getting my brain all dressed up to go nowhere if all I got was the same thing I already had, and not worth the struggle it took to prepare. It’s hard enough as it is.
      After a while it comes off sounding like they are harping, which can initiate “the shutdown procedure”. But that is just me.

      • #72572

        I have been living with ADHD (diagnosed) for more than 20 years and have taken Generic Adderall at the same (highest possible) dosage for at least 18 of those years. Unfortunately up until I found the information in this forum and newsletter I had no idea that so many of the major issues I have struggled with were a component of my ADHD.
        To your point I definitely have two perspectives and you are correct about your response to the excessive explanations and I hope to see replies that will help us both. However I do find that I have a really difficult time communicating in general and I do that exact same thing when I am trying to tell someone something important and I see a complete lack of compression on their face. I feel that it’s my poor communication skills that is keeping them from understanding. But I think you have helped me to see that maybe I am simply not reading the person’s reaction right. Maybe they are just bored and I can take that as it is and move on. Thank you.

    • #70803

      Yes it drives me insane. I also have a filter issue. If they are trying to tell me a story that is stupid or boring I usually say early in the conversation that I’ve heard it before, or interrupt with a different story. If they are trying to tell me something to do or explain to me a way to do something. I usually say one of 2 things 1.If it takes you this long to explain it to me you would be better off doing it yourself, or 2. If don’t want me to do it my way, and want it done your way you would be better off doing it yourself. I tried telling my wife that because you ask me to do something doesn’t mean it gets done on your time frame. If you want me to do it will get done in my time. If its that important you better get my attention and tell me that its important. My wife, after some researching and much trial and error. If she gets my attention and says look at me in the eyes, then tells me something and she gets a response besides ok, uh uh, or I will. Then she knows I got it. Explaining things to me like your talking to a 2 year old, you will get a 2 year old action or response, or nothing at all..

      • #71700

        Technically, “active listening” is repeating what the person has said to you using your own words. IF you practice it (which no one really can do all the time because it is seriously more stupid than the person repeating themselves) it actually works really well. I learned it in customer service positions, and I use it on my husband when I am being well-behaved or when he thinks I am not listening. Or sometimes I do it just so that later I will remember that I heard it… but I probably won’t remember anyway, because it doesn’t work for anything but short-term.

        It’s why the waitress repeats your order, or a phone rep repeats your problem, “I understand that your phone is blinking out when you try to use it, can you tell me when this happens?”

        Doing that says, “I understand you said this… but what else can you tell me.” It is active and engaging. It took me years to understand why that was important anywhere but work. Now I don’t work with the public so I have backslid a bunch, but I do try.

    • #71129

      A big problem I have is anticipating what people will say before they say it and almost wanting to interupt them if I don’t infact interupt them like I normally do. In my job in customer service I could get fired for interrupting the wrong person and they throw a tantrum. Our user base is a very fragile stressed group of education proffetionals. I digress, a lot of people when explaining things talk in a round about way until they get to their point. If you interrupt someone like that it can take them a while to recreate the pattern in their head that is helping them explain/

      Being diagnosed with ADHD is really helping me understand why I’m so frustrated/angry/impatiant/annoyed with people all the time.

    • #71181

      What I’m finding really interesting is that I have ADD and I get frustrated with a friend who does NOT have ADD because it takes a lot of effort for me to focus on communicating clearly, and she cannot ever let me finish a thought. She finishes it for me, often incorrectly, and then goes on to argue against the point she just made on my behalf. Only, it wasn’t what I was going to say to begin with. By that point, I’ve lost the flow and it’s too much effort to pick up the thread again. She also constantly interrupts by snapping impatiently, “I KNOW that already!” or “You’ve said that before!!” However– like most normal people, she’ll vent about the same work issues over and over — a secretary who’s lazy and seems to delay jobs out of spite, a supervisor who’s always a jerk and makes bad decisions. She would consider it rude if I were to cut her off to say I’ve heard it before. I guess you don’t have to have ADD to have filter issues!

    • #71703

      Completely relate to what everyone is saying! I’ve only being diagnosed ADHD at 52 and it explains a lot! I’m also bipolar but don’t get depression since been on concerta which is great! I couldn’t be in a relationship, that would drive me insane!! If someone is boring me I just cut them short and tell them or if they’re repeating the same story again, I just cut them off and tell them! I don’t really care if that’s rude. Friends who like me know that’s what I do and laugh. I avoid situations and people who are going to say obvious and stupid things or try to read what I’m going to say. If someone offers an opinion without me asking for it they get told to shut up too! I guess methylphenidate isn’t working anymore as I had patience and could concentrate 7 months ago on that, the effects have worn off and I’m obviously just rude and easily bored! I’m seeing my ADHD specialist next week and am hoping to try a different med to get the patience and concentration back so I’m safe to be around strangers talking endless boring needless nonsense!

      • #81232

        Since you obviously prefer it the straightforward way:

        Before ever going to See your Psychiatrist about this “issue”, I strongly recommend working on your attitude towards your fellow men & women BC if you don’t, no pill is going to ” help” as in “fix” the problem. The vast majority of people react in a very positive way to ackknowledgement, appreciation (of their individuality, talents, interests…yes,that’s right!;) )… AND- last but not least- respect!

        Once you have those basics largely covered, you can move on to the secondary stuff (meds n stuff).

        p.s. have you eher considered having yourself checked out for something from within the autism spectrum? Just a thought.:-)

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by A-Hörnchen.
    • #71708

      I’ve got a phobia about long-winded people. My father was never able to know or care when he was boring people. I once sat with my mother in law for 12 hours waiting for my wife to have surgery and my mother in law talked for 12 hours straight without more than a 30 second break the entire 12 hours. Not once sentence was interesting. I’ve known others like that as well. I may have ADD but I don’t think ANY person could have to put up with anything like this. ADD isn’t the problem here. These blowhards have some form of personality disorder.

    • #71719

      Yep, especially with my darling wife. For us I believe it’s a function of our divergent personalities, mine being ADD. We’ve gotten better at it, I write stuff down and I know when en it gets to overload and say so, and she knows who she’s dealing with.

    • #71804

      I love how each of these posts are lengthy to explain how much we dislike lengthy explanations…:)

      But seriously. My wife knows this and is very clear and concise about explaining or talking to me about something that needs to be done. One of my employees on the other hand will tell me all of the background regardless of the relevance to the point of the conversation. Knowing this, I preface some conversations with, I’ve got a quick second, could you give me the summary of what happened and what is needed from me? If additional information is needed in either situation, I have no issue asking for more.

      I wish all would summarize then let me ask, but I know others don’t think like this. I feel my annoyance comes from thinking about the 1000s of other things at once and wanting to knock out at least one of those in someone else’s time of need.

    • #71827

      My former boss and I developed an ADD-inspired shorthand way of talking, discovered when a colleague witnessed us communicating. It was choice.

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by ledegg.
    • #71829

      Drives me out of my gourd. You’re in good company. Same goes for long threads on forums or articles that seem to languish endlessly. Feels like the inside of my skin is itching and I want to run away screaming.

    • #71833

      As long as I can remember my mother
      has been a conversation monopolizer.
      She has a compulsion to discuss every
      detail and if you interrupt her she starts
      all over and you will hear about her
      Dr. Appt.,the nurse, the nurses mother,
      how many children they each have,.their
      illnesses etc….I.cant stand it and
      try to get her to focus by steering
      her back to the original question to
      no avail. She thinks I’m mean but with
      my.ADD talking to her can be torture. I truly
      feel your pain.In true Add fashion I only
      read half your post before replying. The
      comment of men vs women….I have met just
      as many long winded men as women. Women
      do not have a monopoly on mind numbing

      • #71836

        Are you my wife?? LOL

      • #72719

        I couldn’t agree more! I’m a man and some of the worst most frustrating and boring “kill me” now conversations I’ve had in my life have been with other men!

    • #71967

      My husband can turn a 1hr meeting into 3hrs (he works from home). He says it’s because his clients won’t stop talking… but he’s the one who won’t stop talking. It drives me insane!
      He will try to explain something to me and I will smile and nod and make hand gestures and attempt to talk over him, then 10mins later, when he’s finally finished and I can get a word in, I can tell him that I’m not an idiot and I understood in the first 30sec. I also will often go on to explain that when I’m nodding and doing those hand gestures and so on, that he doesn’t have to keep explaining.
      When I explain something to him, he sits patiently and listens. I usually get right to the point, but he just looks blankly at me, so I try again to explain in a different way… I sometimes explain it 5-10 times before I finally explode with “I don’t know how else to explain it!” And he’ll tell me that he got it the first time. “Then why didn’t you nod or say ‘uh-huh’ or SOMETHING to indicate that you understood! Then I wouldn’t have gone on for another 10 minutes!!!”

      • #72332

        Quality, I have to be honest.. I’m mind blown to find others like me.

        When I suspect I’m going to be waiting for a long time, I usually just zone out and grab a book if the situation is going to be intense like waiting for someone at a surgery LOL.

        Though to combat long conversations I usually try and focus on specifics/details in a long conversation, like “keywords” and “phrases”, sorry to put these into quotes but i find it much easier when I’m hunting for keywords, it seems to keep me quite entertained hehe and also the person who is speaking probably realises I’m listening more too! Time keeps to whiz by! Personally long conversations don’t bother me anymore.. bare in mind someone has to read this reply hahaha

        I would also stare deep into their eyes, many people don’t like huge eye contact, though its a sign your intently listening to them…but a lot of people, seem to try and get to the point quicker if they are slightly uncomfortable. lol

    • #72562

      My husband is a true storyteller, and I mean that in a good way, as in he’s a good public speaker because he is good at set-up, timing, etc. HOWEVER, I don’t want the set-up. If something happened today, just tell me what happened, I don’t want the rising action and character development; just get to the climax of this story. He gets frustrated with me when I tell people about things that happened because he says that I leave key elements out. I want to get in and get out, so to speak. When people take a long time to get to the point I feel anxious. I want to have patience with my husband but sometimes I want to yell, “Stop the dramatic pauses and just tell me!!”.

    • #73204

      My wife likes to explain her entire day to me. In detail. I know she must see me wanting to explode. It can be a constant stream of words. If I want to jump in, but can’t, the stress level just skyrockets until I feel like I’ll go insane. Sometimes, when she’s this happening, she’ll grin and say, “Go ahead.” Relieved, I’ll interject my 2 cents. She is big on repeating information over and over. She says it’s to help me get what she’s saying, even if I get it the first time. She gets upset if I tell her. I can be incredibly frustrating. It puts a real strain on my impulse control, what little I have.

    • #73369

      I have really low patience for people who drag things on. I’m a 22 year old college student and some of my professors do this, and I don’t even go to their classes anymore because I can learn in 10 minutes what they took 2 hours to teach.

      Oddly enough I’ve had the opposite experience, men tend to drag things on a lot longer for me. I honestly think it’s because a lot of men try to explain things to me like I’m a child… because I’m a female? The women in my life tend to be quick witted and know when I get something, whereas a lot of men keep explaining something again and again thinking I don’t get it after I tell them that I do.

    • #73380

      Makes me crazy too. UNLESS I believe the person is verbally processing. Especially with elderly people. The elderly are sometimes engaged in the profound “development” task of replaying their memories repeatedly, and from different angles, to explore meaning in the life they lived, and come to peace with it. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes boring and I get antsy– either way I count i a priviledge to be part of that. Of course as with anything, sometimes it’s necessary to press the pause button. Same with the people I am close to… I like to get clarification– “it’s not a topic I’m particularly interested in, let’s talk about something else UNLESS you’re needing to process. If it’s that I’m here for you, if not, I want to move on.”

      If the person is not elderly, not close to me, and it’s just their communication style, I do my best to excuse myself from that kind of convo. What I like to do is ask personal questions. In that case they will either want to end the conversation, or will talk about something that I’m more interested in (the internal stuff).

      Or if they’re giving me directions or instructions, I put my hand up, smile and say “I got it… I got it”.

      Not always easy, not always successful. If it’s not working I take a deep breath. If my head is filling up and I feel “done” then I just let the awkward annoyance happen– “I said I’m done and I really mean it” or whatever thing, usually can’t think of a diplomatic ending there, maybe it’s something for me to work on. But if someone doesn’t get it, I’d rather be awkward than to suffer through it. I used to suffer through everything, now that I’ve become acquainted with boundaries I’m more willing to act on my impatience, otherwise it takes a big emotional toll on me.

    • #73509


      I understand that my frustration comes from my lack of patience. I loose patience because I can easily become distracted by details and loose sight of the main point. So if what I’m being told isn’t quick and concise my time/energy is being wasted, especially when it comes to the workplace.

      However, I’m aware that my ADHD used to make me jump to conclusions/anticipate points of discussion which can a) be rude, and b)make the discussion even longer if i’m wrong.

      I say used to, because I’ve taught myself to be more patient which was V HARD but has since gotten easier with medication.

      Now, it still drives me nuts when people meander in storytelling or instruction but I try to active listen by summarizing what they’ve said, get the confirmation that I understand correctly, then move on.

      But let me tell you, all genders meander and over explain, some of the worst windbags have been men “mansplaining” to me because they assume that I don’t know the topic of discussion or…… maybe they just like to sound smart/important/their own voice.


      But I appreciate that you’re aware you’re making generalizations *thumbs up*

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