April 2, 2019 at 2:18 pm #113134
This is my first post. I turn 40 at the end of the month, was diagnosed with ADD at 18. I’ve taken Paxil since then (mostly for impulse control) and it seemed to make me slightly less obnoxious in person. At one point I stopped taking it for a month or so and my girlfriend at the time threatened to break up with me if I didn’t start taking it again.
Recently, I’ve started trying to understand ADHD more and have been shocked at the amount of “common sense” about ADHD that has escaped my understanding for almost 22 years. “You mean my lifelong struggles with social interactions aren’t just some random personality flaw?” When I told my therapist how obnoxious people have traditionally found me, she told me I was so pleasant and funny and smart. And I agree that I am all of those things (not-so-humblebrag), but that over a prolonged period of time people tend to find me grating and obnoxious, and almost all of my friendships have inevitably crashed and burned (and my 12-year marriage has its own complicated history).
To make it more explicit, I used the metaphor of the Pepsi Challenge and how Pepsi usually won because it was much sweeter tasting and in small doses, that tastes better than Coke. But when you drink a whole can, Pepsi can be cloying, which is why Coke is King.
Anyway, the question I came here to ask was whether anyone else has experienced the fact that I’m actually a WORSE PERSON on the internet than I am in real life? It’s like I’m Crystal Pepsi online and, just like in real life, I often don’t realize that I’m being a horrible person. But I know I am because when I first met my wife and we were on the same Yahoo! Group where she was the moderator, she HATED me. I made everything worse. I picked fights and wouldn’t let anything go. And it hasn’t improved since 2004. I’m just the WORST.
So, I was wondering if this is one of those random personality flaws or have others with ADHD experienced this as well? Are you worse on the internet than in real life?
- This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by CrowTRobot. Reason: I weren't done
April 3, 2019 at 5:58 pm #113209amznwmnParticipant
I’m not sure if I’m actually a horrible internet person or what, but it doesn’t sound like you’re really asking that question. It sounds more like you’re asking if other people have interpersonal relationship issues attributed to their ADD/ADHD. While I certainly can’t speak for anyone else here, I will tell you that my friendships don’t last.
I’ve always thought it was because I was a horrible person, or because I must have said something that was offensive or done something stupid, but other people say and do stupid and offensive stuff too and they all still have friends, right?
I won’t discount that theory as to why my friendships don’t last, but after much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply because friendships take time and effort from both parties and I’ve never really been one to put in all that much effort, probably because of the socially awkward thing almost inherent in those of us with ADD/ADHD.
At the same time, I hope your therapist has mentioned to you that Oppositional Defiant Disorder has the highest rate of co-morbidity with ADD/ADHD than any other mental disorder.
April 7, 2019 at 12:15 am #113387
I’ve seen on here that other people have interpersonal problems and I’ve been reading more about it, and seeing that I’m not only one really helps. I’m not a terrible person, but I do lack the impulse control most people have.
But in this particular case, I am actually referring to being worse on the internet. I don’t think my wife would have married me if all she ever knew of me was from the internet. Fortunately, she gave me a chance and she got to see the real me, which isn’t so obnoxious. In the comment below by archs1862, they nail it. Disinhibition is bad enough in real life, face to face. Online, it’s hard for everyone and seems to be even worse for me. Like archs1862, I’m argumentative and combative when I see someone who I feel is being intellectually dishonest or outright lying.
As for traditional friendships, I always felt like I put in all the work. I was always the one calling, checking in, suggesting stuff to do. I’ve rarely felt like people put in as much as I do into the relationship. Probably because they’re my only social conduits and I need them more than they need me.
April 4, 2019 at 1:21 pm #113252archs1862Participant
I feel you, on the internet I let my adhd go rampant. I don’t necessarily pick fights, but I say what’s on my mind and try to spin it into a joke. For me though. I do stuff that makes me laugh and in turn, for some reason, people have started to like me. But in real life, it’s the opposite. When I let my brain go everyone hates me.
April 7, 2019 at 12:39 am #113388
I’m so glad you responded. I do this: “I don’t necessarily pick fights, but I say what’s on my mind and try to spin it into a joke.” Except my jokes seem to fall flat with a lot of people or are taken as being insulting, when they aren’t meant to be. And then it confuses the hell out of me and I feel like a guy with enormous feet who keeps stepping on everyone else’s feet.
I guess I need to learn to rein in my brain. 🙂
April 5, 2019 at 9:50 pm #113352RagingADHDParticipant
I have said things my whole life that I wish I hadn’t. Not usually mean, but thoughtless or random or embarrassing. But yeah, sometimes mean.
Not being able to look at the face or hear the voice of the person I’m talking to definitely makes it worse. And I”m far more likely to be callous or argumentative. So the Internet is a pitfall.
I realized a while back that if I can’t stop the blurting (which I can’t), then I was going to have to work on the inside. You know that saying, “out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”
I have to tend my heart very carefully, feed it positivity and love as much as possible. And when I’m doing that, it makes a big difference in the kind of things I blurt out. When I stop, the “overflow” starts to get ugly again.
April 7, 2019 at 12:54 am #113392
Those are fascinating insights Raging ADHD. My mom once told me that I made her feel stupid sometimes and I had no idea why. But it was the way I would say things. Like, she’d say something she believed and I’d say “Well, that’s stupid,” just meaning that whatever factual claim was being made wasn’t true. She took it as “You’re stupid” (she also has ADD).
But the idea of Garbage In/Garbage Out as a means of controlling the blurts is great. I have a hard time with negativity because of all the horrific shit going on in the world right now. But I will bear that in mind as i continue trying to manage my ADD.
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