Is this caused by ADHD?

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    • #87200

      I’m wondering if a challenge I’m facing is caused by ADHD and that challenge is: I often need more elaboration or explanation. I have been doing lots of research on ADHD because I’m sure I have it, I’m just curious what else is affected. With this research I read about symptoms and relate to them but at the same time I’m unsure and need more elaboration and examples, only then can I be 100% about it. It isn’t only limited to reading symptoms but in other situations as well where I think I get something but I’m still unsure, and need more explaining. Does anybody else face this or is this just me and my lack of intelligence? Of all the articles I’ve read I haven’t found anything about this and am wondering if anyone out there knows anything. Could this just be a memory issue because I can relate to most symptoms like fidgeting and daydreaming because they are so common and prevalent? Is it just so integrated in my daily behaviors that I don’t notice it? It seems as though I have to know EVERYTHING about a subject to fully understand it and grasp it.

    • #87254

      I’m in the early stages of researching adult ADHD and came across your post. I have not yet been diagnosed, but have scheduled a psychiatrist appointment. As of now, I have began making a list of circumstances and instances in my life that I believe may be related to the disorder. Needing further explanation is not on my list, but I can completely relate. Most of the time, I find further explanation on my own. For example, if I’m told my department is changing the way we complete a task I want an explanation and evidence as to why. If I don’t understand the “why”, I usually turn to Google or ask further questions until I “get” it. Whereas my coworkers will follow the instruction without hesitation, I question until I comprehend fully. I could see how this may be related to ADHD.

      • #87268

        Actually you made a good point and made me remember many times in my computer science class where I struggled because my teacher would show us how to use programming software, we used blocklyprop, he had the coding at the front and everybody else was just copying mindlessly whereas I tried to figure out why he used certain codes and how they function individually and altogether. This resulted in frustration giving up and being inches away from tears because I didn’t get it.

    • #87270

      Your not alone! I don’t get things easily, I need lots of explaining to understand whats going on or how to do it. For instance, soccer practice is a nightmare for me because sometimes we do really confusing drills and the coach explains it to the team and they get it after the second try! I never get how to do them, once, our old coach set up a drill and everyone got the drill but me, so I kept wrecking everything and I had to sit out. Also this problem comes with math too!!

    • #87276

      Me too! I need lots of extra practice with simple things. It takes a lot longer for me to process and input information, but if I can input it in a few different ways (see it, hear it, work with my hands), I usually get it.

      Sometimes, if I have questions, I’ll go home and research it on my own. Hea ring someone else explain the same thing in a different way (or with pictures) helps. 🙂

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by strwbry.
    • #87312
      Penny Williams

      Could have something to do with the executive functioning deficits common with ADHD:

      What Does Executive Function Disorder Look Like in Adults?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #87791

      Can you visualize yourself doing what is being asked? Can you move your body a little while being instructed? When you do those things does it help increase your ability? If it does it could be that you have a harder time understanding through hearing alone. Some people have Auditory Processing Disorders. I’m sure you can find information about it on this site. It can go along with ADHD.

    • #87801

      Hey there,

      This happens to me all the time and it frustrates my work place (AND ME) to know end. In fact, they actually stopped training me on a few things because they got so frustrated with my questions and “making it more complicated then necessary.”

      I have done a lot of reflecting on this overtime, wspecially since I was Diagnosed 10 years ago. Here is my personal take on, “needing the whole picture before understanding how all the seemingly different and random marbles of info” connect (This maybe long, but if anyone can relate i hope it provides some validation. Please also note I am typing this on tpuch screen, so spelling/grammer mistakes are going to happen. My appolo1gies to those who have grammatical cringe reflex )

      1. I am mainly a “see the forest not the trees” type of person. Details for me are difficult to notice and hone in on, especially when I am situated with in the forest. My 35 years of making mistakes and being penalized has built an overly sensitive need to get it right the first time and because I miss the details leading to mistakes that a true detail-oriented person would notice, understanding more helps me to make to make autonomous decisions with consideration as to how it will faffect everything else. When I dont have a view of the whole forest, the individual trees seem disonnected and I make “very obvious”mistakes due to not thinking with enough circumspection.

      2. I cant find the pattern to what appears to be erroneous disconnected info. This especially applies to paperwork. At my job it is crucial to recognize and dedcern documents, identifying what is crucial to support the paperwork and what can get shredded. But the paperwork is never the same because the different avenues that feed into the paper collection are never the same, throwing all the patterns i was trained to find off. Shredding is so final, tbat the thought of making one of my token mistakes by discarding crucial paperwork triggers self doubt. I need to know how to premptovely recognize and descern as many patterns as possible so i dont make a mistake detrimental to the supporting documents. I personally see this as another side affect of my weak detail orriented skills.

      3. My questions are many times impulsive, and if i would just give myself a few more minutes I would have noticed the links on my own.

      4. I was not offered much leniency in being able to guide my training. I have many years experience working and training to be an educator though I am no longer teaching. But through these experiences I have learned about the diverse ways people learned and was able to validate my need to learn kinesthetically, visually, and one on one. Unfortunately, in the adult world not everyone has had this experience and find it strange and frustrating when i take copious amounts of notes and still return for additional clarification. But, lets be direct. I dont biologically learn like the majority, and so the majority are going to find me frustrating when they train me as though I do. I have started to premptively offer a personal “disclaimer” when I get the sense my question is, “obvious.” These include, “it looks as though I am going to need some hand holding with this,” “may i repeat back what I understood you to mean,” and “may I show you want I already understand about this?” I find that most (not all) recieve my questions with more patience when i do this and it validates those teaching me in that i recognize they have already covered this info. Also, it validates me because it shows that I am paying attention and also lets me guide my learning… which by nature is learn as I go.

      I know this is long; thanks for reading. I hope this will offer someone else a bit of validation….


    • #87803

      Interesting! On paper, I am a successful business woman and mother of two. Behind the scenes is another story. I was diagnosed as dyslexic and ADHD last year aged 45 and my whole life is (and lifelong struggles are) beginning to make sense now!

      I am seeing a counselor at the moment and she told me very recently that one of my ADHD strengths is that I can see things from most angles…I consider everything from every angle/viewpoint etc before I make a decision/feel comfortable. This certainly isn’t the case for everything but enough to make your post resonate. The problem is this can ‘paralyse’ me from delivering things as quickly as I’d like to or am expected to as I want to think through more, digest, ask questions. We teach children that asking questions is good – I believe this strongly. It often really shocks me to observe colleagues ploughing ahead without seemingly considering all the facts, possible outcomes. Training is also tricky for others as I have so many questions…
      So this is a long way of saying yes I think it is ADHD related and whilst it can be frustrating at times for us and others, it can actually be a strength if we learn to be aware and how to manage it.

    • #87820

      I experience this all the time, and in classes, although I easily understand what instructors are talking about, I often feel unprepared to answer questions that are speculative without doing a ton of extra research. I often spend a lot of time researching what we discussed in class so I have better context for it and can really understand it rather than just memorizing it.

      I also have noticed that people are not specific enough when giving directions for tasks, and I used to have to ask my manager at work lots of detailed clarifying questions because I could think of thirty ways to accomplish the task and I knew the results would differ in meaningful ways. Sometimes in manufacturing you have leeway for various methods and sometimes you don’t, and I didn’t want to waste material when testing new products.

    • #87832

      I found this conversation very interesting! I hadn’t thought about it as an ADHD trait before (I am an over-50 female, formally diagnosed with ADHD six years ago, am on medication, and see a therapist) but when I saw this, I knew it must be related now that I know I’m not the only one!

      I drive my co-workers (and myself) crazy trying to understand things. I find I have to immerse myself in a subject to be able to do the job right, which has made me wonder if that’s my brain trying to make the task at hand more interesting so that I can actually get it done, and done well? My co-workers seem to be able to just do what they’re asked to do. That sounds so dreadful to my brain, if I’m not engaged with the task, I won’t care enough and won’t get it done. Of course, having to immerse myself in all of this is exhausting too…

      One day I was feeling especially frustrated at work, because I felt like I was BEING frustrating. I Googled about it from the perspective of my coworkers and came across an article about managing people who are “maladaptive perfectionists.” Is that us? Do they have it wrong and it’s not about being “perfectionists,” it’s just another word for not wanting to be completely wrong? The article did note that though the maladaptive perfectionist employee might be a challenge to manage, they’re worth the time because they actually care about the work.

      Anyway, all very interesting. And every time I learn something new about myself (become AWARE of something new), it helps :-).

    • #87844

      My husband (51) and son (14) both have ADHD and both present with this issue. Both have above normal intelligence (formally tested as well as reinforced by high academic performance). SO firstly, this is not an issue of not being smart enough. I think it has more to do with how the ADHD brain processes information. When the input is pure fact, they are phenomenal at recall and memory. The moment the input is somewhat ambiguous and requires interpretation/ extrapolation they have difficulty, primarily because when given a choice of possible interpretations, they tend to go with options that are less likely to be the choice of the average person. This is what makes them creative and unconventional but also creates issues because their unconventional interpretation is not what others expect. I also think the ADHD brain is “literal” and filling in the blanks is not intuitive. SO they need to keep asking questions to fill in all the gaps, rather than making inferences like neurotypicals to complete the picture.

      • #87927

        “… when given a choice of possible interpretations, they tend to go with options that are less likely to be the choice of the average person. This is what makes them creative and unconventional but also creates issues because their unconventional interpretation is not what others expect.”

        This must be why my boss will tell me that they know they haven’t looked at a project from all possible vantage points until they’ve first run it by me :-).

    • #87856

      I believe this is slow processing speed. When I had my son tested, he was in the lower percentiles for processing speed and I immediately remembered scoring low on processing speed in a test I had taken 25 years ago.

      A previous poster said she “sees the forest not the trees” which is is a great description and a great blessing. Yes, I need to understand the whole system to understand any individual part but that has made me very successful. Being able to see the forest pays much better than seeing trees;)

      As for my son, he’s slow to pick up on new multi-step instructions but his fluid logic scores are off the charts. We both excel at anything that includes a large, complex systems (computers, accounting, home theater setups, networking, etc).

    • #87865

      I am so like you!
      In order to learn effectively, someone has to use colorful explanation, vivid comparisons, real-life examples.
      The benefit of that is that I teach the same way, and people love it.

    • #87870

      I can completely relate to this!!! I am formally diagnosed ADHD (combined type) and I find I am constantly seeking more information. I attribute this to two things. First, my brain is always seeking a novel stimulus, new and often times very in depth serves this purpose. I am genuinely curious and enjoy learning these things while others could seemingly care less. I want to know the “why”, while neurotypical individuals seem much more happy to “take things at face value.” The second aspect of this is that I seem to need to wrap my head around all the aspects of things. I just ask soo many more questions than my peers and need to really dig into details. The more I am learning about my diagnosis the more I am aware of things like this and can try to adapt my behavior. That being said, I absolutely love my ADHD self. As much as traits like this an feel like a burden,they can also be a blessing.

      Oh…and for whatever reason, I find I learn and comprehend best when I can use an analogy for understanding a given phenomena

      🙂 Michaela

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by mabbott.
    • #87891

      With all due respect to the other folks who have responded, it is possible that this is not related to ADHD or ADD. If you don’t have other symptoms, it is possible that you are simply a person who needs to see all the details before they can get the picture. As someone else has said, to people in this category, the world is like a paint-by-numbers scene. They don’t see the picture until everything is colored in. I learned about this through using the DISC temperament analysis. (You can Google it) These folks are represented by the “C” in DISC. It stands for conscientious.

    • #87892

      This is my experience with this: “When presented an idea I often need more elaboration or explanation than others.”

      I do this also. I thought I was less clever but time has shown me that I may be more clever in that I required more time but I found that I was looking deeper into the concept than other people, who may only vaguely understand the concept. So I was holding myself to a higher level of understanding than those who picked it up immediately. I also found that other people may not understand at all but don’t wish to look stupid.

      I also find that there are some areas I just don’t get and I’m fine with not being a ‘universal genius’ but I’m content to know what interests me.

      No idea if you relate to any of this but I thought I’d write it down.

      Luck to you

    • #87893

      I saw your post as I was heading for bed, and was excited to respond today. I have the same brain, and it was nice to know I am not alone. My thoughts are though that it’s not a bad thing. Obviously, neurotypical people in our lives just don’t get it, but it’s not that we are bad learners. I call it “global learning” and honestly, most people can’t see the big picture. I don’t know about you, but my actual learning style is very flexible, I can learn from reading, hearing, or doing. I do prefer hearing and seeing pictures, but can deal with anything.
      I was diagnosed as an adult, about six months ago. I finished my BA in mathematics about a year ago. I sure wish I’d known about my innatention issues before, of course. My professors were less unhelpful than employers mentioned in this thread, but still didn’t get it. As you can imagine, most people learning math do it in a linear fashion, and with concrete examples. I want all the information, and I want the theory before I really do much with the actual problems. It was nearly impossible to get those needs met. I’d struggle in a course until the end, because I’d be able to put most of it together. I’d really ge the material the next semester when it was used again in a bigger picture. Without the diagnosis, I wasn’t able to advocate for myself as well as I’d wished.
      I was known by my classmates for being good at math, but my exams didn’t show this, of course, because I had no idea that I couldn’t focus. In class, I’d “get” the idea quickly, and then when working with classmates I’d be able to explain the idea. They would then be able to figure out the linear process. It wasn’t until late in my math career that I realized I needed to insist that they show me the steps if I showed them the concept.
      I have an adhd therapist, and she labels our type of thinking as brilliant. I know it doesn’t always make things easier, especially when we have managers in workplaces (I’ve had many) who are unimaginative and discriminatory. But, it really is unique and good. It’s a trait that is needed.

    • #88057

      For me, it’s because I’m a hands on learner, and a visual learner, so even simple spoken or written instructions are a bit lost on me. When people explain things to me, I look down and turn my ear to them and try to visualize. When I worked in a lab, I had this supervisor that was really harsh, I think she felt I was stupid for doing this, but perhaps if she knew that I have an actually issue, like mild autism, if she would be more understanding?
      Another example, I’ve always struggled in learning situations that do not stimulate my prefrontal cortex, so traditional academic settings, but in hands on settings like CDL school I kicked ass. Thing is, if more occupations had a apprenticeship route, I, and many other people could be taught or trained to do anything. You just have to show me and let me do some hands on practice.
      Unfortunately a vast majority of us are just lost in the current system.

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