August 15, 2019 at 6:05 pm #125348righanParticipant
I am not certain that this is the right place to ask … but I am curious about thinking patterns in ADHD … I struggle to retain certain information, mainly words lists and data, but only when its provided in a format that I can’t process. I’ve learned that this is because I do not think in words or even pictures. I think in emotions and a kind of 3d spatial sensory ‘knowledge’ that I call ‘holograms’ because I lack a better way to describe it.
For instance… if you say to me “The corridor goes north and south” I may not be able to repeat back to you what you just said. However, I would KNOW it because as you said it a sort of three dimensional sense of a map would form on my right with a birds eye view of a corridor and the understanding that it went north and south. However, if the sentence is different so is the experience … if you say “The corridor is damp and dark” then I have a sense of being in or near a damp dark corridor. I can get some visual data, but its very indistinct … my visual memory and visual perception is very poor … I mostly just have this sense of motion and space and feeling and ‘knowing’ …. but I can interact with the spaces that I experience … I can tell where the walls are, I can reach out and touch them … I can feel the dampness, I can tell you things about the room that aren’t in the sentence you gave me … such as there is a wet sheen on the stones … they are damp and slightly cold to the touch … the air has a heavyness to it and this underground dirt smell …
I do that with everything people tell me … tell me about your day and I experience it with you … my wife tells me about an employee she has a fight with, and he was yelling at her, and off to my right he is there yelling at me. I do not see him like a hallucination … I sense him … like it happened … like i experienced it and I’m remembering it happening to me … and I can hear his voice and feel it, feel the anger from him, feel my fear, feel my anger and frustration …
Of course, it has its up sides too … as I think about things, I see them as objects and movements and shapes and feelings and colors and sounds and people in this spatial area that I can interact with. I can design three-dimensional objects in my mind, move them around, look at them from different angles, etc. I was drawing things I wanted to build from top, side, and bottom as early as 6 years old.
In some ways, it’s a lot like Tony Starks holographic computer interface which is why I started calling this way of thinking Holograms, because its not visual thinking … since I can’t actually see pictures in my mind. Ask me to draw what I see and I can’t. I can sort of … but it would probably be easier to sculpt it … it depends on how abstract the thoughts are. The point is, that I don’t see things in my mind, I don’t really even think in words, although I do have an inner verbal monolog … but mostly when I think about things, I experience and explore them through this experiential interface and then try to translate them and give them definition using words for the world.
Of course, that doesn’t describe how this causes me to have problems with lists, words, etc …. the problem comes in with incompatible data. Abstract data being mixed with experiential/concrete data. For instance, give me a story problem. “A train is going 85 miles an hour. It is going 200 miles. How long does it take to get there?” …. the way my brain processes words, as they hit my ears/eyes, is the words are more or less never in my brain. The words have no meaning … it becomes a hologram. And what I get is an experiential hologram … i experience a train moving very fast across a countryside over a fairly large distance … since their is no way to tell how fast or far a train is going from observing it at a distance … there is also no place in the experience for me to record or keep that data. So it is treated as an adjective used to define the behavior of the hologram, but its otherwise dropped from my mind. Meaning, I have no idea what numbers I’m trying to compute.
When its written down, I’m fortunate enough that I can analyze the sentence and remove incompatible experiential data and then reprocess the sentence so that I only have the numbers. However, if its a spoken question, then I have to get someone to rephrase it for me until I can eliminate the interfering data and can build a proper abstract hologram for processing.
Alternately, if we go back to my first example, if we have a sentence like “You are in a damp dark corridor that goes north and south” …. its possible that I may not be able to process the fact that the corridor goes north and south, because the first part of the sentence builds an experience where i am in a damp corridor and if your in a corridor like that how would you know which direction it goes from within the corridor? nothing in the corridor would tell you that. You have to be outside it to know that, because north and south are about relationships to other things.
When it comes to lists … if you give me a list of things to do, verbally …. or list of things to keep track of … its not just WORDS …. its a series of full three dimensional sensory experiences and activities that my brain tries to construct rapidly and then store and then switch to the next … so when you ask me remember or repeat that back its a lot of disconnected things to keep track of … not to mention that I NEVER had the words in the first place. They were NEVER there. Give me a series of pictures and its the same way. I might do a little better because I can sort of see them in the holograms, but they are still indistinct so its vague at best. So this seems like a working memory issue … but is it? and IS THIS ADHD? Is this distraction? or is ADHD not really distraction but a different way of thinking?
I don’t think its distraction and I am not convinced its even really a working memory issue, since if you give me the information in a way that I can construct into a single hologram of related data (its best when its chronological but thematic groups can work too) then I will hold that information. I typically wont know the exact words, but I’ll know what you told me from that moment on. Usually for months, if not years. And i can instantly recall what you just told me – again, not the words, but the story. So that doesn’t seem like working memory issue to me. And it doesn’t seem like distraction. It just seems like a different way of thinking … but it comes up as working memory issue, as a learning issue, because we are often asked to work with information in a format I don’t think in …
And no doubt that this thinking pattern causes other issues … it makes it really hard to get organized and fit things into an ordered plan that makes sense to other people because thinking in sensory/emotional experiences doesn’t seem to lend itself well to organization … It works better with organic/systemic forms of organization and that doesn’t work for the average bear and sometimes it doesn’t work for me either … for instance to do lists aren’t organic and sometimes that what I need … and I suck at making those … and once I have them (or if I do have them) I suck at recalling them … my brain doesn’t do lists. Lists don’t have a hologram. If it doesn’t have a hologram, its very hard for me to find and/or bring into focus unless I write it down … so i write lists down a lot.
Anyway, again … If you take out the ‘how my brain works’ and just focus on my behavior and what I struggle with and give me a test, it seems a lot like ADHD … I have a hard time with remembering lists and pictures, I have a hard time with organization, I have a hard time remembering date and things like that unless I write them down, I have a hard time doing math in my head (I have to translate them into experiential holograms or I have to use my hands to interact with them … which people don’t usually like), I have a hard time with reading certain kinds of material that format their information in ways I can’t process … typically non-fiction books and articles … also irrelevant data can be a huge problem in my processing, such as irrelevant words in a sentence or irrelevant paragraphs on a page or irrelevant noises or movements in my environment … because hologram thinking seems to take up a lot of processing power and a car screeching outside isn’t just a car screeching …. its a 3d experience of sound and motion an visuals and emotion as I see and experience this event as though I am witnessing it … even though I can’t even actually see the car making the noise. My brain just extrapolates it and throws it at me in a very intrusive flash. So everything in my environment has to be processed and has to be built in … so a busy or cluttered environment is ‘distracting’ …. particularly motion, sound, light, and bright colors.
So describe all that … and that sounds like ADHD to me (and to the person who diagnosed me with ADHD) … but I don’t see how it relates to an inability to pay attention or concentrate …
So that goes back to the question of … Is that how the ADHD brain thinks? Am I just overthinking it when they say that ADHD is caused by attention deficits and the brain being distracted?
August 15, 2019 at 9:24 pm #125352DizzyParticipant
Righan….you said and awful lot there that’s gonna take some pondering to
figure out, but one issue I can speak to is your sense of empathy.
Like you, I often sense a great deal about someone before they ever even
open there mouth to tell me. Don’t know if it’s an ADHD thing, or not, but
there are other people (like us) with a greatly heightened sense of empathy.
August 17, 2019 at 1:05 pm #125427righanParticipant
I realized after I wrote it that I probably overdid it … I often overstate things … I often feel like I have a hard time expressing myself and this kind of thing specifically … its very hard to describe a way of thinking when its not what everyone just already knows … and so I almost feel like I have to approach it from lots of different angels to try to make it clear … i suppose that could also be a consequence of the way I think … since everything in my head has multiple ways to see it.
Although, even then, I realized after the fact that I had failed to really explain it in some ways … because I left off certain details. In some ways, I wish I could just take back the post. Oh well.
September 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm #127412damnmouseParticipant
How do you feel when you look at a person who’s really antsy, fidgeting, looking at the clock and bouncing their foot?
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