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-   -   Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory? (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192723)

Fuzzy12 08-07-18 06:34 PM

Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
I suspect it's a working memory issue but I'm struggling to explain it. Imagine trying to detect a pattern in a dataset but you can't because you are unable to keep all the different subparts of the pattern in your mind at the same time.

Imagine the sequence:

11657227583347544785

A pattern in this could be for example

A repeating sequence of a pair of identical numbers (eg 11, 22, 33, etc) followed by three random digits. Let's say I get to 22. I remember that I've already seen 11. So it's a good start. They are separated by three digits. But while i am try to find a pattern in the three (random) digits I forget about the 11 and 22 (even though I might remember that I had found a subpattern of interest).

I'm not sure I'm explaining it very well. It just limits my ability to deduce and reason so much. Writing down everything or making diagrams helps only to an extent. Somehow it doesn't make up for actually being able to hold several relevant pieces of information in memory.

Meds used to help me with this but now I wonder if they are actually making the problem worse because now I focus so much on just one thing that I can't really fathom anything else. So I'd focus so much on the 11 and 22 that I wouldn't even able to start thinking about the three digits in between the identical number pairs.

It's an issue mainly at work when trying to come up with algorithms to solve a problem. It happens at both micro (eg actually trying to detect patterns as in the example above) and macro.level, forgetting important tasks that would complete the picture because I'm working on some other tiny subtask..

It feels as if I'm hitting the limits of my ability to think and I hate, hate,hate that feeling. Can anyone relate?

Fuzzy12 08-07-18 07:05 PM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
Just did this online test of working memory http://opencoglab.org/memtest1/

My score was 44. While doing the test I thought I did abysmally but my axore seems to be pretty average.

acdc01 08-08-18 01:06 PM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 (Post 2002213)
Just did this online test of working memory http://opencoglab.org/memtest1/

My score was 44. While doing the test I thought I did abysmally but my axore seems to be pretty average.

I'm not sure how accurate a test like that would be for an ADHDer. We are bound to be more focused on that test since it's new and you were curious. Interest/focus can make us perform way better than we would in a irl situation we experience daily.

That said, I got a 36 on that test which is exactly the average score but that site said people typically scored above average on that particular test so I would be slightly below average. I think that could possible be right for me or I could be somewhat worse than that irl.

I'm really not sure this is the same but I can't count money so maybe I can relate? Like I was paying for a vacation activity in cash. Was like $300 and I had bills only in $20s, $5, $1. I would space out in between and lose count over and over until someone else stepped in to count for me. Actually, I'm not sure that is the same but I would think that's what affects working memory? That your mind wanders too much so can't hold as much of the information you should be holding since it's holding other things as well? Don't really know.

I would suggest in your example to draw lines separating out the groups and non-patterned numbers but I guess that's what you were talking about with diagrams already.

The only thing I can think of beyond those diagrams/drawing and just working slowly is to reduce your adhd symptoms.

Sounds like you've tried meds already. I think if you reduced your anxiety and lack of confidence (which causes anxiety), maybe that might reduce the severity of your adhd symptoms?

Overall though, are you sure you are really doing all that bad at work? It sounded to me your social issues you are developing because of your insecurities with your technical abilities might possibly end up being what hurts coworkers satisfaction with your job performance - not your technical abilities.

namazu 08-08-18 02:28 PM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
Don't have a handy example off the top of my head -- not for lack of them, just lack of access to them at the moment -- but yes, I can relate.

SB_UK 08-09-18 12:56 AM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
I've been trying to make a distinction between



'working' memory ie facts which're arbitrary like your example

and
'true' memory ie learning to ride a bike (an actual change through learning)


I don't pay attention to the world outside.
I don't pay attention to any data which I do not actively want as I have nowhere to put it.
I need to want some data before I can locate it.


Simply memory of data won't work for me.
I can try but I can feel as I try - the desire to automate data into a system which does not require me to actively remember it.


So - in your case - if there were many numbers that I required - I'd have an annotated list of them in searchable format in order to define the pattern which they subscribe to in order to define the future pattern in the data.


As I write this - sounds very much like formal training - test set supervised learning.


Noting - that this idea aligns with the idea of the ADDer mind as understanding centric pointer structures ie a model of understanding which points to lists.


-*-


The capacity to pay attention to random data storage is not the sign of a useful member of society.


Or as the children's joke goes - 'what's the largest number ?' - "infinity".
'Well infinity + 1 is bigger'.


We can't store all data in our minds - this awareness forces us to question how much of the larger dataset of information fielded by the Universe we actually carry in our heads.


I'd say even the 'best' memory contains close to no data relative to the information which has been generated - or even recorded by humans in and on the Universe.

acdc01 08-09-18 09:59 AM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
Forgot to say, with your example, I think you could also repeat out lout the grouped and ungrouped numbers. I don't know if that would be enough but I think odds of remembering are higher if you hit the 3 ways of learning (visual, auditory, and Physical).

You're already hitting physical and visual by drawing your diagrams (rewriting the numbers grouped maybe too) and saying them out loud would hit the audio.

Probably not enough but worth a shot anyway. Can also associate numbers with things you remember more like I have 3 brothers, 11 day of vacation, etc.

Oh and I thought of another example for me. Early on in my career, I had decided not to specialize in analysis. When working on analysis projects, I was writing reports that were thick as dictionaries. What scared me most wasn't the writing. The scariest thing was that one day I would be in charge and instead of writing, I would have to read some junior analysts dictionary sized reports. I have to read paragraphs at least 3 times sometimes depending on how boring a document is to me. Even 3 times isn't enough sometimes. I just can't hold what I read sometimes.


There was nothing that could fix this problem for me. None of the things I suggested to you would be enough to remove this weakness of mine. So I decided to focus on design instead. With design, I still have to read and write reports but they were a lot less thick and I spent much less time on reports than I did drawings.

It's so important for us to accept our weaknesses for what they are - not overestimate them, and not underestimate them. Then move in the direction that best utilizes our strengths and makes our weaknesses obsolete.

Rebelyell 08-09-18 12:12 PM

Re: Hitting the limit of my ability to think: working memory?
 
I'm hitting my Ability to want to work and be at my current job anymore tho.


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