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-   -   Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?" (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187354)

Batman55 08-11-17 12:56 AM

Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
This is for those who would not call themselves "high functioning" in general, anyone else will not understand enough/will not be able to empathize.

I'm looking for those who appear to have an entire cluster of deficiencies, of which ADD is the most obvious.. but also experience genuine social deficiency, or otherwise have mild autism *in addition.* I'm trying to find folks who share my experience. Because, you see, after all these years it appears I have still not found one person who actually "gets what it's like."

I'm DXed with ADD (inattentive) and also social anxiety. But I believe my social impairment (which is not *just* anxiety) and other traits that don't fit ADD, suggest Asperger's as well.

I'm beginning to wonder (although I may be paranoid) if the confusing constellation of deficiencies I have is not neatly tied up by the twin label of ADD for the processing/attention problems, Asperger's for the social disability. Rather, could what I have be some kind of rare genetic disorder? Am I on some kind of "mental retardation" continuum, just at the lower end?

I've searched long and hard for "folks who get it." I've been around places for ADD and Asperger's. Here in ADD forums I'm not sure I've ever met *one* person who had the severe level of social/emotional difficulty I have (which leads to dateless/permavirgin type of thing.)

Folks with Asperger's are too bright and too focused, I don't relate to that, even though many share the social problems. But I don't even have a great deal in common with folks who claim to be ADD *and* Asperger's although that sometimes gets pretty close. Most of them still seem to have access to a powerful logical ability with a very detailed knowledge-base in certain areas. Whereas I usually cannot keep information "straight" even if it's within my area of interest!

The best I can describe my general "cognitive style" is to say I store a lot of information (I have good longterm memory) but most of this information lacks relevance to "real life" functioning; not only that, I appear to store things randomly and retrieve them randomly. I have God-awful short-term memory and generally don't learn well in any way except for *doing things* over and over again. I'm much better visually than with auditory ability, but at the same time, I have limited spatial ability and poor spatial orientation (don't know the street names, can't orient myself, gets lost.) I'm horrible with math beyond algebra.

I'm great with words and a talented writer, but have poor reading comprehension and reading "taxes my brain" so much that I have to take breaks, or even fall asleep from it. (Although, I didn't use to be this bad, it has gotten worse with age.)

In a sense, you might say that cognitively I'm a contradiction in every way.
It therefore seems as if this "condition" or whatever I have may not be adequately explained by the known group of developmental disorders. Now, I have average intelligence and I don't have any textbook learning disability. But man, I feel broken in a way that seems distinct from ADD or even the autistic spectrum. My condition has bits of both in a very confusing pattern. Could it be something else?

TL;DR I function very poorly and have such little prospects for anything in life, at this point it's only logical to wonder if I'm just genetic crap. I don't fit anywhere. It's a very lonely place; I wish you lot could understand (if you do, chime in.)

sarahsweets 08-11-17 07:06 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Well there's no more Asbergers any more, only autism spectrum disorder. So you could be on the spectrum.

Batman55 08-12-17 12:13 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sarahsweets (Post 1959317)
Well there's no more Asbergers any more, only autism spectrum disorder. So you could be on the spectrum.

I'm aware of that. But does anyone "get" or relate to a lot of what I wrote?

Or maybe is the forum just ridiculously slow at this time?

I'll repeat one of the key points if folks can't be bothered to read the original long post:

I have the social disability typically found in Asperger/autism (poor social comprehension, low empathy, inability to reciprocate).. but lack the cognitive "gifts" typically found in autism (logical thinking, powerful focus, etc.) I have the executive dysfunction and horrible attention-span found in ADD, but appear to be much lower-functioning *socially* than anyone I've seen with ADD, online and in real life.

kwalk 08-12-17 12:14 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
you are talking about your working memory and your ability to recall. I find it easier to recall "random things" when someone is talking to me and either something they said helps me remember what I want to say or reminds me of something that randomly connects to it. These random connections in conversations is like textbook ADHD but some people have better memory. Without writing things down, I could get very very lost. You might have been describing kinesthetic learning earlier. I don't feel very knowledgeable in one subject, though I have learned a lot for my degree, I don't feel like I can retrieve it most of the time and I need to learn so much more to apply it to my job and I don't know if I will get there. I forget so many details. I'm a visual learner too, I think it is a way of adapting when it's hard to focus on so many words and digesting them. I dont respond to meds as well as many people do and I wonder if I ever did as a teenager. Because I still never felt that close to people. It's really not something that should be taken for granted. Sometimes I feel like a waste of space and I wonder if that becomes more prevalent when you get older when you don't have school to force you to do things and you become surrounded by less people/less stimulation. I understand how you feel almost 100% but I am not autistic/ aspergers. I don't really get most people and they don't get me. I get judged because I'm quiet and seem like I don't care, don't want to socialize. But if they are really nice, it's a different story.

Batman55 08-12-17 01:03 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
kwalk, thanks for your reply. Some of what you said seems like you "get it" somewhat, and may offer another insight, another angle to explore in my quest to understand what-the-hell is going on with me.

I may have a longer response for it, but not at the moment.

It seems like some aspects of my "disorder(s)" have gotten markedly worse in the last few years, it's almost concerning. The working-memory appears worse than it was even just 3 years ago. Maybe I just need to live a "natural lifestyle" and that will suppress/reverse the course.. I haven't been following nature's way for longer than a decade now (proper sleep), and maybe the bill's come due and I'm now forced to adjust.

(Or maybe it's just early-onset cognitive impairment in my 30s. I hope not.)

stef 08-12-17 01:07 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
I can relate to almost all of this para. below
except I can learn visually by memorizing
but otherwise that is exactly my experience
especially the random retrieval, yet this helps me at work, i remember some guys name who came to some meeting but because it was raining that day or some weird detail then because of that " it must have been in may (2016) " so i relatively quickly find some document needed to be revised and also " because it was really purple" ( it was a presentation and we used this other background).
i have litlle logic and those same spatial and math issues, exactly.



The best I can describe my general "cognitive style" is to say I store a lot of information (I have good longterm memory) but most of this information lacks relevance to "real life" functioning; not only that, I appear to store things randomly and retrieve them randomly. I have God-awful short-term memory and generally don't learn well in any way except for *doing things* over and over again. I'm much better visually than with auditory ability, but at the same time, I have limited spatial ability and poor spatial orientation (don't know the street names, can't orient myself, gets lost.) I'm horrible with math beyond algebra.
memory) but most of this information lacks relevance to "real life" functioning; not only that, I appear to store things randomly and retrieve them randomly. I have God-awful short-term memory and generally don't learn well in any way except for *doing things* over and over again. I'm much better visually than with auditory ability, but at the same time, I have limited spatial ability and poor spatial orientation (don't know the street names, can't orient myself, gets lost.) I'm horrible with math beyond algebra.

CharlesH 08-12-17 01:21 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
I myself would probably be considered by outsiders to be a high functioning ADHD, but that would be based on a rather superficial view of my outward functioning, and ignores the internal chaos that permeates my daily routine. A previous psychiatrist had diagnosed me with Aspergers, but as SarahSweets said, that is no longer in the DSM, so perhaps I am in fact somewhere on the autism spectrum, but I don't know.

Ironically, your writing style makes you come across to me as someone who is an organized, articulate thinker. I'm not a medical professional. Do you have a psychiatrist and/or psychologist/therapist? If so, what is their opinion? Have you considered the possibility of a learning disorder (which can be in addition to, or instead of, other potential conditions such as ADHD, ASD, etc)? Could you share more information about your life story (education, family background, work history, etc)? Have you ever had a neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessments? Any family history of mental/neurological illness?

sarahsweets 08-12-17 06:59 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Batman55 (Post 1959422)
I'm aware of that. But does anyone "get" or relate to a lot of what I wrote?

Or maybe is the forum just ridiculously slow at this time?

I'll repeat one of the key points if folks can't be bothered to read the original long post:

I have the social disability typically found in Asperger/autism (poor social comprehension, low empathy, inability to reciprocate).. but lack the cognitive "gifts" typically found in autism (logical thinking, powerful focus, etc.) I have the executive dysfunction and horrible attention-span found in ADD, but appear to be much lower-functioning *socially* than anyone I've seen with ADD, online and in real life.

I did read your entire post and while I dont relate completely I thought I was allowed to comment.

irishadd 08-12-17 07:49 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
From reading your post it sounds like you are looking for someone exactly like yourself.
That would be a very hard thing to do. In every 'disorder' people are still individuals. You'll often find dyslexics that are OK with typing but can't write by hand, people with aspergers who have fine interpersonal skills and so on.
If your looking for others like yourself 'close enough' is probably the best you will get.

Honestly it seems to me like your loneliness is self imposed because you are looking for a mirror image of yourself. Instead of wallowing in it why not embrace the fact that you are an individual. We all experience ADD in different ways.
You said you have a great way with words and you're a talented writer, so how are you 'genetic crap'?

It looks like your real problem is low self esteem. I've been there to and seen myself the way you do. A bad self image doesn't help socially and will make social anxiety worse. The people you've met that don't seem to have the same level of problems socialising probably don't see themselves as some genetic anomaly with no hope for anything in life.

I can relate to most of your post but I really don't see myself as having 'deficiencies'.

Lunacie 08-12-17 11:45 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
I suspect you're thinking of Asperger's in a stereotypical way. Not all Aspies
are the same. Not all of those on the Spectrum are the same either.


You may also be thinking of ADHD in a stereotypical way. Not all with ADHD
are social butterflies. Many struggle to make and keep relationships.


I believe I'm on the high end of the Spectrum myself, as well as having ADHD
(combined type), and the thing about ADHD is that we are so inconsistent.


One moment we're quite logical, the next we're having a very emotional
reaction.

Batman55 08-12-17 11:59 PM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by stef (Post 1959429)
I can relate to almost all of this para. below
except I can learn visually by memorizing
but otherwise that is exactly my experience
especially the random retrieval, yet this helps me at work, i remember some guys name who came to some meeting but because it was raining that day or some weird detail then because of that " it must have been in may (2016) " so i relatively quickly find some document needed to be revised and also " because it was really purple" ( it was a presentation and we used this other background).
i have litlle logic and those same spatial and math issues, exactly.

I think you may have some understanding of the general "style." It is like an associative memory where one thing that only slightly connects to another thing, can help me find the information I am looking for.

But the point is that a lot of the information that is stored is useless or so trivial; for example remembering the color of someone's sweater at a specific event (might be triggered by talking about that event)... what use is that? Why am I storing nonsensical crap?

In a sense it is like I store a lot of "sensory impressions" but again, it's mostly useless. Why do I *not* store practical, relevant information?

Like for example as a guy in my 30s I should know a little bit about cars or how to change a tire; maybe I should know a little about finances and tax codes and taxes and so on. But I know jack. It's not there, because I cannot store it, or don't store it or maybe bits of it are there, but because it's strictly a "sequential" kind of knowledge, it cannot be pulled out in any meaningful way.

I might be rambling but I think a further insight is I'm AWFUL with long sequences or long strings of data and get confused/lost easily with these things. Another thing is if I have no interest in a subject, I can't learn anything about it.

kwalk 08-13-17 12:13 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
You're are always going to be distracted by random things, I honestly just let them fly out the window and think about something else. Honestly I don't even need to tell myself to think about something half the time. I can never really remember anything about taxes either, I just half to go through the whole thing over again and sometimes I get help. Have you tried putting pieces of information you wanted to remember on walls? Keeping them there for months? It does help.

I really would focus on your interests, learning things outside them won't go very far.

Batman55 08-13-17 12:30 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by irishadd (Post 1959465)
From reading your post it sounds like you are looking for someone exactly like yourself.
That would be a very hard thing to do. In every 'disorder' people are still individuals. You'll often find dyslexics that are OK with typing but can't write by hand, people with aspergers who have fine interpersonal skills and so on.
If your looking for others like yourself 'close enough' is probably the best you will get.

I'm well-aware of this. No one will be "utterly the same" but that said I've seen plenty of folks in any given ADD forum and autism forum who are able to connect with others. I, on the other hand, usually do not. I have tried. I don't know what it is but no matter what, almost inevitably, I cannot connect with another human being. At least not online.

Perhaps it does not help that I've been socially avoidant in real life--like, avoiding social situations as much as I possibly can--for years on end and have not addressed it or done anything differently. But it's not as simple as you're thinking.

I believe it turned out this way *because* I don't connect. And also, what is the use if I only stand to feel more disenchanted.. I've never enjoyed group social situations.. it makes me feel even worse. Everyone is able to go with the flow, contribute something, add some wit... except for me. I don't have that fluent capability and it's not something that can be gained if you're socially "off/slow/confused" as a rule. The problem is ever more jarring the closer they are to my age. Those situations are frankly depressing at best.

Quote:

Originally Posted by irishadd (Post 1959465)
Honestly it seems to me like your loneliness is self imposed because you are looking for a mirror image of yourself. Instead of wallowing in it why not embrace the fact that you are an individual. We all experience ADD in different ways.
You said you have a great way with words and you're a talented writer, so how are you 'genetic crap'?

At this point I'm not 100% sure it is self-imposed. Because quite literally I cannot connect with anyone who does not have some striking similarity to myself. This plays out in every arena, especially online. The only time I come close to connecting with anyone is when they're similar enough or share a lot of the same difficulties.

I may have a couple of very minor talents but it doesn't add up to anything since I don't function well enough.

Quote:

Originally Posted by irishadd (Post 1959465)
It looks like your real problem is low self esteem. I've been there to and seen myself the way you do. A bad self image doesn't help socially and will make social anxiety worse. The people you've met that don't seem to have the same level of problems socialising probably don't see themselves as some genetic anomaly with no hope for anything in life.

I can relate to most of your post but I really don't see myself as having 'deficiencies'.

Well if the answer to the self-loathing which results from being amazingly behind in every way--contributing less than someone half my age--is to start contributing in the way expected of me, it's not going to work.

I think that's the wall I've been up against for longer than a decade. I'm afraid I have no answer to that. The natural response to offering nothing valued by society is insecurity and self-loathing. It's a meritocracy, you see. What if you can't offer anything? How would you respond? Think you'd still like yourself?

peripatetic 08-13-17 12:37 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
what would it mean for you "to connect"? i mean in practical terms: what does that look like?

i ask because i often do connect, in my way of experiencing/defining that verb, but i have a VERY hard time sustaining connection longer than a few years (excepting, like, three people i've known for decades). i don't have aspergers/not on the spectrum, but i do have co existing conditions that make it super hard for me to be a dependable person because i'm hospitalized here and there and so forth.

i think of what i've had and have with some still as connecting. not because we share diagnoses apart from adhd necessarily, but oftentimes that's why. or we are in the vicinity if not the exact same flavours.

anyway, i didn't see if you'd mentioned what connection would mean for you and how long it would last and whether it could be messy. but i've had messy connections and some remain and some don't. it's at least in part because those i've connected with are also mentally ill and so subjected to the vicissitudes of their own ailments, as am i. you know?

anyway, i thought that perhaps by outlining what you're looking for you'd be more likely to find it. i, too, have trouble reading longer things, so while i skimmed your thread start, i didn't see this covered. apologies if it was.

Batman55 08-13-17 12:41 AM

Re: Anyone else like this or "am I just a worthless genetic defect?"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lunacie (Post 1959473)
I believe I'm on the high end of the Spectrum myself, as well as having ADHD
(combined type), and the thing about ADHD is that we are so inconsistent.


One moment we're quite logical, the next we're having a very emotional
reaction.

That was something that struck me in a recent lecture that "Barkley" gave about ADHD vs. SCT. He said that ADHD can be profoundly inconsistent.

Can I ask you to take a look at the profile I wrote about myself in the original post? Toward the end I mention how my cognitive style contradicts itself in several different ways. This is something that has confused not just myself but many others (including several teachers) for a very, very long time.

But the thing is that the pattern ends up in a strange way. My strengths are negated by weaknesses in the same area as the strength (good writing/language skills negated by poor comprehension; good visual skills/strong visual memory negated by poor spatial skills.)

In the end, basically it almost amounts to nothing, since I can't really use the strengths I have without being hampered by the limitation.


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