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  #1  
Old 11-17-17, 03:20 PM
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Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

I guess this is a general ADHD query but in my case it mostly pertains to my education. It just seems like I make the same errors over and over again when it comes to managing my symptoms, keeping on top of my studies, being sensible about the workload, etc. There isnít a calendar, planner or todo list that I havenít lost, forgotten about or outright gave up on and even when I meticulously plan my activities something always messes it up. And constantly having to re-write my schedule and activities just makes me constantly worried and stressed because nothing can ever go the way I plan. I know what Iím supposed to avoid to improve my productivity and what tools to try and overcome my difficulties with studying but I regularly fail to put these concepts into practice and I have never been able to spot red flags until itís too late.

I just feel very defeated and fed up. Iím just so tired of struggling so much just to barely scrape by in life, even in areas that Iím good at. I just donít know what I keep doing wrong over and over and over again to end up in the same mess as the last time (in this case, struggling to finish coursework on time). Iím just tired of constantly trying to fix myself so I can finally be a functioning adult.
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Old 11-17-17, 03:33 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

I don't learn lessons well either. If I even recognize the pattern, I always think "this time it's different because xyz". Until it's too late and all too familiar.
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Old 11-17-17, 04:15 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

Dr. Barkley says we "know what to do but we can't do what we know."
Our ability to plan ahead is impaired.
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Old 11-17-17, 04:38 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindBlind View Post
I guess this is a general ADHD query but in my case it mostly pertains to my education. It just seems like I make the same errors over and over again when it comes to managing my symptoms, keeping on top of my studies, being sensible about the workload, etc. There isnít a calendar, planner or todo list that I havenít lost, forgotten about or outright gave up on and even when I meticulously plan my activities something always messes it up. And constantly having to re-write my schedule and activities just makes me constantly worried and stressed because nothing can ever go the way I plan. I know what Iím supposed to avoid to improve my productivity and what tools to try and overcome my difficulties with studying but I regularly fail to put these concepts into practice and I have never been able to spot red flags until itís too late.

I just feel very defeated and fed up. Iím just so tired of struggling so much just to barely scrape by in life, even in areas that Iím good at. I just donít know what I keep doing wrong over and over and over again to end up in the same mess as the last time (in this case, struggling to finish coursework on time). Iím just tired of constantly trying to fix myself so I can finally be a functioning adult.
I read in Ratey and Hollowell's book, 'Driven To Distraction,' that not learning from mistakes apparentyly is one of the symptoms of ADD. I know I have the same thing going on. Very discouraging, I know, hang in there.
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Old 11-18-17, 06:13 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

I try to see the silver lining in mistakes and troubles, even the awful ones. I am one of those annoyingly positive people but I didnt used to be. I had to change my thinking. No matter how tough or awful something seems there is always an opportunity for growth and when you come out on the other side you are able to see this. It doesnt feel that way when you are in the thick of it though.
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Old 11-18-17, 07:22 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

I've got exactly the same problem. I think it's because the conditions that cause the mistake don't change. I don't change. I've still got zero will power but for some reason I always think next time will be different. It's not. It's still me.
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Old 11-19-17, 08:53 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
I don't learn lessons well either. If I even recognize the pattern, I always think "this time it's different because xyz". Until it's too late and all too familiar.

This happens to me as well
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  #8  
Old 11-20-17, 06:15 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

I describe this for myself through a metaphor...

I am just like a pirate sailing on the ocean, following my compass and very much willing to reach my destination.

But i am always forgetting that my compass is tampered with. It has it's own distortion magnet worked into it, that moves around and skews with the compass needle like crazy.

So i am basically sailing in circles - arriving anywhere but my destination - still trusting on that compass. And still thinking willpower only will make it work. "if i just hold it right"...

the metaphor also has it's solution...

The pirate me needs to keep that compass cause it is a real beauty, but it is not working out as a way to guide my life. Luckily, there are other methods to navigate, like looking at the stars, and use those to orient yourself from.

And this starfield of postits, reminders and workarounds is a lot less intuitive then just watching that needle that directs my attention, it's also a lot less fun, but it helps me reach my destination.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-17, 06:46 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Originally Posted by DeClutter View Post
I describe this for myself through a metaphor...

I am just like a pirate sailing on the ocean, following my compass and very much willing to reach my destination.

But i am always forgetting that my compass is tampered with. It has it's own distortion magnet worked into it, that moves around and skews with the compass needle like crazy.

So i am basically sailing in circles - arriving anywhere but my destination - still trusting on that compass. And still thinking willpower only will make it work. "if i just hold it right"...

the metaphor also has it's solution...

The pirate me needs to keep that compass cause it is a real beauty, but it is not working out as a way to guide my life. Luckily, there are other methods to navigate, like looking at the stars, and use those to orient yourself from.

And this starfield of postits, reminders and workarounds is a lot less intuitive then just watching that needle that directs my attention, it's also a lot less fun, but it helps me reach my destination.
Aye, this 'ere old salt be right! If only me parrot would shut 'er trap so I could be'er focus on me star charts! Wish I could throw 'er to the oggin, but the son of a biscuit always finds 'er way back. Stuck with 'er, it seems. Or as them landlubbers say; to err be human, to arrgh be pirate!
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Old 11-20-17, 09:33 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Aye, this 'ere old salt be right! If only me parrot would shut 'er trap so I could be'er focus on me star charts! Wish I could throw 'er to the oggin, but the son of a biscuit always finds 'er way back. Stuck with 'er, it seems. Or as them landlubbers say; to err be human, to arrgh be pirate!
Any port in a storm!
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Old 11-20-17, 02:40 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Aye, this 'ere old salt be right! If only me parrot would shut 'er trap so I could be'er focus on me star charts! Wish I could throw 'er to the oggin, but the son of a biscuit always finds 'er way back. Stuck with 'er, it seems. Or as them landlubbers say; to err be human, to arrgh be pirate!
Kind of trying to imagine that here with a Finnish accent, marvelous!
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Old 11-20-17, 03:36 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Kind of trying to imagine that here with a Finnish accent, marvelous!
Your wish is Google's command. (Press the little speaker icon to the bottom left of the left side box.) The English one on the right side isn't bad either.
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Old 11-22-17, 03:50 AM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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Your wish is Google's command. (Press the little speaker icon to the bottom left of the left side box.) The English one on the right side isn't bad either.
It's one of the most interesting sorts of word salad that google has ever created for me, but luckily the speaker function saved the day.

they should really add a pirate voice and translation option someday
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Old 11-22-17, 01:13 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

People with ADHD have difficulty or find it near impossible to generalize. This is a medical word that has distinct application. it has to do with our difference in experience of time among other things. The ability to generalize is the ability to see multiple problems as the same general problem. Each mistake feels slightly unique. As in, well that mistake is different for on these other 100 mistakes became such and such happened. People do not learn generalization skills, it's one of those brain activities that are learned unconsciously so your average person can't understand why you wouldn't see it, nor can they tell you how they would do it as they did not learn this skill. For us, it requires learning from reasoning which is extremely inefficient.

As an example, a plan is made for the day, but then one or more monkey wrenches get thrown in. The ability to adapt to quickly changing circumstances is something I think is very impaired in people with ADHD and it's something that really is not talked about. Adaptability is so incredibly important in every day functioning at work, socially, and in the ability to manage time efficiently.

You have made plans but the monkey wrenches that will come require shifting priorities. What happens when the ability to sort things in priority is impaired, and in ADHD it is. You get a mental log jam. Efficiency is then a lovely thought but no more than that.

Planning for the monkey wrenches means planning time for the unforseen. This means being aware that you will get less accomplished than you expect to. Almost EVERY time. This is a general rule. it is often said "people with ADHD take on more commitments that they should. Well, fine and dandy but that statement solo, demonstrates that the people who can manage time never had to learn the " how to" and the unspoken assumption is that you must know. Well, it doesn't work that way for us.

Fear of not accomplishing gets in the way here, there isn't a plan that calculates for unseen contingencies that bung up the best laid plans. Being able to counter the anxiety over performance by planning to accomplish less than you think is possibly, or that ideally should be possible is not just necessary but critical. When making the plan, generalization is required to plan for these unseen events, so while making the plan you need to figure out in advance which priorities can be bumped before you get into the mess and have to re-evaluate a list of priorities.

Learning from one general mistake like not being prepared or adaptable to the unseen events is just one aspect of an impaired ability to generalize.

I do not mean that anyone should throw up their hands and say, well, I can't do it and that's that. You need to get to know these areas where we are weak in order to effectively counter them. Discovering yourself is so important so you can build your ability to adapt to changing circumstances or slight differences in circumstances.

We're goin g to make these mistakes over and over until we examine them in new ways that work for us. And, you can't count on someone who did not need to learn it to help you do so. They haven't a clue. .
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Old 11-22-17, 04:26 PM
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Re: Why do I never learn from previous mistakes?

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People with ADHD have difficulty or find it near impossible to generalize.
This is so true, in fact, i also don't like it when people clearly show their generalizing capabilities... In my head it immediately goes like... Yeah, but situation A was this, and B and C where that, and situation D... oh... that was totally different.

I sometimes even get frustrated that they don't see all the different circumstances and factors, to me it looks like they are really oversimplifying it, and all the nuance is lost.

Perhaps it's a talent we miss, on the other hand it could be a strength as well. Seeing all the deviations and nuances that a generalising mind erases from the picture creates a lot of chaos for us. And to deal with that chaos - atleast in my experience - i tend to look for Patterns within this chaos.

While a generalisation goes like A = B

a pattern goes like this a1 -> a2 -> a3 -> a4 = B1

A slight variation already turns it into a new pattern, so in the end we easily get lost in the details and way too many different patterns.
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