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Old 08-03-09, 04:26 AM
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Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

Warning: Although this post has been proof-read and edited, it is still a post on rambling written by a rambler.

I have had this issue since I was a kid. My thoughts come out in convoluted segments. While many kids have this problem, and some adults just give too much information and too many details when they speak, I have not found a way to efficiently break the habit.

When I was seven I started going to a speech therapist, but that was purely for a minor stutter I had as a result from speaking too fast. I learned to pause before I would speak, and give my brain an extra moment to think about what I was about to say. This helped tremendously. In fact, you could say this method still works very well for me today.

But here's where I'm still slipping up. When I feel a little tense, this all goes out the window. When I am at home with my parents, my mother gets very impatient with this and doesn't really want to talk to me because it always happens; but, when I take a moment to pause before I speak, she flips out too and says that she's tired of my taking so long to say something. This is funny, because she works in K-6 special education and was the one who got me into the speech therapy sessions in the first place.

But when I'm relaxed, I am able to sum up really complicated thoughts and feelings into only a few words, and sometimes people don't always understand what they mean because I try to use their classic definitions as opposed to their social meanings (e.g. I once said I was going to tranquilize the cat, only to watch my sister break out crying). I feel like I'm stuck between an ineffective string of out-of-order clauses and a few good words that no one else understands because they don't read a dictionary.

Here's some irony for you. One of my jobs is working in computers. I have become quite good at teaching people how to understand, operate, and repair their home computers independent of my, or anyone else's, help. I have even been told by some that I was one of the most effective communicators and speakers they had heard on the subject. When some of my family heard that, they stared at each other and started to laugh. I guess it's just a combination of my use of words when I'm relaxed and focused and the fact that I have a very deep made-for-radio voice (now think Leonerd Cohen). A friend said that I sound like poetry when I speak, but when she hears poetry she doesn't have a clue what the f--- it really means half the time.

Both of my siblings have this rambling problem, but not quite as bad as mine.

Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions on what can be done. I know lots of people ramble, but is there a relationship between ADD and rambling? Out of everyone I know who has ADD, I'd say it's 50-50 on who's a habitual rambler. But when it rains, it pours with them.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:45 PM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

Check! For me, this is the hardest part of having ADHD. I'm an reasonably intelligent guy, but I often sound like a 10 year old. It's virtually impossible for me to translate my thoughts in sensible words.

When I'm telling a story, I can't seem to filter out unimportant details or stop myself from sidetracking. Often I start telling a story, but end up telling something totally different. It isn't uncommon that I have to ask "my audience" what I was originally talking about and for which reason. Unfortunately, it's rare that they're able to answer me.

In a new social environment I tend to get nervous (because I feel pressured to say something "good") and my impulsiveness makes me say the first thing that comes to mind; I say things that don't make any sense, ask ridiculously stupid questions or I start joking around without being able to control the content, resulting in awkward situations and people giving me blank stares.

The worst part is that people start labelling you as a clown or a slow guy, so in those scarse moments the fog clears up and you're able to say sensible things...people aren't listening.
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Old 08-03-09, 05:59 PM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

I find that it helps to use some visual imagary, along with some self talk thrown in. For example, my issue is talking too loudly. So whenever I'm on the phone at work, I have to make a conscious effort to lower my voice and speak softly.

Whenever I'm giving out information on the phone, I imagine myself writing it down and that automatically slows things down so I'm not prattling at 55 words a minute!
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Old 08-03-09, 11:50 PM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

Thanks for the posts...I have the same problem as far as giving too many details and not knowing how to filter my conversation. In fact, too recently my 23yr. old told me I'm getting just like my mother with telling her too many details that she doesn't care about. Not that she doesn't care to hear me, it's just that I say things that she doesn't need to know, too many things. I also notice when I talk to someone, afterward I think about the conversation and my responses and think "why on earth did I say that?" Other people must think I have issues when I say things that don't really relate or that mean nothing to them. I have to ask too, does anyone have a problem with trying to say something and getting stuck on the word you are thinking of and not being able to get it out? I notice I do that alot where I am talking and call something by several words until I finally get the right one out. Happen to anyone else?
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Old 08-04-09, 04:40 AM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

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Originally Posted by scatterbrain67 View Post
Thanks for the posts...I have the same problem as far as giving too many details and not knowing how to filter my conversation. In fact, too recently my 23yr. old told me I'm getting just like my mother with telling her too many details that she doesn't care about. Not that she doesn't care to hear me, it's just that I say things that she doesn't need to know, too many things. I also notice when I talk to someone, afterward I think about the conversation and my responses and think "why on earth did I say that?" Other people must think I have issues when I say things that don't really relate or that mean nothing to them. I have to ask too, does anyone have a problem with trying to say something and getting stuck on the word you are thinking of and not being able to get it out? I notice I do that alot where I am talking and call something by several words until I finally get the right one out. Happen to anyone else?
This describes me perfectly. All of the above. When I teach, I have to reign myself in. My students (usually) help me get back on track. My non-linear thinking seems to help in some areas of conversation ... but can screw things up if I say things that don't really relate or that mean nothing to them.

Horridly embarrassing is : trying to say something and getting stuck on the word you are thinking of and not being able to get it out, even common words. Words you know you know. It seems to be an indexing problem, not a storage problem. Once I get the word back, I zoom forward.

I've just separated from my wife, and my ADHD has got me in trouble. I open up to people I barely know and pour out my heart. Later I ask myself "why on earth did I say that?" This has actually caused problems at work, because it's not really OK to share everything with everybody.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:10 AM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowmix View Post
This describes me perfectly. All of the above. When I teach, I have to reign myself in. My students (usually) help me get back on track. My non-linear thinking seems to help in some areas of conversation ... but can screw things up if I say things that don't really relate or that mean nothing to them.

Horridly embarrassing is : trying to say something and getting stuck on the word you are thinking of and not being able to get it out, even common words. Words you know you know. It seems to be an indexing problem, not a storage problem. Once I get the word back, I zoom forward.

I've just separated from my wife, and my ADHD has got me in trouble. I open up to people I barely know and pour out my heart. Later I ask myself "why on earth did I say that?" This has actually caused problems at work, because it's not really OK to share everything with everybody.

Funny you should bring up the being too open with people. I always find it easy to share my life like an open book, no boundaries when I share I guess. I wonder if anyone else experiences this too, related to ADD at all or not?
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Old 08-04-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

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Originally Posted by scatterbrain67 View Post
Funny you should bring up the being too open with people. I always find it easy to share my life like an open book, no boundaries when I share I guess. I wonder if anyone else experiences this too, related to ADD at all or not?
Nope, I'm a major privacy freak. I tell people next to nothing. Those who know me well, probably know a lot. One of my close family members has this being open with people, shares her life story , and everyone else's as well. I hate it, never want to meet anyone who knows her and she tends to make stuff up.

When asked, everything is swell, I live a heaven on earth, see ya, nice talking with ya.. blah blah.. safest way to go.
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Old 08-04-09, 11:22 PM
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Re: Help with the way words/thoughts ramble on as they come out

I do the getting stuck on words thing occasionally, and I'm pretty open, as can be seen from my posts on here. I'll talk about anything. In my opinion, if everyone were that open, we could all learn from one another, but I see at the same time that not everyone is virtuous in their intent with information. So, giving too much information to the wrong person can be detrimental. In my typical all or nothing way, I will either be too open, or be so closed that I push people away.

My wife is much like the first post or two. She is perfectly intelligent, but I've seen her break down and cry because she can't express herself. We've had some huge arguments before because she said something thinking that she said one thing, when she in reality said something very different. I'm kind of word literal, and take things at face value, which is bad in those situations because she can say some really hurtful things without meaning to. I really hate seeing her struggle to articulate her thoughts and feelings, because she then ends up saying something off the wall, and that starts the downhill slide. Once she says one thing that makes no sense, and can tell, it is like she forces conversation to try to make up for it, and now with a complete lack of confidence, only makes things worse and worse and worse.

I'm so sorry for those of you that think you are saying one thing when you are uttering something totally contrary. My wife struggles with this, and if anyone has any input on the issue, I'd love to pass it along.
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