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View Poll Results: Is it fair to hold ADHD people accountable for their actions.
Yes - ADHD people still have self-control. 89 56.33%
No - ADHD cannot always control their actions. 69 43.67%
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  #1  
Old 11-15-04, 02:55 AM
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Does anyone really think they are a complete, helpless victim of ADD?

I have a hard time discussing my ADD with non-ADD people because they seem to immediately argue whether it is legitimate or not. I'm not ashamed of having ADD. I think the reason they argue it is because they think I am about to use it as an excuse.

I have seen threads on here in which the authors seemed to indicate that they were helpless to overcome ADD symptoms such as procrasitnation and impulses.

For me personally diagnosis wasn't about an excuse but about an explaination. I am in general a very responsible person, but even so I was failing in many areas. Most of these are related to my ADD. Now that I am diagnosed, I am using the knowledge of my condition to learn how to cope with it. I am using my knowledge to improve and also to forgive myself for those days I just blow it. It has never been an option to just carry on and blame it all on ADD.

I am lucky because my wife is quick to say my ADD quirks are in fact ADD. She has to remind herself of it, but we are only months into awareness of my condition. So with her, I could probably get away with anything ADD related that I wanted to, but that's just it. I don't want to. I wanted treatment so that I could move on, not so that I could be excused.

Does anyone really think they are a complete, helpless victim of ADD? I can see the validity for things before diagnosis to a point, but after diagnosis, is it reasonable to blame our ADD for our bad judgment and irresponsibility? I say no, because I know I still have self-control even if I have to make a bigger effort to use it.

Of course there are the times I am bored when my wife is trying to talk to me. I have no control over that boredom, but I still have control over how I handle it. In my case I usually do my best to listen out of love and respect for my wife without letting my boredom show. My boredom is not within my control, but my response is. I won't fake interest though. If anything, since I know I have ADD, I now admit when I am not following a conversation but I do everything I can to be responsible towards my wife.

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  #2  
Old 11-15-04, 03:06 AM
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An interesting part to this question is that sometimes impulsiveness leads to acting before thinking. So in one sense it seems that the ADHD person may not have had a reasonable opportunity to think through a decision. After such a case can the ADHD person blame ADHD or should they accept responsibility for their actions?

My take is they should accept responsibility. They cannot change what was done, but by accepting responsibility they are more likely to find a way to not repeat the mistake. I think ADHD explains actions, but I don't think it excuses behavior.
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Old 11-15-04, 03:10 AM
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My short answer is "No."

My long answer is that, without treatment, I would still be doing the exact same self-defeating things I was doing before I was diagnosed. My medication has helped me in many more ways than one. Among them are kicking a HUGE caffeine habit, being able to maintian a clean car, and numerous "small victories."

When I have one of my ADD moments, I stop and laugh at myself. Yeah, I blame ADD, but so what? It's better than beating myself up over it.

I only really have one friend, but, guess what... she has ADD, too. So, I had no problem telling her. She has done MUCH better without medication than I was ever able to do. She's currently taking Wellbutrin to stop smoking, and I'm hoping it will help her ADD so much she'll want to keep taking it.

I got the diagnosis just as a confirmation of my own self-diagnosis, so I could start getting treated for it. I'm glad I did, because, in the process, I found out I have a LD.

In my particular case, I had already, independently discovered most of the strategies you can read in the ADHD books about how to cope/compensate for it. I used to set my clock 45 minutes ahead so I could be on time for things. I made a rule never to buy anything important (cars, computers, PDAs, basically anything that costs over $50) on the first trip I make, etc. I was already doing as much as I could, and it wasn't enough. That's what I think people mean when they say they are "helpless" against ADHD.

If you can compensate without medication (as my friend seems to be doing fairly succesfully), that's awesome, and you're either a stronger person than I or don't have as much ADHD... lol. But, if you need the help meds can give you, I definitely would recommend going to see a doctor about that.
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Old 11-15-04, 03:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Life ADDs Up
An interesting part to this question is that sometimes impulsiveness leads to acting before thinking. So in one sense it seems that the ADHD person may not have had a reasonable opportunity to think through a decision. After such a case can the ADHD person blame ADHD or should they accept responsibility for their actions?

My take is they should accept responsibility. They cannot change what was done, but by accepting responsibility they are more likely to find a way to not repeat the mistake. I think ADHD explains actions, but I don't think it excuses behavior.
How about both? Like I said, when I do something impulsive, I tend to blame ADHD, but I still have to deal with it. I don't call up the credit card company and say "I have ADHD, and I didn't mean to buy all these things," or anything.

For me, knowing "why" I do things is completely useless. If I want to not do those things, then that's where the compensating strategies and meds come in, and that's where I think personal responsibility begins.
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Old 11-15-04, 08:41 AM
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This is a really interesting thread and I also feel that this is one area that, if we could get together in a group setting, could really be discussed a lot better than in the forums.

But being that , that is not possible we will have to do the best we can with what we have.

That being said ,"we will have to do the best we can with what we have", What I am reading and what I beleive is exactly they same regarding our ADD....

This is the way we are, and we have to learn the " Coping Statagies" that are nesesary to function on an everyday basis.....

I have had many jobs where I blamed everything on the company or someone else who worked there or some other external reason as to why I was unhappy with the job and left , allways figuring it would be better at the next place, and it always was for a while , but sooner or later the old ADD sneaks up and gives you that kick that seems to upset your life and starts the whole thing in motion again.

I am experencing it now but with the difference of , "That I am sitting back and evaluating what it really is that is causing me to feel the way I do"

One main thing I learned going to a group counsiling session was " That I cant control the actions of others ", (that do things that affect my life ), but I can control " How I react to the situation ".....

Quote:
I have a hard time discussing my ADD with non-ADD people because they seem to immediately argue whether it is legitimate or not. I'm not ashamed of having ADD. I think the reason they argue it is because they think I am about to use it as an excuse.
This is something I am quite famiar with and myself I have found it better to just avoid the situation for the reasons that follow.......

They themselves do not have to live with the condition so they really don't understand what it is like
They think I am about to use it as an excuse.

To them it sounds like an excuse where to me , all i'm trying to do is explain why it happened, as I wish it hadn't happened and didn't have to be explaining it in the first place.

It is easier for them to look at me and just think that I am a total screw up, rather then show some compasion and try to understand.

It has taken me 2 years of reading the posts of others here at the Forums for myself to understand, so how can I expect them to understand with a 5 minute conversation that usually turns into a heated discussion or an argument.




Quote:
I have seen threads on here in which the authors seemed to indicate that they were helpless to overcome ADD symptoms such as procrasitnation and impulses.
My thoughts here are , " that they were helpless to overcome ADD symptoms such as procrasitnation and impulses. " , and that is becuase that due to the ADD, ( LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL ), that they didn't recognise the consequnces of there actions before they executed them.....

Had we been able to recognise the potential or eventual consequences of the actions, do you really think that we would have followed through with the action or the lack of action.




Quote:
For me personally diagnosis wasn't about an excuse but about an explaination. I am in general a very responsible person, but even so I was failing in many areas. Most of these are related to my ADD. Now that I am diagnosed, I am using the knowledge of my condition to learn how to cope with it. I am using my knowledge to improve and also to forgive myself for those days I just blow it. It has never been an option to just carry on and blame it all on ADD.
This is also true for me which to end my post here I once again would like to repost a link to a thread that I had started a long time ago.

This thread was started when I was just begining my journey of self understanding and it was posted to get the input of others here in hopes of combining every bodys thoughts and experences into a sensible situation.

This is the thread that I started

How many Stages of ADD are there

The results I recieved from various members were what I had expected but the reslts I recieved from one paticular member was a bonus that I had not counted on......

The results from Smooch

This is the link from the post she made

The ADD Journey
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Old 11-15-04, 10:07 AM
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It seems that I am in agreement with what has been written so far. I am responsible for my actions, ADD notwithstanding. I have learned coping mechanisms. I have learned to resist impulse buys; while I am not great at it yet, I am getting better. I have learned how, in spite of ADD, to manage my shortcomings. But, like I said - not all of them 100%. But even non-ADDers have shortcomings that need management, so mine are just different which makes me a part of the human race. But still responsible for my actions. I did it, not my ADD, and next time I will try a little harder....
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Old 11-15-04, 10:34 AM
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I'll agree with the general gist; ADD is not an excuse. It may be a reason, but it doesn't excuse behaviour.

That said; it can be debilitating. I have three papers, including the literature review of my thesis, to do in the next two weeks. Have I started them? No. Do I want to start them? Yes. Can I read more than a line in the book before my attention wanders? No. Am I interested and enjoying those books? Yes.

For me, it's not a matter of "do I want to write this paper?", but "can I write this paper?" It doesn't mean I expect to get an extension, or that it would excuse my paper being late, because my problems aren't an excuse. But yes, ADD prevents me from doing what I want to do, and adds large amounts of unnecessary stress to my life. Thank god I start treatment this Friday.
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Old 11-15-04, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Of course there are the times I am bored when my wife is trying to talk to me. I have no control over that boredom, but I still have control over how I handle it. In my case I usually do my best to listen out of love and respect for my wife without letting my boredom show. My boredom is not within my control, but my response is. I won't fake interest though. If anything, since I know I have ADD, I now admit when I am not following a conversation but I do everything I can to be responsible towards my wife.

i've never feigned interest in anything : pre diagnosis or post, before i was diagnosed it made me look like a selfish *******. and it does now too. what i just don't get is the fact that we hold ourselves to a standard that isn't feasible for us. most 'normal' ppl have a hard time dealing with whatever they are bored which is why a lot of ppl don't read books anymore etc...how do you expect us adhd'ers to cope with that?
yes i certainly don't fake interest.
i do want to respect my loved ones...usually i do that by saying a simple "i'm sorry?" when i've missed a bit of what they are saying, also i recap what they've said.
i have done this since pre diagnosis..and i've discovered over the years that using the simple technique of rephrasing someone's statement and repeating it back to them is a highly regarded technique of listening to another person and 'hearing' everything properly as well-
anyway
i guess i'm just frustrated with the lines drawn btwn blame vs. explanation
how do you avoid hide your boredom by the way?
does anyone else do that?
at work, i have to hide my boredom with my customers are babbling about and i just put myself on mute and carry on w/ a convo from someone in the office or read...
its all i can do to sit here without jumping out the window.
as for developing coping strategies, i've done that pre and post diagnosis, and i find that although i'm taking meds i obviously have to put a lot of effort forth to maintain
my performance..
i'm losing my track of thoughts right now
so ...
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Old 11-15-04, 12:17 PM
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i think its sad how ADDers have to provide reason/excuses for late paperworks or projects. wouldn't it be great if they could just appreciate honesty and we could just tell them we don't like making them coz we think they're unimportant and unstimulating... how bout that as an excuse? haha
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Old 11-15-04, 01:02 PM
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Hmm... Something about the framing of this question seems to be missing the point. I can't answer either of those options.

Quote:
Is it fair to hold ADHD people accountable for their actions.
Yes - ADHD people still have self-control.
No - ADHD cannot always control their actions.
ADD people generally do not have good self control so if you are expecting normal behavior, you are setting up for dissapointment. The idea is not to make excuses but to find explanations, increase understanding. For years I tried to work a regular office job & met with much dissapointment because I had the expectation that I ought to be able to do that so the old self esteem takes a dive & life becomes a dissapointing miserable thing.

Leading up to my diagnosis I was beginning to realize that maybe I just didn't fit that lifestyle & I had to find another way to lead my life. So with the explanation, I'm another step toward understanding why I am the way I am and finding a place in the world that suits me instead of torturing me.

I'm also discovering that there is a certain extent to which I will have to learn some discipline to accomplish what I want. Knowing about ADD & common coping strategies is helpful with overcoming this. Knowledge is power. Self understanding is essential.
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Old 11-15-04, 02:41 PM
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Old 11-15-04, 02:56 PM
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Let me add the idea that without understanding someone might struggle & torture themselves trying to be normal but with knowledge one might be able to follow the correct productive well fitted course in life and succeed way beyond their wildest dreams. The classic example is instead of trying to maintain a boring job, try for a more creative executive position where you can get assistants to take care of the boring work and apply your creativity and energy to amazing results. Such a person following such a path may still be incapable of keeping their paperwork filed properly but that's not important, that's not what they should be doing, they should be doing something better. Lots of people are bad at lots of things and it's possible to work around all sorts of shortcomings. Apart from recognizing the shortcomings of ADD it is critically important to recognize the advantages and strengths!
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Old 11-15-04, 10:30 PM
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Wow,
I am suprised by all the responses and happy about them too. You know I have realized as I struggled to word this thread yesterday that it should have dawned on me that this is completely a clear-cut issue.

I know for myself I would never settle for resigning to ADD as an excuse for failure. It is a great reason to forgive myself for mistakes though. Even so, unless I know someone will truly understand ADD (which is almost never), I take responsibility for mistakes and failings outwardly and cut myself slack inwardly. If I have a suggestion or idea that could help me avoid a similar mistake in the future, then will offer it without saying I need to accomodations because of ADD.

I think Gary was right. This would make a much better group discussion that forum thread. It's so hard to cover it completely enough to not come off sounding blind or stubborn. I know there are endless senarios for this question to play into.

James
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Old 11-15-04, 10:52 PM
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Thanks, James

I really appreciate your outlook.
Many years ago (long before I knew I had ADHD), after suffering some terrible consequences that were the direct result of my own wrong actions, but blaming them on my parents mistakes in my upbringing, I realized that I was whining and sniveling "Poor me, poor pittiful me". It was a real awakening, and I totally despised what I saw in myself at that moment.
I decided at that point that it was very much my choice as far as what sort of person I was, how I lived life, how I reacted to life, and that my past did not have to affect me anymore.
So, even though I have ADHD against my wishes, I am still responsible for how I deal with it.
I don't expect a blind man to be able to walk around town by himself, but I do expect him to learn how to use a cane, and a seeing eye dog if he can afford one.
I don't expect that an alcoholic can stop drinking just like that--I do expect him to get help. And I'll give him a ride to an AA meeting if he wishes.

BTW, my parents did a very good job; it's my own fault, the result of my own choices, that I ended up so far from their ideal.
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Old 11-15-04, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by My Life ADDs Up
I think Gary was right. This would make a much better group discussion that forum thread. It's so hard to cover it completely enough to not come off sounding blind or stubborn. I know there are endless senarios for this question to play into.

James
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How many ADD ADDults does it take to change a light bulb ????

Is it burnt out or not turned on ????

Is that the right light switch

I didn't notice that it wasn't working

Want to go fishing ?????????
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