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Old 11-16-19, 06:48 PM
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Thinking and learning

I'm having huge problems with these at the moment and it's getting worse. My problems are mostly at work but I didn't want to post in the job section as I'd like a broader treatment of this topic.

I'm struggling to define what I mean by thinking but what I'm struggling most with at the moment is understanding what I'm reading, assimilating knowledge that I accumulate from different sources, applying knowledge and retaining anything I learn.

I just don't get it and I don't understand why I don't get it. It's like I read different bits of text but I can't put them together to make up a coherent logic. Imavine trying to knit a pullover by throwing pieces of string at each other hoping they will stick together. But it doesn't stick.

It's actually a huge issue because I'm not able to do my job. I'm not able to complete the tasks I've been asked to do because I just don't understand how to do them. It's not easy. It's not like I could just ask somebody else how it works because no one has that expertise. I know though that if somebody else was given the same task they would learn it and be able to do it. It's not that it's too hard because others (especially the younger ones) do learn these things very quickly.

Medication helps a bit. I'm currently off meds and just staying awake at work is challenging enough.

I'm genuinely thinking of quitting my job and looking for something that is less ..I'm not sure what, maybe less intellectual or less mathematical. Something where you don't require strong cognitive skills. At the same time I can't believe that I'm not able to crack it.

I'm not sure what to do. I've started dreading work but I can't quit because we need the money. I just hate going there everyday and failing. I feel as if I'm stealing because I am (at least for now) getting paid for not producing anything.

Does anyone else deal with this? Is this an ADHD issue? I think working memory and lack of focus definitely play a role but if that is true then it means that ADHD actually does make us more stupid and less intelligent and somehow I don't believe that. It's easier to believe that it is just me. I'm just stupid for whatever reason. I haven't always been like this though. I used to be good at thinking, not always but often enough and I used to be able to learn quickly. Now I struggle learning anything and I don't understand why. Or is something else? An early sign of dementia?

How can I not be able to think?
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  #2  
Old 11-16-19, 09:43 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

From what I know of you, I would guess that it's probably not incipient dementia, but rather a combination of...
- depression/anxiety
- being a parent of a young child
- environment (e.g. not loving your job, not doing work that necessarily excites you...)
- etc.
...all of which contribute their own difficulties and also make the untreated ADHD more difficult to circumvent. Since you (presumably) also had (untreated) ADHD in the past and did not always have difficulties learning and working (at least, not to the extent you have now), I would guess that it's these other factors that are primary drivers, but of course it's hard to separate these things out and they interact strongly.

I've been struggling a lot with similar feelings, though I'm not employed at the moment (in part because of these difficulties). A lot of it for me is environmental; working from my living room without the intellectual and social stimulation of colleagues and an exciting environment really, reeeeeeeeeally doesn't do it for me. And now, having fallen out of the habit of doing the kind of demanding work I had been doing, it's very hard for me to get back into it, or even to fathom how I was once capable of doing what I used to do. Your precise circumstances are different, of course, but I can relate to the feeling, anyway.

I'm looking at a possible career change, but haven't committed yet.
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  #3  
Old 11-16-19, 10:50 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzzy12 View Post
I'm having huge problems with these at the moment and it's getting worse. My problems are mostly at work but I didn't want to post in the job section as I'd like a broader treatment of this topic.

I'm struggling to define what I mean by thinking but what I'm struggling most with at the moment is understanding what I'm reading, assimilating knowledge that I accumulate from different sources, applying knowledge and retaining anything I learn.

I just don't get it and I don't understand why I don't get it. It's like I read different bits of text but I can't put them together to make up a coherent logic. Imavine trying to knit a pullover by throwing pieces of string at each other hoping they will stick together. But it doesn't stick.

It's actually a huge issue because I'm not able to do my job. I'm not able to complete the tasks I've been asked to do because I just don't understand how to do them. It's not easy. It's not like I could just ask somebody else how it works because no one has that expertise. I know though that if somebody else was given the same task they would learn it and be able to do it. It's not that it's too hard because others (especially the younger ones) do learn these things very quickly.

Medication helps a bit. I'm currently off meds and just staying awake at work is challenging enough.

I'm genuinely thinking of quitting my job and looking for something that is less ..I'm not sure what, maybe less intellectual or less mathematical. Something where you don't require strong cognitive skills. At the same time I can't believe that I'm not able to crack it.

I'm not sure what to do. I've started dreading work but I can't quit because we need the money. I just hate going there everyday and failing. I feel as if I'm stealing because I am (at least for now) getting paid for not producing anything.

Does anyone else deal with this? Is this an ADHD issue? I think working memory and lack of focus definitely play a role but if that is true then it means that ADHD actually does make us more stupid and less intelligent and somehow I don't believe that. It's easier to believe that it is just me. I'm just stupid for whatever reason. I haven't always been like this though. I used to be good at thinking, not always but often enough and I used to be able to learn quickly. Now I struggle learning anything and I don't understand why. Or is something else? An early sign of dementia?

How can I not be able to think?

I do think that ADHD can make us functionally less intelligent at times.

ADD, to me, is quite intermittent.

What I am seeing is that impaired eye movement coordination is a big driver of symptoms it is very common in ADHD, an is related to the clumsiness that also goes with it, It is known to put a huge load on working memory too.
I have always suspected that it is not that we have a deficit in working memory- it is just that there is an unrecognised drain on it.

The essence of it is that moving from one eye position to another requires calculating the position of the current and desired visual targets and holding them in working memory while calculating a vector to the new visual target.


See here (If you enjoy all that reading !)
Altered Control of Visual Fixation and Saccadic Eye Movements in Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
J Neurophysiol 90: 503–514, 2003. First published April 2, 2003; 10.1152/jn.00192.2003.




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  #4  
Old 11-16-19, 10:58 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Now, as to why you are getting worse:

Worsening vision is one
Worsening eye coordination another
These neck issues that I have talked about certainly worsen with age and sedentary jobs and do directly worsen eye coordination (complicated reason, I will post on it soon).
The neck issues also cause a serious decrease in resting stimulatory input into the brain, and mental dullness.

( I finally got mine corrected into a more or less stable position last week and everything is much more vivid and clear. I had felt like I was only fit to be sent to be processed for pet food!)
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Old 11-21-19, 07:32 AM
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Re: Thinking and learning

I'm dealing with the same right now. Today home from work (yet again) as I couldn't stand going in and sit there unproductive.

You also work as a software developer, right? I used to be very good at learning, and interested in new technology frameworks etc, but it is like I've lost that ability (or interest) completely.

It might be that I've done it one too many times, learning the new shiny thing to really get anything out of it. I might have some form of midlife crisis, but I wonder if being a SW developer is really what I was meant to be. Do you have similar thoughts?

I'm sorry that you're struggling with this also, as it is really difficult...
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Old 11-23-19, 11:33 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

I get this a lot. Moreso this year because of dealing with some major issues. Stress impairs the ability to think. And diet. SB is correct. A ketogenic diet makes the brain function better.
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Old 11-24-19, 01:16 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Stress, tiredness, high emotion, nutrition, "Adverse Childhood Experiences", Trauma... all impact memory function.

Unfortunately in a work environment stress increases as we become aware of a memory problem, compounding the problem..... a negative feedback loop.

If you are having trouble staying awake your memory is going to be shot to bits. Being that tired is the equivalent of several shots of vodka or pints of beer (or more).

Also if you have something like "Imposter syndrome" which many ADDers have, stress levels will be heightened, impacting memory, so now you've had several pints and a couple of chasers.

Add a young family or financial worries into the mix you're now into blackout territory - apparently functional but not really there.

Is this an ADHD thing.... yes and no.... it is present in many/most ADDers I've met, but I put it under "secondary effects" of living with ADHD.

For me it really kicked in when I became a parent for the second time. Now I accept my memory isn't Neurotypical and I tell my clients that... No lists, schedules, instructions, time related information or financial stuff... they're the big holes for me.

Luckily I can be upfront about this with those around me, especially my clients which helps my stress, allows me to put in place coping strategies and increases my memory function.

Key to this was being curious about WHY I was struggling with memory and HOW my memory was impaired.

In my view, if you've one or more young children and are working memory impairment is normal ADD or not.
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  #8  
Old 11-26-19, 07:29 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Is it like different things are competing for your attention and focus, and you get distracted and frustrated, and it all gets mixed up and turns into racing thoughts which in turn cause anxiety within yourself?
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Old 11-26-19, 07:36 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Perhaps with the right meds things would be more clear to you?
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Old 12-05-19, 07:39 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by namazu View Post
From what I know of you, I would guess that it's probably not incipient dementia, but rather a combination of...
- depression/anxiety
- being a parent of a young child
- environment (e.g. not loving your job, not doing work that necessarily excites you...)
- etc.
...all of which contribute their own difficulties and also make the untreated ADHD more difficult to circumvent. Since you (presumably) also had (untreated) ADHD in the past and did not always have difficulties learning and working (at least, not to the extent you have now), I would guess that it's these other factors that are primary drivers, but of course it's hard to separate these things out and they interact strongly.

I've been struggling a lot with similar feelings, though I'm not employed at the moment (in part because of these difficulties). A lot of it for me is environmental; working from my living room without the intellectual and social stimulation of colleagues and an exciting environment really, reeeeeeeeeally doesn't do it for me. And now, having fallen out of the habit of doing the kind of demanding work I had been doing, it's very hard for me to get back into it, or even to fathom how I was once capable of doing what I used to do. Your precise circumstances are different, of course, but I can relate to the feeling, anyway.

I'm looking at a possible career change, but haven't committed yet.
Thanks. I'd love a career change but I feel like I'm so bad at what my current job is how could I better in something that's completely new and unfamiliar.

I used to work from home and well...I just couldn't do it. I need to be in a work environment. I work in a big open plan office now and though it's terribly distracting it also helps me tons. No more procrastination.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:41 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kunga Dorji View Post
Now, as to why you are getting worse:

Worsening vision is one
Worsening eye coordination another
These neck issues that I have talked about certainly worsen with age and sedentary jobs and do directly worsen eye coordination (complicated reason, I will post on it soon).
The neck issues also cause a serious decrease in resting stimulatory input into the brain, and mental dullness.

( I finally got mine corrected into a more or less stable position last week and everything is much more vivid and clear. I had felt like I was only fit to be sent to be processed for pet food!)
Interesting I'll look into it though I reallysuck reading papers these days. Not good for a researcher
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Old 12-05-19, 07:43 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDreamer View Post
I'm dealing with the same right now. Today home from work (yet again) as I couldn't stand going in and sit there unproductive.

You also work as a software developer, right? I used to be very good at learning, and interested in new technology frameworks etc, but it is like I've lost that ability (or interest) completely.

It might be that I've done it one too many times, learning the new shiny thing to really get anything out of it. I might have some form of midlife crisis, but I wonder if being a SW developer is really what I was meant to be. Do you have similar thoughts?

I'm sorry that you're struggling with this also, as it is really difficult...
Yes. I do enjoy coding but it doesn't come naturally and I know shockingly little about software, hardware and related concepts. You'd never guess I've got a PhD in computer science.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:45 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by tudorose View Post
I get this a lot. Moreso this year because of dealing with some major issues. Stress impairs the ability to think. And diet. SB is correct. A ketogenic diet makes the brain function better.
Really? My diet is mainly carbs and I've always felt if I cut down carbs the first thing tosuffer are mycogbitive abilities. But then I'm not good at sourcing protein so maybe that would make a difference
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Old 12-05-19, 07:48 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by kilted_scotsman View Post
Stress, tiredness, high emotion, nutrition, "Adverse Childhood Experiences", Trauma... all impact memory function.

Unfortunately in a work environment stress increases as we become aware of a memory problem, compounding the problem..... a negative feedback loop.

If you are having trouble staying awake your memory is going to be shot to bits. Being that tired is the equivalent of several shots of vodka or pints of beer (or more).

Also if you have something like "Imposter syndrome" which many ADDers have, stress levels will be heightened, impacting memory, so now you've had several pints and a couple of chasers.

Add a young family or financial worries into the mix you're now into blackout territory - apparently functional but not really there.

Is this an ADHD thing.... yes and no.... it is present in many/most ADDers I've met, but I put it under "secondary effects" of living with ADHD.

For me it really kicked in when I became a parent for the second time. Now I accept my memory isn't Neurotypical and I tell my clients that... No lists, schedules, instructions, time related information or financial stuff... they're the big holes for me.

Luckily I can be upfront about this with those around me, especially my clients which helps my stress, allows me to put in place coping strategies and increases my memory function.

Key to this was being curious about WHY I was struggling with memory and HOW my memory was impaired.

In my view, if you've one or more young children and are working memory impairment is normal ADD or not.
My memory is atrocious. I read a lot and if it interests me I can retain it for a short while but not longer.

I still don't understand why ADHD impairs memory.

Yes to everything else too. I'm exhausted. I'm stressed and I've got a bad case of imposter syndrome.
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Old 12-05-19, 07:51 PM
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Re: Thinking and learning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
Is it like different things are competing for your attention and focus, and you get distracted and frustrated, and it all gets mixed up and turns into racing thoughts which in turn cause anxiety within yourself?
Yes but also it seems like my thoughts are too disconnected. Imagine you are reading a recipe but thoughyouubderstabd each individual word you don't understand the instruction and you don't understand how the instructions are put together to come up with a dish. You need a sort of broadness of vision to understand things whereas me..I just can't see the picture. While I'm seeing one part of the picture everything else fades away.
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