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Old 03-18-12, 03:15 PM
Califf Califf is offline
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ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

Hey guys, so I quickly did a couple of searches to see whether or not members talked about the specific trait of memory in people with ADD/ADHD, and I don't think i've found something that covers it extensively.

I wanted to know what people with ADD/ADHD think of their memory capability, please feel free to be very descriptive, say confidently whether u think you have exceptional or very poor memory. Since when were you diagnosed? what meds are you on? quantity (if your comfortable sharing that)?. and Lastly I wanted to know whether you think there is a connection between the two (memory and ADD/ADHD).

My motivation to know this info is to kind of assert a thing about my own memory...I have very very poor memory skills, and it really is no doubt a reason why I'm not doing as well as I want in college. i've been diagnosed in January and now on adderall 20 mg's XR. My feeling is that my memory is equally poor in many aspects, in particular names and numbers are the worst for me...if your thinking that everyone has that I'd like to assert that until I read your posts and see so many people with the same problem, I will still label the extent of my memory skills to be abnormally poor.

Background Information about myself, I'm a college student studying here in the u.s., I only came here 3 years ago, and i've been taught primarily english alongside a couple of other language including my original language. I'm very fluent in english, and I can say that my understanding of it and vocabulary is stronger than the other 2 languages. So thinking that my memory would work better if things were spoken my own language doesn't sit right with me.

P.s. I'm also interested in whether alot of people with ADD have the almost obsessive and frequently overwhelming desire to conceptualize things and understand them, no matter how vague and difficult things can be...but that will be discussed in another thread later, I still want to think about how to start that thread.

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Old 03-18-12, 03:25 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

My memory sucks. I can't remember the things I want to remember and I can't forget the things I want to forget.

I haven't been diagnosed and am not taking any meds (except for anti depressants).
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Old 03-18-12, 03:40 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

My memory for factual information (names, dates, definitions, etc.) is probably above-average, but I've noticed that it seems to have deteriorated in adulthood. I don't know if that's normal or not. I suspect that environmental influences may be heavily to blame (why retain information when you can just Google it later?)

My working memory is nonexistent. That also used to be better, but still well below average. As I developed techniques to compensate for this, my brain pretty much gave up. Now, if it's not written down immediately upon recollecting, it's gone. I also have a tendency to forget what I was talking about mid-sentence...it happens more in the presence of certain people, though, so I don't know what drives it.
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Old 03-19-12, 02:54 AM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

My working memory is pathetic. I have to write everything down. And even then, sometimes I still forget what it is I have to write!

I'm also no good at recalling facts even though I take great interest when I read or hear them. It's embarassing because if I'm having a conversation with people and this particular topic is raised, and I'm thinking about what know about the topic, then I start to tell the story, then I realise when I'm telling it that I can't remember. I get facts mixed up and just wrong.

I would agree with previous poster who said it gets worse the older you get.

My long term memory pretty good. Always has been. I'm good at recalling events especially if I experienced an emotion eg fear, upset. When I recall the memory, I feel the emotion and I can't let it go. Unfortunately. I'm sure this is what people call 'being hung up'. I can't help it!
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Old 03-19-12, 10:18 AM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

If I try to remember the name of an actor in a movie...this is what you'll get

"Ohhh, the guy who played the reporter in the movie about the guy who turned out to be a seriel killer...It also had that really old actor who played the really rich guy...you know, who hired the reporter to find his murdered niece...who really wasn't murdered...he's been in a lot of movies, like action adventure stuff...Ohhh, what's his name??? I think he's dating the girl who won the oscar, or maybe she was just nominated, a couple years ago maybe...oh never mind"

So, is that a good memory or a bad one?
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Old 03-19-12, 10:20 AM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

My memory got worse with Adderall, just fyi. Much worse.
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Old 03-19-12, 10:35 AM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

I tend to have problems recalling things when I need to. I used to think that my memory was really bad until this weekend when I spent time with my nephew who is 14 and also has ADHD.

He forgot things I told him within 15 seconds. It got kind of frustrating. I am doing a project at a friends house and I would ask him to do something like get the ShopVac inside and 30 seconds later, he's sitting in a chair playing with a hammer.

The funny thing is that on the way home he said thing like, "we've seen that car already today, I remember the license plate number"

A trait of ADHD is that PARTS of your memory don't work properly. For instance, you can have TONS of information in you memory, the problem is that recalling things in it is like trying to find a book without a card catalog OR an understanding of the Dewey Decimal System. You can generally find the book with just ONE of those two things but without either one, your stuck just remembering little parts of what you need, much like that actor who's name you can't remember.
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Old 03-19-12, 12:23 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trishcan View Post
I also have a tendency to forget what I was talking about mid-sentence...it happens more in the presence of certain people, though, so I don't know what drives it.
Stress or emotions can impose on working memory. Social pressure can be the cause of that stress.

Eg. You tell yourself not to slip up because you're around so-and-so, and it only makes you subconsciously worry more. Your inner-self monitors what you're saying (did I say something wrong?) instead of what to say next. The working memory space that would've been used to plan your thoughts is intermittently redirected towards measuring your social value.

Normal levels of working memory would allow both to happen at the same time. Our level of working memory causes our thoughts and speech to get disjointed any it's trying to perform double duty. The original 'data packet' drops, and we 'forget' what we were going to say.

Not much different from 'forgetting' because of a sudden distraction in your surroundings --- the cause just happens to be internal.
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Old 03-19-12, 12:55 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

I remember stuff I'm interested in (sometimes I even forget interesting stuff as well), but anything uninteresting I won't remember or vaguely remember it. At school I always forget what happens unless it's something very interesting, I forget what classes I have, what peoples names are even if they tell me and forget anything that happened in a class. For example, today I was zoned out in a class and suddenly came into reality where the teacher was really getting on my nerves; told me to grow up, called me a clown and then told me to f-off. I felt like strangling him, he said it to me because he said I did something I never did (forgot what it was, but I know I didn't do it) Now that's the kind of things that I remember, and really, really aggravate and annoy me.
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Old 03-19-12, 01:16 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

My working memory comes and goes... some days, it's awesome, other days it's awful- for example, I was trying to explain something to my DH while I was driving yesterday. I stopped at a red light, and when I noticed other cars (headed the same direction as me) begin to move, so did I. As soon as I passed the light, I asked- out loud- "was that light green?" ... I am sure I saw that it was... I just didn't remember. I've done that before though, where I use the stop light as a stop sign... *sigh* just not paying enough attention.
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Old 03-19-12, 01:26 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistractedDude View Post
He forgot things I told him within 15 seconds. It got kind of frustrating. I am doing a project at a friends house and I would ask him to do something like get the ShopVac inside and 30 seconds later, he's sitting in a chair playing with a hammer.

The funny thing is that on the way home he said thing like, "we've seen that car already today, I remember the license plate number"
that's exactly how my memory works! occasionally it's useful though. For example once I memorised the outline of my notes (this could take forever) bits information would just come back to me while I was taking a test. It's really a problem at my job. Especially if someone calls me and needs one simple thing, or even worse, asks me to find out or get something if I'm on my way back to my desk.

I'm just so glad I found out about all of this a few years ago...
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Old 03-19-12, 05:06 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

Working memory = v.bad.
Visual memory = better than average. I'm trying to learn to use it more since it allows me to remember things a hell of a lot better - like postcodes i've only seen once or phone numbers. Only discovered it recently though as weird as that sounds, last year I was on the way to my car repeating a post code over and over again in my head so i could type it in the sat nav when I arrived.
Got in the card and closed the door.
Forgot the postcode.
Swore I hadn't written it down and went to go back indoors when I closed my eyes to try remember what I saw - and managed to pick it out which saved me minutes since I was already late to work . Since then i've been trying to memorie stuff via an image snapshot which is working better....but doesn't really help with day to day tasks.
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Old 03-19-12, 05:45 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AshT View Post
Working memory = v.bad.
...last year I was on the way to my car repeating a post code over and over again in my head so i could type it in the sat nav when I arrived.
Got in the card and closed the door.
Forgot the postcode.
Sounds like your brains applied the boundary effect.

And neurotypical people think they've got it tough!
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Old 03-19-12, 06:45 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

When I walk into a room and suddenly forget what I was going to do I remember that I haven't taken my meds yet. My working memory was so poor when not on medication. Over a year later and it's much better, not as good as when I was on a high dose; my memory was in the form of images and sounds.

Yes, there is a connection between poor memory and ADHD because working memory sits at the frontal lobes which is where we have our problems, something known as executive dysfunction. Long term memory is in the...hippocampus I think and that's located either in the mid brain or the back. See, I forget because I haven't been keeping up with my revisions. The fact that I need to do revision about things that interest me can show you how poor my memory is.

I was diagnosed last April/June and I'm on 10mg of Ritalin daily (apart for weekends when I can truly see the difference these meds give me).

I have a good memory for facts and will know a lot about information I focus on the most. Problem is I have so many different interests so I'm constantly re-reading, re-watching or re-discovering because each interest is full of so much information, so many facts that I want to remember all of. So yes, that last part you said is kind of true for me too.
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Old 03-19-12, 06:48 PM
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Re: ADD/ADHD in relation to Memory.

my memory isnt worth crap. i can remember the most obscure things from a long time ago, or the stuff nobody ever remembers, but i cant remember things i did yesterday or a week ago, or important things pertaining to my life history
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