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Old 09-21-12, 05:55 AM
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SCT and intelligence

In Denmark - where I live - people only distinguish between ADHD and ADD. I donīt think many people have ever heard about SCT. However, when I read about SCT here I can really relate to the diagnosis in so many ways, yet some part of the description really bothers me a lot. Words like "sluggish", "mentally foggy" etc. I just can't relate to. I can be distracted and daydreaming, but my brain is not slow thinking. I manage really good at the university, because the structure of the study fits me. I can sit and write a lot of papers, which I prefere instead of verbal examinations.

But to me it just seems as if "sluggish" and "foggy" more or less indicate that you are a bit slow thinking or even a bit dumb... is that the way to understand it? Is it really unusually to be smart and have SCT at the same time? Like many other people with AD(H)D it is sometimes really difficult for me to get started on something - but when I first get started I can really hyperfocus on the things I am doing. (Then the problem is more how to stop again).

As you can hear I am really confused when it comes to understanding SCT. Can anyone tell me more about it? Or if you can relate to my thoughts about the diagnosis?

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old 09-21-12, 09:12 AM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

I am both smart and SCT. Star Student at my high school, high IQ, advanced placement classes, Phi Beta Kappa, blah blah blah. But I'm definitely SCT. I have trouble with motivation, tend to wander off mentally in the middle of conversations, zone out a lot, sleep a lot or not at all, feel fatigued most of the time, etc. I never studied for tests until the night or the weekend before, and I've never turned in a paper on time in my life. The pressure of having a deadline on top of me usually causes the hyperfocus to kick in, and I'm able to plow straight through whatever I need to do.
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Old 09-21-12, 09:23 AM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

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Originally Posted by T-Rex65 View Post
I am both smart and SCT. Star Student at my high school, high IQ, advanced placement classes, Phi Beta Kappa, blah blah blah. But I'm definitely SCT. I have trouble with motivation, tend to wander off mentally in the middle of conversations, zone out a lot, sleep a lot or not at all, feel fatigued most of the time, etc. I never studied for tests until the night or the weekend before, and I've never turned in a paper on time in my life. The pressure of having a deadline on top of me usually causes the hyperfocus to kick in, and I'm able to plow straight through whatever I need to do.
That sounds exactly like me! But the fact that there are people with SCT who can actually manage a long education doesnīt fit with the description: "slow cognitive tempo" - what is Barkley's view on that for instance? Iīm also not sure I understand what it means to feel as in a fog?
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Old 09-21-12, 12:13 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

The way my psychiatrist described it to me was this. Because I have a slow cognitive tempo, it takes all my "juice" (or "working memory" maybe) to make a decision or solve a problem. This leaves very little left over for other tasks, and it exhausts me mentally.

Here is a possible computer related comparison. We have fast processors, but not enough RAM. So, we have to keep swapping out information in and out of our paging file, which slows down our performance. Maybe. I have no idea if that's a good analogy or not.

I haven't read enough of Barkley yet to give you a good answer on how he sees it, exactly. Reading his book and viewing his lecture videos is on my to-do list, though!
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Old 09-21-12, 12:21 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

Although hyperfocus is common with all ADHD types, I just realized that my computer analogy sort of explains that as well. Our computers run better and faster if we are only running one program at a time. So the tasks we hyperfocus on are easier, but nothing else gets processed while we are in that mode.

As for the fog, I have noticed that feeling recently. I don't know if I'm in the fog more often because I'm getting older, or if I just notice it more because I finally have a word for it. The way I felt the other day at work was like looking up close at a blank wall. I had things to do, but I simply couldn't bring up anything into my conscious mind and hold onto it long enough to even think about what I needed to do with it. So it wasn't even like procrastination, because when I'm fighting my lack of motivation, I know what I'm avoiding. In this case, it is like being in a fog, literally, and trying to use a flashlight to find something in it to no avail.
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Old 09-21-12, 01:07 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

From what little I know of SCT, it sounds like the OP doesnt HAVE SCT, just regular ADHD-PI or maybe ADHD-C
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Old 09-21-12, 01:31 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

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From what little I know of SCT, it sounds like the OP doesnt HAVE SCT, just regular ADHD-PI or maybe ADHD-C
Now I probably appear very slow but what does "OP" mean?
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Old 09-21-12, 02:27 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

OP = Original Poster = YOU
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Old 09-21-12, 03:09 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Rex65 View Post
Although hyperfocus is common with all ADHD types, I just realized that my computer analogy sort of explains that as well. Our computers run better and faster if we are only running one program at a time. So the tasks we hyperfocus on are easier, but nothing else gets processed while we are in that mode.

As for the fog, I have noticed that feeling recently. I don't know if I'm in the fog more often because I'm getting older, or if I just notice it more because I finally have a word for it. The way I felt the other day at work was like looking up close at a blank wall. I had things to do, but I simply couldn't bring up anything into my conscious mind and hold onto it long enough to even think about what I needed to do with it. So it wasn't even like procrastination, because when I'm fighting my lack of motivation, I know what I'm avoiding. In this case, it is like being in a fog, literally, and trying to use a flashlight to find something in it to no avail.
Yep, I know exactly what you mean.

I think the computer analogy is pretty good, actually.

I'm still not fully on board with the different ADHD subtypes... I think there's too much variation and symptom overlap to get that fine with the definitions, but that's just me.

There are days where I come across as PI, some days H, and without enough sleep SCT.

I'm not saying all ADHDers have the exact same disorder, just that there are too many variables and not quite enough hard science to justify all of the sub categories.

Entirely possible I'm just missing some recent evidence though, who knows
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Old 09-21-12, 03:24 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

I still get confused about which symptoms are typical of SCT and which are typical of ADHD-PI. I just went a-googling and found this Barkley article. The last sentence is the one I found interesting.

http://psycnet.apa.org/?&fa=main.doi....1037/a0023961

"It is concluded that SCT may be a separate disorder from ADHD yet with comorbidity occurring in approximately half of all cases of each."

I'm pretty sure I have SCT. I believe my psychiatrist's diagnosis of ADHD, but the symptoms of that disorder, as distinct from the other, aren't as readily apparent to me. Except for the hyperfocus thing. That one is obvious to me.
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Old 09-21-12, 03:58 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

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Originally Posted by Plognark View Post
There are days where I come across as PI, some days H, and without enough sleep SCT.
I am like this, too. I do the "starey" thing A LOT. I usually spend day or two a month stuck in the "fog," like I am so totally inside my head that the outside world doesn't exist and I probably appear zombified and disoriented to others the entire day. Can't snap out of it, physical movement feels like fighting an ocean current, everything around me seems to be moving very quickly but I feel like a giant tortoise stuck in the mud, mentally and physically. But it's not every day.

Most of the time, though, I hardly stop moving and can't stick with one thing very long.
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Old 09-21-12, 04:05 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

I used to make other students in my classes angry sometimes. I would get "What are *you* staring at?" in an angry tone. All I could say was "nothing", because I wasn't aware that I was staring.

Well...maybe I was staring! It's funny how little bits of information about these disorders will suddenly click into place and suddenly, I understand something from my childhood that never made sense before.
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Old 09-21-12, 04:26 PM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

Just realized I was a little bit off-topic - despite the ADHD, starey-ness and the SCT-like days, I always did well in school and graduated with an A and extra credits. Without getting my butt kicked for staring at everyone.

I get funny looks when I come out of a "starey" episode and someone is now in my "stare zone" who wasn't there before (staring right back at me)...

The scary part is that it sometimes happens while I'm behind the wheel.
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Old 09-22-12, 05:19 AM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

I view it as more physically slow and slow in thinking, processing, etc. Slow and dumb has a different meaning to just 'brain fog.' I get moments of fog or just mental/physical slowness and I have a lot of knowledge, it's just hard to reach.

I used to refer to SCT as 'sloth syndrome' although some people might be offended by that. Sloths are very intelligent. And call one dumb and they'll hook you with their sharp claw.

I did horribly in school, got low to almost average grades and I'm combined ADHD. However, some people thought I was slow. I think it was a sensory thing.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:22 AM
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Re: SCT and intelligence

I think one of the fallacies that many people make with SCT or any of us with ADHD is that we lack intelligence, simply not true. Conversely though having SCT or ADHD does not make us more intelligent either.
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