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  #1  
Old 10-04-13, 07:16 PM
MikhailTal MikhailTal is offline
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Identity problems

What I think I am, what I think I want, what I think I prefer, how I view life, all change multiple times a week. But most of the time, I feel I don't have a personality. I think it's a borderline trait (I'm only diagnosed with ADHD-PI), or is this common in ADHD(-PI) as well? I thought the impulsivity problems refer to actions and behaviour, not to self-image, but maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 10-04-13, 08:36 PM
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Re: Identity problems

I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I've often felt very "chameleon-y" - it's hard to find an adjective to describe me whose opposite is not also true. There are so many questions about myself I simply can't answer: optimist or pessimist, introvert or extrovert, etc. It depends on the hour. It depends on my mood.

I fit in with many different groups of people and act very differently depending on who I'm with, changing everything from my personality to my vocabulary to even my accent, subconsciously mimicking whoever I'm talking to. I definitely don't feel like I'm doing it on purpose, it just kind of happens.

I've never thought of this as an ADD-PI thing but rather part of my own personality (or lack thereof?). But who knows?
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  #3  
Old 10-04-13, 11:15 PM
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Re: Identity problems

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Originally Posted by pooka View Post
I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I've often felt very "chameleon-y" - it's hard to find an adjective to describe me whose opposite is not also true. There are so many questions about myself I simply can't answer: optimist or pessimist, introvert or extrovert, etc. It depends on the hour. It depends on my mood.

I fit in with many different groups of people and act very differently depending on who I'm with, changing everything from my personality to my vocabulary to even my accent, subconsciously mimicking whoever I'm talking to. I definitely don't feel like I'm doing it on purpose, it just kind of happens.

I've never thought of this as an ADD-PI thing but rather part of my own personality (or lack thereof?). But who knows?
weird huh? I think it's just one of our coping mechanisms to fit in. We pick and choose who to be when and not really knowing who we are because often times our thoughts don't match our behavior.

I just watched batman returns and there is a line in there that.shook me to my core. "We aren't judged by who we are inside, it's what we do that defines us." Absolutely crushing to this adder.

The theme of why do we fall down? So we can get back up! Moved me as well.

I think it's time to get a cape...
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Old 10-05-13, 08:35 AM
MikhailTal MikhailTal is offline
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Re: Identity problems

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Originally Posted by pooka View Post
I'm not sure if this is what you mean, but I've often felt very "chameleon-y" - it's hard to find an adjective to describe me whose opposite is not also true. There are so many questions about myself I simply can't answer: optimist or pessimist, introvert or extrovert, etc. It depends on the hour. It depends on my mood.

I fit in with many different groups of people and act very differently depending on who I'm with, changing everything from my personality to my vocabulary to even my accent, subconsciously mimicking whoever I'm talking to. I definitely don't feel like I'm doing it on purpose, it just kind of happens.

I've never thought of this as an ADD-PI thing but rather part of my own personality (or lack thereof?). But who knows?
This is exactly what I meant, but you also added most of the causes. I feel like I have a million faces as well, and that's why I often get the feeling that I don't have a personality.

You mimick vocabulary and accent - I do that as well. I don't know where that trait comes from. I believe my mother has Asperger's syndrome (there are scientists who believe ADD-PI is related to or even a light version of ASD), and I know that people with ASD can be great actors. Maybe I inherited the trait from her, although I'm quite sure that I'm not on the autistic spectrum.

Perhaps there are people who contribute the 'million faces' thing to feelings of anxiety and inferiority, but since I feel and think so deeply that most opinions and points of view are so ridiculous, I just HAVE to create a character for myself, based on and slightly different than the person I'm talking to. I don't feel it has to do with anxiety. I just have to cope with not having an identity.

I do have to add, that when I maintain the character successfully, I sometimes am able to enjoy socializing. Not because I succeeded in fitting in, but after creating the character, I am able to relate with the people I'm talking to. But when I am alone again, the character disappears.

Furthermore I have to add, that I think that mimicking accent and vocabulary is very human, but maybe we do it way more often and are more conscious of it.
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Old 10-05-13, 10:54 AM
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Re: Identity problems

Interesting. For me too it's definitely not anxiety, I can be pretty social and outgoing and am usually pretty confident. But on the other hand, when I'm alone, I can be antisocial and introverted and insecure

It's like some kind of inner mechanism that makes me adapt well to my environment. I used to think it was because I'd moved schools so much when I was younger and I was so used to being "the new kid" that I was constantly changing myself to fit my environment.

I don't really think of it as acting because I truly feel that however I am behaving in that moment, that is me. It's just that "me" can be many, many different things.
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Old 10-05-13, 12:22 PM
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Re: Identity problems

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Originally Posted by pooka View Post
Interesting. For me too it's definitely not anxiety, I can be pretty social and outgoing and am usually pretty confident. But on the other hand, when I'm alone, I can be antisocial and introverted and insecure

It's like some kind of inner mechanism that makes me adapt well to my environment. I used to think it was because I'd moved schools so much when I was younger and I was so used to being "the new kid" that I was constantly changing myself to fit my environment.

I don't really think of it as acting because I truly feel that however I am behaving in that moment, that is me. It's just that "me" can be many, many different things.
I have to agree, that I only regard it as acting later on, when I often can't believe that I behaved as I did, when I'm alone, apathetic and overthinking everything. But when I focus on remembering how I felt, I also believe that I felt that it was me.

So that belief of you also disappears when you're alone? The longer I'm alone, the less "human" I will be. I will start to ruminate, think about existential questions and distance myself from others, I will regard socializing as some ridiculous evolutionary trick for surviving. The only remedy is, that I continually have to be stimulated by activity or people, but I will never initiate that myself.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.
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Old 10-05-13, 01:20 PM
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Re: Identity problems

Thankyou for verbalising it so well.

This is our observer + lack of recall coming back to bite. In a sense, it predisposes us to be immensely spiritually aware. Translating this awareness into action in a valued direction will see a reduction in such thoughts / perspective. Though, it's quite a fluid thing...

I could gain insight and build interests, reframe the perspectives you touch on. So we have a choice to build tools to nail us down to certain persuits, or we can lessen the model and expectations, extend those views, challenge them and reassess....if the views are extended outwardly they are tested by experience and stand a greater chance of evolving to a more enriching and necessary plain. Embracing and acknowledging this fluidity, not holding a bar of society up to ourselves and frequently asking ourselves to clarify where we are and where we are heading can all build a sense if identity within our psyche.

Is it better to have 1 view tested 1000 times, 1000 views tested 1 time or 1 view tested 0 times?

There is certainly a major disconnect in the default way;

-We perceive ourselves
-We express ourselves
-Others perceive us

In recent times, i've been listening more to the last one... and it's painting a picture of me that I was less aware of. Though the center line, that of the expression, I would hazard, rules this conundrum.

I'm very keen to read the other responses...
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Old 10-05-13, 02:05 PM
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Re: Identity problems

I'm quite the opposite, actually. I'm very rigid in my behaviour and it took me years of practice and reading to finally be able to adapt myself and fit in. Most of my life I've simply been a weirdo, since I always like things few others like and I have many beliefs most people around me don't share. I often find myself in groups where nobody shares my opinions. I feel a little bit lonely from this point of view, that's why I love the Internet .
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Old 10-05-13, 02:14 PM
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Re: Identity problems

I just happened upon this quote from Joyce Carol Oates that might interest you:

Quote:
ďI feel very transparent in myself. Iím more of an observer. Iím interested in whatís going on. Iím not sure that I really have a personality. Some people think I do have a personality. I have a personality when I am with certain people ó but when Iím not with them I donít have that personality. I just sort of go back to resembling a transparent glass of water.Ē
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Old 10-12-13, 07:07 PM
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Re: Identity problems

Sometimes, I feel like a social chameleon, but I attribute that to the fact that I can vibe with the emotions of the room / the person I'm talking to and potentially take on those characteristics. It helps and it hurts.

As for identity problems: I feel the same way sometimes. I just think it's a philosophical problem as well because of the way the ADD brain works.

My theory is that because we ADD'ers don't live in the same linear time mentality as other people, we don't fall into the self-narration as someone without it experiences. What is your identity but the story of our lives that we tell ourselves? We live more moment to moment. ADD'ers probably have some 'holes' in the memories of their life, given that.

Philosophically, if you break it down: Because who you are, isn't who you think you are. Who other people think you are isn't who you are. So who are you anyways? Thoughts come from the aether and appear into consciousness, you aren't actively choosing what you think... If you can understand this, you will know that you are not your thoughts, nor your emotions... but an observer of both. You simply choose to act on certain thoughts or let them pass.

I can see how ADD can make someone question their identity like that, especially since ADD'ers tend to be self-aware individuals when it comes to their own mind.

Last edited by patryk; 10-12-13 at 07:18 PM..
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