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Can you have add and not be disorganized? I have a lot of trouble paying attention to verbal information - I involuntarily and frequently daydream - and my pdoc has rx'd me adderall. But I don't have problems with most of the other symptoms of inattentive add. I'm not disorganized, I'm rarely late, I keep my apartment clean, etc. Which is why I've never considered add as a possibility - I've occasionally said to other people, when it was appropriate to the conversation, that I'm the opposite of add because I'm more organized than normal people. I just can't pay attention to verbal information. And sometimes written information, but I didn't realize that until recently.

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i'm similar to you in that; i haven't been dxed with ADD or given a drug for such, and i'm probably more disorganized and messy than you are.. eta - i also have trouble focusing on spoken word and written at times, but mostly it's a verbal issue for me.

i do think it's entirely possible to have done something to overcompensate, so to speak, or developed strategies on your own to combat what would otherwise be a tendency to be disorganized etc. I get organized or clean in spurts, but it's like it's not my 'natural state'.

At work, I have particular strategies that, when i'm at the higher part of my mood cycle, will make me super-productive and able to track complex activities (know exactly where i am in a process). But I think my 'natural' state is far less focused. if i look at the big picture, i do unfocused and hyperfocused, and less of the middle-ground, in between of functional attention (the kind where you can do something over a period of time and also remember to pee, and maybe even get pulled away but then be able to return to the task)

OCD and ADD would be a particular combination that I think would manifest differently than ADD alone.

i think that probably combinations of conditions like ADD (or some semblance of) and sensory processing issues will create a particular set of challenges.

It's probably just as likely however that you have trouble integrating spoken and written words, which your doctor is interpreting as inattentive. it is a sort of inattentiveness to not be able to perceive some event as whole, but possibly the location (where the processing is breaking down) is different in your case.

It ends up being about whether the Adderall helps, which it may not if your issue is sensory integration.

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I think it's entirely possible.

I have a lot of problems with inattention/distraction. ESPECIALLY with verbal and written.

A lot of times it's like there's just too much or too many choices, so the only option is to either do nothing or choose nothing.

Which is frustrating as fuck, but when I can't think it's the only thing I can do.

I do a lot of hyper-focus, to the point to where I don't notice ANYTHING outside of my focus. But I don't know if that's an ADD/ADHD thing or just the autie in me.

uh, what was the question again?

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A lot of times it's like there's just too much or too many choices, so the only option is to either do nothing or choose nothing.

Which is frustrating as fuck, but when I can't think it's the only thing I can do.

like, too many voices speaking in the same place, that trying to choose one of them is impossible?

yeah. i hear ya. (heh)

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Yes. someone can be flatout anal retentive and still have ADD. Some become that way to compensate.

Dr. Daniel Amen has a system of overlapping ADD subtypes that have a lot more descriptive power than the normal diagnostic tools. He's pretty much the only one using them though.

ADD is more a disorder of impulse control and everything else is an expression of that. For that to make sense you have to look at attention as a kind of behavior. For most people the subject of their attentional is selective. They have control of their train of thought. People who don't have impulsive mental behavior. They think about whatever pops in their heads rather than staying focused and in the moment.

As far as what you don't have problems with, you mean executive functioning, right? No, that's not everybody.

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Can you have add and not be disorganized? I have a lot of trouble paying attention to verbal information - I involuntarily and frequently daydream - and my pdoc has rx'd me adderall. But I don't have problems with most of the other symptoms of inattentive add.

In many ways the difference between "hyperactive" and "inattentive" may be the differences among maintaining stimulation/input

through physical and social activity and maintaining it through mental and emotional activity (rumination, daydreaming, blueskying,

hyperfocus.) The "disorder" then, may simply be a matter of how much attention/stimulation-seeking is required to keep the frontal lobes

online, how badly the "executive functions" carry out task-switching and (re)prioritization, and the psychosocial chaos that results

("hilarity ensues" - as long as you're not one of the characters involved)

That's one way to look at it, anyway, in view of a disjunction among the symptoms you notice and the symptoms reported. It may be

that you just can't task-switch in and out of external verbal communication very well on top of any processing issues (like prioritizing the processing of competing signals and noise, including other comm traffic and assuming that there isn't any perceptual scrambling). So

your brain just junks the channels it wasn't going to get anything out of and replays "The Simpsons As Written by Resonance" instead.

Or not.

I'm not disorganized, I'm rarely late, I keep my apartment clean, etc. Which is why I've never considered add as a possibility - I've occasionally said to other people, when it was appropriate to the conversation, that I'm the opposite of add because I'm more organized than normal people. I just can't pay attention to verbal information. And sometimes written information, but I didn't realize that until recently.

Overcompensation? Perhaps.

Do all of these tasks get organized AS they are being noted and recorded, or do you have to come back at them when you have NO

other distractions to get them all in order? Can you function without an intensive and extensive external prosthetic for your memory

and priority functions? Most people can and do.

Can you work with cataloging systems developed by and for other people, or do you have to adapt them to your mental maps to the

point that no one else can work with them? "Some" reorganization is normal; "Major" reorganization seems to go with ADD, OCD,

or other interesting mental quirks.

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A lot of times it's like there's just too much or too many choices, so the only option is to either do nothing or choose nothing.

I do that when my blood sugar gets low - there are too many choices and they're all equal priority and I back out of it. It has frustrated boyfriends and family no end in the past.

ADD is more a disorder of impulse control and everything else is an expression of that. For that to make sense you have to look at attention as a kind of behavior. For most people the subject of their attentional is selective. They have control of their train of thought. People who don't have impulsive mental behavior. They think about whatever pops in their heads rather than staying focused and in the moment.

As far as what you don't have problems with, you mean executive functioning, right? No, that's not everybody.

hm. I've tried (and had success with) a method of working where you shift tasks every short period of time (fifteen or twenty minutes, whatever) and I'm able to focus, disengage, and switch without problems (assuming I'm not having mood issues). That does impose external structure, but it's external structure I'm able to stick to.

Sometimes I think it's a difference between actively doing things (controlling my own attention) and passively taking information (trying to let someone else drive it).

In many ways the difference between "hyperactive" and "inattentive" may be the differences among maintaining stimulation/input

through physical and social activity and maintaining it through mental and emotional activity (rumination, daydreaming, blueskying, hyperfocus.) The "disorder" then, may simply be a matter of how much attention/stimulation-seeking is required to keep the frontal lobes online, how badly the "executive functions" carry out task-switching and (re)prioritization, and the psychosocial chaos that results ("hilarity ensues" - as long as you're not one of the characters involved)

That makes a lot of sense, and is the first casting of hyperactive vs inattentive add that makes their common superclassification (add) make sense to me.

It would also explain why I thought for years that the problem was that my classes were simply horrendously boring.

It may be that you just can't task-switch in and out of external verbal communication very well on top of any processing issues (like prioritizing the processing of competing signals and noise, including other comm traffic and assuming that there isn't any perceptual scrambling).

I've had perceptual overwhelm issues in the past (pretty frequently) but they seem to drop out of the picture when I'm not having mood problems (especially with Seroquel. how I love thee, Seroquel).

So your brain just junks the channels it wasn't going to get anything out of and replays "The Simpsons As Written by Resonance" instead.

ahahahaha oh my god that's exactly what it's like. when it's that coherent.

Do all of these tasks get organized AS they are being noted and recorded, or do you have to come back at them when you have NO other distractions to get them all in order?

I usually write them down wherever convenient (paper, pda, wordpad) and get them into the right place (into email, into my to-do list, into my datebook) next time I'm at my computer and have spare time. Things are more scrambled right now because I'm at an internship out of town and don't have the right habits set up yet.

Can you function without an intensive and extensive external prosthetic for your memory and priority functions? Most people can and do.

I have a pretty intensive/extensive one right now, but could function with a pocket calendar and an easily-settable watch alarm. It's less than ideal, and it's hard to keep track of multiple requirements for multiple classes that way, but I've done it before. I occasionally miss appointments, though, and I prefer to never miss them.

Can you work with cataloging systems developed by and for other people, or do you have to adapt them to your mental maps to the point that no one else can work with them? "Some" reorganization is normal; "Major" reorganization seems to go with ADD, OCD, or other interesting mental quirks.

I like customizing things, but I've been able to work with Outlook straight off the shelf for work. (I could be more efficient with my own software, but it's better to use the standard stuff there because everyone does.) I haven't done much with cataloguing systems, though.

I like organizational systems. As in, they're not just an accessory, but a hobby. I like streamlining the process of living. I wish I could remember how I got into this - I didn't keep a dayplanner until college, and my experience of my first couple years of college especially was horrible, but I don't remember whether having a million things to keep track of was a problem.

I do remember when I started keeping my room clean. It was a cluttered mess when I was a kid, exactly like the rest of the house. It bugged me, and I kept telling my mother I wanted to clean it up. She wouldn't let me move anything out till she looked at it, and wouldn't take time to look at it. I eventually took all the stuff I didn't want out to the garage without her seeing it. Boy, she was pissed. But I had a wonderful clean spacious room. (And now she lives with a man who hoards things, mostly broken electronic equipment - microwaves, washers, etc. His house is in a far worse state than ours ever was. She's continually upset about this.)

*shrug*

I don't know.

Incidentally, in addition to the add thing, my mom apparently thinks I have Asperger's (found that out this morning). So I'm declaring open season on diagnoses for me for the rest of the month. Get 'em in quick, though, only five days left!

This is funny, but I'm also feeling really worn out.

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Can you work with cataloging systems developed by and for other people, or do you have to adapt them to your mental maps to the point that no one else can work with them? "Some" reorganization is normal; "Major" reorganization seems to go with ADD, OCD, or other interesting mental quirks.

I like customizing things, but I've been able to work with Outlook straight off the shelf for work. (I could be more efficient with my own software, but it's better to use the standard stuff there because everyone does.) I haven't done much with cataloguing systems, though.

You mistake me, but that's not so unexpected. I wasn't referring so much to "customization" - that's just tweaks among a set of choices,

none of which has serious consequences for the content - but to organization: left to your own devices, where do you put your stuff

and can anyone but you find it afterwards without a global search following the sacrifice of a black rooster at a crossroads at midnight?

For example, if you set up an index file for all the files that you needed to have filed, would a "normal" person be able to find that

index file under "IF" for Index File, or instead under "Escher" along with pointers to a series of Bach canons? To me, both

classifications are perfectly logical, and I even know people who would be correct to ask why the records aren't under "Castrovalva."

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ADD is more a disorder of impulse control and everything else is an expression of that.
so from this can one infer that you can retrain this? ever since my meds got rid of my obsessive behaviors (the ones that gave me anxiety attacks because i couldn't help but replay the same worry scenario ad nauseum, etc.) i find i cannot hold my focus on a thing to save my life. i can no longer read a book, i cant make it through all the posts from null on, because as Maddy said it's too much. i don't know for sure if i am ADD, but my last pdoc swore i must be (cept i never presented in childhood -- but that's the whole innatentive daydreaming girl thing).

anyway. the question is, can one train to gain focus?

i really miss reading.

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No one's ever complained that my organizational systems were weird, although I don't think anyone's ever tried to use them. I'm pretty sure my filing cabinet's straightforward - files labeled "cell phone", "car stuff", "health", "mental health", etc. I spend a lot of time organizing my files into folders so I can find things three years down the road, and I used to keep my email very organized before someone explained to me a couple times how gmail search worked and I finally decided I could handle giving up that level of control.

Definitely a control freak, don't need any diagnosis to tell that one.

Anyway, going to pick up the focalin in a few hours. And everything will go BOOM horribly. Maybe. Or maybe not.

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Took the focalin. A little while later started feeling very calm. I don't know if I've ever been this calm before. It's like being on too much klonopin, without feeling drugged. It's kind of creepy. I had been feeling mildly agitated and was worried things would get noticeably worse. But they didn't.

But I can still get excited about things, as evidenced by my telling three different people about my finding mangoes on sale 4 for $2. Mmmm, mangoes.

Can stimulants make people with ADD too calm? Like, overdrugged?

I'm feeling kind of like this all happened too fast. I mean, a diagnosis I never even suspected and still wasn't sure about and the first med I try works. I had months of suspicion and weeks of warning with the bp, and years of warning with my first diagnosis of depression.

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hiya-

i couldn't catalogue things to save my skin. i could do it alphabetically, but that would be it. i could never decide what catagory a particular thing belonged in. i know it is weird! i'd just get frustrated, put them in a pile, and the pile would end up cluttering my desk or the table by the door, and then i'd get mad and throw them away. that's what happens to my mail. i shred the stuff that's important and throw it out because it frustrates me too much.

then there is school. i did TERRIBLE in grade school and high school due to my attention issues. i'd just daydream all the time, and focus on what was in my head rather than the class. i'd then get all artistic, like my paper would be full of my drawings (which were in my head), and not really the work i was supposed to be doing. i have no idea how i got into what is probably the best liberal arts school in ohio. no idea. maybe it was my essay or interview. i have no clue. but whatever it was, i ended up at that school.

in college, my profs really catered to me. they knew i couldn't pay attention, so they gave me class notes and even tapes sometimes of the class. they helped somewhat. i also took a lot of classes that were interactive, like all the comm and mgmt stuff where a lot of it was just talking to people. i can do that! there wasn't much reading or listening involved, so i was cool. econ (large part of my int'l econ + mgmt major) was tough because of the concentration factor, but my prof was extra helpful and talked to me after class all the time to help me organize my thoughts and "get it". when i understand something, it is like suddenly it dawns on me and i get it all at once, rather than getting parts at once. i'm a strange learner.

in the work world i had a lot of trouble with focus. i'm a tech consultant (don't ask me how i ended up in this field!) and spend a lot of time on the phone with users. i do a lot of different tasks, so i guess it is good for my jumping brain.

in the driving world, i'm a TERRIBLE driver and shouldn't have a license. prior to adderall i got in so many car crashes, i can't count the number of times i backed into someone, hit a car in the street, or got into serious accidents on highway entrance ramps (hmmm...).

so, since the introduction of adderall, my life has been a lot better. i can read all these posts and actually form my paragraphs into some form of cohesive organization- a miracle really. i'm not running off to wash the dishes and then leaving that to do the laundry (with the dishes half done) and then abandoning that to play on the computer.

as far as if you can have ADD and be a terrible listener, thought processor or what have you, i totally think so. a huge part of my problem is the inability to focus on what someone is saying because i'm listening to my head. ;)

loon

ps- about the meds- i'm not sure if overmedication would make you feel drugged, like too much seroquel (or any seroquel in my case) would make you feel. i think that you'd be overstimulated. that's just my guess. i have shakes because of my adderall, but when we come down it doesn't work as well, so it is a trade-off. people at work probably think i have a problem!

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Took the focalin. A little while later started feeling very calm. I don't know if I've ever been this calm before. It's like being on too much klonopin, without feeling drugged. It's kind of creepy. I had been feeling mildly agitated and was worried things would get noticeably worse. But they didn't.

"Calm" like "Right. Whatever it is, I'll handle it as it comes." instead of "Whoah. Duuuuude!"

Now you know why I often make a point of timing Adderall with commuter traffic (You still don't want to get rear-ended in traffic. The

adrenaline rush + stimulant meds combination is a bit twitchy)

But I can still get excited about things, as evidenced by my telling three different people about my finding mangoes on sale 4 for $2. Mmmm, mangoes.

Heh. I usually check the ground in the backyard this time of year. I can sometimes eat two before sugar overload hits.

Can stimulants make people with ADD too calm? Like, overdrugged?

I'm feeling kind of like this all happened too fast. I mean, a diagnosis I never even suspected and still wasn't sure about and the first med I try works. I had months of suspicion and weeks of warning with the bp, and years of warning with my first diagnosis of depression.

Yes, you can overdo it a bit, and that can be unpleasant and/or counterproductive. There are some posts about that in the Stimulants forum.

Also, one of the stereotypes of ADD is the fast reaction to stimulants, TCAs, and some other medications. When normal life always

" feels just like your life is stuck in second gear ..." getting your mental butt in gear can be a real attention-getter. (Bad reactions are

also often less-than-subtle. That may not be a bad thing though)

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reading up on stimulants forum.

I think if I had mangoes in my backyard, there wouldn't be any mangoes in my backyard, and I would be really sick to my stomach.

mmm, love mangoes.

currently I've moved several hundred miles south to live at home while going to an internship, which is my first regular job in over six years. this follows that plus changing my graduate program and field of study last fall. sometimes lots of life changes are like peeling a band-aid off gently, and sometimes they're like ripping the band-aid off fast and then hitting yourself with a sledgehammer.

I think I may see if I can enact a small grief-denial-whatever series of phases off to the side in parallel with "where's the shift lever for my new brain again?" running on the main track. (to slow things down to where they feel more manageable)

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  • 1 month later...

Can stimulants make people with ADD too calm? Like, overdrugged?

Yup. I kinda liked it, felt like I was able to have whatever mental state I felt was appropriate, but my s.o. thought I seemed like a zombie and later I found myself doing what I thought I ought to do and not feeling so great about it. So, a mixed bag, and I went back to Adderall, with all it's pluses and minuses.

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We once had a girl on here who had both ADD as well as OCD. I really, REALLY pity her.

My ADD makes my life an aesthetic mess. I can find anything I need whenever I want, it's just that everything has its place, and that place is "wherever I just left it", as random as "wherever" may seem.

My Dad (closet* OCDer) completely hates the way I keep my digs, and has compulsively cleaned my former apartment in Georgia twice. I'd actually told him, in no uncertain terms, to NOT go into the very messy den of mine. I knew exactly where everything was in there. Of course, he couldn't stand me living "in such filth", so he went and "tidied" it all up. In a purely aesthetic sense, of course. Afterwards, I could hardly find a thing in there (I had to call him several times the week after to find out where anything was).

It's a bit strange and ironic that I was so OCD at my last job, though. Faced with the task of categorizing over a thousand bottles of chemicals and reorganizing the entire storage system to comply with federal EPA regulations, I got extremely rigid in my categorization and storage rules, stipulating that every chemical bottle had to go back onto the exact cabinet and shelf that it came from. Hell, I even got to the point of letting people drop bottles off at my bench so that I could put them exactly where they "belonged". My co-workers got extremely surprised when I told them my apartment was cluttered and an aesthetic mess. My (now) ex-boss, when I called him a couple months ago to see how things were doing, was concerned that the chemical storage system was breaking down without me there to uphold it.

*My dad is not only a closet OCDer in that he won't admit his OCD, he's also OCD when it comes to organizing closets.

"Calm" like "Right. Whatever it is, I'll handle it as it comes." instead of "Whoah. Duuuuude!"

Unfortunately, AD/HD stims don't work for everybody.....

Yup. I kinda liked it, felt like I was able to have whatever mental state I felt was appropriate, but my s.o. thought I seemed like a zombie and later I found myself doing what I thought I ought to do and not feeling so great about it. So, a mixed bag, and I went back to Adderall, with all it's pluses and minuses.

I forget... were you the one who complained about developing compulsions to clean the refrigerator coils whilst on Adderall? If so, maybe I need some of that heady stuff a week before my father visits me.

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snip

Yup. I kinda liked it, felt like I was able to have whatever mental state I felt was appropriate, but my s.o. thought I seemed like a zombie and later I found myself doing what I thought I ought to do and not feeling so great about it. So, a mixed bag, and I went back to Adderall, with all it's pluses and minuses.

I forget... were you the one who complained about developing compulsions to clean the refrigerator coils whilst on Adderall? If so, maybe I need some of that heady stuff a week before my father visits me.

Might have been me. I know I've cleaned the refrigerator coils, but I don't remember the compulsion. A Strattera user once told me about cleaning lampshades at 3AM. (WHich is when I think you should call your Dad asking about something you can't find.)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am an total disorganized disaster..lol...well, in a way that is much like 'my stuff is where I just put it'

I have learned to be more organized in my unofficial job (IE under the table pay!) for a friend of mine as a receptionist/secretary..just from sheer repetitiveness, I have learned alot of ways to be more organized here at home..

NOW to get rid of the clutter..HAHAH! ;):)

incidentally, it was in the first months of this job, and slowly increasing load of responsibility that I realized I NEEDED to be medicated for my ADD(inattentive, as per about 100,000 screening tests online) if that had been a REAL 40 hr a week job, as opposed to a 4 hr a day PT job, I would have been canned in no time and it was quite startling to realize that I was UNABLE to do what i needed to do...

in school, I was the underachiever, w/ miserable grades sporadically..and solidly in Jr high...when I got in to Sr High and my vocational training class (cosmetology) I seemed to get myself into a good groove and was able to pull off honors in my Sr year and graduate w/ a 3.3 gpa..

cosmetology was a good choice for me..always changing tasks and you can yap your head off :cussing:

and you can be creative!

it is not feasible for me to do this now however, w/ a family, including 2 energetic boys...10 and 7..I need flexibility...

still trying to decide what i want to be when I grow up..lol..but terrified at the prospect of going back to school managing a household(however badly I may do it..) and having kids in school, one of whom is inattentive ADD as well..not to mention a husband who can only handle so much stress...

oh, hehe, look a tangent..lol..

at any rate, I identify w/ so many statements from above..it is kind of scary

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